Moving through the stages of grief: Is this acceptance?

By: Lauren Griffith

When moving through the five stages of grief, it is difficult for some people to understand where their emotions fall on the spectrum.

The five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. While people typically experience these emotions in this order, it is completely normal to experience these feelings at different times throughout your grieving process.

After all, grief is not linear, and everyone experiences it differently. There is no right or wrong way to feel when you’re grieving a loved one, and it’s important to give yourself time, patience, and grace for as long as you need.

Acceptance is typically the last stage of the grieving process because it’s when someone accepts their loved one exists in a new reality that cannot be changed. While this is a somber acceptance, it can help a person move into the next stage of their life after processing their grief.

This does not mean they accept this and move on with their life because the new reality is this grief is something that you will continue to live with. But it does mean that you’re beginning to get used to the new reality of life without your loved one.

Acceptance does not come easily or quickly for anyone, and it’s important not to put yourself on a timeline to accept the loss of your loved one.

If you’re asking yourself if you’ve reached the acceptance stage of your grieving process, there are a few things you can ask yourself:

1. Have you reached out to loved ones?
Many people in the acceptance stage of grief finally feel comfortable reaching out to and leaning on loved ones to help them process their feelings.

It is still completely natural to still need to withdraw and grieve on your own, but this stage is usually when you’re strong enough to talk through your feelings with someone else whom you love and care about.

2. Do you understand your new reality?
If you can come to terms with and grasp your new reality without your loved one, you might be entering the acceptance stage. You might begin talking about your life and feelings in the present tense instead of the past tense more often.

Again, you might go back and forth through previous stages of grief, which is completely reasonable.

3. Do you feel the same emotions for longer periods?
If you feel a quiet sadness or somber feeling while still feeling in touch with your present life, and you feel this way for days or weeks at a time before feeling deep sadness, denial, anger etc., you might be in the acceptance stage.

During the acceptance stage, you find yourself in one period of grief for longer than you did during the other stages.

Stuhr Funeral Home, a trusted name in funeral service for more than 150 years, cares for families of those whose lives have ended. Stuhr Funeral Home is committed to providing quality arrangements to honor loved ones and family traditions. For more information about available funeral services, visit or call (843) 723-2524.