(This is my favourite picture of me with my Mum!)
So it occurred to me that I talk about suppressing grief and feelings, and the danger of hiding what we feel a whole lot! It also occurred to me that this can sound like a very arbitrary concept to many people.
How do you even know you are doing this?
How do you know what suppressing grief looks like?
I have been reflecting on this for a while, and while I see this clearly in my clients now I also have been reflecting on how I suppressed my grief and feelings of loss after one of my biggest losses almost 30 years ago.
Of course at the time I had no idea this is what I was doing. I also had no idea that it was the suppression of what I was feeling that was causing my anxiety, fear, panic attacks and addictions.
When my mother died I was 13 years old. I remember sitting on the window ledge of an old hospital building, the old King George Hospital. My first thoughts were ‘I don’t know how to cook properly’ – my brain started mentally scanning all the meals I knew my Dad liked to eat and figuring out the best person to help me master each dish.
I remember staying up late into the night to mop the kitchen floor how I knew my Mum liked it done after all the visitors had been to pay their respects and condolences.
I remember keeping busy, I remember fainting when they brought Mum’s body home and I can’t remember thing about the funeral.
I remember playing truant from school for weeks, I remember telling my friends my Mum had died and them not believing me. They said I was ‘too normal and happy’ to be telling the truth.
I remember getting louder and angrier and taking risks that make me shudder now, I put myself in so much danger.
In fact the only time I remember sitting and crying was when I said on the stairs of our family home, focusing hard on the front door. I kept looking at it and willing her to walk back through it. Hoping and wishing so hard this this was all a dream. But I never remember sitting with anyone and them asking me how I feel. Or me telling anyone how much I missed my Mum, or crying and hugging and grieving, not one single solitary memory.
I just carried on and life carried on.
But I was angry, I was rude to people, my determination and ambition became razor sharp as a distraction. I have huge chunks of time I can’t even remember as I spent so much time focusing on how I was going to make my future a better one that I was never able to be in the present moment and enjoy any moments of happiness that were right there. I made so many wrong and dangerous decisions.
I became fearful that we would lose dad too, so much so that a headache or a cold became a threat to his existence and a reason for me to go out of my head with worry.
I cried all the time but no one knew, I felt down, sad, misunderstood, but no one knew. Instead I acted more and more like an extrovert and this became my shield.
I went to university and isolated myself, I was frightened, I was anxious, I lost weight, but I didn’t tell anyone. I had a big fat Indian wedding and I missed my Mum but wouldn’t allow myself to feel it. I married the love of my life and my anxiety deepened into horrifically frightening panic attacks.
I had post natal depression after a horrible pregnancy and labour, through which I missed my Mum, I didn’t understand all the changes I was going through as I was only 22, but I never told anyone and I just got on with it.
Depression, anxiety, deep fear and tears became my best friends.
It wasn’t until I worked with a wonderful soul that I realised the root of all of this was my grief.
The grief that my Mum had died so suddenly and when I was so young.
The grief that my relationship with my Mum at 13 was not what I wanted it to be.
The grief that I never really knew her.
The grief that she didn’t meet my children.
The grief that I didn’t know how to be a Mum.
The grief that I needed my Mum and still need her today and she isn’t here.
The grief that no one can ever replace her.
All of this grief and loss was suppressed, pushed down deep inside me.
I didn’t understand these feelings, I couldn’t make sense of them, and instead all of this grief morphed into anger, petulance, withdrawal, destructive behaviour, depression, panic attacks, ulcers and many other physical symptoms.
It was only after doing the grief work and using homeopathy that I understood that the body never produces symptoms in isolation. Suppressing symptoms with keeping busy, emotions or prescription drugs just doesn’t work. Understanding this inextricable link between mind and body and working with the root cause is the only way to true health.
Of course grief can be so many things, not just death. It can be anything that hurt, changed your world and broke your heart. Grief has a cumulative effect and builds up over the years creating a huge energy inside of you, this needs to be dealt with in order to stay in good health and create true emotional freedom for yourself.
Thank you so much for reading, I hope this resonated with you and will help you to see where you may be suppressing your feelings of grief and loss. If you recognise anything about yourself in this blog please do get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org. If you feel someone else may benefit from reading this please do forward it on.
It would be my privilege to be of service to you and help you get complete with the pain of whatever your grief and loss is. If you’d like more details about my Grief Coaching Program then you can find out more details here
Grief Coach & Homeopath