In my job as a hospice social worker, one of the most difficult situations I face is the death of a young parent, with young children. Frequently, the adults worry about how much information to give children and how to deal with their emotional reactions. They often want to “protect” the children from feeling sad. Gently, I educate them about the importance of children knowing as much information as they can reasonably absorb. The kind of information varies, dependent on age and developmental stages. It is not helpful for children to be “shocked” when a parent dies, because no one told them this would be the result of a terminal illness.
It is not possible to completely shield children from life’s realities; nor is it helpful to try. Children need to grieve too, and adults should create an atmosphere where their expressions of grief are allowed, and even encouraged. The more adults accept this process, the more children will be able to talk about their sadness and their worries.
Living the way of Reiki can help all of us, to help children through difficult times, whether it is a death, a divorce or another major disruption to their lives. The more we get in touch with our own personal reactions to life’s harsh realities, the more we can assist other people – adults and children – to work through their own feelings.
Recently, I heard a talk where the presenter paraphrased a concept by the writer, Parker J. Palmer. (This is my understanding gleaned from the talk, as I have not yet read Mr. Palmer’s book.) My understanding is that he explored why some people can deal with tragedy reasonably well, while others are totally devastated. He stated those who had “exercised their hearts” previously will be able to deal with another tragedy when it comes into their lives. I’ve given that concept much thought. I also realized how many opportunities I’ve had in my own life to deal with tragedies and how much my heart has been exercised throughout the years. I know each and every one of us has already been given these kinds of opportunities. Did we choose to exercise our hearts, or did we choose to stuff away the emotions because it simply seemed too hard?
In Reiki practice, we learn that emotions and issues arise for healing when we are ready to release and heal them; we call this the healing crisis. Rather than hold onto old, painful emotions and thoughts for the remainder of our lives, we learn that holistic healing refers to all parts of ourselves – mind, body, spirit aspects. The sooner we heal these aspects, the sooner we will be able to live in true harmony, peace and love. We realize the connectedness between all of us, and we realize the One that we already are.
When we allow children to express their emotions, we are giving them the message this is a good thing to do – no matter how hard and painful it may feel. We are allowing them to exercise their hearts. We are giving them tools that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. When possible, giving children Reiki during these hard times assists them through their process of healing. Reiki is always available to love and heal us – no matter what the age – through the most painful of times.
Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
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Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna Reiki® Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Distant Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at email@example.com and on Facebook at Deb Lloyd Healing.