“What will help us the most this week?” Brigid (Goddess App on Michele Knight’s website)
Brigid is a Celtic Goddess that helps us during times of profound grief by facilitating the transformation of this most painful emotion into something life affirming. Another way to view this is that she represents an aspect of us – the strength to keep going no matter how challenging the circumstances.
There have been many changes over the last few weeks (many of them positive), however, what some are unaware of is the need to take the time to grieve for what has gone. Sometimes these losses are not tangible because they do not involve people or things – they may be beliefs or personality traits. Such subtle changes bring about endings that are painful. If we don’t take the time to feel our sadness it will eventually return to bite us on the proverbial ass at a point when we should probably be moving forward with the new that has entered our lives.
Personally, I have had bouts of grief for several months and I will give myself the space to go through it. Since I am self-employed, I have more leeway when it comes to work (I also do not have family responsibilities). For those who are not in this position, carve out some time in your day to feel your emotions. Sit in your car and listen to a sad song for five minutes – it will do you a world of good.
So…Brigid will assist us to nurture and empower ourselves…and I will post an excerpt from one of my books below which may help you to accept, understand and cope with profound grief.
Symptoms (including processing emotions)
Grief is much more than sadness – it encompasses a range of emotions as well as other symptoms which are categorized below. It is not my intention however, that you interpret the following as a checklist of criteria or stages that you are supposed to undergo in order to ‘heal.’ You will not encounter all of these symptoms, some to a greater extent than others and they do not occur in any particular order or time frame. I have also listed aromatherapy oils which may help you cope.
Shock (including disbelief and numbness): peppermint, arnica
Confusion/poor concentration: lemon, basil, rosemary
Sadness/sorrow: rose, chamomile
Anger: chamomile, rose, ylang ylang
Guilt: geranium, sandalwood, neroli
Fear: sandalwood, frankincense, lavender
Anxiety: bergamot, geranium, lavender, basil
Fatigue: peppermint, basil, lemongrass
Insomnia: lavender, chamomile, geranium
Loss of appetite, indigestion, heartburn: peppermint, lavender, chamomile
Isolation, withdrawal: jasmine, frankincense, sandalwood
Bach flower essences are also effective at alleviating negative emotional states. The Rescue Remedy helps with mild to extreme anxiety/fear. The Star of Bethlehem remedy is specifically for grief. White Chestnut with the Rescue Remedy is good for insomnia. Most health food stores and pharmacies/drugstores sell these remedies
The emotions related to grief need expression. Your forms of expression are unique to you. There are many ways to feel your feelings: listen to music, watch movies, read inspirational material, talk to a trusted friend or relative and use your creative outlets (i.e. writing, painting, drawing, dancing, singing, music and so on). If you find it difficult to feel, seek professional help.
Severe panic attacks can also be a symptom of grief. Sometimes they feel like a heart attack: chest pain, difficulty breathing, numbness or tingling of the left arm. The Rescue Remedy is very effective as well as a breathing technique where you take in a deep breath and exhale slowly counting backwards from five. If necessary, seek medical advice.
Patricia Davis, Aromatherapy: An A-z, Hillman Printers, Somerset, 1988.
Deborah Nixon, Practical Aromatherapy, Lansdowne Publishing, Sydney, 1995.
Edward Bach, The Twelve Healers and Other Remedies, C.W. Company, Essex, 1933.
F.J. Wheeler, The Bach Remedies Repertory, C.W. Company, Essex, 1952.”
Copyright Helen Papadopoulos 2008 (DIY Therapy: Simple Self-help Skills)