Thoughts on grief and healing

grief and healing


In many ways I’ve been resisting sharing on this topic here.  I know not all of you are interested of my thoughts on grief and healing and I guess I’ve been worried that I’d put you off with all the sadness.


But then I receive emails  from women telling me how much my words have helped them.  I like knowing that maybe there is a positive to find in the shitty-ness of it all.  And I guess, if you’re not interested, you can just skip by this post today and we can stay friends, or not, that’s fine by me too.


I write about everything to do with motherhood, and how yoga is my guiding light through it all.  I can’t see why I shouldn’t also talk grief and loss, which I now realise is something almost all of us go through in the journey to have babies. And if we have been lucky enough to not have personally experienced it, we have a sister, friend, mother or Aunty who has.


I feel like I’ve only been scratching the surface with my sharing.  Yet people often seem astounded by how much I’ve shared.   I guess this just shows how much stigma still exists.


After losing Orion I accepted the standard bubble of silence that exists around losing a baby. Sure, I shared briefly with you here, but if i’m being really honest, it was mostly because I had already announced the pregnancy and felt compelled to. In some ways, this little community that has grown here is like a little family and I felt you deserved an explanation.


It was also a ‘safe’ way to tell everyone without having to have those individual painful conversations.


So I must admit, I wasn’t really being brave. If anything I was playing it safe.


Of course I had some in-depth conversations with my closest friends, but mostly, we skimmed the surface and then talked about something else.


I don’t want to skim the surface anymore.


I really didn’t process it last time. I chose instead to channel my grief into falling pregnant again.  Lord knows why I thought that was a good idea.  Perhaps I thought in some way, carrying another baby would be healing.


Turns out, I was very wrong. Even when things were ok with that next pregnancy, I spent half of my time feeling terrified and the other half numb.


I couldn’t feel the joy of being pregnant because it just dredged up all the feelings of grief I hadn’t actually dealt with yet.  I didn’t want to be mourning one child while growing another, so I just kept burying those feeling as deep down as I could.


Then we lost again and part of me said ‘of course.’ Of course this has happened again.  I still hadn’t forgiven my body for failing Orion so it didn’t completely surprise me that it had failed another. I had lost complete faith in my own body. I blamed it.  I was the one who had failed. The guilt was (is) suffocating.


I’ve done a fair bit of reflecting over the last 6 weeks. Christmas and New Year tend to naturally make me want to do this and after the year I had last year, I knew I needed to stop and reevaluate some things.


I’ve been journalling everyday and making myself find 5 minutes for meditation, even if it’s just while I put the boys to bed and wait for Rory to eventually stop the bed gymnastics and pass out.


I read somewhere that when you’re struggling with something you can just ask the universe for the answer.


*Warning. I am officially entering total woo woo territory here.*


So when you’re feeling completely lost about what to do next or a decision you need to make you can just ask and the answer will show up. I had nothing to lose.


So I asked… “Universe I know I need to heal but I don’t know how? What do I need to do? Where does one even start?”


The next day part one of my answer showed up during a yoga class I was teaching. I can’t explain where it comes from, but sometimes when I’m teaching I suddenly have more to say than just ‘put your right foot between your hands and rise to high lunge.’


It’s not planned. I don’t think about the ‘lessons’ I will talk about before class. Sure, sometimes it’s related to something I’m reading, something I’ve heard or something that has happened in my day.  It often starts there, but often I end up on a tangent somewhere completely unexpected.


I kid you not, the tangent on Tuesday was “You’ve got to feel it to heal it.”


At the end of the class, a part of me was feeling a little like ‘hmm, maybe that message was actually for me?!’ Although that’s another thing, I often can’t remember what I’ve said afterwards. It’s like as soon as it’s out, it’s gone.


But these words stuck around in my brain. “You’ve got to feel it to heal it.”


Wednesday rolls around.  I have a counselling appointment that I made just before Christmas when I was really struggling. Of course I couldn’t get in anywhere until the New Year and as the day approached I had been thinking that perhaps I would cancel. I have mostly been feeling on top of everything. Sure I have the occasional sad day where I just want to veg and sulk about (which I allow myself to do) but for the most part, I think I’m doing ok.


Then I remember – I had made that request only a couple of days ago for help to heal, so perhaps I should go after all?


I drive to the most beautiful tree house in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. I enter the first door I come to and a random jeweller at his workbench directs me to the back part of the house, where I’m actually meant to be.


She is not at all what I expected, although I’m not entirely sure what I expected.


I am thinking I am here for counselling, though I have been told she works with energy, so I’m expecting a small dose of alternative as well.


It’s clear from the first minute of conversation that she is the perfect combination of East meets West.  Which suits me completely because I feel like while I LOVE all the woo woo in the world, my brain also wants it to be explained in a logical way that makes sense, before I accept totally ‘out-there’ explanations.


She asks all the right questions. She knows how to get right to the heart of it. There is no beating around the bush. This is my kind of lady.


There is no hiding here.  This is both comforting and terrifying.


She has been through it too and understands it intimately (of course she has, I think, and remind myself to thank the universe later).


She gets straight to the point (and I kid you not – these words come out of her mouth) ““You’ve got to feel it to heal it.”


There is a lot of other talk about souls, soul contracts, family constellations, how we carry the trauma of others in our body, forgiveness and a whole bunch of other stuff I am now completely unable to explain to you in any logical way, although in our session together I felt like my whole body and soul were saying  ‘YES this is exactly right. I know this. It all makes perfect sense. Finally something makes sense.


She then asked me to hop on the table because she felt we needed to do some energy work and while she massaged my feet, my belly, my shoulders, neck and head, I cried. Heaving sobbing. Big fat heavy tears while she simply held the space and told me ‘that’s it, let it go.’


Eventually the sobbing stopped. I stopped. I was able to think of other things and my thoughts drifted until it was time to chat again.


I’d love to say I felt lighter, but that is not the truth of it. I felt like I had just been hit by a semi-trailer. It was this strange feeling like my insides no longer fit my outsides (again, I realise this makes absolutely no sense).


The end of our session was mostly a blur. We made an appointment for a couple of weeks time.


I somehow made it home. I was incomprehensible for most of the afternoon. Andrew tried to chat to me about changing banks (something that was on our list to do that afternoon). I couldn’t understand English and took myself to bed. I was unconscious for 2 hours and woke just before it was time to pick up the boys.


I was still completely spaced out but managed to shower and pull it together eventually.


The next day the lightness appeared.  I feel clear in what I need to do now.


Go to counselling.

Write as much as I can.

Talk to the people in my life who understand.


Sweat and cry it out.


The grief is of course still there. I don’t know that it ever has an end date? But I do feel like I am on a path to healing. Thank you for sharing it with me.


Have you ever had counselling? Pop over to social media, let’s chat over there. (Or shoot me an email if you prefer the privacy).


I plan to release a book mid-2017 on healing from loss. If you’d like to be the first to know when this book is available or if you’d like to contribute your story, please add your details here.


Know someone who needs to read this today? Can I ask that you share it with your friends. Privately via email if you prefer, or publicly on Facebook or Instagram if that feels good for you.  Thank you for helping me to support the Mums in our community, and those who need to find us.

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