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ANGER - When We Feel Like We Might Explode

“I might explode! I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry, not even close!” Mandy said, staring out the window with her hands on her hips.

“How could this happen? Out of all the streets, why ours? Out of all the possible targets, why Lance? The total senselessness of it makes me sick,” she continued.

Mandy’s son Lance had been the victim of a drive-by shooting. They lived in a safe neighborhood. Lance had been a good student, and a popular one. He was 15.

“Unbelievable. Unthinkable. Unfair. Cruel. Senseless. Evil,” Mandy said. “I can think of a lot of words to describe this, but none of them do it justice.”


The anger is real

Anger can be a large component of grief, especially in the loss of a child.

We get angry at the person or people responsible - individuals we believe share some blame for what happened.

We get angry at the person or people who might have been able to prevent this.

We get angry at ourselves for not being able to protect our own children.

We get angry at God for allowing such an awful, unthinkable tragedy to take place.

We get angry at the world for being such an uncaring and cold place. How dare it blaze forward as if nothing has happened?

We get angry at the sheer backwards nature of the whole thing. Children aren’t supposed to die. A parent shouldn’t have to bury their child.

Our hearts tremble. When we sense our child has been taken from us, anger is a natural and common parental response.

It would seem callous not to be angry about such an injustice. It would be as if we never really loved our child.

“You’ve been taken from me. I’m angry about that. I miss you.”


Some things to consider:

Anger is a powerful emotion. Many of us don’t know what to do when it invades our lives. How we handle it matters.

Anger is a part of the grief process for almost everyone. We must somehow allow ourselves to acknowledge the anger, and then express it in healthy ways. If we don’t, it will leak out in ways we will most likely regret.

Here are ten simple ways to let the anger out, suggested by other grieving parents:

  1. Buy a punching bag and some gloves, and use them regularly.
  2. Exercise regularly at a moderate pace.
  3. Find a quiet place by yourself to scream and yell.
  4. Write out the anger either in a journal or letter.
  5. Get some stress balls and squeeze them throughout the day.
  6. Get a cheap set of dishes and break them one-by-one.
  7. Draw or paint pictures of your anger.
  8. Speed walk around, punching the air.
  9. Pound a pillow.
  10. Smash a dozen eggs – carefully.

From the newly released bestseller SHATTERED: Surviving the Loss of a Child. View the Shattered videos here: Gary, Michelle




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About the Author

Gary Roe is an author, speaker, and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley. He is the author of the award-winning bestsellers Shattered: Surviving the Loss of a Child, Please Be Patient, I'm Grieving, HEARTBROKEN: Healing from the Loss of a Spouse, and Surviving the Holidays without You and the co-author (with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey) of Saying Goodbye: Facing the Loss of a Loved One. Visit him at

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