Grief is it’s own animal

When my brother died suddenly, I was so bereft with grief, I thought I would follow him soon afterwards. I would wake up in the middle of the night…as if every part of my being was looking for him. I would have panic attacks during the day.  I almost ended up in the hospital because I was trying to do so much to dissipate the profound feeling of loss.  I was traumatized.
Because I felt numb and paralyzed, I had to make an effort. I believe the shock was a natural way of protecting me and allowing me to process something so catastrophic to my system and my soul.  I did everything I possibly could at the time to keep this energy of grief moving up and out of my body.  I knew that sound, movement and tears are what cleanses the body and soul.  I knew that movement was my medicine. 
I walked in nature (I felt like I could walk endlessly for days.)  I spoke to a psychotherapist. I did somatoemotional release work, I pounded pillows, screamed, cried, soaked in the ocean, received hugs and support and I prayed.  You name it I tried it. 
My friend Betsy explained it best, “Everyone experiences trauma, but not everyone can release it. In nature, when an animal experiences trauma, after it’s over, they shake to release the trauma from their body. It’s a natural, intuitive response. As humans, we go into fight, flight, or freeze mode.”
My mom handled the loss of her precious son much differently. She couldn’t access her grief.  It stayed in her body and eventually manifested into a muscle condition where she could hardly move.  She later told me she was so worried about me that she wasn’t able to tend to herself.  Her motherly love was protecting her broken heart.  She shared with me the other day, “When I thought of Kip this morning, I was finally able to cry.  I just can’t believe I can’t hug him anymore but so thankful I could cry.”
Grief is its own animal and everybody handles it differently.  You never know when it is going to sneak up on you, attack, come charging forward, roar loudly or hibernate.  It is a process that cannot be predicted or tamed.
The sequences or stages of grief go back and forth.  The feeling of the emotions/feelings is what is needed.  This takes time as the uncovering of feelings is a process, not an event.  We all know “you can’t heal what you can’t feel.” 
The key is to be very gentle with yourself and allow the healing process to occur in it’s own divine time. Grief can be very isolating so remember to lean into support as it is important to be in community (you and at least one other person.)  We can’t heal alone.  As humans, we need connection to heal.
I invite you to think about what grief you may still need to tend to and feel.
And then access your inner animal and move it on out….stomp, dance, cry, scream, shake. You may find you feel better immediately!
Allowing the process,

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