In theory, I understand it. It's a shield and a sword. Protection from the knife-sharp comments or the knife-sharp silence and a blade you can turn against them. It's the panther that walks with you, straining against its slender leash. It's a Molotov cocktail. It's a loaded gun.
But, in theory, I understand a lot of things. In practice, I wonder about the burden anger can be.
I don't generally get angry, even when, perhaps, I should. Once upon a time, the man I couldn't imagine life without and the woman who knew all my secrets found each other and left me completely alone. "You must be so angry at them," people would say.
But I wasn't angry at all. I was sad, terribly sad, so sad that I had to force myself to breathe, but I understood why they had done what they did and, more importantly, understood that, they hadn't really done anything to me.
So it's hard for me to even imagine the rage that so often seems to swirl around the death of a child. You could be angry at yourself, the doctors, your husband, your friends with healthy babies, the gods, the sunlight on the garden, the earth that spins in its monotonous circles as if nothing at all had happened. But it all seems so meaningless, so futile, like being angry at a coin for coming up heads when you wanted it to be tails.
You could be angry at other people's reactions. People generally don't respond well to loss and say and do all the wrong things. But, for the most part, they're not being malicious, just selfish and thoughtless. And, while, sometimes, some people surprise you, expecting people not to be selfish and thoughtless is expecting far too much.
Sadness makes sense to me. Anger -- at least anger at a loss --often, well, doesn't. And, while I know there are emotions that transcend reason and that anger can be a force for healing, what I think about is the fable of the miller, who got rid of the mice that were stealing his flour by burning down the mill.
Your turn. Tell me why I'm wrong. Have you felt anger in the wake of a loss -- whether the loss of a child or some other loss? What was it like? Who or what were you angry with? Was your anger an additional burden or a source of strength or comfort?