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Moving Past Our Anger

By Don Loftis | 10.10.18

In 1969 Elizabeth Kubler-Ross published her classic work entitled Death and Dying.  In it she posed five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  While everyone’s grief is different and there is no defined timetable, these five components are typically present.


Anger is one of the most interesting and explosive.  It may be directed toward the medical staff, “If you all had acted faster…”  It might be toward the deceased, especially if they had ignored repeated warnings or chose to take their own life.  Anger toward God is not uncommon, “Why didn’t you spare my child?”  Feelings of guilt may even lead to anger directed at ourselves.


A lady whose husband had unexpectedly died was having a very difficult time with her grieving process.  Every day she took fresh flowers to his grave and stayed there for hours.  She went to her doctor seeking advice.  He suggested that the next day she take the flowers to a couple of people he knew who were in the hospital there in town.  He said they had no family nearby and they would really appreciate the fresh flowers. She began doing that every day and her grief recovery accelerated.


Paul warned the Christians in Ephesus, “Be angry and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”  The problem is not the anger but harboring that anger, or in the case of grief, getting stuck in the anger.  We must move on, forgive if necessary, but move on.


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