Updated: Feb 11, 2019
Published by ReikiRays.com on February 10, 2019
We experience grief in many forms throughout our lives. Whether your grief comes from a loss or a separation of some kind, it will create a physical and psychological reaction within us.
Before the passing of my beloved grandmother, everyone in my family suffered from anticipatory grief. She had Alzheimer's for approximately 15 years. For the first five years, the changes in her were gradual. It wasn't until she was admitted into a nursing home that we really began grieving. I would visit and sometimes even take her on outings, but I dreaded leaving her because the grief would hit me like a ton of bricks. Yet at the same time, I would feel relief when I stepped back out into the real world and back into my own life. Now, I didn't just have to deal with the grief of watching her decline, but I also had to deal with the guilt I felt for not spending more time with her at the nursing home. If you have ever been to a nursing home, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
As an empath, I think the worst part of just being in that building was having to walk down the many long corridors just to get to the room my grandmother shared with three other women in the same condition and feeling the pain, anguish, and loneliness that those poor souls were experiencing. As the main caretaker of my grandmother's affairs, I felt a responsibility to visit even when she had no clue that I was there. I believe just my presence helped her somehow. It was fulfilling to visit with her, yet it was also heart-wrenching to see a once vibrant being decline to such a state.
In the last two weeks of her life, she was moved to hospice because she was no longer able to eat properly without her food making its way into her lungs. While her brain still retained the ability to eat, it had lost the unconscious function of swallowing properly. I spent every day as many hours as I could at her bedside. I enjoyed taking care of her during this time, and it brought me a sense of peace that I had not had for ten years. I was with her when she passed, and it is something that I am whole-heartedly grateful for.
So how did I recover from losing such an important person in my life, and how did Reiki and my spirituality play a part in that recovery? Well, it goes without saying that you never really recover from a loss like this, you just learn to live with their absence. But are they absent?
We learn with Reiki and other energy healing modalities that everything is energy. We are beings completely made of energy from the smallest cell to every inch of our external physical body. We learn from all the great metaphysical scholars, mystics, and even scientists that our bodies are just a costume that our soul, our energy body uses in the same way that we wear clothing every day. I believe our soul--our energy body simply transforms when we have worn out our physical body costume. Energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed. So, too, do we transform from a human being back into our natural state, an energy being.
I know I seem to be getting off topic here, but stick with me, we are getting to the Reiki part.
I became a Reiki practitioner the spring after grandmother's passing. Somehow, I was comforted by Reiki energy even before I had learned how to use it because my intuition was letting me know that it was time to let my grandmother go. Intuitively, I knew that she would be able to help me from the spirit world in a way that she could no longer help me in the physical world. Somehow, I intuitively knew that something was coming into my life that would help me heal from the grief that I had spent so many years suffering from.
When we grieve, we experience the psychological reaction, obviously. But what happens when we hold onto that psychological reaction? What happens to us physically when we hold onto that grief for too long? Everyone handles their grief differently. I am specifically referring to the loss of a loved one here, but there many other types of grief, and Reiki can help ease the symptoms from each type and give us the peace we desire at the end of the grieving period.
Many of us have a hard time expressing our grief either because we are ashamed to let anyone see our pain, or perhaps we were brought up to believe that there is something wrong with showing emotion. Regardless of how we came to that type of mental/emotional conditioning, when those types of beliefs exist, we are not able to release emotions like grief. Grief can be poison to the energy body and consequently to the physical body. Just before my own Reiki training began, I recall experiencing such a horrible migraine that I was in tears. In the middle of the night I found myself writhing in pain on the couch, and it was not until both my then-husband and my oldest daughter laid their hands on me when I found I was able to release that grief in the form of continuous sobs until the pain in my head subsided and I was able to fall asleep. Neither of them was trained in Reiki, nor did they have any knowledge of the healing effect that placing their hands lovingly upon me would help me to release that emotion.
I had carried the burden of my grandmother's illness and my own pain and guilt for so long, including all the emotions that came with having to make her funeral arrangements alone, and being strong for my father that on that night I finally broke down. When I began practicing Reiki, I began to feel the grief lift and become much lighter. Reiki healing allowed me to slowly and in my own way, accept her passing. I believe that Reiki helped to make the transition from grief to peace much easier by working through my feelings and healing each chakra.
When we think of grief, we tend to think of the heart; but the heart is not the only part of our physical bodies involved in processing our emotions of grief. Think about it this way:
Root chakra healing – our original thoughts; stability –
What if this happens to me? or How will I live without them?
Sacral chakra healing – our seat of creativity and creation and emotional storehouse –
Stores all the repressed emotions that we have experienced THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES.
Solar Plexus chakra healing – our seat of self-esteem; our emotional brain –
This can become full of guilt if we feel we didn't do enough for our loved one while they were living or in our lives.
Heart chakra healing – our seat of feelings and love –
Our heart is brimming with so much emotion that we need to honor and eventually release.
Throat chakra healing – our seat of communication –
How we communicate our grief is just as important as how we express our feelings.
Third Eye chakra healing – the seat of our intuition –
This chakra can help us see beyond our grief and understand the type of healing we need to experience.
Crown chakra healing – our union with the divine source (any belief system) –
This chakra helps our core spiritual or religious beliefs support us during times of grief.
Reiki helped me get over the fear of suffering the same fate as my grandmother. I now understand that whether I develop Alzheimer's or not later in life, I will be secure in the knowledge that I will provide for my family and my own future care. I have learned not to repress the feelings of sadness when they come. Oh, I still break down sometimes when I think of her. I now let the tears fall when they need to, and then I do something nice for myself to make me feel better. I no longer suffer from the guilt I once did. I understand now that we, as a family, did the best that we could for her and we always made sure she was taken care of. I still love my grandmother as much as ever, and I honor that love by keeping a picture of her on my desk as a reminder of the values she taught me. My intuition, my guides, and my higher self have all assured me that she continues to protect and guide me. I feel her love on the days I cry for her, as if a mantle is being thrown over my shoulders on a cold day. While it has been some years since her passing, I still feel as connected to her as when she was here on earth.
If you would like to read more on working with Reiki and crystals to help a special person in your life who is going through Alzheimer's or dementia, please look for my previous article: Dementia & Alzheimer’s -- Treatment with Reiki and Crystals, published by ReikiRays.com.
Wishing you a day full of love and light!