The final stage of the grieving process according to Elisabeth Kubler Ross, is Acceptance. This can be seen as the crowning moment when going through pain and loss. Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, the ending of your marriage or any other significant loss, coming to an acceptance of your new reality is an important stage to reach for.
Whether we like it or not, loss is part of life, and learning to grieve and move through pain is an important, necessary skill to develop.
If the stage of Depression can be seen as a dark cloud, the Acceptance Stage can be viewed as the light at the end of the tunnel. It takes a bit of time and a lot of effort to come to a level of acceptance, but if you can get there, you’ll find that it’s worth every ounce of energy you exerted. For many in the divorce process, the very thought of accepting the end of their marriage and moving on may seem incredibly far-fetched, if not impossible.
The stages of denial, bargaining, anger, and depression show up again and again, and sometimes it feels as though you’ll never move beyond these emotions. But as you process the pain and grieve the many layers and losses of divorce, some of the raw, ragged hurt begins to lessen and the overwhelming intensity of feelings dissipates to a degree. You will stop feeling so pulled into the pain and be less triggered than when the divorce process was new.
As time moves you farther from the painful experience, you ‘ll begin to find unexpected moments of joy, peace, and serenity. Looking forward, thinking about your future, and even planning how you want life to look, begins to appeal to you. The overwhelm of painful emotions lessens and life begins to look exciting again.
However, not all moments of sadness and pain are over forever. But you are moving beyond being controlled and taken over by your feelings. You are now stepping into a more peaceful, harmonious stage… the Stage of Acceptance.