Sometimes there is what seems to be a raging fire within our souls with the loss of loved ones. It can be directed at self, others responsible, or even the one who has passed.
The anger can be is so strong, we feel like we are angry at the whole world. Anger is an emotion, and I call emotions, energy in motion. The first time I heard that term, it clicked, such a simple explanation to a complex part of my life!
Let’s explore this “energy in motion” also called emotion. Anger is a very strong emotion, and when it evolves into pure rage, we feel out of control. I know this, I have felt that way myself. Rage is an ugly feeling, it ramps up to the point that is feels like it has a life of it’s own. Learning to control that, and release it from your mind/body/soul will give you peace.
My anger was directed at God: I sat on the edge of the road holding my sons shattered body, screaming “How could you do this to him? Why did you take him, he was loved and wanted, yet you leaving children starving and abused? What did I do that was so bad to deserve this? Please take me, and let him live!” That anger stayed within me for a very long time. when someone would try and console me with comments about “God’s Will or God’s Plan”, that just brought all that ugly anger right back up. In the beginning I would snap back with a whole slew of words with fire in my eyes… I tried a bible study, but no one in my small town had lost a child, no one understood the emotions, and I was told I just didn’t love God enough, that if I did I could accept my son’s death. That did it, now I was livid again.
My anger & guilt was directed at myself: I was driving the car. I had looked away from the road for mere seconds to lift my son’s head up, as it had slumped over when he fell asleep. The road was banked, and it threw the car towards the edge of the road, where a guardrail was installed, but it was not curved back into the bank and buried as the WA State Laws required. It was parallel to the edge of the road. I hit the end of the guardrail about one foot from the edge of my car, it went thru the grill, by passed the motor, up threw the passenger footwell, hit the bench seat, ripped it sideways as it went thru the seat hitting my son, ripping his leg off and then my son fell on the rail and was pushed out the back corner of my car ripping his head open. I was throw sideways against the dashboard and steering wheel, landing on the 2 gearshifts (4 wheel drive). So many things were in play for my survivor’s guilt and anger. At that time car seats were a new thing, not required, but available. (40 years ago now) I had one in the back seat. But it was a hot day, and the sun thru the car windows had the metal bars and metal seatbelt on the car seat so hot it burned my hands, so I seat belted him to the front bench seat beside me. If he was in the car seat, he probably would have survived. I had looked up as soon as I heard the gravel, and it was proved later in court I was less than half a second from missing the guardrail and not wrecking.
How do we release all this crazy emotion, especially when we are mad at ourselves?
My anger was directed at the State of WA. I lived in a small town, the wrecker company that had to cut the guardrail off the road and haul my car off with it still sticking thru my car like a knife, was owned by friends. The owner told my father that i was the 6th car he pulled off the guardrail. That is was illegally installed and we should look into it. WA State law requires guard rails to be buried into the ground or curved back 6′ to deflect the vehicle and not spear it like a knife.
At that point I was broken, but not vengeful.
That is, until the State of WA sued me for repairs to the guard rail.
The image below is not my car, but a wreck very similar to mine. I do not have pictures of my wreck. I asked my attorney for them, but he refused to give them to me. With tears in his eyes he said “Once you see them you cannot un-see them, they are awful” I asked if there were pictures of Terry, he said yes, and pictures of his body parts left in the car and ditch. He was right, I did not need to see that, I lived it once that was enough. I had not forgotten what I saw and experienced. The guard rail was sticking 6 feet out the back of my SUV, and then the momentum swung me out into the roadway, blocking oncoming traffic. Thankfully the oncoming traffic had time to stop before hitting me in the drivers door. I put this image here to show you how much pain I had and the intense rage that built up inside me. My son was dead, and I was supposed to pay to replace the guard rail the wrong way so someone else could die? That was not going to happen!
Now I knew what rage felt like. I was only 21, I had never experienced anger that turned to rage before. We channeled the anger into hiring a lawyer and sued the State of WA for wrongful death. It took 4 long years, a crazy stressful time. I thought when we won, and it was proved to be an accident because of the incorrectly installed guardrail, and the road banked too much so it thru you into the guard rail. I would feel better. The rage was resolved, but I was still broken. The state admitted it was installed incorrectly, and that every other pole had the bolts removed to test out if it would break away better in a wreck. That allowed it to go thru my car so easily. The state offered to settle, the amount was very low, barely covered the attorney fees for the experts to testify. The judge said you have won your case, there is no doubt the jury will award you the verdict. There was my vindication.
