I’ve enjoyed reading and writing since I was a child. I thank my mother for that! It is surely in the genes—she read constantly, and had hopes of her own words being published, but time, chores, children, LIFE, prevented her from being able to fulfill that dream. Although I don’t claim to be a pro, writing DOES provide an outlet for emotions, and I am grateful for every opportunity to share.
When I became so personally acquainted with grief, I read about an author and psychologist named Elisabeth Kübler-Ross who wrote that she believed grief had five stages. I’m sure you’ve probably heard them before: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I’m sure Ms. Ross had every good intention and only meant to help, but the spectrum of grief is so much broader than those five, and is definitely not done in any certain order.
The word that has challenged me recently is “acceptance.” The word itself is defined as “no longer resisting reality of our situation or trying to make something different. To give admittance or approval to—to endure without protest.” It sounds like a forced, harsh act, doesn’t it? I can see where this can be a helpful and necessary step in moving forward, but I would like to challenge you to try another word in its place:
SURRENDER: It’s definition is “to yield power or control—to give up the power of another.” Somehow, this makes the action feel a little softer, giving allowance for the griever to relax and relent when we are ready. When I apply this word to my grief journey, it feels less daunting—not the mentality that acceptance means leaving my beloved behind and moving on. I’m not being made to do something, but I’m relinquishing or handing it over; just letting it go for a spell, whenever I’m ready, so I can take a breath!
It is so very personal and varied, this path we are on, isn’t it? But language is universal, as are sorrow and grief. The words we choose absolutely matter!