Many of us have experienced loss. This loss can take several forms; the death of a loved one (person/pet) or the ending of a close bond – friendship, relationship, marriage, etc. Personally, I have experienced many losses in my life, and have encountered many stages of grief. Shock, denial, pain, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, reelection and moments of the upward turn. These fluctuations were not linear – I bounced around quite a bit. The “supposed” final stage is acceptance, it hangs out like a dangling carrot, a tease, a dare. I refused to consider this final stage. Loitering in the dark with glimmers of light had me feeling I was still connected to the person I lost. I was afraid acceptance meant forgetting, losing the memories. I was much more “content” feeling the pain of the loss because in some twisted way that meant that person still lived in me. I didn’t want the memories to fade, I didn’t want to lose the feeling I had when I was with the person(s) I lost. Feeling the pain was a much easier avenue, or so I believed, than forgetting. Recently I’ve discovered that acceptance happens almost like spontaneous combustion. It happens in a flash, you get a taste of it and it tastes so good. It offers relief, release and freedom. Still at times I find myself resisting. Maybe acceptance is all right, maybe acceptance means we’ve arrived at a place that offers solace and peace. Maybe, just maybe, acceptance keeps the memories in tact and the love true, not tortured and painful. Maybe acceptance means peace and contentment and that what was, was, what is, is and what will be, will be. We don’t have the luxury of deciding what life throws our way but we do have the luxury of how we respond. We choose the what, where, and who of our lives. We can’t know the why, we aren’t wired to know the why. That is the beauty and mystery of life. The why is the unspoken and unknown truth of life. One to be discovered, one to be realized, one to be explored. We may never know why someone was put on our path, why someone left or left too soon, I guess it’s always too soon or not enough. Accepting that loss is inevitable and that we are okay is a way of liberating ourselves from the bondages of resistance to loss. It’s not forgetting, in essence it’s an effective remembrance. We honor our losses best when we learn from them, become stronger because of them and live our best lives because of them. So, finally, loss can be a good thing if we allow it to be. Live well, be well and surrender well.