Monday, May 16, 2016

Grief and Loss Healing Sachet



About eight weeks ago my family suffered an unexpected and devastating loss. I'm not ready to get into the details. The truth is, I probably never will be. The feelings are too raw, like a sunburn doused in vodka then set on fire with a blowtorch. It was so unexpected that I still find myself wondering how it happened so quickly. Grief is a funny thing. It can warp your mind, making you question every trivial detail, every fragment of clouded memory. Why didn't I see any symptoms? How could he have been normal one moment and gone a few days later? Did he know I loved him? Could I have done something differently? 

The part I initially struggled with most was the anger. For several weeks I was angry with everything. With myself. With life. With the universe. He was taken care of. He was loved. So why was he taken from me?

I understand this isn't rational. But that's the thing about grief. It is never rational. How can it be? Such a torturous emotion, a jumbled chaotic mix of guilt and agonizing sadness and betrayal and feeling like nothing will ever be whole again. 

When I was in college, we learned about the Kubler-Ross model of grief. The five stages being: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I distinctly remember one student asking, "How do you know when it's done?" Being a very open classroom, I responded with, "When you put down the Haagen Dazs and get off the couch."

I find myself thinking of Kubler-Ross a lot lately, mostly because I resent her five stages. There is nothing linear about grief. Something that intangible and crippling does not happen in a neat, orderly fashion. Some moments you feel okay and you can make peace with the unchangeable. Others you are sobbing—depressed or angry. Probably a little of both.

But you know what phase Kubler-Ross overlooked? Exhaustion.

I have cried every day since I lost a vital piece of my life. A piece of myself, really. Every day. Some days are a few tears, even happy tears at a silly memory. Some days are worse, and I find myself struggling through simple tasks. 

Exhaustion is the stage I'm currently struggling with. Yes, I'm sad. Yes, I'm depressed. But you know what else I am? I'm tired of being both of those. Grief won't bring him back. My length of mourning does not denote how deeply I loved him. If it did, I'd never be happy again. Nor would anyone who has ever lost someone they loved. So the whole world would be one miserable $@!& storm of sad, mournful people. Sounds pleasant, hm?

I told you I was in a dark place.

So what does a person do when they've hit a point in their grief where they are rundown and tired? After all, our loved ones wouldn't want us to be miserable. It's a cliche expression, but it's cliche because it's true. And that miasma of dark emotion leaves us closed to their energies, their messages, their signs. It's the reason I most wish to process through this torturous stage of mourning—so that I can experience him once again in his new form. You see, I believe we are all part of a bigger energy. Every tree, every animal, every person—everything natural—is comprised of the same universal energy. Therefore, he is not gone. He's different, but he exists beside me. In another realm. In another form. But with me nonetheless. And yet my emotions are so tangled, my heart so heavy with sorrow, I feel closed off to him. 

Okay, Michaela. Get to your point. What is a heartbroken person to do?

Magick.

When in doubt, always turn to magick.

Now, you (we, me) have to be realistic here. An herbal sachet isn't going to have you waking up tomorrow, clicking your heels, ready for a new day. Grief is real. It's not a bad hair day. It won't go away after a massage and a smoothie. But an herbal sachet infused with magick can help you subconsciously process painful, suffocating emotions while you sleep, thus helping you heal. The most important aspect of grief is that you CANNOT avoid it. It has to happen. Yes, there will be moments when the pain is too unbearable and distraction is healthy. But in the big picture guilt must be processed. It's a passive process, one in which you are basically unwillingly along for the ride, but complete suppression will only make it worse. Trust me when I tell you this, because I've learned the hard way. Emotions can't be avoided when it's something that must be processed. The rude cashier at the grocery store is something that can be brushed off. The ending of a relationship (through separation or death) is something your soul needs to process in order to heal. It sucks at the time. Correction: It fucking sucks at the time. But you'll be better for it on the other side. Trust me on this. Don't run from pain. Pain will always find you. 

But there are ways we can support and encourage the process, and today I will show you the way I've chosen. 

While I did use homeopathic remedies for the initial trauma of loss, I now find myself searching for something to help me process grief while I sleep. As I'm sure you know, sleep is where we work out our most difficult emotions, thus many people suffer with insomnia or vivid dreams following a death. This is where magick and herbs step in. Below you'll find my spell for a Grief and Loss Healing Sachet. And while I hope you'll never need it, it's unlikely you will get through life without experiencing the agony of loss. 

...Unless you're a sociopath. I've met a few in my time. Trust me, they're not nearly as fun as the movies make them out to be.


Grief and Loss Healing Sachet


Sage:
 Used for cleansing and purification. Aids in alleviating grief and sorrow.

Lavender:
Promotes sleep and convalescence. Invokes peace and helps battle depression. 

***Sandalwood:
Promotes relaxation and heightens spiritual energy. Invokes passed souls

Marjoram: 
Eases grief. Helps to restore happiness.

Garnet Gemstone:
Balances energy and raises emotions to a higher vibration. Attracts happiness and purification. Aligns spiritual and physical self.

Rose Quartz:
Aids in the processing of grief and anger. Eases pain through detoxification. Protects against nightmares (common after loss).

As always, if you don't have all of these ingredients, experiment. See what speaks to you and what feels comforting. When grieving, comfort is the main objective.

***When sandalwood is combined with frankincense and burned as an incense, it raises energetic vibrations and makes it easier for us to connect with spirit guides/enlightened spirits. I suggest burning some while you energize your sachet. 


Charging the sachet 

Gather your materials and sit in a quiet place where you feel comfortable. You can do this during the day or night. Whenever feels best to you.

Take a few deep breaths and try to find a place of peace. Take a pinch of each item and place it in the sachet. If you don't have a small bag, you can use a clean sock. 

As you deposit each item, picture happy memories with your loved one. Remember good times you had together. If a negative thought pops up, especially one where they may have been sick or suffering, acknowledge the thought but quickly replace it with a good memory. A helpful tactic when grieving is to immediately think of a good memory whenever a bad one arises. This helps take the power away from those difficult thoughts and actually redefines the neuropathway connecting a specific thought to an emotion.

Once all items are in your sachet, tie it with a piece of ribbon or string and hold it between both hands. Close your eyes and picture your loved one standing happy and healthy before you. Don't be surprised if you get chills, feel as if you're being touched, or sense they are in the room. They are! Our grief is painful for them to watch. They are in a state of pure bliss, and they don't want us to suffer on their behalf!

As you hold the sachet, say:

In this time of darkness, please bring me back to light.
Ease the sorrow and the burden, during these harrowing nights.
*Loved one's name*'s time here is done, for with life is given death.
Keep with me the beautiful memories, 
Goddess, please alleviate the rest.
For only the Goddess is eternal, even the sun must disappear.
Gone from body but never from heart, *Loved one's name* is always near.

Place the sachet under your pillow or tack it over your head and sleep with it until you feel healed from the trauma of loss. And remember, healing does not mean you're okay with a loved one being gone from this realm. Or that you've "moved on" or no longer care. Don't feel guilty for trying to heal and recover. Healing simply means you're in the spiritual place where you can accept that the beautiful journey of life is concluded by death, and you've come to a place of peace and acceptance knowing your loved one's path on this plane has concluded. Healing by no means lessens your love for that spirit.

