Update: In 2016 I left my practice of homeopathy to reinvent myself. I was diagnosed six months earlier with breast cancer, and made the decision to close my practice and take the time to fully heal. I wanted to take the time I needed to figure out what I wanted to do moving forward, and I knew I had to allow myself the time and space to process my grief around letting go of my practice.
Writing in a journal and rug hooking became my way of holding space for myself. In the span of the next eight months I wrote a couple of books, developed a new method of design, and launched a career as a speaker, artist and team building facilitator. Whether your grief is a result of the loss of a loved one, or a retirement or job loss, I hope the following article will be helpful.
Homeopathic remedies can be very helpful during the grieving process, both in the initial stages and during the longer term consequences of a loss or bereavement. This article contains a list of homeopathic remedies commonly prescribed for grief reactions, along with some practical suggestions for remaining well after a grief. I have also included a personal story of my attempts to soften the grieving process for myself and my family.
Rescue remedy is a Bach Flower preparation that is diluted in a similar way to homeopathic remedies, but is not shaken or sucussed between dilutions. Rescue remedy can be used to comfort and to soothe, and I find it useful if I am in a setting where I am not able to take a case, but I want to be able to provide some measure of comfort to a person. I prefer the liquid form, as you can have the person place 2 or 3 drops into a bottle of water and sip. Like homeopathic remedies it is safe and non-toxic.
The three most common remedies for grief are Ignatia, Nat mur and Phosphoric Acid.
Ignatia indications would be tearful, uncontrollable weeping, weeping when alone, body feels cramped and numb, can also have difficulty crying. It can be in initial stages after a loss. (I found this remedy to be particularly helpful for certain members of my family.)
Nat mur can be expressed as difficulty crying, feeling lonely and withdrawn, dwells on past hurts and disappointments, worse from consolation. There can be headaches or herpes outbreaks after grief A person needing Nat mur in a grief situation might push others away and have a wall around them. The feeling inside is that if they begin to express their sorrow it will be like floodgates opening, so they try to keep it all inside. I have seen Nat mur be indicated both in the initial stages and also from prolonged grieving.
Another strategy for healing from a grief is to find something you love to do, and dedicate some aspect of this to the person you are grieving for. For example, you could plant a garden or enter a race or do something creative in their memory.
A few years ago my best friend passed away. As part of my coping strategy, I hooked a rug called Coastal Girls and made each of the women someone who was special to me. I surrounded myself with the women who have supported me, including my best friend and my sister. This rug was designed by Deanne Fitzpatrick.
Last year our family suffered a devastating loss of my sister’s 18 year old son Brennan. Some of the younger members of our family got beautiful tattoos in his memory. To help with my own healing process I designed and hooked a rug in his memory.
When our children were growing up my sister and I frequently rented a cottage and took our 5 boys on a beach holiday. We spent many enjoyable hours beach-combing in the Green Bay area of Nova Scotia. This rug has many elements of our beach walks – starfish, sand dollars, nautilus shell, the wild roses and of course the sand and the waves. The writing inside is a verse from a poem called The Tide (author unknown), and talks about whenever a joy has passed something beautiful remains. Brennan was a joy to our family and to his many friends. Completing this rug has been a way for me to express my grief and also my love for my nephew.
Some important notes about potency and dosage
Homeopathic remedies come in various strengths (called potencies), from 6C to 50M and higher. Unless you are an experienced prescriber, I suggest you use a potency no higher than 30C.
The number of doses of a remedy given depend on the potency you have chosen and the degree of distress of the individual. Note – one dose is considered to be one pellet dissolved under the tongue. It is not necessary to take more than one pellet per dose. For babies and small children (or anyone who might inhale the pellet), you can dissolve the pellet in water and put 1 tsp. in the infant’s mouth.
Stop on improvement – repeat as needed
If the person’s condition begins to improve, do not give any further doses of the remedy. Start giving the remedy again only if the symptoms begin to relapse or there is no further improvement. If you have given several doses of the remedy (between 3 and 6 doses) and there is no improvement on any level, stop giving the remedy. It is probably not the correct remedy and you need to re-evaluate or seek help from your homeopath.
To read more about my reinvention and what I’m up to these days, click here.