the angry side of grief
This week, I'm dog sitting. Which has led to my choice of wonderfully binge-able tv being The Circle on Netflix. Specifically, season two; and yes, I want Courtney to win, obviously I love Chloe, and Mitchell is ~stunning~ but all of that is besides the point of this. About an hour or so ago, I was watching the episode before the finale, where all the finalists received the tried and true reality tv show staple: messages from their loved ones at home. And for the first time in my life - and entirely caught off guard - I was introduced to the anger stage of grief.
I, as the generally stubborn person that I am, had thought I was pretty much done with the whole grief thing considering it's been 3 months since my dad passed. Sure, I have waves of sadness here and there but like the whole "7 stages of grief" that I learned while half asleep in 10th grade health class (and more recently appreciated learning in therapy) was something I thought I had just luckily gotten out of fully feeling. But, as often is the reality for my stubborn self, I was wrong.
This feeling of anger is particularly foreign to me and I have to say, I really don't think I was missing out. Would actually love to go back to the me 3 hours ago who was still blissfully ignorant to this feeling. At the surface of it, I guess I'm mad that if I was ever on a reality show my video message from home wouldn't include my dad. Which is absolutely absurd on so many levels. 1. me? on reality tv? AND a finalist? Impossible 2. I would hope no one would have let Chipper say anything on recorded, national television 3. my mom and my dog would obviously be the stars of any and all video messages hypothetically being sent to me.
So, in digging a little deeper, I realized what really pisses me off at the moment is that I can't ever have a conversation with my dad again. No calls, No arguing at work. No facetimes where he, inevitably, faces the camera the wrong way. And in this moment, that really just grinds my gears.
I've caught myself thinking about how I'll never get to hear what he would've said to me on my wedding day. Or his thoughts on the career I end up in. Even listen to him campaign for my future kids to be named after him, And, yes, all three of those conversations would've been eye rolled by me but, like, I would've appreciated the opportunity to eye roll and so honestly, I would like to file a complaint.
For me, a lot of what I think I'm feeling as anger is really rooted in sadness and curiosity. It's frustrating to think that I'll never get to know what he would've said or thought or done in the life moments that I had always assumed he would be a part of. It's not necessarily that I feel as though anything was left unsaid between him and I. Nothing was. And the last thing he said to me was irreplaceably wonderful - a quiet "coooool" after I told him what time I would be at work until that day.
In finding myself feeling so intensely mad about this I've found comfort in my belief that there was never anything he was going to say to me on my wedding day. Nothing left to mention or advise about my career, And, unfortunately for him, no argument to make to pass on his name. If there was, then he'd still be here. Everything that was ever going to be said, laughed about, or argued between Chipper and I already was. Which might be a bit existential to some, but for me it brings peace. Everything happens, when and as it is supposed to, for a reason, (Plus, there's the added bonus that if he did forget to mention anything, he can just send me a sign. Not necessarily the same, but there's a lot less arguing this way).
For now, I'm just going to let myself feel angry about never having a conversation with Chipper again. Although I can bring myself to find the peace in my reality, I am justified in my anger and frustration too. I'm also going to enjoy watching the season finale of The Circle, hopefully without finding myself crying at someone else's father's video message this time around.