The Second and Third Stages of Grief

The second and third stages_1 "The second and third stages_1"

“The angry people are those people who are most afraid.

Dr. Robert Anthony


Once the finality of Ben’s diagnosis became clear the denial came to an abrupt halt. In its place came some pretty intense anger. “Why did this happen to us?” “What did I do, for which I am now being punished?” As mentioned earlier, I have an unhealthy tendency to internalize many of my feelings. My anger began to manifest itself in extreme selfishness. I wanted my old carefree life back and I was going to figure out how to get it. Prior to Ben’s birth my life consisted of total devotion to work, playing on as many softball teams as time permitted, and having fun with Dennis. That was it. I began to play softball again which was a healthy outlet, but the socialization after the games started to become excessive. There were many nights that I would roll in at close to midnight after our post-game celebrations. All the while Dennis was at home caring for Ben

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. I had always

been a workaholic and that too continued. My husband is a saint to have remained patient with me through my “selfish” years; not that those feelings don’t still rear their ugly heads on occasion. But the anger did dissipate over the course of the next few years as I navigated through the grieving process.

“Please God, if you’ll just………”

Most people who have been in a tough situation.


I am going to make another revelation here that I am not exactly proud of. During this period of my life I was on, I guess you could say, a sabbatical from God. It’s kind of ironic, because this was the time that I most needed him, and I was turning my back. However, there was a short period around the time when Ben was two years old, that I

decided to take my case to God and say, “here I am, now please fix this.” I started to “religiously” attend noon services at a church down the street from my office. Surely once he saw that I had found my way back, he would perform some miracle on Ben. “Please, please, please, I promise I’ll become the person you want me to be if you’ll just……”. Guess what, nothing happened. In fact, it just intensified my anger toward him. It wasn’t until several years later that God’s plan for me began to become very obvious.

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