This is a question I asked myself repeatedly, as I uncovered layer after layer of pain and fear. So many times I wanted to throw in the towel and become a plumber — opt for an easier life. A life where I wasn’t pulled towards unearthing yet more uncomfortable truths.
I would have tantrums, too. Sobbing and pleading for the grief to just go away. I had done all I could to find Christian, my missing brother. Then I had done all I could to return him ‘home’ (bring his missing soul part back from Africa). Then I had done all I could to retrace, and experience, his last few months of life. Then I had done all I could to explain to others what was going on. Argh…
It might sound as though my healing journey was a nightmare and one which you certainly don’t want to begin. BUT, when I look back now, I am joyously grateful that I found my way into and through my grief, because I am no longer stuck, grieving alone and endlessly searching for meaning and purpose in my life.
There is a whole universe waiting to be explored, where love rules and all truths set you free.
When I was in the ‘Grief Cage’, I was standing stock still, determined not to face the truth of Christian’s death. I could only see two choices: accept Christian’s death and begin to grieve, or deny that possibility and carry on holding onto anticipatory grief. I also had no role models who had successfully navigated the grief surrounding a long-term missing loved one: some were resigned to never knowing, some were still fighting to find answers, some were so consumed with grief they were brittle and broken inside.
What I didn’t know then was that anything can, and does, happen and there are multitudes of possibilities within our grasp. Nothing is black and white. And it’s often when we experience a breakup, that we experience a breakthrough because we are at our lowest ebb, we are desperate and we become open to other options.
We surrender. We ask for help.
Without making that decision to hand over your healing to a greater power than yourself, the ‘Grief Cage’ will keep you grounded. If you don’t release control at that moment, the chance will come again, but it might be years until another breakthrough if offered: I could have known the truth about Christian in 2015, but I didn’t surrender… I had to wait at least another year until I yielded.
When Will I Be Ready To Confront My Grief?
For me (and probably for you) there were many years when I just did not have the time, space or resources to be able to commit to healing. I had a young family, I had a young business and I just was not ready mentally or emotionally to be able to sit with, and allow, the overwhelming feelings that I was suppressing. I had no support.
Then, it was just time. And I got the signs that it was time.
I see this happening all the time with clients: only two days ago, during an office clear out, I found some photos belonging to a client who I worked with nearly two years ago when I was ghostwriting memoirs. This particular project had stalled at the final stages, when the client just couldn’t face writing the picture captions in her book. After relating her harrowing tale, the grief behind the seemingly lost relationships with her children became too much. I was not a grief healer, then. I didn’t have the capacity to help her move onwards. But after contacting her to check her postal address to return her precious photos, her fast reply was unsurprising: the same day I found her photos, she found the box containing her unfinished book layouts and she made the decision to get back in touch with me. She had been following my spiritual journey and bereavement work “avidly and admiringly”, so it’s her time…
It is always the right time when you act on the call.
But it’s more than likely that it will take many promptings for you to actually answer the call. I do believe (because of my experiences) that we all have spirit guides (actually many, as we progress along our journey) and they will be the ones to give us the nudges and the prods — the sudden ideas, the niggling feeling. I see it in my clients, too: it’s not your loved one who initiates the call to healing, but your guides and also your soul (your higher self).
The call becomes so strong that there is no way to ignore it. You will know when you are just procrastinating, because more and more incidents and accidents will begin to pile up, creating an emotional pressure cooker which just needs to be released. You will try to keep calm, ground yourself, strive to do more to keep yourself busy (all of which I did), but that call will continue.
You are here to grow. You are here to learn. You are here to expand.
We are not supposed to stay stuck in the ‘Grief Cage’. We are supposed to grab hold of the helping hands. We are supposed to release and take flight.
How Long Will It Take To Heal My Grief?
“When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of stress and anxiety: if I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without pain. From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me. There is a great secret here for anyone who can grasp it.”
This quote from Rumi (13th-century Persian poet) might seem like an impossible goal. How on earth do I reach this level of surrender? How do I fully heal a grief, especially when there are so many outstanding questions, things left unsaid and the pain so deep? The key, I’ve found, is inner strength, patience and stillness. My experiences have shown:
You have everything inside of you, already, to heal your own grief,
You can make that leap into the unknown; you must,
You don’t have to force your healing,
Every layer of healing will unfold when you’re ready,
You will be supported every step of the way,
It will take as long as it takes.
There is an awful lot of patience required to heal and grow (transform) wholly and fully and, because we are so used to rushing and setting agendas, we often get distracted. We give up. We feel it’s taking too long. Plus we are repeatedly told by others that it’s not possible to fully heal grief, we must just learn to live with it — this is why the ‘Grief Cage’ continues to hold its sway over so many lives.
I wanted my grief healed within a few months. And that’s why I was so sorely disappointed, frustrated and throwing my toys out of the pram! Those temper tantrums were just a waste of energy.
You really do have to release control, let go of your expectations and your timetable and allow what needs to be released, to be expressed, and what needs to be found, to be received.
Every grief is different. Every healing is unique. But with our ‘RAISE’ approach, when it’s time, your loved one will join you on your journey and you heal together. But first, you really do need to decide to heal, be patient and build up your strength for the magical journey ahead… more about that next week.
I explored more ideas during this week’s Facebook Live:
I am live on Facebook every Tuesday at 4pm (BST): do follow along — perhaps you’d like to suggest a topic, or ask a question?
And if you would like to know more about our ‘RAISE’ approach to healing grief, do download our FREE e-booklet, “Are You Ready To Heal Your Grief?”, from my website: www.hannahvelten.online