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Is It Strange To Still Be Angry After A Year?

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I'm going through a really angry stage right now, which is strange because shouldn't that have occurred months ago?

I'm angry because this shady hospital doesn't want to hand over the medical records, even though I've asked for them a lot already. I know I should probably let it go, but I feel I can't fully go through the grieving process if I don't have the records; it's this "what are they hiding" question that's hanging in the back of my head.

I'm so angry that this place is pushing me around and made me waste so much time and money traveling there to get them. I'm not a confrontational person, and I don't always speak up, but I'm finally really angry now. :P But then I feel guilty for being angry and say to myself, "Let it GO! You're probably not meant to have them."

And I notice that I continue to feel empty inside, like life holds no purpose. I still enjoy things in a way (I can chat with friends, go shopping, see concerts), but there is a pervasive hole inside me. I've heard this is normal in grief, but I don't think it's healthy for me because I feel like I have nothing holding me firm in this world. I don't care to strive for things as much because I feel there's no real point. I do things that distract me and make me forget things briefly, which is great.

But when I'm alone and it's quiet, I don't have a real good sense of who I am anymore. Does that sound strange? It's like, who the heck am I? Before I was in full color with a clear sense of myself and my place in the world. Now I'm in black and white and floating around. I intensely hate this feeling because whenever I do anything fun or things that should be meaningful, they're only surface deep. They don't go IN, if that makes sense. How on earth do I begin to "find myself" again? Is that even possible?

I thought about doing something strange like getting married, but I know that's no solution, and that's not even guaranteed to work. Would getting a pet help? I'm grasping at straws now. Thanks!

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Dear Em,

I think it was Oprah who said (many years ago) that the way women find ourselves is by getting lost in something else. At the time, I discovered art and when I would really get into it and totally zone out the outside world, something seemed to take over my pencil and the result always amazed me. I recognize it now as the Holy Spirit working through me so it's not really my work at all, I'm just the conduit. I get the same feeling reaching out to other people, helping them relate to this grief walk or by bringing food or gifts to someone going through a difficult time. It's even been as simple as a card to someone I'd just met that needed to be uplifted at the time. The fun not going "in" made perfect sense to me this Christmas. Surrounded by people and festivities meant nothing, it was on the surface only. But sitting in church before Mass started and listening to the voices in the choir brought it home, the feeling, the spirit that had been lacking. It was total appreciation for their gifts, given freely to all who cared to listen.

Helen Keller said, "The best and most beautiful things in life cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart." Maybe that's why grief is so prevalent in our lives, this feeling in our hearts recognizes the ones that we can't see or touch. The love is still there. It is still real and beautiful.

Your questioning and anger now seems like a premonition to me. Like you're on the brink of a great discovery about yourself. And I don't think there is a right or wrong time for feeling what you do. There are really no rules in this. You are where you are right now because it is right where you are supposed to be. Having those records may give you the closure you're hoping for, but it won't change the outcome. Accepting your anger as valid and justified and working through it may change how you see yourself. I do pray, though, that you will find some peace and positive energy as you go through this. You have a lot to offer and have been really generous all along. I think it is our actions that define us; where did we have a chance to make a differene today? How did we do with that chance?

Peace and good luck to you, my friend,


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