Some things I’ve learnt through experiencing deep grief and tools I personally still use.
A few days ago marked the what would have been 33rd birthday of our beloved Jess, my little sister. It’s been 15 years now, and her passing, and the 2 years of her battling a rare melanoma has taught me and my family more than I could have ever imagined. That’s the incredible thing about when someone we love, or someone we feel connected to, passes. Even though it is so painful to experience, and even though time does not make things better, it is actually a huge opportunity for growth. Death, although mostly hidden away in our western society is a beautiful transition into another level. The life death cycle of absolutely everything in this universe. It’s part of the package – the yin and the yang. The complex thing about death is the suffering, of those leaving and often unwell, and then those grieving the separation and loss.
I’ve learned first hand that our human mind in this physical form can’t truly understand the enormity of emotions that play out through deep experiences like loved ones crossing over. And although there are set transitions of trauma it can feel different for everyone.
With trauma or grief, our self can split, and we may find ourselves living in a sense of *autopilot*, to help us somewhat cope with the day to day running of life.
With a ‘trauma’, and/or experiencing grief, our self can *split* - and we may find ourselves living in a sense of *autopilot*, to help us somewhat cope with the day to day running of life. I experienced this for a 5 year period and then parts of years after that and can totally vouch that I was doing life but wasn’t really here. Unfortunately 'time’ (the way it’s been created in our fast paced world) essentially doesn’t stop for us to *pause* after or during a trauma. Autopilot amazingly kicks in to help us survive through tougher times. It is often only once we are in safer waters and a stronger stage of our life, that we re-recognise our ‘self’ (or soul or spirit) and realise it had felt quite far away, almost absent. In my experience this re-union of body, mind and soul is the true magical experience of human life. When we feel good we have that sparkle in our eyes, (referred to as Shen in Chinese Medicine = the person is present and fully here), skip in our step and we are in flow. Through my experience I have found it to unfortunately be necessary to experience deep pain and loss (or maybe just close to it or deep awareness of it), to understand how wonderful all of life and it's ebbs and flows is.
For me it has been, and still is, so important to take time and make space with grief. There are so many emotions and sides to grieving and they tend to come in different phases. I think it is crucial to allow ourselves to *feel all the feels* and know that it is totally ok to do this. In our Western world we tend to feel awkward with grief and others may not know how to approach us or know what to say during this time. This is also very devastating, in my experience I really felt like I needed to understand the deep loss and confusion of it all. A friend at the time of my sister passing said to me "this too shall pass", which, to be honest is not respectful or helpful in any way. The thing with dealing with grief and loss is that it will not pass and it is not something to just move on from. It takes space, work to process these emotions, thoughts and feelings and compassion with ourselves, and others for possibly not understanding our hurt, to fully encompass the enormity of a deeper experience like grief after a loss. Through much personal work and continuous support from holistic modalities, I would now say there is a transformation that is possible after grief and loss rather than a 'coming to terms with' or 'healing'.
Some things that helped me understand this experience and what I still call on when I need it is below. I hope this may help you or a loved one who has experienced grief or trauma. Many of these things are from books or other spiritual forms of support which I can't remember exactly where I sourced them from.
* Feel the pain. It is natural to want to escape.
* Our loved ones may not be here in the physical but they aren’t far away at all
* Aim to make contact – utilise a Medium a few months after the loved one crossing over to support you with this. I no longer have the contact names for the people we worked with but I do suggest finding someone you are drawn to and that 'feels' good. Utilising a Medium can bridge alot of uncertainty and concern about if our loved ones are ok, if there is anything that was unresolved or you are seeking deeper answers. I highly recommend working with at least 2 different ones to get a clearer experience. We had absolutely profound conversations with the Mediums we worked with. For one, my mum and I flew to Perth just to meet up with him. And wow!! It was so heart filling and comforting to know that there is so much more after all this. The answers and messages we received were absolutely only from my sister. She made comments out of the blue of the clothes we chose for her (we chose a strange not really her outfit) to be cremated in and she was laughing about why we also forgot to bring underwear for her to wear - which we totally did forget because we were so exhausted and shaken by her passing. I could write a book about all the other comments and signs we have experienced since then !!
* Speak to your loved ones that have passed - actually talk to them out loud whenever you like
* Continue to celebrate the person who has passed, I like to light candles from time to time and daily light an incense to bless my house and thank my guides - including my sister.
* Ask them for guidance - I call on my sister in my card spreads and find this a beautiful way to communicate. I even call on her when I feel stuck with things. I received several downloads while creating the skincare formulations after asking her for support with this.
* Watch for all the amazing signs and synchronicities around you. There is so much more to this physical world. Nature is a beautiful reminder. Subtle signs may be certain songs coming on when least expected, little bugs or butterflies being close by, lights changing - this can happen in the earlier stages of someone crossing to make contact.
