Acceptance is often confused with the notion of being “all right” or “OK” with what has happened. This is not the case. Most people don’t ever feel OK or all right about the loss of a loved one.
This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually, we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing.
In resisting this new norm, at first many people want to maintain life as it was before a loved one died. In time, through bits and pieces of acceptance, however, we see that we cannot maintain the past intact. It has been forever changed and we must readjust. We must learn to reorganize roles and priorities, re-assign them to others or take them on ourselves. Finding acceptance may be just having more good days than bad ones.
As we begin to live again and enjoy our life, we often feel that in doing so, we are betraying our loved one. We can never replace what has been lost, but we can make new connections, new meaningful relationships, new inter-dependencies. Instead of denying our feelings, we listen to our needs; we move, we change, we grow, we evolve. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. We invest in our friendships and in our relationship with ourselves.
We begin to live again, but we cannot do so until we have given grief its time. Be patient with yourself and those around you. Time and support will help you to heal the wounds of grief.
Consider reading the Jack McAfghan Trilogy if you cannot find the support you need in the corners of your life. Visit www.katemcgahan.com and sign up for your free book, "It's Not Putting Me Down, It's Lifting Me Up." Follow Jack on Facebook. Jack is always there to guide, support and love you through the journey. Our story is your story too. Jack's voice is the voice of your beloved.
Prayers for your journey.