On letting go of the anger

Regarding “On Your Grieving Process,” what if it is a year after a traumatic death? The one year anniversary of my brother’s death from cancer is coming up. He was only 32. Sometimes I am numb, but sometimes it punches me in the gut and I am right back in the thick of grief. Not to mention I went through a divorce in the middle of my brother’s illness.

Everyday I coached myself to “just get up and take a shower.” I’ve been seeing a therapist. They put me on medications. It has helped to curb the intensity of the emotions, but I can’t seem to shake my newly found cynicism. I can’t stop seeing/seeking an ulterior motive in everything someone says or does (advertisements, compliments, marriages, etc). It’s as if nothing is genuine or pure anymore because my brother doesn’t exist. It’s as if the world doesn’t make sense to me because my brother isn’t in it. I’m navigating in darkness trying to find a way through to make sense of life and our existence. It’s so exhausting.

I guess none of this really is a question (probably more like a nonsensical stream of consciousness) but I just needed to get it out there. Thanks Coquette.


A year is nothing in terms of grief, and the anniversaries will always be hard. It sounds like you’re still very angry, which is an easy place to get stuck when someone you love dies before their time.

I could say I’m sorry for your loss, and of course I am, but what I’m really sorry for is that you’re trying to make sense of something that is completely senseless. You’re exhausted because you’re chasing an answer that doesn’t exist, and you can’t shake your cynicism because you don’t want to yet. You’re not ready.

Naturally, you tell everyone (including your therapist) that you don’t want to feel this way anymore, but you do. Even if you don’t know it yourself. The cynicism is armor that you wear to make sure the world isn’t as pure anymore, because without your brother in it, how could it be? You won’t allow the world to be pure, because that would somehow mean it’s okay that your brother died.

Well, fuck that. It will never be okay that your brother died, and you will never let him go, but one day, you will let go of the cynicism and anger, and that will be a very good day for you.

It’s okay to let it go. It doesn’t mean you’re letting go of him.


6 thoughts on “On letting go of the anger

  1. Barefootsie says:

    I know you don’t believe in god (I don’t really either), but that doesn’t make the work you do anything less than a godsend, Coquette. None of these questions are mine today, but I still feel comforted that you’re able to respond and help the people who asked these questions today. On their behalf – thank you.

  2. Erin Burks says:

    Beautiful post. This actually helped me comfort my friend who’s been dealing with a great amount of personal loss . And the good guy vs. nice guy post put in to words why I really like the guy I’m seeing. Today was a good day to check your website 🙂

  3. Grieving says:

    Year 2 is a little easier than Year 1. Around 20 months in to my grieving process (56 year old dad unexpectedly passed – 6 months before my wedding that we were excitedly planning together), I realized there was nothing anyone could fucking do about it. Of course it’s unfair, but that’s life (and death).

    Now I’m starting Year 3 and I’m able to smile genuinely (for the most part). That absence is just part of my narrative now. Of course it sucks, but I’m trying not to let my loss define me, and when it does take over, I ride the wave.

    • CynicalGrey says:

      Year 3 here on grieving my maternal grandmother who raised me (dysfunctional family never informed me until too late). The tears slowly stops pinching your throat and the cynicism towards those who have not experienced your loss will fade. You’re not alone, and there will be a time of readjusting and shifting.

      Even though I can’t tell my grandmother about my accomplishments or tribulations, I can reach out to the idea of who she is to me, and I am comforted. It sounds like spiritual hokey pokey, but it helps me know that I can still talk to her and hear her voice in my heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *