Bereavement and Grief

by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP

This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Note: More information about the products mentioned can be found at the end of the article.

I need to begin by saying that if you have recently lost a loved one, regardless of how, I offer my sympathy. You may find this article difficult to read either on an emotional or mental level. Grief makes it difficult to focus and think clearly. If this is the case, you may want to give this article to a close friend and ask him/her to read it for you. There are ideas here that a friend could easily help you with. If you are ‘the friend’ please consider it an honor to accompany someone on their very personal journey of bereavement and grief.

bereavement and griefBereavement and grief can be extremely difficult. Grief can occur after the loss of any significant part of one’s life. The loss of a job, a house fire, the end of a relationship, and the death of a loved one are just a few examples of when grief can strike. My purpose here is not to be a junior psychologist, but rather to explore the importance of nutrition, self care, and holistic options to aid one in the grieving process in general.

Grief is a process. It takes work and it takes time. It can easily take up to two years for a person to work through the bulk of the grief they have experienced. One never really ‘gets over’ the loss of a loved one. One only assimilates the pain of the loss into the process of daily life. A frustrating part of the grief experience is the ‘good days bad days’ cycle. It is quite common to get to where one feels comfortable with his grief, only to have a ‘bad day’ where the grief is front and centre and overwhelming all over again.

Through this entire experience, it is important to remember to take care of one’s self. It is always quite all right to ask others to help.

Nutrition during grieving

Good nutrition is critical. During grieving one’s energy can be totally consumed with pain and heartache. The sadness or depression that often accompany grief, along with insomnia or disturbed sleep, often depress the appetite. Food preparation and eating are often not on the list of things to do. There just doesn’t seem to be the drive or the desire to prepare or eat food. Aside from listening, the best gift one can give a grieving friend is healthy comfort food.

Simple, easily digested foods are best at this time. Yogurt, homemade soups, whole grain pasta dishes with protein in them, and herbal teas are some of the best foods to choose. The food should be warm, flavorful, aromatic, nourishing and soft. This may sound strange, but people who are grieving often have very little energy, and chewing can seem like work. Chicken vegetable soup, mild curry, chamomile and rosehip tea, and creamed soup are all simple, fairly easy to digest, and appealing. If you are delivering food to someone who has been left single, add the gift of time to the food – stay and eat with him.

Herbs and vitamins during grieving

Because the diet may be lacking at this point in time, supplements are usually a good idea. B-vitamins with herbs for the nervous system (Stress formula/Nutri-calm), Calcium with magnesium (Skeletal Strength) taken at bedtime, and perhaps some STR-J or STR-J Liquid can help.

Flower Essences for grieving

Flower essences (Bach Flowers, North American Flowers, etc.) can also help. Formulations of flower essences can be made on request to meet any specific need. Several flower essences can be put into one formula. It is only important to remember to not use the herb and the flower essence in the same day, and to avoid strongly aromatic substances and coffee within about one hour of taking the flower essences because these are homeopathic-like preparations.

Bleeding heart is used when a relationship has ended either through death or through choice. Borage renews one’s courage, is balm for the heart. Grief and emotional pain which manifest in physical pain can be released with dandelion. Fuschia helps one access repressed grief. Anguish and melancholy, especially suffered in private, can be released with love-lies-bleeding. Sagebrush helps one accept the pain and emptiness after a loss. When the loss happens suddenly, Star of Bethlehem can help to soothe the shock. Deeply internalized pain that manifests as a real ‘heartache’ or pressure in the chest can be released with yerba santa. The NSP formula Release It is specifically designed to aid people in working through grief.

Flower essences support the emotional energy to enable one to be in the moment, to feel the grief, and to work through it. Flower essences do not numb a person or hide grief that is healthy and appropriate.

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) can also be helpful in taking away unnecessary, excessive, or prolonged grief.

Aromatherapy

Essential Oils can be used to great benefit. My favourite for grief is Rose (Rosa x damascene). I have seen it lift debilitating grief overnight.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy is of the utmost importance in grief work. One must find a massage practitioner who is more than just competent. The practitioner must be ‘gifted’ and sensitive. Much grief energy is stored in the body. This is why there is often a pressure in the chest, a heart ache, aching arms, a ‘lead weight’ in the stomach. Massage by an empathetic practitioner can help one to release the pent up grief energy. A good practitioner will know intuitively where and how to work after a short conversation with the grieving person.

Grief can be the loneliest of life experiences and a most difficult road. Please allow people to help you on this journey by letting them love and nurture you.

If you are grieving and finding it difficult to cope, or have other concerns about your health, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.

I also invite you to Like us on Facebook (Cobblestone Health Ltd) and to visit my other websites:
WomensHolisticHealth.com
YourMenopauseCoach.com
CobblestoneHealth.com
GoodandNaturalRecipes.com
KidsNaturalHealth.info
Iridology.Education

Products mentioned above:

 Nature’s Sunshine Products CANADANature’s Sunshine Products USA
B vitamins with herbs for the nervous systemStress FormulaNutri-Calm
calcium with magnesiumSkeletal StrengthSkeletal Strength
calming nervine formulaSTR-JStress-J
Stress-J liquid
flower essence for grievingRelease It
is available through the Sunshine
Direct program (contact Nature’s
Sunshine Canada at 1-800-265-9163
for instructions) or by special order
from Cobblestone Health
(judith@cobblestonehealth.com
or 403-850-5503).
Release It

Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).

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