An Acceptance Speech

Bingo

Bingo (Photo credit: Gerry Dincher)

Ten years ago I undertook a job within local government.

Along with the endless supply of cakes and people named Kevin came a whole new vocabulary.

‘Thought-shower’. ‘Blue-sky thinking’. ‘Silo-working’. It was Bullshit Bingo on a County-wide scale. It took some getting used to, but in the end I acquiesced and heard myself one day in a meeting uttering the words; “We must strive for a multi-agency approach in order to push the envelope further…’. That may have been the day I handed in my notice.

Like any new arena, grief throws forth a whole new vocabulary too. ‘Time’ is a popular grief-speak word. ‘Process’ is another. And everyone’s favourite (altogether now!): ‘Moving On!’

The most puzzling though, for me at least, is the word ‘Acceptance’.

The other expressions I can sort of get with, but ‘Acceptance’ sticks in my craw. In this context, what the fuck does it mean?

Dictionary.com gives four possible definitions of the word:

1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.

2. favourable reception; approval; favour.

3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory

4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable
Of all of these, number three seems the most likely to apply in the case of grief. But even then, it’s tenuous. How can one assent to, or allow oneself to believe, that one’s loved one has left the planet definitively, never to return? The person to whom one spoke, every single day, about everything and nothing? The one to whom one was attached literally, emotionally, perennially, and who was loved above all others?

This throws up another of the impossibilities of grief. Seemingly everyone wants you to strive for The Big ‘A’. This is the goal, the holy grail, the point at which everything will be OK. But, if Dictionary.com has it right, how do you ever reach that point?

To me, it’s another example of Bullshit Bingo. I’ve a feeling I’ll be waiting a long time for Full House.

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6 thoughts on “An Acceptance Speech

  1. Like ‘get over it’. What a bullshit concept. How can you ever get over something? You can grow around it, but it will be part of you always. Like a palimpsest – washed ‘clean’ but the original words are still there.

  2. I am so sorry my dear friend. As you are only too keenly aware, that awful “A” word can be found around my blog, too…. dictionary.com doesn’t show the UN-official meaning: Oh shit! This HAS happened! Oh my GOD! Well! Oh…okay, then. Got it. Ok. So, it is, then…alright…

  3. yes -that is the BIG question – how do we ever achieve acceptance? as time stretches so far ahead since hugh died, I take what I think is a step forward, then some little thing – like purchasing a 2014 calendar – takes me right back to exactly how I felt 4 months ago; the most raw and wrenching grieving where at some point I just want to die. i re-live the exact same emotions to the exact same thoughts – i can’t believe he is gone, why?, i will never see him or hold him again, and on and on. to think that there will never be a single entry of him and I…doing, being anything together ever again. I pin my hope on such small indicators – I only cried for 3 hours, i let myself glance at the calendar and was able to hold back tears, blah, blah. not that some progress, some ways I’ve tried and succeeded to change my thinking hasn’t been effective. still, to be tossed back to square one over and over – who can ever feel even a modicum of the “A” word? what a bucket of fuckedness.

    thinking of you with much love, XOXO

    karen

    • You hit the nail on the head there Karen – a change of thinking is required, and in theory it works, but then the slightest thing drags you back to square one. I remember the exact same thing when buying a diary for 2013, thinking ‘my god, he is not represented here – anywhere!’ Small steps (there’s another Bullshit Bingoism!) are all you can do. But as for acceptance? I think it needs a new definition for grievers. Much love as always. X

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