I lost both my parents within six months of each other. I was devastated. My mother was my anchor, and I felt like I was set adrift when she passed away. It took me a long time to recover. I lived overseas, and was notified she took a turn for the worse and to come home right away. In the transit airport in Memphis, one of my brothers met me, and informed me that mom had already died. I would not get the chance to say goodbye and to tell her one last time how much I loved her. My eyes well up with tears still, as I write this. She was such a fountain of love and caring in my life.
Years before in nursing school, I was always ‘intrigued’ by the issue of death and dying. We had a guest lecture given by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, discussing her journey and discoveries about stages dying patients and their families go through during THIS TIME. Afterwards, I immediately read her book, “On Death and Dying .“ She opened my awareness that death and dying does not need to be a taboo subject, but one that can we can begin to understand and learn from. We do not have to be afraid, and still can enrich our relationships with loved ones, or if you are a care-giver – patients, even in such challenging times.
Isn’t it inevitable? Why is it so taboo?
Have you noticed that in America that we do everything possible to avoid death and prolong life? And we don’t talk about it openly, as if death won’t happen if we don’t talk about it. Doctors and the medical system go to extraordinary lengths to prolong life, often without regard for the quality of life. Technological developments make this more and more possible. While this is great, quality of life, death with dignity, and people’s wishes matter.
I used to tell a ‘joke’: “What is the biggest cause of death? Why birth, of course! “
Death is inevitable for every living creature. In America, there is a huge culture of fear around death. In part, I think, as families have physically moved and drifted further apart from each other living in the nuclear family rather than the extended family. There was a time when families lived all in one house, or close to each other. We experienced the cycle of life and death as natural. In fact, we have become more separated from personal connection and exposure to the experience of dying and death; to the point where it seems to be more unnatural than a natural part of life.
As a teenager, I recall my father searching for the fountain of youth so he could live at least 150 years and avoid dying! He thought he found it through nutrition with raw food and exercise. One day, at age 45, just before Thanksgiving, he announced to the family he was no longer eating meat, and would only eat raw food, after reading a book called “Superior Nutrition” by Dr. Herbert M. Shelton. He also began to exercise, and couldn’t even run around the block at first. In his journey he became healthier, no longer suffered from angina or recurrent malarial attacks, and he lost a significant amount of weight. But he still died at age 71. Death comes to us all.
When both my parents died, I was living in the Middle East. Before living there, I would shake my head when I used to hear stories of women wearing black for a year after a loved one died; thinking that was too much. However, when I was Director of Nursing for a hospital in Jordan, I learned about more local rituals when a death impacted a member of the hospital staff. For example, the body was laid out for three days and everyone came to visit, pay their respects, and spend time with the family mourning. The hospital would send a bus with all who could be spared for this visit. Then the women of the family would spend forty days mourning. Friends and family would come and spend time with them, often quietly, to be there and support them as they adjusted to life without their loved one. No holidays were celebrated for one year.
This was a stark contrast to what I knew in America. It seems in America when a loved one dies, the attitude is “you’ve had your two days off, now get back to work”, without the understanding of the true impact of such a loss. And you are only allowed to take off for immediate family; no allowance is made for relationship, grandparent, loss of a pet, etc.
I was very thankful that I was living in Jordan during the six months in which both my parents passed away. I felt cared about, understood, loved and supported during my grief and most challenging days.
Help with The Emotion Code
When I began with working with The Emotion Code and The Body Code, I expected to find trapped emotions of incomplete sorrow, grief and sadness from the aftermath of my parent’s deaths. I did not. I have come to realize that by living with my grief, sadness and sorrow I was fully processing these deep emotions. I did not have to hide it, ignore it, or act like I was over it.
In the speed of today, however, how many of us have the time to fully process our emotions? Often its more like “Quick, throw it in the closet and lock the door before it all comes tumbling out!”
I am now a Certified Emotion Code and Body Code practitioner. I have worked with hundreds of clients to help them release trapped emotions and energies to feel better and move forward.
One mother contacted me to work with her 12-year-old daughter who was having difficulty coping in school, having meltdowns, temper tantrums, anxiety and struggling academically. Our sessions revealed that the trauma of her fathers’ death when she was 8 years old were a significant source of these challenges. By releasing the stuck emotions and energies, this girl became more positive at home and school, developed a great attitude, improved school attendance and coped better with daily challenges.
Do you have unresolved issues, fears, anger, depression or anxiety related to grief, or you are not certain what is causing your pain? We often also experience grief about relationships coming to an end, loss of pets, moving, etc. Let’s do a session to help you. A session can also help bring peace, not only to the dying, but to the survivors. I invite you to schedule a Discovery session now. Click here.
There are a lot of resources in the public domain as well. You do not have to suffer alone.
Some of my top suggestions to deal with the death and grief of a loved one:
- Give yourself the gift of time to grieve and heal.
- Friends can help, but you may need to teach them how.
- Don’t pressure yourself or allow yourself to be pressured to “get over it”
- Don’t tell anyone else to get over it
- Make peace with your own beliefs and ideas about death. There are books and movies that deal with these issues and may be helpful in exploring this topic.
- Appreciate your loved ones regularly. Keep your relationships ‘current’. Tell them you love them, often.
- Family is important; make time for them.
- Consult with me, an Emotion Code/ Body Code practitioner, to help you so your feelings do not become trapped and overwhelming; prevent creating imbalances now or in the future.
Life is precious. Time is precious. Use the gift of your time to say what needs to be said in life from the beginning to the end with the ones you love.
With Loving Gratitude to my parents.