Updated: Dec 5, 2020
My Grief Story began without even knowing it. It started as a loss of something I never had, a father who was emotionally absent throughout my childhood. I didn’t realise it as a child and growing up, but that loss affected me profoundly and caused me to make unhealthy negative beliefs about myself which I carried with me for many many years. The love I needed in my formative years led me to feel this lack significantly and without realising it on a conscious level, healing this wound became my main focus in life. Whilst my peers were concentrating on their studies and growing as a person, I was searching to fill the void in my heart that hurt so deeply. I made unhealthy choices and suffered the consequences.
Of course, looking for others to fill this void was my goal, which I now understand to be the opposite of what I needed to do. No amount of searching for the answers in others leads us to resolution, the answers are within each and every one of us and are there for us each personally to unravel. Thankfully, whilst searching externally, I also began to do my self-work and found reading and consuming vast quantities of philosophical and spiritual information to be very comforting. This filled me up and I began to understand myself better and my needs.
I went on to suffer a miscarriage and again found myself looking for answers and more soul searching. This was a completely different type of loss and was not something that was really spoken about. I tried to move on as best as I could silently and alone and and dealt with the loss by stuffing all my emotions down and burying them. I found art and painting to be my solace which helped me to escape the sadness.
I trained to be a nurse at this time and upon reflection I now realise that if one needs help, one often seeks to help others. I found this to be true with many of my colleagues and it was comforting to be in an environment of like minded people. It is true in life, you have to find your tribe and of course the nursing was personally very rewarding. I found the time spent on a cancer ward to be particularly challenging and this is where I found myself looking again at the mind-body connection, but this time not through books but with real people facing adversity. I completed a project on complementary therapies and this lead me to find Reiki, a Japanese energy healing technique. I was really drawn to this and after some research, learnt the first level, Reiki 1 in my spare time. I found it to be very comforting for myself in managing my personal energy levels after long shifts at work. I was finding that as rewarding as nursing was, I also found it to be very draining and taking so much from me. I couldn’t seem to prevent this from happening, but the Reiki seemed to help get me back to myself, and recharge. It was a lifeline and I became fascinated by it.
Many years later I now find myself not only practising Reiki still on a daily basis for myself but also for my clients and teaching this wonderful technique. It has helped me enormously on so many levels and I find it helps me with my feelings and understanding of grief in particular.
Recently, I have experienced much personal loss; my grandfather and stepfather passed away and a year later, I lost my father and step-mother who died within five days of each other. It was a blur of grief within the family which turned us all upside down.
I trained to become an Emotional Freedom Practitioner (EFT) following this family upheaval and again found this to be another personal lifeline to my mental, emotional and physical well-being. By tapping the acupressure points on various places on the body, in any moment of need, feelings such as sadness, anger, frustration …… can be processed and moved through the body, rather than storing them, as I was doing before, stuffing it all down. I have learnt to help myself and in doing so I am now able to help others by working with people to resolve their bottled up feelings that are not serving them. A more advanced version of EFT is Matrix Re-imprinting and with this technique, we can go back into any memory and access the trapped negative emotions and release them.
We can look at the belief that was made at that moment in time and process and release that also, then freeing us from the pattern of behaviour this would otherwise keep us locked into. The beauty of this I am finding is that often we simply do not realise that we are affected by grief. Grief is often simply weaved into our being. It is true nobody escapes being affected by grief, it is something we will all experience in some way. It is the realisation that grieving is a process but that long term suffering is optional. There is help if the grief is not easing and I am an advocate of this and strive to help others in releasing their pain.
Jacqueline Ward St Leonards Reiki
Jacqueline Ward is an emotional wellness coach and a professionally trained Nurse and an Accredited Certified EFT and Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner.