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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:26
luciestorrs luciestorrs is offline
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Default Five stages of grief: stage five - acceptance

Hello all - this is the last in the series of posts from The Light Beyond bereavement blog about the five stages of grief. As ever, your own thoughts and experiences are welcomed.

According to Kübler-Ross in On Grief and Grieving, the fifth stage of grief is acceptance. This is often confused with the notion of being alright or OK with what has happened, but this is not the case. Most people don't ever feel OK or alright about the loss of a loved one. This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality.

Acceptance is not about liking a situation. It is about acknowledging all that has been lost and learning to live with that loss. Gradually, in your own time, you begin to find some peace with what has happened. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live, and according to Kübler-Ross this is where our final healing and adjustment can take a firm hold, despite the fact that healing often looks and feels like an unattainable state.

Once again a reminder that not everyone goes through these five stages of grief. They are responses that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grief is as individual as our lives.

For On Grief and Grieving and other helpful books on grief and loss, take a look at The Light Beyond bereavement bookstore
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Old August 31st, 2007, 22:09
Calypso Calypso is offline
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I think you draw a very important distinction between accepting that the loss has happened and being "okay" with the fact that the loss has happened. A lot of my hospice families feel like that in order to heal they have to be okay that their loved one died, and it's always such a relief to them when I tell them that's not the case at all. There are some losses in my life that seem so horrible and unfair that I'll never be all right with them, but I do accept that they happened and that my life has to move on...
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Old April 9th, 2008, 10:57
Rachele Rachele is offline
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Post Accepting their Deaths:

I have to wonder about this stage. Obviously, as some point, we realize our loved ones are dead and not coming back. We may go on with our lives and life goes on whether we want it to or not. Acceptance, as was mentioned is the ability to move on with our lives and be ok with their deaths. I just don't think many people ever reach the stage of acceptance. Some do and I wonder where their peace or comfort comes from?
Is it the realization that we all have to die and it was their time to die, or is it belief in the afterlife where our soul lives on forever. I wonder if the people who believe in life and death are able to move into the stage of acceptance more so than those who don't share that belief?
I just don't think I'll ever be at peace with my mom's death unless I know she's ok. To know that, I feel I would need to know that her spirit lives on forever and that she is somewhere happy and at peace. I just can't accept that it's over and she was put in the ground. If I don't accept that notion than I'll never accept her death ,unless I come to believe she is a place like heaven. What do the rest of you think about this?
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