Anger or Sadness? Or Both?

We live in an angry society.

Social media is full of rants about this and that.  Television blares raised voices shouting over one another in what passes for news coverage.  T-shirts are emblazoned with one-liners intended to provoke others.

We tolerate and even embrace anger as a legitimate emotion.

Yet we rarely make room for mourning.  We hide our tears.  We shame those who don’t hide theirs as “weak” and “soft” and “cowardly” or worse.

But many times what we think is anger, is really sadness.

anger authentic

I’ve discovered that sometimes in this Valley of the Shadow of Death,  deep sorrow masquerades as anger.  And I’ve become sensitive to that truth in other people as well.

Sadness over loss of any kind can be spewed out as anger:

Sorrow over declining health.

Despair over lost opportunities with loved ones.

Heartache that life has not turned out the way one had hoped.

The problem with anger is that it pushes people away.  It creates an impenetrable circle that isolates a heart just when it needs to be loved, cared for and comforted.

Very few are brave enough to battle through another’s angry front to find the sorrow hidden underneath.

So I challenge myself to be more authentic in expressing what I actually feel and not dig a moat around my heart by acting angry when I’m really devastated by grief.

Because I don’t want to push people away, I want them to come close.  

I need them to take my hand and remind me that I’m not alone. 


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

10 thoughts on “Anger or Sadness? Or Both?”

  1. I have felt the anger that comes with deep grief. Interestingly, I channelled a great deal of my anger at God. I screamed at him fo not saving my son. Then there was the anger that came because friends and even family I thought would be there for me just weren’t when I needed them. It’s been difficult but I’m learning to be patient with myself and with others and to share my feelings in ways that don’t push others away. God has been giving me new insights into His love and his character as I do my daily Scripture readings and journaling. I’m at month 10 in my grief but I’m already finding new strength. The angry days still come at times but I’m managing them much better now.

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  2. So true. One of the emotions that come from grief is anger. For me I bounce back and forth between numbness and anger. You said that anger pushes people away which is also true, that we need to be careful because we need people in our lives to comfort us. I think that is also where my anger stems from is when I needed that comforting hand it wasn’t there. I either get silence or I get shoved in a direction my heart is not ready to go. My pain was minimized or challenged. I realize now how uneducated people are about grief and how to respond to our wounds. I wish somehow people could be educated in school in how to deal with grief maybe in a mental health class or something. And allow the kids to express their own grief so that when they become adults they might be better equipped in expressing themselves or responding to others going through difficult times.

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  3. I have felt that anger. It comes in waves. The temptation to dig a moat around myself is strong because I have been hurt by others around me and these I thought were “safe.” While I allow myself to have periods of seclusion I also let those who are genuine and are interested in my company. I know anger is normal while grieving and I know that I cannot allow bitterness to set in.


    1. I think it all builds up and then we just have to let it out. Since being sad (as authentically sad as we actually FEEL) is not generally acceptable, I thnk it comes out as anger. It’s like a tea kettle-the steam has to go somewhere. ❤


  4. It’s true that anger is part of the grieving process. We don’t pass through it in a once and done fashion though. It circles back around over and over again. You are absolutely right-if we don’t deal with it and allow it to become bitterness, that is a a horrible thing. I made a decision the morning of my son’s death that I would not allow bitterness to overtake my heart and, by God’s grace, that has been my experience. My heart is expanded in love and not shrunken in hatred and bitterness. ❤


  5. The truth is anger is a part of the grieving process. When we refuse to let it go and move on through it we can easily find ourselves in a downward spiral from which we cannot escape. Bitterness is its own destruction.


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