Tuesday, May 8, 2012

So This is Anger

Evidently there is a bit of controversy as to whether grief comes in loose "stages" or not. News to me. I'm not really operating on anyone's schedule, as my own grief is my own, regardless of what this smart fellow might say (Dr. George Bonanno). Sure, you've studied thousands of people--and not one of them was me. (this, my friends, is a fundamental flaw in most of psychology--it can speak to trends or general behaviors, but not much to individuals) I know what I feel and how I'm working through my experience. I know I miss Aimee. I know that losing one's wife sucks at 37, and would most likely suck at any age.

Emotions are what they are. I can't help but cry--and, during the last two days, shout and howl at the universe. Yes, I've been angry lately. Is it a stage? I don't know, but it's real. I'm angry.

As in "HULK SMASH" angry. I feel it in my bones. My skin itches with it.

The thing about this anger, the really tough thing, is that it isn't directed at anyone or anything in particular. I'm just angry. Angry my life is what it is right now. Angry I don't get to hug Aimee again, or give her another back massage, or just laugh with her. Angry my kids don't have a mommy (in the physical sense). Angry people have to spend their sympathy on me (although I appreciate every good thought and all the help). I'm just angry.

Anger isn't fun. It's not my natural place. I don't want to be angry for long, and that's why I'm writing about it.  

Stage? I don't know. I do know it won't last forever.

Nothing does.

Yes, Dr. Bonanno, I will rebound. I am resilient, as all healthy adults can be.

Right now though... right now I'm pissed off.


Lorna D. Keach said...

My heart goes out to you, I'm so sorry you have to face such a tragedy. My condolences.

Aaron Polson said...

Thanks, Lorna.

Kelli said...

I'm really glad that you are writing about it, because it's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels this way. Aimee wasn't my wife, or mommy...we weren't even related. But I catch myself very upset everyday still. I can't imagine the pain YOU are feeling. There really aren't many words that I can or anyone else can say to comfort you. But just know that there are a lot of people who are listening and understanding the feelings.

James Everington said...

You've every right to be angry chap; whoever put together a world where such shitty things happen clearly wasn't thinking. So be angry, if it helps (not that you need my stupid permission, obv). And take care.

Aaron Polson said...

Kelli - I know I'm not alone--and not being alone is a good thing. Thanks.

James - Will do. And I love being called a "chap". Just love it.

Katey said...

Yeah dude, fuck that "stages" thing. Like we have to feel on a schedule.

My first reaction is usually anger. They tell me I have "anger issues", actually. Bad for the blood pressure, but not like you can just flip a switch and turn it off, can you?

Wishing you many pillows to punch and possibly something totally unnecessary and made of glass to shatter. It's very satisfying.

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - Stages implies such order to something which is quite chaotic. I've felt most of the "stages" already--and not in any order. They come and go.

As for smashing something made of glass, I like this trick: http://youtu.be/77gWkl0ZUC8

Katey said...

Definitely on the "stages" thing. 100%

And oh wow. Yeah, that'd definitely be satisfying. Too bad about the beer, but totally worth it. Niiiiiice.

Yay, physics!

Daniel Powell said...

Resilient is the word, Aaron.

You've been a rock in the face of the unthinkable, and I can only applaud you for using words and sentences as a healthy outlet to deal with losing Aimee (in the physical sense, because it's clear she's with you and the boys in every other way).

Take care...

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - Yay indeed.

Daniel - Thanks. It helps to get it out, both alone in the car shouting at the sky and here, on digital paper.

Sara Ziegler said...

Seeing you break the bottle first hand was more impressive than the physics guy. Howl as much and as loud as you want, we all make our own stages.

Lane said...

Having gone through the experience of losing two members of my immediate family within four months, I can tell you that ANY of the emotions, especially anger and sadness, can strike intensely at the most inconvenient of times and sometimes become the unwanted 700-pound load taking up residence around your soul for days or weeks or even longer. Just as the most innocuous of items can serve as a spark for heart-wrenching ache, the tiniest of irritations can become the spark for explosive rage. Rage stemming from the inherent unfairness of it all. Overwhelming wrath at the unmitigated GALL of whatever force caused the death of someone who had no business dying in the first place.

Since any of these feelings can strike with all the subtlety of a scud missile at any time, I really don't know how anyone turns this swirling mass of pain into defined stages.

How to deal with it? Honestly, I don't think that anything gets rid of it entirely, but there are a few things that might help change the unwanted 700-pound load into an unwanted 600-pound load. I imagine the howling and glass-breaking are helpful, as least in the moment. I don't know if you're a runner or have an exercise routine, but releasing some of it through physical activity can help keep a person from punching holes in the walls. Physical exertion doesn't change anything, but it seems to help lighten the load the tiniest fraction, probably because of endorphin release. Although I have no personal experience with kickboxing, something like that might be especially appropriate.

I'm so glad you have the ability to articulate what you're feeling and can express it on your blog. It doesn't change anything either, but sometimes describing and defining the feelings by writing about them can help lighten the load another tiny bit. And you do a GREAT job of describing what you're feeling. People really do care and are willing to listen and to help in any way they can.

Marisa said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope your "spring season" comes soon...