One last thing before I go, please remember that love is love and grief is pain. I once worked for a veterinarian who would complain if a staff member took the rest of the day off after putting a pet to sleep, each time mentioning that he was in work the day after his mother died. While I could spend many hours writing about how his lack of empathy disturbs me, especially from a veterinarian (??), I mention this troubling anecdote only to demonstrate that there are people in your life who will simply not understand the depths of your loss. But please know this: whether you lost a mother, brother, wife, dog, or fish, it was a spirit you had a connection with and therefore mourn. Please don't ever feel you don't have the "right" to experience your grief. No one can judge another's path. Your loss is YOUR loss. Don't let dogma (i.e. that voice in your head created by society) tell you you're overreacting or need to place an expiration date on your grief. Only you know how much you loved that special spirit. Only you fully understand the pain you're experiencing. Dismiss those who are lacking compassion. Too many people are disconnected from their spiritual selves and therefore can't understand how two spirits, especially those of different species, can be so interlinked. Don't let their negative opinions influence you. You're on a difficult journey to healing. Be kind to yourself during this arduous transformation. And if the pain feels too much to bear, please seek professional help.


Blessed Be.

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18 comments:

  1. Dear Sister, My ♥ is breaking for you...for your loss... I lost someone the first of the year and Sister Spellbinder gave me a Tarot spread called Dearly Departed Circle and if you'd like I will share with you via twitter.
    And yes he knew you loved him.

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    1. Your kind words left me in tears. Thank you for your comment. It means a lot to me. And yes, I would LOVE to see that spread! If you share it with me via Twitter I would greatly appreciate it. =)

      I'm sorry for your loss as well. I hope you have found a little peace. ♥♥♥ Sending blessings your way, my friend.

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  2. Thank you. Thank you for posting this. I came across it through a pinterest pin linking to another post. I just had to send my best friend of 13 years to the other side. On top of being now deaf, blind, having 2 surgeries for kidney stones, surviving for 2 years after an attack that had left him without the ability to walk or run properly, anymore, a jaw that dislocated every time he ate his bland cooked diet so that his bowels could function properly, he was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor, which led to even more horrible symptoms. I knew that the physical end was on the near horizon in a painful way. I had to make the decision to allow him to pass in a humane way. Even knowing all of this, I am still riddled with guilt. Guilt & anger. I am thankful for this post. I am praying for your pain to heal. I am deeply sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you for your comment and prayers. The very last thing you should feel is guilt. Clearly you loved him and did everything in your power to keep him as comfortable as possible. A very kind veterinarian once told me, "In order for their pain to end, ours has to begin." I hope you can take some comfort in this the way I did. What you did was courageous. You took away his pain knowing it would be the mere beginning of yours. And yet you did it out of unconditional love and compassion. He wouldn't want you to feel guilty. He's healthy and running and free on the other side, and he's thankful for the ultimate sacrifice you made so that he may have the beautiful gift of health once more. It's brutal to lose your best friend. I completely understand and sympathize. But your actions were the ultimate gift of love. I sincerely hope you can heal from those troubling emotions. Sending you much positive energy, my friend! ♥

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  3. When my mom passed, I experienced all of those things. But it took over 13 years to finally find acceptance. The path to coming to terms with the loss of a loved one (both furry and human). I still grieve but I don't feel guilty as much. I just remember and smile with some tears. My heart sends you strength and comfort.
    lady dragonothe

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    1. Thank you for your healing energies. I'm very blessed to have both my parents, though I've watched them each lose their father. I can't imagine your heartache. I'm glad you've experienced some healing over the past thirteen years. Many blessings to you, my dear! ♥

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  4. I have just randomly found your blog thanks to Pinterest and this is the first post of yours I have read... It may seem a little odd to comment on it not really knowing you, but I don't think we have to know a person intimately to be able to hear what they are saying and respond to it. So I just wanted to leave you a message to say that I am so sorry for your loss and that I hope you find the time and space to feel everything you need to feel in your journey through grief. And thank you for sharing your recipe for a grief and loss healing sachet... my husband and I have both been dealing with grief and loss related to our health over the past few years and I shall certainly be giving this a go for our grief too. Much love to you!

