Why do some people die young?
Why is life so unfair?
Some people get stuck on these questions.
I get it.
People believe that if they have a rational answer, it would dissolve the intensity of the grief they are feeling.
We all want relief from suffering!
So, we keep asking why, why?
And looking for something or someone to blame.
Often when we can blame something, we feel a minuscule sense of relief.
We can direct our anger towards it.
And anger is easier to bear than grief, which is something I realised suddenly last week.
I always thought I was good at understanding my emotions, and that I was an expert at moving through them.
This is something I do every day with my clients.
I help them connect with their blocked emotions, so they can be transformed into feelings of wellbeing.
Last week, when the news of the jumping castle tragedy began to trickle in, Pete and I felt sick in our stomachs.
We were given regular updates during the day, because our son in law, was on the resuscitation team.
As it happened, the evening before the tragedy, Pete and I had the privilege of taking our 12-year-old twin grandsons to their grade six leavers dinner at Forth.
I had felt my heart swell with pride and happiness, taking a million photos of the grade sixes, all bristling with life, excited to step into their next adventure.
That night I couldn’t sleep.
I was thinking about Johanan, our eldest son, who turned 40 at 12.15 am.
Memories of giving birth to my firstborn at the Ulverstone Hospital, not long after I migrated, kept keeping me awake.
Motherhood changed me profoundly.
I would never be carefree again and I was only 19.
As a mum, you can only be as happy as your unhappiest child.
When the news came in that morning that a disaster had happened, I felt as if I was living in a parallel universe, thinking about the children, and the mums and dads, the siblings, and everyone else who had been impacted.
I know exactly how they must have felt, because I almost died from similar types of injuries after being hit by a truck and left dying on the road in January 2006.
I would never wish this kind of pain and heartache on anybody, let alone a small child.
The following day, my grief turned to rage.
I was angry with life.
Whose idea was it to create motherhood, where you get to hold your baby, only to have your heart shattered so many times?
All Friday and Saturday, I kept bumping into things and hurting myself.
I even dropped 10 heavy chopping boards on my big toes and bunions, leaving them black and blue.
(The anger had given me the energy to clean up the shed)
I realized then, that the Universe was guiding me to connect with my ‘hurt’ rather than anger.
If I wasn’t going to do it myself, the Universe was going to steer me into more hurt, because what we resist persists, and what we repress grows in energy.
Anger is an escape from grief, I realised.
Instead of letting myself fully feel the grief, I get angry.
I had done this after my dad died, in 2018, and after my mum died in 2004.
I had cried, yes.
I find it easy to cry.
But looking back, I can see that many of those tears were not really a release of sadness, they were anger diverted to sadness.
I was still avoiding feeling that deep dull grief.
That night, I hopped into a hot bath.
Looking at my black and blue toes, I tried to connect with the dull ache of sorrow.
When I thought about the parents, having their children wrenched away from them in such a cruel and unexpected way, I felt so much pressure in my chest, I almost couldn’t breathe.
But I knew I had to turn towards the sorrow and feel it, even if it’s only baby steps.
If we want relief and freedom from anything, we must turn towards it.
We must do the one thing we don’t want to do.
Welcome it and eventually embrace it.
Everything else is an avoidance strategy.
I had to do the opposite of directing anger towards life.
Don’t escape the sorrow.
Turn towards it.
Welcome it in like an old homeless stranger.
I had to be my own leader and lead myself into the epicenter of the hurt.
Lying in the bath, turning toward the lumps of bricks in my heart, I slowly began to feel more spacious.
“I have been avoiding you because I have been thinking that you are unbearable,” I whispered out loud.
I always talk to myself when I am stressed.
“But now I know that you are not unbearable. It is my resistance to you that is unbearable. I am so much more than my resistance. I am an open space of infinite awareness, infinite consciousness, and I have space for all the sorrow in the world. Please come home into my heart. Please feel welcome so I can embrace you”.
Once I invited in all the pain and horror of the tragedy and connected with the grieving process, I felt myself become peaceful.
Now, I really want you to get clear on something.
I would like you to understand that feeling grief is different to giving in to negativity.
Feeling your grief and sorrow isn’t negative, it’s wholesome.
It is only negative if we resist it, avoid it, dull it out with wine and Netflix, or if we are in denial of it, pretending that it didn’t happen, or if we keep rehashing the story, reliving the horrors of it, but staying on the surface, not really listening to our own bodies.
We get side-tracked by the stories, and we gaslight ourselves by saying that we have to stay out of negativity.
“Stop thinking about it” we say to ourselves.
But we have many sensations that run through our bodies, and we can’t make them go away by ignoring them.
Nobody taught us to know what our raw sensations mean so we give them labels, like sorrow, or guilt, or anger, or blame, or pain.
We give them labels so we can file them away for later.
Then we become fearful of the intensity of it, so we push it under the carpet, or we tighten the lid on painful sensations.
Then it becomes an energy block, and new trauma piles up on top of old trauma that we haven’t dealt with.
The mind will superimpose more layers of pain and stress on it, and this is how the issues in our tissue eventually impede our life force and create a disconnect and attract more pain.
The way forward is to take yourself deeper into your body, right into the very heart of the emotions you want to avoid.
What you will discover is that your pain will dissolve into peace.
Your sorrow will dissolve into consciousness and into pure love.
It is the only way forward.
One day, you will realise that nothing that ever happens is out of order.
Everything is going according to a perfect plan.
Everything happens for you, not to you.
And that your loved ones, who have passed over before you, are now even closer to you than ever before.
They have survived death and been given a hero’s welcome home.
But back on planet earth, you somehow have to survive today.
So be very patient and extra kind with yourself.
Ever so slowly, begin to embrace what is distasteful or scary to you.
Your hurt, your grief, your confusion, your guilt, your regret….
So you can find what you truly want, which is relief and lasting peace, and true love.
Feeling anger and looking for something or someone to blame is the wrong direction.
You must go in the other direction.
We are here to help you.
We are all in this together.
With all our love,