Language always falls short when it comes to grief.
Music, art, poetry, and movement probably grasp the struggle much more accurately than the words we end up using as approximations of an unfathomable experience.
So I get the discomfort many feel with the word “accept,” especially since it has a connotation of agreeing with or condoning a death, and NONE of us, feel that way.
I use “accept” as an alternative to what is probably a more accurate descriptor, “surrender.”
The truth is that in any death experience, we are helpless.
We have two options:
1. We can fight it every step of the way. Resist. Deny. Manage. We try to be strong, and get validation from much of our community in doing so.
2. We can surrender to what is. Period. Just surrender. It looks like giving up when it’s really giving ourselves over to something beyond our capacity to understand, embrace or accept.
In my experience, putting up a good fight does nothing more than exhaust us and prolong the process.
When folks surrender to the grief following a death, the burden lightens, the grief starts moving, and they come out the other side sooner with much less residual baggage.
Grief knows the way.
When we stop fighting it, it will lead us exactly where we need to go in order to heal and rebuild a meaningful life.