Good morning Faithful Reader – 11/7/2021
Why am I so angry?
My name is Bob and my son Anthony killed himself a little over four years ago at the age of 35. I say this to claim my seat here and show my connection with a club that no one wishes to be a member of.
When I first arrived here I was honestly too far into my own despair that I had lost the ability to be angry about anything, except for maybe with myself. That was two years ago and I have been actively seeking a way out of this shared adventure that we are all walking together. I am sorry that you are even reading what I have to say because that means you have experienced a truly profound and life-shattering loss and like I once was, you are lost and have no idea where to turn. I understand your pain and your confusion, along with every other member of this group all too well. While I am sorry that you are my brother or my sister in this excruciating exercise, I would honestly not want to speak to anyone else this morning.
Part of my recovery, and that is what I call if for I know no other way to describe this experience other than to equate it with a disease that wants to kill me, has been to learn acceptance and tolerance. If you ever see me putting it into practice I probably look like a toddler taking his first steps, but I have kept putting one foot in front of the other. Anger was the first true emotion I felt and when it hit it was like a hurricane, wrapped in a tsunami with a sprinkling of volcanic overflow attached. What really hurt, truly and deeply, was that my anger was directed at my son who had been dead for almost two years at this point.
I slapped my son across the face once, I am not proud of it but it is nice to know I can only remember using corporal punishment on him once. He was 17 and all of his friends were over for Thanksgiving dinner. It was just me, my two sons and all of their friends. I had just been released from the Brockton VA Hospital after a year of being locked up and this would be around 1995 or 1996. Anyway, we were all laughing and I was taking the trash out and my son Anthony picked up the bird carcass and threw it over the fence into the neighbors apartment enclosure, a matter of a few feet. I was stunned when I heard the slap, I don’t think I had ever hit him before but there I was and we were just looking at each other. All his friends were standing around and you could hear a pin drop. I told him we were not like that and to go over there and knock on the door before picking up the carcass, apologizing, then returning here with it.
He did it without a glance and he truly felt bad, so did I. But, this was the memory that filled my mind at the moment I became angry in my grief and I wept for what seemed like hours. Deep, wracking sobs that my wife was unable to console and I felt like I would drown.
I got up that day, two years ago, and went online to find something. Anything really and eventually I found this specific group after a long and arduous search. I am angry because my kid is dead and when you come right down to it, I think we all have a right to feel that way. I am not saying this as a license to be less than your better self my friend, no I am not saying that at all. Perhaps, it is a reason to embrace that better self and to try to be the person your child would want you to be. That is how I feel, and that is what I try to say to myself when I am angry. I also try to do it when I am swimming in all the tributaries of anger such as jealousy, paranoia, self-loathing, self-doubt and hopelessness. These are the dangerous waters to me because they all lead to anger and anger leads to, for me, self-destruction.
I personally will not give in to this and now that I have found a voice, I intend to raise it and do whatever it takes for me to speak about this with whoever will listen in the hope that I might give one person a moment, a minute or a day where they believe that there is hope. I know there is hope and there are great gifts to be found in grief if you open yourself up to them. I got to spend twenty minutes with you this morning, talking about my greatest struggle and you listened. That is a great gift and one day I hope you will pass it along to someone else, for that is how this whole thing works.
If no one told you that they love you today, then please know my brothers and sisters in grief, that I do and I pray that you keep coming back.
My name is Bob, Thank you for letting me share.