Tag Archive | Grieving

Reeling, Feeling, and Healing

 

Notice the signs...

Notice the signs…

Grieving and loss have been thick in the air lately. At least it has been in my therapy room. The big question clients have been asking me is, “How long do I have to endure this pain?” After sitting in silence and allowing the energy to settle in, I review what I have witnessed in the grieving process.

The first stage is Reeling. After the shock of loss settles in, we begin to stagger and stumble, not quite knowing where to grab on to life. Feeling lost, we reach for stability but nothing feels like it did before. We begin to wonder if we’ll ever feel sane again, happy again, and just plain want to live again. We may even feel guilty for having those thoughts, and yet, the pain overpowers the guilt.  Life as we knew it is gone, with no light in sight.

And then we begin to Feel. Reality of the loss drops in and we realize we’ll never have the old back. As we work through our feelings between the tears, anger, confusion, and bewilderment, a shadow of acceptance begins to crack through the tunnel. We begin to see the light, and then the roller coaster comes winding around again. One minute we feel like life is returning to our normal, and the next minute, the pain hits like a ton of bricks again. It is at this point that I remind my clients that the roller coaster ride is part of the process of grieving. We continue to work through those feelings until the span of peace is longer than the span of unrest. In time, as we work through all emotions the reality of what is now becomes the new normal. This doesn’t mean the loss is forgotten. It simply means the loss is accepted.

Once acceptance has calmed the roller coaster, we move into the healing stage. It is here we begin to have a new relationship with the loss. If it is a loved one who has passed, we may begin to connect with them on a spiritual level. I know when I lost my dad the reeling and feeling stages were excruciating for me. It wasn’t until the healing stage that I began to relate to him through energy, signs, and dimes. Yes, he leaves me dimes. I have a client who knows it’s her mother saying hello every time she sees a cardinal fly by. Another client’s rose-bush blooms in the middle of winter. It was his wife’s favorite part of their garden. A friend of mine sees her father with every butterfly that persistently follows her. Open your heart and notice these signals from your loved ones. They are full of love and light in their world and they want you to feel happiness in yours.

There are many different types of losses that happen in our lives besides losing a loved one who passes through the veil. We experience loss with employment, relationships, money, homes, pets, health, the list goes on. Everyone’s experience and length of time in the stages is different. It took me two years before I came to acceptance of my father’s passing. I was reeling for about six months, just trying to find my footing. And then I was painfully feeling for about a year and a half. It was a day of enlightenment when the light finally broke through the tunnel. I felt joy in the realization I didn’t have to pick up the phone to talk to him anymore, I could talk to him any second, any time of the day. He wasn’t only with me in human form, he was with me and around me always. And we were one. That’s the day my spirit crossed the veil with a new understanding of our spiritual connection. Way beyond this world. Way beyond our intellect. A beautiful dimension extension.

For those of you staggering through this process of grief, doing your best to catch your breath, I ask you to trust not only the grieving process but the spiritual awakening that is inside of all of us. There is so much more to us than these shells we habitate while here on earth. When we stop reeling and move through our feelings, it is our spiritual expansion that delivers the healing. It is then that we realize what we thought was lost never left our side.

Surrounded by Love

Surrounded by Love

 

The Miracle of Friendship

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Soul Sisters; Kelley, me, Jenn, Lauren, and Marjie.

 

Some friendships last forever. This has proven to be true with a certain group of women I met on the campus of Ithaca College some 35 years ago now. You know it’s a lasting bond when you don’t see someone for 20 years and you pick up like you just saw them yesterday. The same banter, same jokes, same smiles. The same soul connections. Only now there are miles of experiences to share; happy times, sad times, encased with a plethora of bumps and bursts along the road of life.

It’s this road that brought the five of us back together this past summer. Our Jennifer tragically lost her dear husband, Ron, this past February. One day it held the sweetness of Valentine’s Day and the next day he was gone. I attended the beautiful service for Ron, complete with a room full of love and ending with a heartfelt Henry David Thoreau quote. The same quote that is the main quote in my book. A sweet validation that our souls are always connected in this world and beyond.

After the service, Cindy (another soul sister of mine and friend of Jennifer’s) and I walked to the club reserved for all of us to gather. Interesting how a loss makes you notice beauty in the world more. We were commenting how beautifully the trees were lining the lawns of Buffalo’s most prestigious historical homes. Life becomes a bit surreal when we face losing it. I ran into Jenn in the privacy of the coat room, which was good because after not seeing her for 15 years we needed the comfort of a cocoon. She to melt into me, and me to be strong for her. I held her on my lap for a few minutes while she wept. Feeling our sister friendship that never faded. I still remember so clearly Jenn’s words pressing through her tears as we hugged, “I was hoping you’d come.” It was never a question for me.

Soon after, Lauren contacted me suggesting the five of us gather at either her cottage or mine in support of Jenn. I happily offered my place, and after a few emails with Marjie, Kelley, and Lauren, the summer weekend was arranged. I can’t quite describe the joy I felt upon seeing each Holmes Hall girl arrive but with every welcome hug we grew into what we knew. Loving each other.

A few wineries later, we returned to the cottage for more laughs, delectable delights, and reminiscent chatter.  Intermittently holding the sadness between us to allow Jenn her grieving space. Always holding her in the silence interspersed with tears.  We agreed that this must be an ongoing theme in our lives, to reunite every year or two.

Funny how the most tragic of events can breathe rays of sunshine into life. One thing I know for sure, this girlfriend bond that began back in 1979 will never be broken. The magic of love between our connected souls will forever hold the truth of our inexplicable, extraordinary existence. The miracle of friendship.

Me and Jenn enjoying beach time at her place this past summer.

Me and Jenn enjoying beach time at her place this past summer.

Book Signing At Barnes & Noble, Elmira, NY, September 6th!

‘Living, Loving & Unlearning’ is available at Barnes & Noble, Elmira, NY

Come visit and chat with me at my book signing at Barnes & Noble, Elmira, NY, this Saturday, September 6th, 2pm-4pm!

Wink 106fm will be there with me airing the signing LIVE! Bring yourself, bring your friends, bring your kiddies, and join in the fun! 

 

Living, Loving & Unlearning' is recognized in Ithaca College's Fall issue of IC View

Living, Loving & Unlearning’ is recognized in Ithaca College’s Fall issue of IC View

If you aren’t able to make the signing, ‘Living, Loving & Unlearning: A therapist’s guide to healing and living authentically from the inside out’, is available at Barnes & Noble Elmira in the ‘Self Improvement’ section of the store.

‘Living, Loving & Unlearning’ is also available online at Lulu.com.

Happy day, Namaste!  

 

Goddess of the Dawn

My glory days with Early Aurora, circa 1971

I WOULD BE REMISS if I didn’t include the special bond I had with one very special girl, my horse, Early Aurora.  In Roman mythology, the meaning of Aurora is “goddess of the dawn,” and oh what a goddess she was!  A bright light shining into the dim of the morning. She was my guiding light, my maternal protector, my soul mate.  She safely carried me through trails, over hurdles, and around arenas from the time I was 10 years young to the ripe old age of 13.  Soon after, her time came to retire on our farm, soaking up the leisure life of pastures and blues skies, until she passed through the veil, shortly after retirement.

Barb and Early Aurora shining their Light.

Aurora has been shining her bright light on me, yet again, as of late.  Forty-three years after she came to me, another shining light tapped on my soul. Aurora’s previous rider/soul connector found me on Facebook and asked, “Are you by chance the Cindy Weintraub who rode Early Aurora?”  I replied, “Yes, she was very special to me.  Who did you ride with?” When she told me she was Aurora’s previous owner, my body quivered in chills.  She had kept a Christmas card I sent her those four decades ago, when Aurora came to me.  A photo of Aurora and me, and my name, enclosed.  Immediately, I felt bonded with this person who I knew loved Aurora as much as I did.  Our connection has gone beyond my wildest dreams.  Barb has become such a sweet soul sister to me, and, of course, we have more in common than I ever would have imagined.  The bond we have, it all makes sense to me now.  At 61 years young, she runs, swims, moves through nature walks, eats very healthy, and has more energy than a 15-year-old.  Our spiritual beliefs are so in sync it leaves no doubt that Aurora’s spirit not only arranged our recent connection, but the passing of Aurora’s light from Barb to me many dawns ago.  Barb is now a bright light in my life, with Angel Aurora in the middle.

The grace of meeting Barb was not only enlightening but cathartic in my own healing.  As I was in the shower one morning, where most of my profound intuitive thoughts come to me, I realized the real reason I quit riding while I was so young.  My excuse was that I wanted a social life with kids my age (and part of that was true), but the deeper meaning expressed itself through my stream of tears, washed away by the shower cascade.  You see, Aurora retired young because she had cancer.  I realized that morning, surrounded by the ease of water, that I blocked the pain of losing Aurora so deeply that I quit doing something I loved.  At such a young age, I didn’t know the value of grieving, and moved on, hiding the hurts festering inside.  For those of you who can relate, you know the bond between a girl and her horse.  It’s stronger than many friendships throughout your lifetime.  I am so very grateful for Barb entering my life, for she not only gave me the gift of a beautiful friendship, she unknowingly pushed me to feel the pain and grieve my long lost love.  Not only Aurora, but the joys of riding itself.  I know Aurora sent a spark through both of our hearts, creating a bond forever connected to her spirit.

When painful times come upon you, remember, “This too shall pass.”  Spirit has given us the blessing of amnesia when it comes to pain.  Allow yourself to feel and express, especially when you think you can’t feel anymore.  The nights will eventually give way to the glory of the dawn.

Shifting Sands

Amazing how life can shift in just three short weeks.  From expectant loss, to tragic loss, to new birth.  Below are three short paragraphs describing the gamut of emotions I experienced during the month of July, 2013.  Just like that, life can change and bring you excruciating sadness turning to joy and light.  The sands settled on my heart and opened a whole new world for my eyes to see.  Never forgetting the light that remains, and simultaneously, opening my heart to new light.

Shifting Sands 2Our dear, sweet Ollie flew into the heavens recently. We all circled around him and gave
him our last round of love ~ including Jazzy who snuggled in with us. Those of you who knew Ollie, know what a big gentle soul he was. He gave us twelve years of big love from pony rides ( when Rachel was a baby) to big bear hugs (to warm us) to majestic protector (literally coming toe to toe with black bear in our backyard). We will forever miss you, Ollie Bear, always in our hearts.

It is said, when two souls are deeply connected, and one exits this earth, the other is sure to follow. Our sweet soul, Jazzy, followed her love companion, Ollie, soon after we lost our big gentle bear. We were expecting it with Ollie, as he was ill for some time, but Jazz, it came out of the blue. Just two short weeks after losing Ollie, Jazz let us know it was time to join him. I should have known when she nuzzled him nose to nose as we circled around him to give our last round of love.  They came to us as pups twelve short years ago, and now their souls will live together forever. We miss you, my angel girl, always full of love and loyalty. Always with kindness in your heart. Always my soul connector. Fly high with Ollie and shine your angel wings around us. You are both forever in our hearts.

Well, I thought it was too soon for a little one to enter our lives after losing Jazz & Ollie, but my daughter, Rachel, was persistent and I caved. So happy that I did because little Jude has brought back that spark that diminished when Jazz & Ollie left. I feel them with us more than ever ~ in every hug, every smile, and especially when I see Luke & Jude romping together. The love continues to expand.

new dogsI suppose it’s no surprise that I’ve had so many animals come and go in my life. I grew up on a farm and my husband, Mike, is a veterinarian. We were very fortunate to be able to say goodbye to Ollie in the comfort of our home.  Our circle of love consisted of me, Mike, and our three girls, Kelley, Becca, and Rachel…and then Jazzy snuggled in.  They know, don’t they? Our animals feel more than we think they’re aware of.  Spiritually, I believe they’re much more in tune than the human race…that is, until we strip away those layers of conditional life.  I have been blessed with a plethora of animal souls streaming through my life.  There is no doubt, when I move into the spirit world, it will provide peace, love, warmth, and yes, a boatload of four-legged loves.

Good Grief

“People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. ”  ~ Elisabeth Kubler Ross

How perfect.  I’m writing this on a rainy day.  A day where the sun is hiding but will show her smiling face again, after she has had her rest, after she has allowed herself to regenerate.  Much like times in our own lives when we need to feel feelings of sadness, grief, or just plain exhaustion from life.  Your body, spirit and mind (conscious and unconscious) will give you signals when you need to go into the quiet and experience all that you are feeling.  If we don’t pay attention to these signals it will come back to bite us harder down the road.  Deal with it NOW and your path will be paved for a brighter future.

I had a recent meeting with a client whose son passed tragically just weeks ago.  None of us can really know her pain.  Excruciating doesn’t even begin to cut it, in my opinion.  We were discussing the stages of grief, as created by Elisabeth Kubler Ross…denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  My client asked where she should be in her grieving.  The only “right” in grieving is that you allow yourself to experience it.  Pushing aside and pretending it didn’t happen won’t help you or loved ones in your life.  This includes many types of losses in your life;  a job, a relationship, moving from your home, traumatic experiences that have attempted to steal a piece of your being, the list continues.  You must jump into the abyss of darkness to emerge with a lighter heart.  Running away from what you must feel only accumulates a dust cloud that will keep you blinded from yourself.  As I told my client, everyone grieves differently, most important is that you grieve.  One may be in the stage of anger longer than depression.  Some people go out of order in the stages and mix it up, while others stay right on target.  Some people grieve for months, some for years.  Your grieving process is your own, the main thing is that you allow it!  I do recommend that as you grieve, and your wounds are open, you seek the help of a professional counselor to guide and support you.  If you choose not to go that route, keep those you trust with your feelings close.  Those that will listen and JUST BE there for you.  One who will hold your hand through your tears.  And remember, if the tears don’t come, that’s okay too.  They will eventually IF you allow the hurts to emerge.  Surround yourself with those you feel safe.  Healing will come.

Keep your light from within.  Allow the rain to clear the dust, allow love to hold you as you work through your pains, the sun will shine again.