The sixth stage is Acceptance – acceptance is the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing this new reality. To accept what is. We may not like the reality that our loved one is gone but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. We must try to live in a world without our loved one.
The acceptance process can take months or years before we understand, embrace, and accept what is. Our lives are forever changed and we must readjust and reorganize duties or reassign them to others or take them on ourselves. In this step, we begin to reintegrate and slowly put back the pieces in our lives. As we heal, we learn who we are and who our loved one was in life. In a way, as we move through grief, healing brings us closer to the person we loved and a new relationship begins.
We can never replace what’s lost, but we can make new connections and new relationships. We may start to reach out to others and become involved in their lives. Building new friendships, and investing in ourselves, we begin to live again. But we can’t do so until we have given grief it’s time.