Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Seven Stages of Grief: Acceptance and Hope

During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

It is Valentine's Day. A day I haven't celebrated since my mother died on it twelve years ago, three days before my parents' 42nd anniversary. They were the icon of unconditional love, mutual respect, complete trust and a strong, loving companionship. They greeted one another with hugs and kisses. They never once argued in front of my sisters and me. I never knew of a fight or disagreement between them. Oh, I yearned for such a relationship for many years before God graced me with Craig. 

Craig, I believe, was sent to me by my mother a month after her death which was exactly two years after his mother's death. He was a gift from the very beginning and somehow I knew this! Our relationship was one that may never be repeated for me in my life. 

I was spoiled, really spoiled. I could do no wrong, no matter what. We laughed about the very things that cause most couples to argue and fight. We both came from the rare parents who actually loved and cared for one another and showed it. We both yearned for such a relationship after a few failed attempts with others. Craig and I were unique, blessed and truly in love. We accepted each other 100% for who we were without ever attempting to change the other. We sought  opportunities to show our affection, to give to the other, to make the other's day more special. We didn't criticize. We never hurt each other intentionally or not. I can't even imagine ever saying a hurtful word to Craig or ever feeling anything negative towards him. That simply wasn't us.

I can never replace Craig. I realize that.  I have memories of a relationship and experiences that make me happy and no one can take that away from me. I am grateful. Yes, I miss Craig every day. Yes, I still cry. And, yes, it still hurts. But I was given a beautiful gift for which I feel blessed. So, today is a good day. 

No comments: