What Needs to Be Felt

My sisters best friend lost her mother this week. It was quite sudden.

At the end of last week I learned her mother was in the hospital with an infection. On Tuesday I learned she had passed.

Loosing someone at anytime of your life is never easy, regardless of age. There is never a good time when the challenging unexpected occurs, especially when it is death.

Her mother was a beautiful person with a kind, loving heart. During a time in our society where there seems to be more fear than love and more closed hearts than connection, it’s even harder to accept that a beautiful light is no longer with us.

It was comforting to know that my sisters friend was present when her mother died. Not every one gets that chance to be there when someone has their last exhale.

I wanted to express my condolence to my sisters friend. What I wanted to say was coming from a well intentioned place, but I felt internal resistance to express it, because it’s a-typical than what most people say.

One thing that I did say in my message was “feel what needs to be felt.”

This is my invention to the students, clients and people that I work with when I lead workshops. I’ve been studying trauma and the body for over a year. It is healthy to allow your emotions to move through you, when they arise, versus suppressing them. Not all circumstances allow us to express emotions in the moment, but if we can be with those emotions at night when we are home, it is better than “being a soldier”. Not expressing emotions does more harm than good and the effects of that show up later in life.

One thing I wanted to say, but did not say was “grieve as long as you need.”

Oh grief. Everybody has an idea of what grief looks like and how it is expressed, but it is different for different people and different cultures. Sometimes people don’t grieve right away because of life, they have to be strong for everyone, they are in shock or they simply move on. Then at a sudden moment they are taken over by grief.

Others start the grieving process right away while others may express it in the form of sleep deprivation, early mornings or a new/ change in habit. Grief is truly different for everyone, it is not linear and it does not have a time line.

Grief asks us to feel it like our emotions do. Not all emotions are tender like love, but they provide information for us that we rob ourself of, if we do not sit with them. Sitting with emotions outside of love, anger, lust and happiness is foreign to many people. I advocate for expressing emotions because of how it has changed my life and because I know how it effects the body when you don’t give it space.

If you are experiencing any type of loss my invitation for you is to create a safe place for you at your home. It could be your bedroom, a spot at your home office or a home alter. It could even be that go to friend that is always there. Go to that safe place, even if it is in your minds eye, every day and allow yourself to be, in the way you need. Sit with what arises. Befriend your emotions and meditate on their wisdom. Finally, be kind to yourself in this process.

Love – Stephanie XO

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