As fall barrels toward winter and the leaves race past Halloween, death and grieving have been on my mind. I feel like our white US culture is thin on healthy attitudes and healing around death. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer my senior year in high school. Being with my invincible mother as she was rocked by her terror of Death opened my eyes. Now, over twenty years later, my mother has been living with stage 4 cancer that has just come back for the fifth time. And she is no more comfortable with Death even though she has had him as a constant companion for a third of her life.
One thing I hear is this need to be strong, to not cry, to continue on without a pause. Recently I read this article on how to hold space for those grieving. To me it makes sense to not try to fix the pain or make the person grieving feel responsible for being ok with their grief. Just to be present, quiet and loving.
As a healer it is a difficult to not try and fix all the things. One of my favorite things about Chinese Medicine is how it views emotions as force that can effect body’s physical health. Because of this both acupuncture and herbal medicine are powerful tools to help. Even with these tools many times it is more beneficial to simply show up for those you love that need you.
And just be with them.