This is my reality…
When we think of the word ‘acceptance’, we associate it with us feeling ‘ok’ with something, that ‘we are happy’ with a situation; so when talking about grief, how can this be a stage?! Can we ever really be ‘ok’ with, and accept that someone close to us has gone forever, that they are no longer in our lives? Why should we? We need to in order to move on and acceptance is an equally important stage of our grief process, however, its not about us being ‘ok’ with the situation, but more the acceptance of what has happened, that this is our reality, our life and that we can not, and this will not change, this is a permanent reality now.
I don’t want to move on…
Sometimes it may feel like you don’t want to move on and accept this new reality. This may feel like you are forgetting, or discounting how important that person was in your life. You may never feel ‘ok’ about your loss but your life and your world will now inevitably be different without them in it. This is where we often need to understand that certain aspects of our life may need to run differently; Maybe, you are now in charge of finances for the first time ever? Maybe you feel you need to move house as its too big for you now? Maybe you need to consider getting a job for the first time as your loved one used to provide for you? For the first time ever you may worry about your children’s future? This is only a fraction of the thoughts, worries and concerns that can come from acceptance of your loss, part of creating your new reality. Of course you will still have bad days and maybe even weeks or months, but through acceptance you will also start to make adjustments and continue to live your life without your loved one.
Plan for your acceptance…
Often acceptance is resisted, due to feelings such as helplessness, frustration, guilt, fear, the list goes on. One way of helping you and your family, is firstly accepting that at some stage will we all experience this, and unfortunately however we get there, we are all going the same way eventually! Give your loved ones and yourself a better chance of coping, managing and adjusting to a new life without the uncertainty, (which we all have to a degree). Accept that there are some things we can consider and plan for in advance, especially on a more practical and financial level. Give your loved ones and yourself the gift of security and stability, to leave space for, and make way for the really important part of grief, your feelings and overwhelm as that person is no longer in your life.
Happy Christmas & A Happy New Year; or is it?
Here we are again, Christmas seems to come around so quickly! People often have very mixed feelings about whether they ‘can’t wait’, or they just want it to be over. In my experience as a therapist, more often than not, those that dread Christmas, don’t look forward to it because they had bad experience as a child, or they have lost loved ones who they miss at this time of year. Either way they are experiencing grief and loss at this time.
So what do we do about this?
If you have lost a loved one or are grieving loss at this time of year, of any kind, then do not try and fight or ignore it. There is a reason people are in your thoughts at this time and trying to ignore or ‘get on’ with things, may mean that you are just repressing some very important feelings.
Acknowledge those that you have lost at this time of year, the people that you miss the most, even if it has been many years since they passed away. Light a candle for them, play their favorite song and sit and listen to it, go to the cemetery or even write them a letter and let them know how much you miss them. Even though they cannot read it, this will enable you to acknowledge and give them the time and space you want them to have, connect with your feelings.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and if this does involve some sadness then be kind to yourselves.
"Please note that this blog post was provided by Healthy Minds and although based on real people, different names have been used, where requested, by those sharing their stories."