We talk a lot about reaching a stage of acceptance after the loss of a loved one to suicide. Today, guest blogger Rosemarie shares her perspective on acceptance fairly early in her grief journey, following the death of her husband in September 2015.
In Rosemarie’s words…
Acceptance is simply a choice. It’s something we choose to do in order to move forward. There are many challenging things that happen to us in our lives and we either choose to accept that it happened to us and move on or bury ourselves in suffering, denial and grief, thereby becoming dead to the world emotionally.
I do accept the choice that my husband made ending his life so soon. I do accept that it wasn’t my fault and that I had no control over the choices he made. I do accept that life as I knew it on September 21st ended with broken dreams and hopes. I do accept that I now have to move on and live a life without him. I accept the life I have and choose to move forward with all of the challenging paths it will bring with it. Sad times lie ahead, I’m sure, but so do happy and fun times. Whatever may come, I will accept it with open arms.
God has taken me down many windy roads in my life. I wouldn’t change anything if I had to do it all over again. The memories I have will be cherished forever. The lessons I have learned have given me an abundance of wisdom. I will take these memories and lessons with me as I move forward so that I can help others along the way.
Acceptance is also a stage of grief. We come to accept the pain and suffering we feel after we go through the shock, disbelief, and sense of loss. I remember talking with a doctor and telling her what happened to me when suddenly I realized, “Wow! That happened to me? I’m talking about me. That’s pretty devastating. And I’m still here?” It was like I was walking around living someone else’s life until that point in a zombie state of mind. It was at that point that I realized, I hadn’t yet accepted this tragedy. It was also at that point that I realized I needed help.
I need my brothers and sister, I need my children, my parents, my friends, my faith, and the help of my counselor friend. I needed all of them to help me accept this tragedy and move on. We need loving people in our lives and they need us. It has always been my belief that God speaks to us through others and uses us to speak to others that need our help. treasure the love of my family and friends.
Now, just because I accept this tragic loss doesn’t mean I won’t feel pain and sadness. I will have days when I miss my husband terribly, when I long for his touch and embrace. I will have days when I regret having to face such a difficult challenge. Does it mean I don’t accept my fate and God’s will? Not at all. Just because I accept what happened doesn’t mean I have to like it. I will still have sad days, and painful days. I will accept those days as they come and still choose to move forward.
I will accept the way I feel today, whether it’s sad or happy. I will know that it’s all just a part of emotions. Emotions can be turned off and on depending upon the moment and thought. Learning to go with the flow is also part of acceptance. You can accept who you are, accept the way you feel, and accept that tomorrow is a new day with new thoughts and new experiences. Acceptance is letting go of control. Acceptance is the ability to let life happen.
About the Author
Rosemarie is a 59-year-old survivor of suicide who lost her husband of 26 years September 21, 2015. She struggles through the grief of her loss by writing about her experiences at http://breakingthroughtragedy.blogspot.com/. With very little support out there for survivors of suicide, she feels the need to share with others to bring about hope and comfort.