But in the next breath he said, “However the State of WA and your ex-husband have counter sued you for wrongful death by running off the roadway, and will take 100% of what the jury awards you, and you will still be responsible for half of the attorney bills for court. In the time it took the judge to speak my emotions went from validation to pure rage again! I turned to my EX, and said why? He said because you killed my son. He gave up a million dollars (a lot in 1980) to try and destroy me even further. Our marriage broke up because he could not forgive me. That was his rage, with me.
It seemed like when ever I got to a place to release the rage inside of me, I just got more piled on. My EX then fought me for custody of my daughter, and due to my emotional state, he won. He succeeded in destroying me as best he could. I was devastated.
I knew I needed to resolve the anger, and I also was thinking everything I learned in church as a child was all a lie. So I decided to search out other religions and ideas about life and death. I felt so lost in my pain. My mother watched me struggle, and one day said “I don’t care what you believe in, but you have to believe in something” “I know in my heart that life does not end with death on earth, you need to find what your heart believes, because nothing is a sad and angry way to live“. I needed to know how do I release the anger, which is different than forgiveness. I had to focus on one thing at a time. It was eating me up inside, I just wanted to die and be done with this awful life I was living. I hated life, myself, and my EX, and just about anyone else who told me I needed to just move on.
So I started searching, it was before we had personal computers, so I went to the library and checked out books on the 5 major religions I was interested in. Although some were very different, they basically had the same message, and all said that they were the only way to everlasting life. I also studied about the metaphysical aspects and spirituality. I had messages come to me in my dreams and waking hours from Terry, my son. I knew this was not my imagination when he would be a vision, running thru my living room on his stick horse, when I was not even thinking about him. SO as I became aware of souls traveling thru time and space, and that we are all indeed energy particles (science now backs that up with DNA) I was able to resolve the anger towards “God” as I became more aware of the universe as a whole. It made more sense to me that our souls choose the challenges we have in life to conquer, and that when this is accomplished, we go on. I went to intuitive and psychics who did not know me or my story, I was very careful to weed out fakes, these were people known to be real, not a 1-800- hotline. I asked very specific questions about my sons, why they chose to die like that, why I had to feel this pain and anger. I got the same answers from different sources, so I was able to learn to eventually accept my journey, and let go of the deep rooted anger.
What works for me is what a psychic taught me, she said first you must acknowledge that you have all this anger and rage inside of you, then you will tell yourself you no longer need to experience this emotion. You tell yourself (sub-conscious) to stop bringing this too you. You open up your hands and release it, shaking it off your fingertips onto the ground to be dispelled into the earth. That was step one, it actually did make me feel a little better! No counselor, nor church support group, had taught me “HOW” to release anger, only told me I needed to do it.
Step two helped the most. She said stand in the shower, and imagine that you are in a waterfall, the cascading water feels good, it is beautiful and relaxing, you are at peace. Now let that water washing over you pull all the anger out of your body and wash it down the river. You feel the anger and pain slowly washing down your body until it is all gone from you.
This was amazing, it worked for me!
Someone finally taught me how to help myself! I had no idea of how to let all that ugly negative emotion out, that was trapped in my body. It is so simple, but it works! I did not turn to drugs or alcohol, it is not my nature. When a shrink told me I had PTSD and needed meds, I walked out of his office. I didn’t want to go that way.
I knew no one was going to rescue me, that I had to fix myself. I didn’t want to numb the pain, I wanted it gone!
Terry John “TJ”
I still get angry about things, but I know that I can resolve it myself, when I am ready. I have learned to forgive those who hurt me, not for them, but for myself.
I no longer let the things that hurt me haunt me.
This part of my grief I can “Let go” and move forward.
If you have all this pain and anger inside, forgive those who hurt you by releasing the pain within you, and that will help you heal. I had deep gut wrenching anger, both in the accidental death, and the horrors of childhood cancer. I had to create new positive thought patterns, and when I seemed to be falling back into the negative angry mode, I would wash it all away! Don’t hold that anger any longer!
Visualize it all washing away.
I choose to react in a positive way in all situations
I am what I think, so I choose to think positive thoughts
On each breath out, I release old negative thought patterns
On each breath in, I pull in positive energy, love, and peace.