Grief and Homeopathy
My mom passed very suddenly last December. We had a deep and intense relationship that had its share of challenges. And there was love. Always love. The last year has been the most difficult one I have lived. I feel the loss of her in every cell in my body and deep within my bones. Some days were so difficult I could scarcely breathe. For those who have experienced it, you know.
Dr. Gabor Mate’s work, most especially his book “In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts”, informs that the seeds of addiction begin with trauma and heartbreak. The opportunity to numb emotional pain beckons us at every turn. I’ve learned though, there is no way to outrun grief. To turn away, to distract or dull our emotions usually prolongs and, in some cases, deepens the pain. I made the choice to stay in my body, this body – the one my mother birthed. I have breathed through every ache, every devasting first without her, every moment in time when I felt my chest caving in because it seemed so empty, and my heart broke open and apart and in pieces. But it passes. I make it through, every single time. The intensity is somewhat softer now, and the frequency has quieted.
With each new wave of grief, with each turn of the spiral and resurgence, I turn towards the soul shattering pain in order to heal. In her exquisite book “When Things Fall Apart”, Pema Chodron teaches that the only way to heal permanently is “to move toward painful situations with friendliness and curiosity, relaxing into the essential groundlessness of our entire situation. In the midst of chaos, we can discover the truth and love that are indestructible.”
Homeopathy keeps you in your body. It can soothe but does not “change the channel in your head” and disconnect you from your pain. You are present. It does not mask or suppress your emotions. It holds you and helps you through. You are aware, healing and regaining your balance. It does not create a toxic load on your kidneys and/or liver, nor does it create brain fog.
There are so many beautiful practices that have helped me endure and make it through each day. In addition to having a compassionate and gifted therapist who was truly heaven sent, homeopathy stands out as one of the big guns that I have drawn upon to heal. Each time I consulted my Homeopath she got to the core and prescribed a remedy that matched the totality of my symptoms or my symptom picture.
Currently, there are over 8,000 homeopathic remedies that can be accessed. On every occasion they must be individualized to you and fit your “symptom picture”
I have listed some homeopathic remedies as examples; however, I would encourage those interested to seek support from a qualified practitioner. Grief is not a time to self-prescribe. There are many factors that enter into prescribing any homeopathic remedy and this is an extremely generalized description:
Ignatia Amara – Prepared from a plant from the Loganiaceae family we will see an element of shock with the person requiring this remedy. Often referred to by some as the “funeral remedy”, Ignatia presents with changeable moods and is often used acutely in the initial stages of grief. There can be laughter one moment and then a quick change to devastated sobbing, sighing and fainting. Seemingly contrasting emotions occur suddenly and swiftly. There could be twitching, jerking or spasms and yet there is likely a stiffness about the person. There could be an underlying anger, but the predominant emotion is sadness.
Natrum Muraticum – Prepared from Sodium Chloride, the person requiring this remedy dislikes being comforted or consoled and does not wish to cry unless alone. There may be an inability to express emotions and weep, and there will likely be a looking back and focusing on past events. There is a melancholic energy but there is not the changeability that exists with Ignatia. They could appear shut down. There can be a brooding and deep sensitivity. The person is generally very thirsty and if they are cold (especially extremities) they are aggravated by warmth.
Cygnus-Cygnus – Not commonly indicated however, I have prescribed this medicine when a patient’s “soulmate” died, and their absence was experienced as crippling. The grieving partner was not able to function and had become stuck in a never-ending cycle of focusing solely on the loss of their partner every minute, every hour of every day. The remedy is prepared from Swan feathers that “fell naturally to the ground”. The patient shared that they felt an overwhelming sense of peace and love envelope them and were able to re-engage in their life after this remedy.
As a highly sensitive person, and a health care provider for others, I have found it crucial to develop a grounded, heart centered selfcare practice. I continue to listen to the whispers sent by my body and my heart, and I let them guide me. I have given up the hustle and I strive for peace and gratitude every day. I would not have been able to do any of this without the comfort and efficacy of homeopathy.
The Wizard of Oz said to the Tin man that “hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable”. A life well lived and filled with love, will test our hearts. Deeply felt joy and pain are the collateral of loving and it is likely that whoever we love, we may one day grieve. This is the poetic justice we must celebrate for loving passionately and from a heart centered place. Not practical at all and I would not change it for the world.
- When things fall apart – Heart advice for difficult times – Pema Chodron
- In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts – Dr. Gabor Mate