* Everything is part of a bigger plan. I share some books and teaching below about this.
* Death and disease can help us learn and deepen all forms of connection. If everything was always fun, happy and blissful there would be no challenges to grow. Although loss is one of the deepest human experiences possible, I believe it is being gentle with ourselves through all the stages : anger, deep sadness, exhaustion, fear etc that we can humbly grow and have a deeper awareness of what it's all really about.
* There is so much more to life (and death) and this intricately amazing cycle. This current human experience is so important although a small experience in the whole.
* Allowing these experiences to deepen a spiritual awakening – there is much peace to be found on this path. Unfortunately nothing will bring back our loved ones. By strengthening our awareness of the big picture we can hopefully find ways to enjoy this life while embracing our loved ones from afar.
* You just never know what’s on your journey and when …. so tell people you care for that you love them, peacefully make distance from those who don’t make you feel good, and if you want to do something do it.
* I call on my sister in so many moments of my life to help guide me and *remind* me of the bigger picture and to feel connected to her. Remembering that she has passed and that life is actually fragile, and we are not *invincible* can help me to snap out of negative patterns or behaviours and enjoy this *moment*.
* Being gentle with ourselves. You may find yourself turning to vices. I was smoking and drinking heavily during the first few years after Jess passing to help *numb* myself. Although vices are never the true answer, being gentle with ourself during this time and not judging ourselves is really important I think. Whatever it is that you may find yourself doing after a trauma or loss, be with that. Without judgement. With time and space and understanding I noticed that I naturally understood the importance of finding healthier means of support and more *kind to myself* practices.
* Seek external support, unfortunately I didn’t do this at the time and feel this could have helped a lot. Finding a grief counselor and a Medium (a gifted person who can communicate with people that have passed) can be extremely helpful to have someone who can guide you on this journey after loss. I've recently started speaking with someone, and I realised it's never too late to start, and I feel better for it already.
* Utilise healing modalities like kinesiology, massage, reiki, acupuncture, energetic healers and osteopathy to help re-balance, gain clarity and be able to process.
* Offer support – even when people say they are ok, keep checking in on them. Often the big stuff comes a long time after the actual event / passing / trauma.
* Be brave and share with others. There are so many people who are silently suffering and feeling alone after the death of a loved one and who may benefit greatly from understanding of another and gentle support. This has been extremely hard for me as the pity and sympathy card can feel quite rough.
* Embrace spiritual practices like meditations, sound healing, breath work, holistic practices, yoga, plant medicines to heal and deepen awareness with the life cycle. Bush Flower Essences (message me privately for these) are a wonderful support through any emotional challenges really and are a perfect subtle support for grief or trauma. These are easy to take, just a few drops under the tongue daily. They have an almost neutral taste and create no side effects, they open our emotional body to be rebalanced and supported.
* Remembering, that we are here for a human experience and we have opportunities while in this human body to fully embrace this life, which also includes all the emotions that come with that. We can, with processing grief in our own way and time, feel strength and empowerment to make the most of our short time here.
* There are many beautiful books and videos to help us deepen our spiritual growth and feel supported through these tools.
* Meditate and move. Movement is so vital and probably one of the last things we feel like doing when grieving or not feeling our best self. A gentle walk in nature can help us recharge, feel grounded and connect. In the first year or 3 especially we may feel quite exhausted and depleted. Remembering to utilise very simple small steps like moving our body and breathing in nature can work wonders, not to take everything away, but to take care of ourselves. Our loved ones who have crossed would want you to continue to look after yourself.
* Journal. Writing has helped me so so much in all times of my life and especially with this experience of deep grief. Write whatever comes up for you, being honest, open and gentle and writing from a place of compassion for yourself and not judgement. With journalling I always suggest writing the date for reference, especially useful for reflecting and seeing personal growth, even through challenging times like grief.
Some special links to beautiful people I have found useful and still use as needed throughout my life. I hope you have found this post helpful, either for yourself while processing grief or a trauma or to help a loved one during their journey.
A spiritual teacher. He is a bit quirky but highly knowledgable and has many beautiful offerings. You can search his You Tube library yourself or visit the links below more specific to grief and loss.
Link 1 ' Awakening Through Loss & The Nature of Impermanence'
Link 2 'Beyond the Form: Allowing Loss | Eckhart Tolle Teachings'
Link 3 'What Happens When We Die'
This beautiful man is oozing with goodness. He is such a humble and gentle spiritual teacher and I love everything he shares. I'm sure you will love his special presence and his insightful teachings and approach. He has been a big guide for me for many many years now.
Link 1 : 'Mooji on Grief, Loss and Relationships'
Book 1 : Robert Schwartz
'Your Soul's Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born'
Although it's not specific to 'grief' as such, this book gives a wonderful insight into the bigger picture of our experience in this human form and life before and after.
Book 2 : Megan Divine