Monday, May 5, 2008

The Second Stage.... Anger

The second stage in the death and dying process is ANGER. And rightfully so. Life is not fair, bad things happen to good people, and all of the cliche's one hears when some tragedy occurs ring true. It is only natural to feel angry at the circumstances of a terminal diagnosis. It is when you can't get past the anger to the other stages that poses a unhealthy problem for your mental state.
So be patient if you know someone going through these stages, and be there to listen. Do not take words lashed out in anger to heart. The anger stage can last a few hours to a few days to a few months. At the end of this series I will give an example from my nursing to show how a family actually can go through all 5 stages in a few hours.
The most important thing to remember is not to get pulled into the anger yourself but to be there for the patient or family members experiencing the feelings. If you yourself are the one going through the stage, remember that to get the most quality from you life you must get through this stage.
Move past the anger to making every day count.. say the things to your family that show your love for them. Give them your dreams and wishes for them. Get right with God. Whatever it is that needs doing can not be done in the anger stage. Seek help from a pastor or physician if you don't seem to be getting over your anger. But deal with it because being angry doesn't change anything.
Next.... bargaining. Blessings to all.


Gayle McCain said...

Ah ha my friend Amy went through these as her daughter lay dying of a brain tumor. Kate never came out of her coma to say goodbye. And Amy didn't have anybody to talk to. She bottled it up inside of her, as all these well meaning parents with healthy children gave her platitudes and sympathy.

I just told her I loved her. And gave her a hug every time she looked sad. The other thing I've done is continue to talk about Kate - because our daughters were best friends.

Just because Kate died, doesn't mean she never existed. And so many people won't talk about her because it makes her mother sad. I figure if she talks about her daughter, eventually she'll heal as best as she can.

Thanks for making these stages so clear.


terri.forehand said...

Gayle, you are so right about continuing to talk about the one who has passed away. So many people don't do that. Thank you for helping your friend in that way. Blessings. Terri