You would think this would be the easiest stage to write about but it has been such a complex journey to get here that even I’m confused.

I’ve cycled through the other stages repetitively since it happened and even now, while I’m standing right here at the beginning of the acceptance stage with both feet inside of the very edge, I still have to allow for others to sneak in occasionally. There is nothing straight forward about grief.

How do I know that I’ve reached acceptance? Believe me, when you get here, you’ll know. You feel lighter somehow. Less tortured. Capable and stronger. You no longer buckle like you did before and you know you’ll be alright. You’re looking forwards mostly, only glancing backwards occasionally and you have a new appreciation for life that you couldn’t see before. You’re fresher, more whole, less broken. Smiles and laughter are genuine and aren’t filled with dread or guilt. You look forward to being happy again because you know you will be. At least that’s how I feel and I’ve got to tell you, it feels really good.

It took me a while to get my head around living for the present and future, letting go of the past but not letting go of the lessons, the love and my soulmate’s role in my life.
I didn’t quite understand how to release the dread, pain and hurt without letting go of the good bits I’d like to hold onto.
Having him, losing him and living on past losing him has shaped who I am. His presence in my life from start to now has been the most life changing and soul transforming adventure I could possibly go on.

He taught me about who I am. Made me realise that simplicity is frigging awesome. Showed me that love is always the way. And now he’s not here… But I know those things. I’ve seen them, felt them, grown from them, loved and been loved more deeply than I ever thought I would.
It’s those things I continue to carry with me, the experiences that have moulded who I am and what I’m worth.

There was one defining moment for me that changed my life forever in this grief journey but there were a million little indicators that I’d get there too.
For me, what really helped was embracing spirituality. Don’t run away now, it’s just what worked for me. By embracing my spiritual self, I learned that everything had it’s course and his and mine had run out. I’m not talking religion here, that’s not me. I don’t do well with rules and basing my faith on someone else’s experience. This was my experience, these were my feelings, this was my life.

My one truly defining moment was in a humble home in the back streets of Bali with a spiritual healer.
She didn’t spend more than 30 seconds with me before she’d pointed out I was carrying with me a broken heart, a spirit man, my husband. Her words. Even in all my believing, I was shocked. How could she see that? I wasn’t crying when I rocked up, I greeted her cheerily, I was relaxed. How is that what she saw?
Through the meditative massage, clearing and chanting, she announced that I was waiting for permission to live my life and that I had it, I just needed to embrace it.

Heaps of other crazy stuff happened in there that day but that moment was what helped me step over the line. And here I am, ready to live. Next adventure, please!

I have been really proactive in my recovery from this and I’m sure I have a long way to go until I can open my heart again and truly move forwards with no hang ups from the past. I have gone out of my way to heal, push through the bullshit, face most triggers head on, check in on myself regularly to see if I’m coping with choices and forge toward what I can only hope is going to be a lovely second chapter. Because for goodness sake, enough already.

I’m here, standing at the beginning feeling like one book has closed and another is open right in front of me. I’ve just got to take the leap.

Do I still mourn him? Absolutely!
Do I still miss him? To my core!
Do I wish it was different? With every fibre of my being!
Can I change this? Sadly, no.

I’m not magic, I can’t turn back the clock. The only control I have over this is my will to get through this and move forwards. Seeing as I love to hold the reins, it’s safe to say I’ll grab a hold of whatever control I do have in a situation. So here I am, holding the reins, taking back my power, gaining momentum, looking forward to the future.

I’m accepting that the past is that. That he was a really great part of my past. That everything I learned during that time and this time has shaped my future. Shaped who I am. Now I just have to step back out there and show the world…