Grief Surges – those unexpected, out-of-the-blue emotional tailspins that can send us spiraling downward with no forethought and no warning. Like ocean waves that tumultuously surge against the rocky shoreline, our emotions roll over us, bringing back the pain of our grief as if we were experiencing the event that triggered our grief all over again. Ah, if only we could protect ourselves from grief surges!
Sometimes we can predict when a grief surge might occur. Birthdays, holidays, or revisiting places where we shared fond memories with our loved ones who have passed are certainly triggers. But more often than not, they just happen. I can be in quite a good mood, not particularly thinking about my son at that moment, and then it will hit me. I will instantly be transported back to a moment in time on or around that fateful day, and immediately I am panicked and racked with fresh pain over losing him.
If I am lucky, the grief surge may only last a few minutes. But sometimes they last for days, weeks, sometimes longer. Over the first year and a half of Bryan’s passing, the surges were non-stop of course. One rolled right into the next and there was no relief whatsoever. Miraculously, over time, they started to subside and I found I could breathe again….until the next one hit me. The longest single surge I have had to date hit me right after Thanksgiving a number of years ago. I spiraled down, down, down……and I couldn’t find the light anymore. I didn’t realize I was in a grief surge, I just knew that I was angry, and sad, and depressed. It wasn’t until January 1st that I finally started to swim back up from the depths of my pain, and even then it took many messages from Spirit and loving friends (and strangers also!) so that each new day thereafter I started feeling a little better.
So grief surges are very serious. We all have them. We can’t always predict when one is going to hit, and we usually don’t recognize we are in them until they have passed!
What can we do? How can we find our way out of the intensity of these surges? Here are a few tips and tools I have learned that might help.
10 Spiritual Grief Surge Protectors
Meditation: If you are not in a daily meditation practice, consider starting. Meditation is simply the practice of sitting quietly and breathing. Breathe in and out, slowly and deeply. You will be amazed at how much better you feel! There is no right or wrong way to meditate. The point is to try and quiet the mind and find the peaceful center of your being.
Bach Flower Essence Therapy: Bach Flower Essences are a natural and simple way to heal our emotional ailments. Rescue Remedy is a perfect remedy for a sudden emotional charge/panic/shock like grief surges. Rock Rose also is great if your surge has underlying emotions of terror and extreme fear. You can find Bach Flower Essences at most natural health food stores.
Reiki Healing: Try a Reiki healing (or any energy healing modality of your choice) as soon as you are aware of your grief surge onset. Reiki is a Japanese healing art developed in the 1800s. Reiki involves laying hands on the body to comfort and relieve pain. Every living thing in the universe has a life force energy flowing through it. This Reiki energy is channeled through the hands of the practitioner into the body and aura of the receiver. Reiki heals on all levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual to balance all of the chakras and helps return the body to its natural perfect state.
Talk to your loved one: Talk to them just like you would if they were still here in the physical. Ask them to guide you and to help with your healing. During your meditation, focus your attention in your heart and summon up an image of your loved one. Stay in your heart, and FEEL the love being exchanged between the two of you. Your loved one will respond with all the love and compassion and energy you could ask for!
Music: Listen to your favorite music and let the sounds wash over you. One of my favorite vocalists is Celine Dion. The richness and clarity of her voice soothes my soul and helps to restore quiet and calmness to my being.
Get back to Nature: I love to walk outdoors when I am feeling deep grief surges. There is something about being outside and feeling the crisp air on my skin that makes me feel alive again. Even in my darkest hours I can still manage to find joy in the wonderment of Gaia and all her beauty.
Pray: Try talking to the Divine Creator….God….whatever term is appropriate for you. Ask for healing and understanding, and you shall receive it.
Gratitude: Remember to be grateful every day for whatever you can find to be grateful for. Family, friends, the home you live in, the food on your table, your dog or cat, anything! When we remember what we are grateful for then life doesn’t seem quite so full of despair.
Exercise: There’s nothing like activating those good ol’ endorphins to lift our energy and bring us some clarity of thought. Even if you can only summon up enough energy to walk for 10 minutes…just do it!
Help Someone Else: I find that the more I allow myself to revel in my pain and my grief, the less interested I am in other people. The best cure I know of to get out of my own head is to focus my attention on helping other people. Consider finding a hands-on volunteer activity where your unique gifts and talents can be used in a positive way to impact someone who needs your help.
Do you have a grief surge protector that has helped you in your darkest hours? If so, please share! We all need as much loving support as we can get on this painful journey of loss and grief. Let’s help each other, and we will help ourselves at the same time.
Wishing you peace, love and healing on your journey. With God we heal, with Love we forgive, and with Faith we carry on!