Probably the most real & raw blog about Grief (written by local holistic therapist, Claire Himsworth)

Grief – The price you pay for a life full of love

I thought I knew about grief and that I understood it. That profound sadness for a loss of something that you can never have again. ‘Its sad’, ‘what a shame’, ‘they are in a better place now’,  ‘times a healer’, all those phrases that seem so very meaningless and empty when you actually experience it properly for the first time.

I’ve said them over and over as a nurse to loved ones of passed family members, to my friends who have lost their family and to strangers when they share their losses. Only when you experience it first hand do you realise there really are no words. It is a shared understanding but a lonely and singular road that you must travel alone.

I experienced this sad reality when a parent left their physical body late last year and I too found myself on the end of this no mans land. And it is a no mans land. Its not sad, they are not better off , time is not a healer – it’s a crippling , all consuming and soul shattering event when you lose something or someone that you have more than a love for.  My brother said it best ‘this isn’t sadness , this is like someone has taken all of the joy away from the world’. And it was , for a time.

But life goes on all around , and you too must make that decision – do I stay in this pit of darkness or shall I try and claw my way out to the chink of light that I can just see at the top. Fight you must or it’s a very black and dark rabbit hole you will go down that will have far reaching repercussions if you don’t.

American psychiatrist Kubler Ross talks about the 5 stages of grief :

denial, anger, bargaining , depression and acceptance.

I would argue there is a sixth – The ‘live with it’ Stage. This is more than acceptance because you may accept the reality of the situation but you will likely never accept the part of your heart that has been taken, but you can learn to live with it.

As someone that identifies with the buddhist and spiritual way of life , I know that this was not the end – nor even a beginning, just a snapshot of what we believe is time.  We are all irrevocably linked , tiny silver energetic threads that cannot be undone , only strengthened as we travel from this dimension to the next. Its just the feeling of the profound sadness of the love you cannot touch, hear , see or feel in the physical anymore. In order to pass this  you MUST go within.

For it is here that you will bridge the void once more. You will feel , hear , see and know your loved one again just by calling them up into your mind. Just as negative energies can wallow inside and cause disease , imbalance and illness – so too can good energies reside and give you the strength and happiness to know how to carry on, to remember the good in all this (that you experienced the love in the first place) and that you are a strong, resilient human being that will one day see them again.

For those looking for more practical solutions here is that I have found to be most helpful in times of sadness and despair:

1 – My beloved Doterra essential oils. Just as inhalation of essential oils is there for all sorts of physical needs,  so too for the emotional ones. By inhaling certain scents you have the power to change your mood state within seconds. They naturally promote and comfort you with chemical properties akin to those already present in the body and help to shift any lingering unwanted emotions such as regret, depression, anxiety, sadness, grief to name a few.

My favourites have included the citrus oils (mood uplifting) woody oils (for grounding to the earth plane when you feel your head is going to explode) and the florals to assist with anxiety and sleep such as lavender , serenity and roman chamomile. They really do work and turn your desperate hours into more empowering ones. (If you would like to know more please head to the oils page or complete the contact form )

2 – Exercise. My weapon of choice is running but it can be anything at all, as long as you are moving the funk. Emotions are just energy in motion and you need to keep those energies moving so get off the couch and move. I’ve NEVER regretted going for a run but I have regretted not going.

3 – Listening to myself and setting no boundaries. On the days I wanted to lie on the couch in my PJ’s and cry and do absolutely nothing that is exactly what I do. I’m just mindful to not let one day turn into a week and so on……… you have to have limits otherwise you start doing down that dark hole I talked about earlier.

4 – Self care – It doesn’t matter what it looks like but do something nice for yourself everyday, even if thats washing your hair and getting dressed – you definitely feel better I promise. I have been enjoying painting my nails, using my gua sha tools on my face which i’m usually too tired to do! Exercising , catching up on films and just having some ‘quiet time’.

5 – Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love. If we listed all the critical things we say to ourselves on a daily basis I think it would be a shock. We are so mean to ourselves on a constant basis when we should be loving ourselves extra hard during those grief days , so no bad chat!

6 – Feel it – don’t push it away for another time, feel it ALL. Good , Bad and Ugly , let those suckers pass through you because next time they might not be so bad. Suppressing emotions to deal with them ‘later’ is just a recipe for disaster. They become like little pockets of pus , eating away at you and the further you push them down the harder and more painful they are to deal with so let them up , thank them for coming and let them pass on.

7 – Gratitude. Feel it , know it , practice it. There is so much to be grateful for in everyday life even amongst all the grief. Take gratitude in grief , because if you hadn’t known that person and you hadn’t loved and cared for them then you wouldn’t be able to grieve in the first place.

We are each a tapestry of stories, experiences and memories and losing a loved one is only adding to that richness. It doesn’t feel like it at the time , but I know that there is laughter and joy still to be had in this life. You have to be the one to allow it to enter,  that is the only true saying that you will hear – ‘they wouldn’t want you to be sad’. With life comes death and that can be in many forms not just about a person. Learning to cope with it and move forward shows great strength and courage. Humans are blessed to feel a whole range of emotions and grief is only one price you pay for knowing real love  – I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wishing anyone going through grief and sadness some comfort and love , I hope you found some of the points of use .

Namaste Claire x

Check out Claire’s business Toetosoul Holistics in Ansdell