Thursday, 24 December 2009

Grief at Christmas Time

For those who are in grief, whether this is fresh and acutely painful or whether that pain has sunk a bit deeper inside and merely echoes its tears in surges – there is help. And there is concern about you. Your hurt is not forgotten. There are helps available to you to cope with powerful emotions and sadness. It is so natural that Christmas being about love, reminds you of the love that seems no longer to reach you from a person that was always present in your life but now is elsewhere.

Here are some things you can do.
The homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara is the remedy for you to take. If you know a homeopath you will be able to get hold of it in higher strengths which are more immediate in their effects. If not, then buy it in a health food shop over the counter and take it regularly as it will be slightly lower in strength (30c). These are some of the feelings and symptoms that merit its use:

Deep sadness. An emotional feeling of pain in your heart. Feeling a powerful need to cry or sob but not being able to. A lump sensation in your throat; or developing a sore throat or infected throat from the emotional stress and needing treatment. Sleeplessness and agitation. Feeling snappish, irritable and angry, perhaps bitter; especially when others are celebrating and seem to be unaware either of the person’s death, or your sadness over it. Feeling angry but not knowing why. Feeling disappointed and not knowing why. Having heart palpitations. Feeling angry with the person who died. Feeling guilt, remorse and regret over what was left unsaid in your relation with the one who has gone.

If you have just been bereaved and are in deep shock take Aconite. 1m is the best potency; next best is 200c, and the next best 30c. Beware this will help the shell-shocked state you’re in. But it may suddenly bring you out of coping, automatic pilot-mode to experiencing powerful emotions. Then you must take Ignatia mentioned above. Shock is protective and does help you to manage practicalities but it is not good for you if it lasts too long.

A Bach Flower Remedy mixture to take if you are feeling sad, lonely, guilty, lost and despairing about the future and if you are not confiding or revealing yourself to others and feel unable to turn to them for help. Try a combination of Water Violet, Gorse, Gentian, Pine, Star of Bethlehem and Holly.

Otherwise take Rescue Remedy. Take 4 drops 4xdaily. Or take it more frequently. You can add it to tea or you can add it to a bottle of mineral water and drink from it all day long.

  • Try to avoid alcohol if you are grieving. It is okay to have a brief drink of brandy or whisky or sherry. But do not have more than a little. Alcohol will cause your feelings to surge but not in a productive, healing way. And it can make you very depressed.
  • Do not go hungry. Low blood sugar will make you feel much worse. Eat little and often.
  • Do not numb yourself out through stimulants and painkillers. As painful and exhausting as grief is, it tends to come in waves like the sea. And when the sea of emotion ebbs, peace and sleep follow. Trust it, and do not be afraid of the pain. It is true that the pain fades. When the pain does fade it does not mean you love the person less or that you will forget them either. The memories remain, but the effect of separation is less severe.
At times of grieving, the floodgates inside you open up. Many things flood in. But you will find that many kindnesses flood in. Tenderness and caring come from people who knock on the door, and ask you to talk and who actually care about you. Share it. Grief is overwhelming when experienced alone. If you are a person keeping company with a bereaved person and don’t know what to say, say this “I don’t know what to say to you” and then hug them, or put out a hand. Just be with them. Sometimes the bereaved do not know what to say or do either. At times when people are open to pain, they are at the same time aware of any loving acts. They notice people they didn’t think would be there for them and are surprised. Grief is a good measure of your friends. And people surprise you. Let yourself be surprised. Let yourself be drawn by anyone who is kind and aware of you. Don’t stay in the corner, by yourself. Even if it is years since the death, you are entitled to time spent thinking of the one who died. There are no rules about getting over death. No statutes of limitation.

Talk about the person you miss so much. Write them a letter. Get them a gift. Talk to them. Honour them by speaking well of them to others. Bring their presence to you by telling a loving anecdote about them. Be grateful they were in your life and wish them well wherever they may be now, this Christmas. And love yourself and your own life, which you are still in possession of. Remember when you came into the world, you were welcomed. Somebody’s hands caught you. The same happened to your loved one when they died.

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