In the past, I used to say “I am a healer because of grief.” That has changed for me, but I still have a deep understanding of grief. I know it forwards and backwards and inside and out. I know it world-turned-upside-down intimately, and today I could even say, only slightly hesitantly, that grief and I have become old friends. It’s natural to want to never feel it again, and it’s natural that I will feel it again and again in my lifetime.
I lost a friend, a soul mate and my family in one moment
I lost my Son’s father to suicide when my little boy was just about to turn 2. Of course I felt the sadness and emotional outpouring we feel when a beloved dies. I also felt incredibly loved, blessed and touched by spirit. I remember a sense of understanding at a soul level, an honouring of my ‘brothers’ decision, that we were and always will be family. The veil felt thin, I felt his spirit in the sky and the thunder and I was touched by power and magic – his, mine, and that beyond either of us. It was a high, and I expected to carry that feeling forward into my life which had deepened in meaning and purpose.
I had no idea what was normal and I had no other reference point in my life, having never gone through any grief like it before. So I was shocked to find that months down the road I still wasn’t ‘over it’ and was now going through intense betrayal, abandonment, rejection and fear.
One year went by, and I felt like I’d reached a milestone successfully. I had survived. I was relieved. The two year anniversary came, and I felt terrible! Worse than the year before, I was beginning to believe I would never, ever get back to my normal level of happiness. I felt so hopeless, and frustrated, and angry at myself. Why was I still not ‘over it’?! There were many good things happening in my life, and I poured my positivity into those things and tried to be happy for my boy, but of course I was really really sad on his behalf too.
So I was searching. Wanting to be well, struggling to express my grief because I knew most people didn’t understand. I knew the Doctor couldn’t help what I had, because my heart was broken, not my mind. In the midst of this, help came in a most unexpected form.
I found flower essences, while looking at learning aromatherapy. Then the flowers in my garden started ‘beaming’ at me. Obviously I didn’t tell anyone, as I already thought people might think I was crazy and this was certainly proof! I made my own flower essences, and started observing my journal writing and which essences I tested for each day, seeing patterns emerge. In the same summer, I learnt Reiki. The attunement was incredible, and I had a beautiful sense of reconnection to my heart, soul and body. At that first Reiki workshop I experienced a session of something called Neurolink. I had an incredible experience in which I relived the SHOCK of hearing about the suicide and then a moment later in a rush of energy it LEFT MY BODY. I was so blown away that I laughed uncontrollably for about half an hour after the session. I knew I had to learn Neurolink, and within a couple of months I had. Now 18 years later, I help people in my clinic with everything I’ve learnt since.
None of these things took away my grief. But what they did do was get me unstuck. I knew undeniably that part of the gift of the experience was that I find this new purpose to my life. The process of life lasts a lifetime, and I’ve stopped expecting that to stop! What I’ve learned about grief is part of my offering to others, in the hope that it will make it a little easier than what I had to learn largely alone.
Grief can bring treasure out of trauma
- Grief is the natural process of letting go and release. It can be about death of a person, or the state of the world, or about how your parent didn’t stick around for you, or about losing your home/dog/friend. It can be about not living the life you feel you were born to live, or about how life doesn’t seem to be fair or care sometimes.
- Grief is a process. It takes time, and it has waves. You can be happily merrily going along for a month, and then you’ll have a terrible day. (My friend described these as ‘fuck it days’.) These are days when even though you know life is perfect and everything happens for a reason, it really isn’t and this wasn’t meant to happen and it just sucks. You don’t want to see anyone or do anything and the dishes seem utterly unimportant. These are days you just have to let end, go to sleep and wake up to a new one tomorrow.
- There is no prescription for ‘how long it will take’.
- Grief is all emotions. It is joy when you remember the love you still have for the person. It is sadness when you think of what you lost and what you can’t share with them anymore. It is fear when you challenge any unconscious stuff you have around your own death or what happens after that. It is worry at how you will cope without them. It is overwhelm because all these feelings can happen at the same time and you can’t put them into words.
- It’s normal to feel, but it’s not normal to get stuck. Grief should move and there should still be some happiness to life, from other loves and good things.
- It’s also normal to feel really guilty early on if you catch yourself having a happy moment, or where you didn’t think about them that day. Even though we know “they would want us to be happy”!
- We need help and support through grief. We need to talk about the person we lost and remember them, and we need to talk to other people who are comfortable with that. It’s important to remember everyone has their own fears and belief systems about death, so not everyone has a helpful perspective about it.
- Grief changes you, and it should. Let it. You’ll never be the same, you’ll be somebody bigger, deeper, more loving, more grateful, more compassionate – and you’ll be somebody that understands grief for someone else who is new to it. They’ll look you in the eye and know that you understand, and you’ll be someone they feel safe with. You’ll know that you’ll never know the ‘right’ thing to say, that all you need to do is be present. You’ll be there a few months after the funeral, when you know life has gone for everyone else, just when that person needs reminding of all this stuff.
- Grief can be the most powerful spiritual awakening. You cherish life and upgrade your values, having a much better knowing of what is important to you and what isn’t. You know that at the end of life it’s not what we did that we’ll regret, but what we didn’t do.
By Tania Marsden
If you are someone who is stuck or struggling in grief, please get some healing, there is so much available. (And it’s true that the person you lost really does want you to be happy!)
In my practice I recommend a BodyTalk session. It can help to understand why the experience you are having is important to the bigger picture of your life and your soul journey. . I email you a written or recorded report after evey distance session.
Contact Me to make a booking HERE
This article, written by Tania, was published on Be Well Buzz website. You can see that HERE
Thankyou to everyone who made such wonderful comments when I shared this article on facebook – I even had a phone call from an old friend who needed to talk that I had no idea had been affected by suicide. I very much appreciated all the enthusiastic and sweet responses.