Is it Normal to Feel Anger Instead of Sadness When Grieving?

Grief & Loss

Everyone will grieve at some point in life. Whether you lose a loved one, a job, or even a sense of “normalcy,” everybody experiences loss.

Most of us associate grief with sadness. Even the word “grief” can trigger feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. However, not everyone experiences grief the same way. It can take longer for certain individuals to go through the process.

One of the stages of grief is anger. While it’s important to work through every stage to overcome grief, it’s not always easy to move past anger, especially when your loss was sudden.

You might think life is unfair. You might be upset that your loss happened the way it did.

Whatever the case, feeling angry is natural. However, it can feel overwhelming and controlling when you’re going through it.

Let’s dive a little deeper into why anger is such a common feeling when grieving, and what you can do to overcome it.

Why Is Anger Essential?

You might be asking yourself why anger is even a part of the stages of grief. Why is it such an important part of the process?

It’s important because it’s often “frowned” upon in our society.

People expect you to be sad after a loss. However, there are plenty of reasons you could be angry. Maybe you had unfinished business with a loved one who died. Maybe you weren’t on good terms and now you feel guilty, fueling your anger.

Or, perhaps you lost a partner or loved one suddenly in an accident, and you’re angry that it happened.

You could even be angry that you were unfairly let go from a job, or that the state of the economy caused you to lose your savings.

Working through this anger is important because if you don’t, you run the risk of turning toward some unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Don’t Force Yourself Through Stages

Anger often leads to isolation when it isn’t properly addressed.

Don’t rush yourself through the stages of grief just because others think you should be handling things differently. If you feel angry about your loss, let those closest to you know how they can support you, rather than trying to hide your anger.

There is no ideal timeline to get through the stages of grief. While it’s essential to keep moving forward, no one will know when you’re ready except you.

How to Cope With Anger From Grief

So, how can you handle your anger when you’re grieving? What are some healthy ways to work through it and keep moving forward?

First, ask yourself where your anger is coming from.

Getting to the root of your anger will make it easier to cope with it. It’s not always easy to identify that source, especially if it comes from a painful past. But getting to that underlying cause will make it easier to move forward. You might simply be angry that you have to keep going through life without a loved one or sense of familiarity. Accepting that is the first step toward healing.

Finally, don’t hold your feelings inside.

You might be worried about expressing your anger to others. You might not even like the way you think or feel when you’re dealing with anger.

However, expressing it is one of the best ways to work through it. Talk to friends, family members, or even a support group about what you’re feeling. You’ll quickly discover that you’re not alone, and others are feeling similar things.

If you’re struggling with anger instead of sadness when grieving and you’re not sure how to work it on your own, please reach out to one of our counselors. You’re never alone when you’re grieving, and you don’t have to feel this way forever. We are here to help.

Begin Working With A Grief and Loss Counselor in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Online in AZ

Our team of caring therapists offers a 20-minute complimentary phone call.  You can ask all the questions you have and see if counseling at our PhoenixAnthem, Scottsdale.and online in Arizona is the right fit for you. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact Crossroads Counseling for a complimentary 20-minute phone consult
  2. Meet with a grief therapist
  3. Start receiving the support your relationship deserves

Start Grief Therapy in Arizona with Crossroads Counseling

Feel free to call contact us at by calling 623-680-3486, texting 623-688-5115, or emailing