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.