by Estrella Alvarez Tinch
Founder of From Grief to Hope
Member of the LTC Council of Peregrines
One of the greatest challenges you will ever face is coming to terms with the passing of a loved one and accepting that it is real. Accepting the reality of their transition is a necessary step as you begin to mourn their absence. This step will be followed by understanding and learning to manage grief's pain and learning to live in a world without them. None of these steps will be easy, but somehow you will be given the strength and tools to begin your journey. Your journey will consist of people and experiences that will slowly position you to accept the new person you are becoming.
"Acceptance is indeed the road to change and everything."
Before you allow yourself to go down the rabbit hole of the "what ifs," it's important that you know that departing this life does not discriminate between good or bad, young or old. Leaving this mortal realm happens to all of us at some point and while many embrace the idea that it is random, others see it as part of a greater plan. Whichever theory you embrace does not diminish the fact that experiencing the release of a loved one's spirit is extremely painful. Accepting their passing doesn't mean you need to get over it. I don't ever want, nor could I get over my son Bert no longer being here in the physical. However, I had to adapt to my new reality and, in order to move forward, I had to accept my life without my loved one. My son, Bert, may not be here physically, but I know without a doubt that he is alive in his new form and walks with me daily. Before our loved one left us, we seldom gave any thought to their end. Why would we want to think about such an unpleasant topic? After they have departed this life, that's all we think about. Their passing challenges us to re-evaluate life and our purpose in it. You may ask a myriad of questions for which you will not find an answer. Trying to understand is a crucial first step to the grieving process and acceptance.