It is felt. Tremendously so. It drives through your chest and takes root in your heart. You always knew it would because you loved deeply. What is treasured is gone and the vacuum left expands with grief.
We generally don’t cope well with grief. However hard we try to accept it as a natural response to loss, we struggle. Some of us fight it, some distract from it, some subconsciously delay it, some pretend that life goes on (it does, but not as we knew it). Some lean in and accept it.
“Grief is having to say goodbye before we are ready”
I once heard “Grief is having to say goodbye before we are ready”.* This, of all the many quotes, strikes in it’s simplicity. Losing a loved one is incredibly hard, we expect to grieve and so we should, we are human.
But what of those other significant losses that can also trigger grief; The end of a relationship. A move to a new community. The loss of a beloved pet and companion. Maybe you gave your all to a career that is now over. Primary carers know only too well the empty nest feeling as their teenager speeds away to study. Many know the pain of watching a parent take their lonely, frail steps into care. These losses are significant, they hurt. As do countless other life events that trigger grief. And we feel incredibly sad, and that’s o.k.
Grief is Individual
No two people experience grief in the same way. I am no expert on grief, nor am I a bereavement counselor. What I have is my own lived experience and the privilege of serving those who grieve. I listen and I’ve heard how grief can present as anger, guilt or apathy. Loss of appetite, concentration, loss of hope. Irritability, numbness, loneliness. Withdrawal from day to day life, disturbed sleep, intense sadness and tears (even many years later when a memory is triggered). It can make you reach for an emotional crutch to numb the pain. This is o.k. Grief is painful, terribly so, but it’s natural and there is help to be found. Grief Counselors, Doctors, Support Groups, Faith and Self Help with positive lifestyle choices, all can support us in our grief.
Aromatherapy can help
When we consider all of our senses, often the sense of smell and touch are lesser valued. Yet touch leaps to the fore in times of strong emotion, It’s been said there’s a therapist deep inside us all; we instinctively hold the hands of the weak, we dry the tears of the grieving, we rub the knee of the fallen child. It’s in our nature. Touch and massage therapy boosts feel-good oxytocin and can reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, Smell, memory and emotion are intrinsically linked thanks to the brain’s anatomy as scent takes a direct route to the limbic system.
The combination of Massage Therapy and Aromatherapy is Powerful.
In my profession, I have created many bespoke massage blends in response to the individual client’s need; Grounding vetivert, comforting frankincense, uplifting bergamot stress relieving rose, to name just a few. I create blends to help induce sleep, blends to fortify and blends to help ease the heartache. Client’s have found the gentle massage technique combined with the careful selection of essential oils can be a helpful part of their support package as it can free the emotions.
Please note: Complementary therapy is so named because it is designed to complement, not replace conventional medicine, It is not presented here as an alternative to your doctors advice,
I hope this has been of some use, please share your thoughts as we help one another.