Is Irritation & Frustration a New Stage of Grief?

I’ve been blogging about my grief for almost two years, and I’ve run out of things to say. Right now I have no great insights to share, no deep emotions to purge, no angst to get out of my system. I’m just going through the motions of having a life, hoping that someday something will spark a new enthusiasm, and there’s not much to say about that. It’s just a matter of waiting to see what happens.

A couple of days ago someone told me that pain at the death of my life mate/soul mate still showed through my writing, but the truth is, I’m going through a hiatus. I’m not feeling much of anything except irritation and frustration. Do these signify a new stage of grief? Perhaps I’m nearing the end of this time of great emotions and have descended into the pit of trivial feelings. But this irritation and frustration don’t seem trivial. They loom large, coloring everything I do.

I’m irritated at having to deal with the all the foolishness of life — the eating, sleeping, grooming. I’m irritated that after all these months of grieving, I’ve gained no great insights, no great growth. I’m irritated that despite all the changes in my circumstances, life seems so much the same as usual, just infinitely sadder and lonelier. I’m irritated that he’s still dead. I mean, come on — a joke is a joke. It’s past time for him to stop playing dead so we can get on with our lives. I’m frustrated that so much seems beyond my reach — understanding, enthusiasm, wonder. And I’m frustrated at all that is within my reach — loneliness, aloneness, pointlessness. I’m both irritated and frustrated that the world still feels alien with him dead. I’m both irritated and frustrated that he hasn’t bothered to call to let me know how he’s doing. I’m frustrated that I still want to talk with him and irritated that I can’t. I’m frustrated that I’m alone and irritated that I have no one to share my life. I’m frustrated that I don’t seem to be able to get a grip on my life, and I’m irritated with my lack of motivation to even try.

I still think there could come a time when everything works out for me. (My dead life mate/soul mate was a bit of a seer, and during his last days, he told me everything would come together for me, though foolishly I never asked him what he meant.) And I’m irritated and frustrated that it hasn’t yet happened.

I keep telling myself that I’m not yet where I need to be for everything to work out, and maybe that’s true, but it doesn’t keep me from being irritated and frustrated.

10 Responses to “Is Irritation & Frustration a New Stage of Grief?”

  1. Namaste Consulting Inc Says:

    Thanks for the honesty of your blog! Wishing peace for your heart…

  2. Holly Bonville Says:

    I’m right there with you Pat! I still feel like I am in limbo even tho I am going thru the motions…nothing seems to be happening. Little things irritate me. I have new swear words that I use. Two years have passed and I am no further along in my life than I was at six months.

  3. Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective Says:

    I, too, am waiting for the “greater good” to come out of Jason’s death – ten years down the road. No matter how many years pass, the realization that Jason is gone and I have to life the rest of my life without him is sad, sobering, and difficult. I’m sure you have gained greater insights and greater depths than you realize…sometimes we can’t see the changes in ourselves…the “not seeing the forest for the trees” type of thing…

  4. leesis Says:

    Pat this may or may not relate for you in your current state of being but just some thoughts…

    I think Pat this is part of the journey. Its the rebuilding phase whilst carrying the grief of your loss.

    But I don’t think ‘waiting’ is the thing to do. I think part of the irritation and frustration is at having to find new meaning in life. J. was it for a long time. Your irritation at foolishness could be a clear message that new meaning, new depth must be found. It is there. Now its time to search.

    A great bad can be offset by a great good Pat. Perhaps its up to you to create that great good…to chose it then build it. Overwhelming I know, but just like the grief journey its possible to get there one step at a time.
    with love

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Hey, good to hear from you! It’s been a long time.

      I really can’t do much but wait since I’m taking care of my 95-year-old father. After he’s gone, I’ll have to rebuild my life, but until then, here I am. I can’t even prepare for that time since I don’t know when it will be or what I want to do.

      I’ve been searching for meaning my whole life. Even more than J., the quest for truth was my life. I need something different.

  5. Kim Jollry Says:

    319 days post loss and after a busy few weeks and a getaway I had a day of tears and what I determined was frustration so I googled grief and frustration and you were the only thing that came up! I cried a bit tipsy but having done extensive mindful grieving work I easily identified this new emotion as frustration. Like an itch I can’t scratch. A want that I cannot fulfil! A longing for a release, an outlet. I briefly contemplated swimming laps for mindless counting my breathing and expending energy. Many times I have tried to envision my new life. I am irritated because I want to move on. It’s like the scars of grief have created prison bars around my mind, my body, my soul – trapping me in black when I just want to break free of this misery and live, laugh, dance and love again!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Be patient with yourself. Grief has a life of its own. One day, I promise you, you will live, laugh and dance again. It took me more than three years. (Generally it takes three to five years to find renewal.) It wasn’t until I started taking dance classes that i started coming alive again.

      Wishing you peace until you find life and laughter again.


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