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Thoughts on Acceptance

When it comes to grief, my definition of acceptance is when both our heart and mind understand and believe that our loved one is not coming back from the dead.

But before getting deeper into this topic, I want to emphasis that I do not believe that Elisabeth Kubler Ross’s Five Stages of Grief Model – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance – was ever meant to define an orderly progression of emotions that everyone experiences. It is normal to skip stages, experience different ones, and revisit stages multiple times and in varying degrees throughout our lives. I think this is especially true of Acceptance.

When we experience the death of a loved one, shock and denial are defense mechanisms our minds use to protect themselves from the psychological blow.
Maybe graduations and other special days are so painful not only because they remind us that our child is not here, but also because reality gets a free pass to chip away at our cocoon of denial for a while.

We may not like it, the cocoon is comfortable, cozy, and safe after all, but it’s neither natural nor healthy to stay in there forever. We may want to skip special events, and there may be times when we legitimately should, but if we avoid pain, we avoid opportunities for growth and will become stuck in grief.

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