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Accepting Acceptance

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I think we’ve all heard of the “stages” of grief: shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, testing, and acceptance. {If you want my real take on the stages, and the history behind those stages there’s a book you can read on the topic.} Reader’s Digest version: they’re taken out of context and they’re cr@p. The ‘stages’ were never meant to be used how society chooses to use them.

One thing that’s always bothered me – no matter where you get the information – is that everyone seems to think you basically get to acceptance and you’re done. The end. I don’t agree.

“Throughout the stages of grief: You don’t arrive in acceptance.
You STRIVE for acceptance.”

I believe it is truly difficult to ‘stay’ in acceptance. {Similar to perfection – you never really reach ‘perfection’} There is always something – a scent, event, scene, memory, item – ready, willing, and able to pull you back into one of the ‘earlier’ stages of grief…depression, anger, denial…

Maybe the holidays circle back around, or you catch a whiff of their favorite meal at a restaurant, you hear ‘their song’ over the Muzak, or you see their favorite movie title scrolling through Netflix.

Especially early after my loss, I found I could just about associate anything with Madelyn’s death; it took 18 months before I would enter Target again {my favorite store} for fear of spotting a mislaid onesie or pack of diapers…

Society thinks we get to acceptance and we’re healed – Ta Da! Then, we spend the rest of our lives hiding our emotions from others, guilting ourselves out of feeling, and beating ourselves up anytime we have a little {normal, and EXPECTED} setback and aren’t experiencing 1000% sunshine and rainbows.

Please don’t let yourself fall into this trap. There will be setbacks. You will hit stumbling blocks. It’s natural and normal. The only think you can do it learn what you can, stand back up, and keep moving forward. 👣


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