Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
With large, salty tears sliding down her cheeks, my hospice patient talked about the death of her son a few months previously. Her grief was overwhelming, and I could feel the pain emanating from her being. She had never imagined her son would die before her, and she questioned her faith, stating she did not understand why God did not take her to heaven, rather than her son. She was at peace with her impending death but could not accept the fact that her son had died before her. My patient was 96 years old, and her son died at the age of 77 years.
Having worked in the counseling and Reiki arenas for several decades, I have witnessed the unrelenting grief parents experience when a child dies. Usually, the child was quite young, from being a baby through young adulthood. This child was much older, 77 years old, and yet the mother suffered similar heartbreaking sorrow. This lovely woman reinforced a truth I already knew – there is no greater grief than losing a child.
Reiki can assist these grieving parents in numerous ways. Reiki will not take away all the sorrow, but it can bring a sense of peacefulness that can eventually lessen the pain. Universal Life Force Energy is unconditional love. This love helps the grieving person to feel she is not alone, but rather she is surrounded and filled with the gentle Spirit. The Spirit embraces her through moments of great sadness. When one becomes aware of the ever-present love of the One, grief loses its acute edge.
Frequently, parents are filled with guilt, the kind of guilt that is filled with “what-if’s?” What if I had taken my baby to the doctor a day sooner – would he have lived? What if I had told my adolescent son he could not take the car that night? What if I had asked more questions about her college life? What if I had asked less questions and she would have been less rebellious? What did I do wrong? We parents try to protect our children from all harm and when illness or death occurs, the feeling of failure can be overwhelming. Every parent can lessen the possibilities of harm, but there are some things a parent has no control over, such as a terminal illness striking a child. While a Reiki practitioner can listen to the parent’s feelings, validating the fact these feelings exist, Reiki can bring healing to the false beliefs and thoughts. Parents cannot control everything in children’s lives – although we will always do our best to protect them.
Reiki helps us to understand and acknowledge there are many mysteries in life. The reasons why bad things happen in our lives are not apparent – there have been many books written addressing this age-old question. We will not receive a full awareness of why our lives had the hard moments, until we ourselves leave this world and transition into the next level of awareness. Each of us knows this truth in our rational minds, but our emotional hearts understandably want logical answers, even when no logical answers exist.
As empathetic Reiki practitioners, the best gift we can give to a grieving parent is Reiki – and a listening heart. Reiki energies transcend any words we can say, and our compassionate presence will aid in the grief process. We bring the gift of love to every Reiki client we touch.
Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner. She also is a licensed clinical social worker, working with a hospice agency in Asheville, NC. She grew up on a farm in rural Indiana and was stricken with polio at the age of three. To relieve fatigue from post-polio syndrome, she learned Reiki. This complementary technique led her to explore other alternative modalities. Her personal journey, along with life lessons learned along the way, is detailed in her book, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, firstname.lastname@example.org and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)