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  • Sarah Menzies

Acceptance

It has been a busy few days, school, work, kids activities, wine. My head has been swirly with it all. I've wanted to write but somehow not gotten round to it. I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not.


To try and deal with all the emotions charging around at the minute I decided to make an effort in writing my thoughts down.


I had a eureka moment recently when I was awake in the middle of the night. I'd spent alot of time thinking about Lauren's last few days, what we could have been done differently, where the errors were......Then I realised it didn't matter. Nothing would bring her back. I could spend days, weeks, months, agonising over every decision we made, the nurses, doctors, paramedics, but it would bring nothing but more mental distress.


The reality is that everyone did the very best they could, at that moment, to save Lauren's life. With hindsight they may have done things differently, they may not have, and whether any differences would have changed the outcome we will never know. The very fact that the consultants thought she would survive is testament to all those efforts.


As we are unable to change the past, the only reason we fixate on it, be it through the lessons of history, or more personal lessons like mine, is to learn from our mistakes, to avoid a repeat.


That is when I realised what acceptance really meant. As most of you know, I'm not a believer in the "stages of grief" approach. It is far too restrictive to have any bearing or bring any benefit to people suffering from loss. But acceptance could be looked at not as acceptance of a death, but as acceptance of our own mortality.


We don't want to accept that we could die, at any time. That is why we blame people, medical professionals, responsible individuals, when death occurs, especially death deemed as untimely. On occasion there may be reason for this blame, but there are many other occasions when people who have acted in the best intentions are held accountable. Because we have to think there is someone or something to blame. We have to believe that we can use our intellect to avoid death happening again. The reality is just too much for us to bear, that we are mortal and we have no control over when we, or our loved ones. will die.


So my aim now is to accept that mortality. I can't live each day like it's my last, that would bring chaos and disorder. But I can accept that one day I will die and all my loved ones will die. I don't mean that to sound as grim as it does, or maybe I do! It is difficult not to sound cliched. There are only so many times you can be told to seize the day before you want to shove the carpe diem back down their throat. But the fact is, the very thing that makes us human, that gives us our humanity, our self awareness, is the same thing that causes the pain. We can't have the happiness without sadness. All the time we look at our loved ones, remembering the happy times, and looking forward to the future together, all of that would not be possible.


So even in the times when it feels like my world is ripping in two, even then, I'd rather have the pain of loss, than have no feelings and no joy ever again.


So I accept that this is life. There is no one to blame (except maybe that snake in The Garden of Eden!!) I accept the joy and I accept the pain, but will do all I can to search out and relish the joyful moments.




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