Article by Patti Deschaine
Up until a month or so ago, I thought losing my beautiful sister to cancer at age fifty was the worst thing I would have to go through in life. Then I lost my beloved seven week old grandson, Silas, to SIDS and that belief blew away like multicolored leaves in an autumn breeze. The past thirty days have been the darkest times I have ever faced, and it is easy to feel unique and alone. That perception is wrong. Bad things happen to all of us; things we don’t expect or feel we deserve. So I figured, as a writer, I would put some thoughts down that might help others when the very worst happens.
Grief is a curious thing. It has those stages most of us have heard of, outlined in the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross book “On Death and Dying”. They are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. We all go through these in different time frames and I have experienced each of them. In the denial phase I wanted nothing more than to “fix it” and experienced my absolute powerlessness in the face of death. In the anger phase, I cursed the angels I had called upon to watch over my precious baby boy when I couldn’t be with him, demanding to know why this had happened to my family. If I could have made a deal and bargained him back to life, it would have been done. Depression and profound sadness, more powerful than anything I could imagine, dogged me at every turn. Acceptance? Well, that’s a work still in progress.
Being attuned to Reiki has taught me many things about life, health, happiness and recovery from all sorts of maladies. One of the biggest gifts I have received is a stronger connection to spirit and to the natural world. No matter what emotional state I am in, getting out into nature tops my list of healing tools.
After the funeral, I returned home to North Carolina. It was the night of the blue moon and I followed its amazing light down to the beach. Huge and stunning, the blue moon’s reflection rippled to shore on each wave that rolled in. Standing, bare foot and heart open, in the warm ocean surf, I felt certain that Silas had hung the moon in the sky just for me.
Reiki has opened my mind and my heart to the point where I no longer think of death as an ending. I believe we move to another dimension, one that is wondrous and full of light and, that when it is time, we return to this world or another as new beings ready to learn new lessons. I also believe that we choose our circumstances here on earth and, while I may not understand why things happen the way they do, I know I will come to understand it one day.
So what did I do in the practical sense to get through this, the worst experience of my life? A number of things, starting with “putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next right thing”. You can get through almost any rotten day just by following that simple advice.
We go on. We have to. Raw pain eventually dulls and gives way to everyday life. Get up, go to work, eat, rest, exercise, and get out in nature. Repeat. Try to do the best you can. Being a healer has an added benefit: you keep busy sending healing to everyone you know is hurting.
I asked for support from the Reiki community: people who understand who I am and what I need most. I am a member of a Shamanic group that meets on line. When I asked for prayers for my family, I received a flood of support and caring. So many healers holding me in divine light and sending healing on my family’s behalf!
Sharing what I was going through helped tremendously. From the second I got on the plane I started to write down everything I could not say out loud. The anguish and the noise in my head poured from my fingertips as I typed into the notes function of my smartphone. I may never go back and read those notes, but creating them grounded and protected me. It kept me sane and able to function so I could be there for others.
I am fortunate to have outstandingly kind and supportive family and friends. I picked up the phone and anything and everything I needed was there to get me to where I needed to be. The love and caring from these people meant the world to me. I don’t have words to express the depth of my gratitude.
I made a conscious effort to “own” my feelings. Most of us are pretty good at avoiding unpleasant thoughts and situations. Before I found this healing path, I masked my emotions with anger and other negative substitutes. It was easy, familiar and oddly comfortable. Learning to admit what I feel has been a process, but an important one, as avoidance carries a high price tag. For me, it means, if I don’t own it and feel it now, it will come out some other way, usually inappropriately and at an inconvenient time.
If you are going through a tough time, take care of yourself. Losing a loved one, whether to death or due to the end of a relationship, is hard. Attend a Reiki share, get a massage or schedule a healing session. Do something to nurture you. Get outside and take a walk. There is much wisdom and healing available in the trees and the stars.
One last note, practice compassion. It is easy to have tunnel vision in the bustle of everyday living, but look around. We don’t know what the stranger next to us on the flight or in the grocery store shopping line is going through in their life. It takes only a second to offer a smile or a kind word. It does make a difference.
Patti Deschaine is a traditionally trained Usui Reiki Master, Lightarian Reiki Master, and owner of Maja Energy Works and Reiki Healing. She resides and practices in Wilmington, NC. She enjoys all types of Reiki and particularly loves using Reiki on animals. Patti can be found at http://