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    1. What a sweet thing to say! I really appreciate you taking the time to share that. It means a lot to me. I've been in awe of how compassionate people have been in response to this post. Your kind comment is just another example of how truly amazing people are! Thank you! =D

      I hope the sachet helps you and your husband! I'm so sorry to hear you are both in ill health, and I hope you find a resolution soon. Obviously I don't know your personal situation, but there are so many options when it comes to healing. Please don't feel discouraged if one path is fruitless. Keep searching for answers! Much love to you as well, my friend. Sending you healing vibrations! ♥

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  5. Thank You for sharing! It was 17 years before I was able to speak of my father without crying. May your loss be eased by the knowledge that you are helping many others with their loss as well! My darling lost his mother last year. She was always his champion, and he is just now getting to a place where he can function. Your healing sachet will be put to good use. ~ Star ~

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    1. Thank you for commenting! I hope the sachet helps with healing. I'm sorry for the loss of your father as well as your husbands's mother. I try not to think about the pain that comes with losing a parent, and I'm sorry you know that agony from experience. ='( I wish you both peace! ♥♥

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  6. Really glad you wrote this post. I also suffered a great loss when my brother died unexpectedly in early January. I can totally relate to this post and I also wrote a piece on my blog about overcoming grief. There is not much written about this in pagan circles. It is a much needed topic. Thank you.

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  7. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Would you care to share a link to your post? I'd like to read it if you're okay with sharing. Thank you for taking a moment to comment. Sending you healing, my friend. ♥

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  8. Thank you for this as I just lost my Mom and am not doing so well with it. Many blessings and may we all find the same peace our loved ones now know!

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    1. Lisa, I'm so terribly sorry about your loss. I hope you find some peace in the coming months. Please be patient with yourself during the long process of healing a broken, grieving heart. I'm so very sorry. :'( Sending you loving energy at this very moment, dear. ♥♥♥

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  9. This is beautiful and exactly what I need right now. Thank you for your kind and wise words. I've been struggling with the guilt aspect of things - if I start to heal, have I forgotten her? Am I dishonoring her? Etc. So I'm late to the party for this post...but it's timely for me. Thank you again.

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    1. I'm glad this found you when you needed it! I'm so terribly sorry for your loss. No matter how spiritual a person may be, death never gets easier.

      Guilt seems to always slither its way into grief, which only makes healing all the more difficult. Please know that healing from loss does NOT mean forgetting a loved one, nor does it diminish their importance in your life. ♥

      If you're looking for something to help you emotionally process your loss, Star of Bethlehem flower essence is very helpful for grappling with the after-shock of death (or any trauma). Pine is a useful essence for releasing those crushing feelings of guilt. I found both to be extraordinarily helpful after an unexpected death left me emotionally ravaged. Flower essences are gentle but effective. I myself was skeptical but have used them for numerous situations and have found them to be invaluable.

      Again, I'm so sorry you're grieving. Please be patient with yourself as you heal. Sending you a virtual hug! ♥

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  10. Thank you SO MUCH for addressing this topic. I just lost my brother to suicide. Then his memorial fell on my birthday. The past 6 weeks have been so difficult. I have not seen anyone Pagan talk much about grief after loss. Your post was been tremendously helpful!! Thank you, so very much!

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    1. Oh darling, my heart breaks for you. I'm so terribly, terribly sorry you lost your brother under such tragic circumstances. Please know my soul truly reaches out to yours, one person to another.

      Death is a painful experience, one that is infinitely multiplied when it is untimely and unexpected. I wish I could tell you something to ease your ache, but we both know that isn't possible. So, all I can offer is my sympathy and deepest condolences. Though nothing will make it "better," know that the agonizing weight of grief WILL lift. Slowly, but it will one day be manageable. Take care of yourself during this dark time. Give yourself space to grieve. Don't feel pressured to return to "normal" life. (I'm bad about that, so I assume others are as well.)

      Whatever little morsels of relief you can garner, take them. Whether it's therapeutic yoga, talking to a friend, zoning out for a few minutes with a favorite movie, or simply staring at a wall and breathing. I can only imagine how exhausted you must feel—physically, mentally, and especially spiritually. Take care of yourself. ♥

      For whatever it's worth, I'm sending you love across the stratosphere. We may be strangers, but we are all connected. ♥♥♥



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