Navigating Grief, Loss and Coming Back Home

If you’ve followed my journey on Instagram or Facebook you are likely aware that 3 months ago my brother took his own life.

I was pregnant at the time and my pregnancy was keeping me glued together so to speak. I felt like I couldn't completely meltdown because emotionally I wanted to be stable for the baby.

A few weeks later, a few days before the end of our 1st trimester, we lost the baby. The loss was awful. My cramping and contractions felt similar to early labour with my daughter Vera.

During the first few weeks of this pregnancy I had the fatigue, the growing belly and a few other symptoms.

I thought for sure we were in the clear. It was just a feeling. I have had visions of our family expanding and it just felt right.

We’ve experienced a miscarriage before but that time was different. Although painful I almost instantly felt a stronger connection to my spiritual practice, to prayer, to God. It was if I knew on a deep level that the timing just wasn’t right. And it wasn’t. I’m grateful for that loss and for the perfect timing of our daughter Vera who came a few years later.

But this time, with this loss, I completely LOST it.

If total darkness is what it feels like to hit rock bottom, well, I hit.

Hard.

I started having postpartum type thoughts.

Mean, horrible, dark thoughts.

Is postpartum after a miscarriage a thing?

On top of that I would have days where the grief surrounding my brothers loss would hit me like a brick house. I felt like I was suffocating and I couldn’t breathe.

The images of how he did it.

The thoughts of why he did it.

The spiralling fearful thoughts about the intense pain in the world and how awful it is that many people suffer in this way.

I remember for a few weeks having to take deep intense breaths constantly throughout the day, just to get through the day. I have never had anxiety my entire life but for a period of about 14 days I could barely breathe. My husband would sometimes hear the sound of these loud breaths and ask, “Are you ok? Why are you breathing like that?”

Often times I would just turn around and allow my eyes to swell with tears, taking a moment to compose myself.

I figured grief would be bad but this was awful.

I would bawl my eyes out while having a bath at night with my daughter. While driving. While laying in bed at night, sucking back sobs so my husband couldn’t hear. (Don’t get me wrong I used him often for support and I always do; He’s the best listener in the world. But sometimes you just want to feel and be left alone you know?)

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We had a special connection my brother and I. We always did. He had struggles, he had darkness and it was quite obvious his entire life but I believed in him. You could say that’s one of my strengths, I believe in people. I see the light in everyone (well, most people) and often I see visions of people’s highest potential and who they're intended to be. With my brother I saw his light and I tried, oh man at times did I try to help him.

And so here I am, 90 days after this loss and I feel for the first time total and complete peace.

I sent a voice note to a friend this morning from my front porch and she commented back that she could hear the birds chirping and it sounded so peaceful. “I am at peace” I told her and “I feel so much better.”

Now I'm not saying I will never be sad again or I can't miss him. That's not what this post is about. And I certainly don't want someone who has struggled with grief or pain for a long time to feel triggered hearing about my healing process. This is about sharing the tools I've learned, with love. I'm sure another wave of grief might spring up for me - and it likely will - as it tends to come out of nowhere. But I’ll know how to handle it now and I'll be more keen to trust the process. And when I learn, I teach. That's just what I do as a wellness entrepreneur. 

And so this post. I feel inspired to share today in case you are learning to let go, going through loss, know someone who might be and/or you like to arm yourself with knowledge around the tools to help you come back home.

Because you see through this period of loss in my life, as painful and awful as it was it literally brought me back home.

Am I home 100%? No. But I'm close. I'm allowing this process to happen. And we always have that choice friends. To sink or to come back home to sovereignty.

One of my favourite teachers Caroline Myss says, “The best place to find your soul is in the middle of a battlefield.”

Not only was I literally forced to feel, grieve, let go and mourn, so many other emotions came up that I literally had no choice but to lift my arms up above my head and say “God, I give this to you.” And through that process of releasing I have connected deeper into my soul and truth than ever before.

Let me explain and start with one basic principle I deepened into. (And if you guys like this post please let me know. Because I have more to share if you would like!) 

You know those Jesus quotes about casting your burdens on him. (I love the mystical teachings of the Bible.) They are real and that I believe is a big part of our modern day spiritual work as a collective. Lifting up what is not ours to burden.

And so through this season of loss and letting go there was a beautiful lesson:

You are here to feel yes, but if you want to come back to peace (which you deserve to do) you must give it all up to God.

It’s not yours to hold onto. It’s yours to feel yes. But hold onto? No.

If we hold on to any painful emotion or experience it can manifest years later as bitterness, resentment, a lack of passion towards our work, even a dark depression.

And so an exercise to complete would be to 1) feel the emotion and the pain that comes with it (don’t rush this-many people will distract themselves and do anything to avoid pain) and then 2) lift your hands up above your head and say “I lift this to you God.”

You can use whatever word feels right for you - God, the divine, source.

Take a deep breath and notice how it feels to do this.

And remember that this exercise is relatable to so many other areas of life.

Let’s say you get angry and reactive easily. Maybe this is even a trait that got passed on (or taught) through your family lineage but it’s not who you really are when you’re in your sovereign power.

  1. Feel the emotion/pattern/behaviour pass through your cells, then lift your arms up above your head saying “I know this is not me and not my soul’s true essence. I lift this to you. Cleanse me of this pattern/thought/behaviour and bring me back home to the true me.”

  2. God/the Holy Spirit/Source is waiting to support you in coming back home to your essence of peace and joy and that’s part of the miracle that is available to us when we open ourselves up to healing. Healing can happen lightening fast just like it did when Jesus healed people. That is mystical truth. But you my friend have to believe in this.

The only prerequisite for this process to work is that you have to be open to it and you have to be willing to let it go. If you’re addicting to living in pain, fear, or self-sabotage and change or healing is not a choice you’re willing to commit to, this might not be for you.

Also to note, if you have your own business (I attract many entrepreneurs to my work) you can also apply this same principle to fear.

Feel the fear you’re experiencing and then lift your arms up and ask God/the Holy Spirit to cleanse you of it.

Throughout the grief process at one point I literally spent close to 14 days straight doing exactly what I’m teaching you above - feeling intense pain, grief, fear and reactionary thoughts come up (some in relation to these losses but other stuff emerged too) and almost every hour on the hour I would practice giving it up to God.

For weeks after my brother passed and we lost the baby, a heavy, tense feeling in my upper back and neck became present.

And now, after practicing this principle, it’s literally gone.

My digestive system is also back on track, my anxiety is gone, and peace has washed over me.

This is the truth regarding the healing that is available to us. But we have to do the work friends.

I hope this is helpful, (and I may have more to share in the days/weeks to come) so stay tuned.

Geralyn xx