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  • Writer's pictureAmie Kerber

On Anger

What the nursing textbooks fail to tell you, is that you experience all five stages of grief at the same time. I am simultaneously depressed, in denial, wishing to trade places (bargain), accepting, and angry.

Before we talk more about the ugliness of anger, I want to tell you about the beauty of Quinn's spirit. Quinn was a happy kid. Pretty much all the time. She rarely experienced anger, and I would more so even describe her anger more as frustration over valid things - such as when she felt she wasn't being listened to, or when her sister was purposely bugging her. I don't think she had an "anger bone" in her body, and she was so quick and generous with her forgiveness. She greeted people she knew with a big smile, and she greeted new people with a tentative smile. But it was almost always a smile. One thing I know for certain, she wouldn't want us to live our lives with anger as the dominating emotion, and I try to keep that in perspective as I navigate this uneven terrain.


Quinn died from an accident at her dayhome; A dayhome she had been attending for four years. When you entrust someone with your child, you are taking a risk. You are letting them be out of your sight, and most parents, myself included, vet the person/place they are leaving their kids. When a child dies from an accident people want to know the details. But truly, the details of the accident are irrelevant, because the pain, the finality of the loss, is so encompassing. The details don't change the outcome. I would be remiss to say that I am not angry towards the person that I see as ultimately having contributed to the death of my child. The facts are clear. Had she been there, had ANYONE been there, Quinn probably would not have died. This is something we are going to have to shoulder for the rest of our lives. Accidents happen. But some accidents can, and should, be prevented.


This stark fact feels like a dark cloud looming in the periphery of our vision at all times, and I can absolutely appreciate how some people allow it to take over their lives. It would be easy to let the seemingly strongest emotions take precedence over things like gratitude and love. It would be easier to live in despair for the rest of my life.


Anger also seems to coincide with the protectiveness of the situation. I am angry that some people felt they deserved to be a part of Quinn's death, when they were never a part of her life. I am angry that some people lack all insight into how to appropriately communicate. Again, it would be easy to let that anger dominate, but the truth is that these people are the vast minority. The majority of people that have shown up for us, whether it be by reaching out, providing us with something beautiful and tangible to remember our girl by, by nourishing us, and simply by thinking of us, has proven that the minority does not matter in the grand scheme of love and loss.


My grief feels like being tossed around in an endless ocean with waves that threaten to pull me under at any time. Sometimes I feel like I am barely able to come up for air, and I don't know how I am going to make it through the rest of my life. But while my grief feels like the ocean, gratitude and love feel like the sky, the sun, and the universe. They fill up the rest of the space, and they are more vast, and much, much more powerful than the waves and the ocean.


Anger is valid. Despair is valid. And so that is why they are here, written down and shared with you. I believe that in doing so, and by working actively to process these big emotions, my ocean will calm, the dark clouds will probably still loom, but a rainbow will come out, and I will feel Quinn's love, and I will get through another day.



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Ashleigh Alder
Ashleigh Alder
14 de nov. de 2020

I love you lady. To share your anger and be so eloquent, it’s not easy but painful I’m sure. Xx

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