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Acceptance? No Way! Well, Maybe?

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Acceptance — what does that even mean? How does acceptance even happen?

Will acceptance show up? How will I know?

What if I don’t believe there is acceptance? 

There are so many questions about acceptance and no easy answers. Especially acceptance of the loss of a loved one. When someone so important in your life dies, acceptance seems confusing and unrealistic.

Maybe the questions are about wanting to make sense of what happened. Perhaps it is to understand that the search for answers is not about making sense of the loss — it is perhaps to make sense of who you are now, in the evolving of your purpose, and to find peace and safety… all without that important person.

Acceptance does not mean, “It’s okay my husband/my wife died.” Rather, it could mean, “My husband/my wife died, and I’m going to be okay.” Acceptance may mean your emotions may begin to stabilize. You come to terms with the “new” reality. If there is any acceptance, it may mean it is a time of adjustment and readjustment. There are good days, there are bad days, and then there are good days again. It does not mean you’ll never have another bad day, when you are uncontrollably sad. But the good days tend to outnumber the bad days. You may lift from your fog, start to engage with friends again, and might even make new relationships as time goes on. You understand your loved one can never be replaced, but you grow, and evolve into your new reality.

Perhaps acceptance is a process that includes being kind to you. Kindness and self-compassion are what it takes to be present and have Self-Acceptance.

What is being present you might ask? Sometimes it’s simple, such as just being present in the grief group and shining a light on the moment and the warmth of the support you receive, and the support you give. Maybe that moment is acceptance! Maybe a moment in time of awareness is acceptance of the moment… choice by choice, person by person, and community by community.

“Acceptance looks like a passive state, but in reality, it brings something entirely new into this world. That peace, a subtle energy vibration, is consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle

Photo by Xevi Casavonas

By Evelyn Pechter, Psy.D.