How Could This Happen?

We wonder about a lot of things. Our questions multiply. How could this happen? Why? Why them? Why me? Why this? Why now? No wonder we get upset - and angry. 


From the Grieving Heart:

I woke up angry today. 

How dare you leave? How could you do this? I want you back. Now. 

But you're not coming back, are you? No, of course not. 

How could this happen? Why? I don't understand.

I'll never understand.

I don't like this anger, but sometimes it feels better than sadness. I find myself irritated with everything. My fuse is short. Frustration is bubbling just beneath the surface.

I think I'm going to explode. Maybe that would be better than holding this anger in. I don't know.

I want to scream and hit something. Maybe I should.

I'm here. You're not. I'm angry.  


How could this happen? Why? 

When someone dies or leaves, our hearts break. Emotions pour out and flood our being. Sadness is one of the most common feelings we experience. Anger is another. 

A loved one is gone. We're stunned, shocked, and sad. We begin to feel the pain. Their absence becomes a cloud that encompasses us no matter where we go. 

Questions begin to surface. How could this happen? Why? Why them? Why us? Why now? Why this way? 

Satisfying answers are hard to come by. Anger begins to brew within. We feel robbed and cheated. Perhaps we feel wronged or victimized. Our hearts rail against this loss, this death. We want our loved one back. Now. 

Love is passionate and powerful. When we feel attacked, anger is a natural result.

Anger is common when we encounter loss. We love them. They're gone. Of course, we're upset. Loss has invaded and stolen someone we care about. The key now is expressing the anger in healthy ways. 

We could do any or all of the following:

  • Hit a pillow, or scream into it
  • Power walk around, punching the air
  • Knead some dough
  • Smack a punching bag
  • Write in a journal
  • Exercise
  • Vent to someone safe

We can’t afford to let the anger smolder and fester. It will most likely leak out in less than desirable ways. We must find ways to express it as it comes.  

We continue to breathe deeply. We give ourselves permission to be angry. Anger is a natural part of grief. 



It's okay if I get angry. I will find healthy ways to express my anger.

Adapted from the newly released book, Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. TO watch a brief video about the book, click here

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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

I'm Grieving, Now What?