Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Anger and Grief - July 3, 2010

Shortly after Josh died, I read that anger is one of the 5 or 7 stages of grief. Intellectually, this made sense, but it had not been my experience.....until now. Over 15 months later, I feel anger. It is a surprising emotion - after months of sadness, pain, grief and sorrow; followed recently by weeks of feeling numb and empty.

Each weekend, I visit Josh and write him a letter. Today was sunny and hot, but not humid. Flags were everywhere, swaying in the breeze. Other than the chimes in Josh's tree and the occasional bird chirping, it was quiet. I told him I was angry.

I am angry at him for what he did to himself, to me and our family. I am angry at myself for not even thinking that suicide was a possibility, and thus all I asked him was, "You're not thinking of hurting yourself, are you?" at which point, he looked at me like I had green hair and said "no" in a disgusted tone and left the room. Taking him at face value, I thought, "Okay, at least that is not an issue." How wrong I was.

I am angry at God for not intervening. Perhaps one lucid thought in the midst of the irrational mindset could have deterred him from following through on the fatal action. Or maybe Tim or I could have woken up and diverted his plans. I have heard numerous stories of thwarted suicide attempts and think, "Why not Josh?" Why couldn't he be saved too?"

I am angry at the unfairness of it. If suicide, from a purely statistical point of view occurs in x number of teens, or in x number of families, or to x number of parents, why him? Why us? Why me?

There are pictures of Josh all over our house, in every room. When I see these photos or think about him, I do not think of the happy memories. If I am completely honest, I think, "You stupid boy. Why did you do such a dumb thing? Why couldn't you have chosen a non-fatal route? You did something that is irreversible. There is no turning back. We cannot fix this. You are gone and there is nothing we can do to change this."

Then the finality of his death hits me once again. I feel guilty at being angry at Josh, who is after all, the one who is dead, and I weep out of self-pity - for him and for me.

Thanks to those who continue to remember Josh and who keep us in your thoughts and prayers as it is still so hard.

God Bless


Katie said...

Sue, thank you for your honesty about all the emotions you are feeling during your grief journey. There are no words to tell you how much I admire you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family constantly.

Cathy R said...

Last weekend I was working at camp and the song "One Love" came on. Instantly, my memories flashed of Josh at a young boy with a big a preteen with that loving smile...and I also had a vision of him as the great counselor I know he would have been. As my heart was breaking, I closed my eyes and wished so much that things were different. That I could open my eyes and see him walking across the camp with 8 little boys trailing behind him. So many of us continue to miss your you, Cathy

Roxanne said...

I keep asking God "WHY"!!! Why did God not allow someone to have a hint of this....why could we have not stopped this. I can think of so many things that could have happened to stop it. In all of my praying for an answer...I always come back to the thought that God allowed Josh to come home with him. Maybe to save him from something in the future. Maybe something that would have happened after he was an adult...when God could not swoop him up to heaven.

I believe his heart was hurting so much...that he felt so hopeless....that there was so much pain he just did not have the maturity to handle.

He was the sweetest, most loving, gentle, caring boy and the list goes on and on. God must have allowed him to come home early...he just must is the only thing that ever comes into my mind no matter how hard I pray or think about it.

I know that it is just my humble opinion but for whatever it is worth....I had to share it with you.

Reading Cathy's comment made me cry so hard but also smile. I can see Josh and Bryce with those little camper's following them. I can hear them tell them stories about all those years they went to camp, all the fun they had, the pranks they played, the laughter, the great great times they had. I am so thankful to have those memories of our boys.

We continue to share memories of Joshie, cry tears, write letters and miss him so much here in the Armes Home.

You are in our thoughts too and our prayers. We love you so much!