Struggle to Affirm Reality
– Stage 10 -

“We finally begin to affirm reality. Please note that we do not say that the final stage is, ‘We become our old selves again.’ When we go through any significant grief experience we come out of it as different people.”
- Granger Westberg – quoted from his book

Good Grief: A Constructive Approach to the Problem of Loss

What Westberg says is so very true. We will never be exactly the same again. But at this stage we begin to accept that we do indeed have a future ahead of us. Although we recognize that we will never be exactly the same again.

There is a scar. Our loved one's death has changed us.

We can choose whether we will let this death experience make us

“bitter or better”.

So much of healthy healing depends on how we approach this grief journey of ours. We must face this difficult task and "do the grief" work. If we are to heal we cannot avoid the pain, but must accept it and work through it.

Remember the bereavement process does not follow an exact timeline or pattern. No one can tell you whether you are grieving “too fast” or “too slow”. Let the grief come, do not try to force yourself to slow down or speed up. At this time we must allow ourselves to just be.

Expect the “first’s” that you encounter can and will be hard.

There are the good firsts like:

  • birthdays
  • holidays
  • anniversaries that you shared

There are the negative firsts like:

  • “year” anniversaries
  • learning of the disease
  • entering the hospital
  • the day they died

So try to "Affirm Reality"

We are reaching a phase of resolution. There still will be times of pain, sorrow and bereavement. We will still cry, but we can begin to start to “grow” forward. We can begin to make a new life, one that is forever changed, but one well worth living!

This is something that you do not need to feel guilty about when it begins to happen. It is a natural and healthy process. Allow yourself to heal and grow! We can once again begin to embrace life!

Something to is a time when you might be able to help someone else who has experienced a death and needs a shoulder to lean on, someone who understands what they are going through.

Return from Affirm Reality to Stages of Bereavement

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Scripture Verse

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:31