Grief and Anger: Thinking About Suicide

By Dianne E. Butts:

 Grief with Anger: Lesson 3 in 10 Things I’ve Learned About Grief.


Sometimes when we feel angry, we want to hurt other people by hurting ourselves. When grieving, some left behind after the loss of a loved one even think silently– and may feel like screaming at the top of their lungs– “I’m angry and thinking about suicide!

I’ve learned some lessons about grief: #1: Grief Plus Exhaustion May Increase Suicidal Thoughts  and #2:  Grief and Guilt with Suicidal Thoughts? Ask for Help.  The third thing I’ve learned about grief is this:

#3: It’s okay to feel both grief and anger.  Some people may feel anger towards those who caused the death of their loved one—the drunk driver, the terrorists, etc. Others may feel anger towards the illness, like cancer.  Some even feel angry with their loved one for leaving them alone, for making them face the future without them, for dying. Still others are angry at themselves for that last argument or forgetting to say, “I love you.”

Some people become angry with God.

These feelings are natural and are not wrong. Anger is not sin (see Ephesians 4:26), but what we do with it can be wrong.  Revenge is never right, and harboring anger in our hearts will lead to emotional, spiritual, and even physical problems. Instead of remaining angry, why not find a wholesome way to “vent” or express your strong feelings?

Here are some ideas:

  • Expressing strong emotions through words is surprisingly helpful. Talk to a friend, a family member, or a counselor.
  • Join an organization, such as one that fights drunk driving.
  • Look for ways to help our nation in difficult times. Volunteer.
  • Raise money for cancer research.
  • Write your deceased loved one a letter telling him how you feel, how much you love him, or whatever you didn’t say.
  • Visit her room or grave site and talk to her out loud.
  • Talk to God. Be honest. Tell Him how angry you are at Him, but don’t stop there. Ask Him to help you work through all your feelings.

When we are sad, when things are not going well in our lives, or when we are angry, we can feel far away from God. In an article I wrote titled “When You Feel Far Away From God,” I wrote this:

“How many times have I felt so close to God one day, but so far from Him the next? I wondered… Why does God feel far away just when I need Him most—when I’m in difficult circumstances or when my situation looks hopelessly impossible?

“I never intend to move away from God, especially in tough times. Yet sometimes He feels so far away. What has happened?”

In that article you can read what I wrote about how our feelings can deceive us. Just because we feel God is far away doesn’t mean that He is far away.

He is close enough to feel your pain and know your thoughts, even when your heart is crying out “I’m angry and thinking about suicide!”

Video:  If you’re feeling both grief and anger, God knows and He cares. Listen to the wonderful words of this Country Western song “God In Heaven Knows” by The New Hinsons:


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  1. Jacquie says:

    Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is one of the best authors to read when you’ve gone through loss. I loved On Death & Dying and I’ve also read The Tunnel & the Light. How to Deal with Grief by Karen Colquhoun is a good read too. What I have found difficult is that people who havent gone through something big don’t understand. But then again, I would never wish grief on anyone. It’s better that it’s me that’s hurting not the other person.

    • Jacquie, thank you so much for taking the time to write a note and to recommend some resources that you have found. The Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., book, On Death and Dying, is a standard on the topic, especially for professionals in medical and counseling professions. I read it at least 30 years ago–and it’s still in print, so that tell us something.

      The other book about the tunnel and the light I checked into briefly and I it doesn’t take too much to see that this is not a book that is based on Christian understanding. The meditation that appears to be part of the book is not a Christian discipline. As a Christian, I cannot recommend this book to my readers, however I do appreciate you taking the time to leave a note on my blog post.

      The Christian belief is very exclusive, meaning it’s “all or nothing.” We cannot pick and choose what “belief” we want to believe and then choose not to believe others. If it is Truth, we must believe it. If it’s not Truth, we must reject it. We can’t just go around thinking, “I like this thought so I’ll believe that. I don’t like that notion so I won’t believe that.” It’s either Truth or it isn’t.

      Jesus the Christ* said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV). (Look up any Bible verse and its context on

      Notice three things Jesus said:
      “I am the… truth.”
      “I am the…life.”
      “No one comes to the Father except through me.”

      Jesus is the Truth. Eternal life comes only through Him. And no one gets to the Father, Who is in heaven, through a tunnel or a light or any other way other than through Jesus–which means His death on the cross that paid for your sins. If you accept His sacrifice on your behalf, you’ll go to the Father (the one and only true God, who is in heaven). If you reject Jesus’ sacrifice, there is no other way to get to the Father or to heaven.

      To anyone who wants to accept Jesus’ sacrifice on your behalf, simply tell Him in a prayer something like this: “Jesus, I do accept that your sacrifice on the cross paid for my sins. Thank you for taking on my sins so that I may take on your righteousness. Please teach me more about you and how to live for you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

      If you prayed that prayer, you have passed from eternal death to eternal life. Please leave us a message on this blog so we may celebrate with you. Or leave us a question and we’ll do our best to answer it.

      *Christ means the one unique person God promised to send, which turns out is God Himself coming as a human! Full God and fully human.

    • Thinking About Suicide says:

      Hi Jacquie, if you are interested in reading other book about dying and the afterlife, try, Flight to Heaven, 90 Minutes in Heaven, or Heaven is for real. I think you’d enjoy them.

  2. If I may recommend another book, it is one that I wrote and it is the book I’m taking the grief lesson from that I’m basing my posts on for this blog. The book is called Dear America: A Letter of Comfort and Hope to a Grieving Nation.

    Dear America not only contains the “Ten Things I’ve Learned About Grief” that are the basis for these posts, but it also contains my story of grief, more easy-to-understand information on what Christians belive, and how to begin reading the Bible with some very basic tips for beginners. You can take a look inside the book on Amazon and get the print book or get it on Kindle here:

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