How to let go of bitterness in grief

Who wants to be bitter their whole life? How does it improve the quality of your life? And do others want to be around you when you are bitter?

The short answer is that it doesn’t improve the quality of your life so let’s get rid of it.

We are allowed some bitterness in grief. Just know that it’s a space you want out of. You can have the thoughts, no one can stop that. I’ve had them. Just make sure you have strategies to overcome that feeling so you can move forward.

Awareness comes first. Then a willingness to do something about it comes next.

Here are some of my thoughts.

My bitter side:

I’ve lost my son to suicide. Why doesn’t anyone ask me about him? It’s like he never existed. I guess everyone is busy with all their “living” children to mention my dead child! 

(OK. I let’r rip when I feel bitter)

My comeback to bitterness:

My friends have no idea what to do or what to say. It’s not personal. They simply do not know what I need and I should tell them so they do know. Is that so hard?

My bitter side:

I have been at this mental health cause for 8 years now. We’ve barely made any progress –hardy made a dent. I feel like giving up. No one even cares.

My comeback to bitterness:

Oh get over it. Like building Rome was easy? You knew this was not going to be easy. And give up? What else are you going to do? Do people’s taxes? Now that would be hilarious. You have a whole support group here. Don’t give me that pity party attitude.

(OK. So sometimes I am sassy to myself. In fact, I am usually sassy.)

My bitter side:

Why didn’t any of those mental health professionals mention the word suicide? Had they said the word, I might have him here today. I know they knew. Kept telling me “high risk.” All that was missing was a ‘wink, wink.’ What do they think? I’m some interpreter. I had no idea what they meant.  They are therapists for God’s sake. It’s their job!

My comeback to bitterness:

It does me no good to get worked up about what happened in the past. They did not do their jobs. All I can do is move forward and try to inspire change. I can let groups that I speak to know we never got that evaluation so they know to ask for it it by name. It does be no good to get all angry about this over and over again. Is that helping me?

(OK. a little bit.)

This is how I work through all those pent up emotions. I talk to my own head. And then I reveal all my naked bitterness here on my site. How does that make me look? Human. That’s what it makes me look like. Now your turn.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

9 thoughts on “How to let go of bitterness in grief”

  1. Odd this post came out today. I had to sit thru an all day mandatory HR training today focusing on all the la dee da platitudes on dealing with adversity thru positivity. You know, daily affirmation bullshit. And these HR experts know what I’ve been thru. All it did was give me a day full of grief triggers that culminated into an extreme bitterness bout. It will pass. People have no idea what this is like. None. Is it their fault? No. More callus on my psyche.

  2. Girl, my bitter side makes your bitter side look angelic. I am caustic at best. My journal is unbelievably bitter. And we could write long long posts about therapists not doing/knowing how to do their job… Whitten was “doing better”. I just kept telling myself – “you could be going through this in physical pain and financial hardship, and you are not…” I needed this – thanks…

    1. That’s funny Gray. So you journal it which is good. I would love for you to share one of yours. I have probably had worse. My post on “long arm of the law puts hands down charkes’ pants” comes to mind. I was pissed when I wrote that one. And you did not see the first draft! It was downright evil.

      1. The bitter pissed red devil of misery is in my left ear, and the sweet grateful white angel of grief is in my right…

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