The word ‘acceptance’, in the dictionary, is defined as ‘approval, in favor of. The act of believing. To regard as true or sound’. If that’s what acceptance truly is, I am not going to accept my dad’s suicide.
Most conversations with my sister about our grief will end by saying, ‘It will get better once we accept it.’ ‘I just want to be able to accept it and move on’. We are setting ourselves up for failure! False hope that someday we will accept this tragedy and move on. That will never happen. I can surely move on with life. I am doing that now. Functioning day to day. Loving my family. Having good and bad days. But I will never ‘move on’ from my dad’s death. There is always going to be questioning. I think that’s just human nature. I will question if I did enough. I will question the doctors. I will question the medicine he was taking. The list goes on. There is always going to be sadness and devastation from my dad’s death. How could there ever not be?!
Many articles about grief will state that there is some type of acceptance, over time, of what’s being grieved. Why do I need to accept that my dad died of suicide?
So many grievers are sadly disappointed when they don’t ever accept the death they are grieving for. That in itself can lead to depression. Thinking that they are just going to be attached to this awful grief the rest of their lives. Why can’t we turn it into a positive?
I am given this grief for whatever reason. I question God why I have to live with this grief for the rest of my life. I can be negative and pity myself. Or, I can use the grief for something good. It has taught me to really cherish my life. To find happiness in the moments. To love my family and friends more fiercely. Be more present in life. Really make goals and accomplish them. Find the good in people. Know that everyone has their own demons and struggles, and love them regardless. I know all too well that life on this earth can be gone in a second. Why not try to live it the best we can, regardless of our trials?
Here’s what I can accept- my grief struggle. I don’t have to accept my dad’s death. I can, however, accept that I will have a roller coaster of grief for the rest of my life. Sounds depressing, but for me its freeing! I don’t ever have to worry about getting to the acceptance point. I am free to grieve the way I need to. I can accept that I will have great days and bad days. I can embrace the grief for what it is.
My sister told me a quote that perfectly sums everything up:
I am ok, I am not ok, and I am ok with that.
I accept what is given to me in this life. I will choose to find the happiness and the lessons I can learn from it.