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May 5, 2014 / Jon Ericson

Anger

I’m sitting near the gate at Dulles that will take me to Long Beach and all I can think about is that I miss my family on both coasts. That and the free airport WiFi has hijacked all of my tabs and why would they do that?!? Next to simple sadness, the most prevalent and enduring emotion of my grief has been anger. I’ve been angry with God, of course. But also with complete strangers going about their day oblivious to the fleetingness of life. And with the reporter who initially wrote that the circumstances around Bob’s death were “unsuspicious” which is as suspicious a way to word the sentiment as can be conceived. And with the commenter who pointed out that odd fact. And with Bob for dying. And his doctor for letting it happen.

And I’ve been angry with nearly all of my family for reasons that are entirely obscure. I’ve nothing against them and a far as I know, they aren’t angry with me. I’m at least irritated with just about everyone who wants to console me. And plain old outraged by those who don’t. I’m even annoyed with people who surprise me with just the right word of comfort. Not to pull a pop psychology trick or anything, but I suddenly discovered this morning that I’m mostly angry with myself.

Bob’s death is the very definition of an “act of God” and the only two people who warrant being angry with in this situation are Him and me. When I think of what I failed to do in life and what I’ve been tempted to do, I’m disappointed in myself. How could I have forgotten to give Bob one more hug before we last parted? How could I get excited that so many people started reading this backwater blog because I started writing about his death? Why don’t I start writing about life while I can? And why didn’t God give me more time with Bob? Just one more year would have made all the difference.

And now it’s so tempting to add shame to my troubles. At moments like this, I praise God that in His mercy He gave us a model like King David:

Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.

(Psalm 55:22 ESV)

He didn’t say “Cast your burden on the LORD, unless it happens to be anger with God”. He said that the LORD with sustain you if you cast whatever burden you have on Him. This is the real reason I continue to write about my brother’ death—as long as I write I’m putting my burdens out of my hands and into God’s.

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