Category Archives: grief

Work in Progress

It’s been over a month now and apart from learning to live with a left arm and shoulder that has decided not to move so well, I decided to self medicate with a Homeopathic remedy. It took a little while to come to the remedy, but when I did, it was the obvious choice.
No doubt if I had seen my usual homeopath, he would have prescribed it sooner, rather than later.
However after a somewhat unsatisfactory visit to a new GP, I did decide to treat the arm with Acupuncture twice weekly, then weekly with a massage as well.
The Acupuncturist is pleased with the progress, and I have also been doing Self Hypnosis on reducing the pain and looking for the emotional trigger behind it.
Naturally I would prefer the whole thing to sort itself out a lot quicker and it has been an interesting process.
The massages were really helpful and the arm / shoulder moves a lot better after a massage session. I initially had a 90 minute massage with vouchers left over from an exchange of services with a client. Knots in places that I didn’t expect….. What I didn’t expect, was the release of emotion as the tightness eased…..
A fellow Hypnotherapist explained that chronic conditions are the result of long suppressed emotions and if the lid is kept tighly on, eventually the pressure builds up and has to release in any way possible.
So with this in mind, I have decided to continue along the “Alternative Medicine” or Body/Mind/Soul method of treating what the GP has determined is a frozen shoulder.
Having to adjust to sleeping on my right side has had an unusual outcome – whilst I dream every night, since sleeping in a different position, I have had not only what feels like a lighter sleep, but incredibly vivid dreams.

A return of the war dreams and being lost in a myriad of passageways and underground buildings….. of schools that I worked in and people that I have no contact with….. of living in a place that is a mosaic of the different houses and offices that I lived and worked in……and waking with little tags on the inside of my cheeks where I had chewed them during my sleep..
The first indication that a particular homeopathic remedy might be useful.
So back to the books…. Homeopathic books that is…. other symptoms which I had put aside were the sighing, the inability to express the emotion in public and worse for consolation – but able to cry in the office after the last client has left for the day or in the shower.
All pointers to an overlooked, but obvious remedy for grief.
Imagine my surprise when I found that the cramping and shoulder problems were also a symptom covered by this remedy.
By now, if you are familiar with Homeopathy, you will have ascertained the remedy!
Just to check up further on the mental /emotional aspects of the remedy, I consulted my book by Vithoulkas.
His description of the remedy says that it is prescribed 10 to 15 times more for women.
He goes on to describe the woman as “wanting to liberate, assert herself. Sensitivity coupled with romanticism. Ability quick, clever, artistic, women of today. …..she is imposing upon herself the logical conclusions, she will say I must do this, do that : she is capable of performing it. She can do things, so takes a lot of things upon herself, over-working and taking on many more things than she could normally do…. Overstrained, grief, vexation, a frustration in her job and then is a breakdown……Trying to understand what is happening to her. If the shock passes, mostly the body is affected by cramping pains, neuralgias that have no pathological origin, but started from the time of griefe and stress…..”
So am I going to tell you the remedy? No!
Each person is different and what is right for me, may not be for you.
The remedy was taken last night in a 200c potency and the spasms in the arm muscles have eased. It has a duration of 7 days, but if the spasms come back, I will repeat it earlier.
If you do want to find out more about Homeopathic Remedies, how to prescribe, a general guide to some commonly used ones, then I will do a blatant plug for the workshops I teach.
Contact me and we can talk about when and where you can learn more about Homeopathy.
Your regular Naturopath/Homeopath may be grateful that you are doing this as it means that you understand how to take the remedies and what they prescribe is more effective for you.


I came across this prayer last week as I was preparing to take Dad’s ashes back to Perth to be laid to rest with Mum.

May the feet of God walk with you
and her hand hold you tight
May the eye of God rest on you
and his ear hear your cry
May the smile of God be for you
and her breath give you life
May the child of God grow in you
and his love bring you home.

Yesterday was the day.
I had planned a different day, but as Dad was cremated here in Victoria, I had to attend an interview to register his ashes in WA.
As it turned out the first available day was 6th February, which was the 2 month anniversary of his death.
An early morning flight there, combined with an afternoon return seemed the best option.
I like to use oracle cards and that afternoon I picked one that said “Be proud that you were brave enough to come to this challenging place we call Earth to learn”. 
I certainly wasn’t feeling brave and commented on my Facebook page and got a supportive message from a couple of people I have only met briefly.

Booking the flight was not without its problems.
The return trip calendar defaulted to March 6th; because February and March dates and days are the same, I didn’t notice until I printed out my ticket confirmation.
Oh No! I didn’t want to be stuck in Perth for a month…….  it’s a nice place, I could do with a holiday….but……NO.
A call to the airline and they sorted things out.
The crematorium staff had told me that I needed to advise the airline that I was carrying human remains, so I told the guy fixing up my ticket.
No charge for the wrong booking, which was really appreciated. He told me I would have to tell them at the gate before boarding, which I did and when I went to board – found that I had been put closer up the front!

Arriving in Perth, I picked up a car – which was cheaper than catching cabs – and made my way to Karrakatta.
Roadworks almost all the way…..slow trip….. but still got there in plenty of time for the appointment.

Memories of growing up in Perth as I drove down familiar roads, even though there has been a huge building boom there over the years, flooded back.
Street names off the Great Eastern Highway that I knew off by heart as I used to be a delivery driver. Riverside Drive and the cockies grazing on the grassed area.
Had to be a little vigilant to get onto Stirling Highway and past the old Swan Brewery. Keeping a lookout for a little jetty and boathouse where I lived on a small yacht which was moored off it at one stage….. 
…….I even took a little detour past his old house in Shenton Park as a symbolic gesture.

The bag with the ashes in it was surprisingly heavy.
Carrying it in, I wondered if there was a cafe there to sit and while away the time rather than trying to find where Mum was located.
On reflection, I carried Mum in here too. I was a pallbearer for her  and walked alongside her casket to the service. I wonder about the symbolism of carrying your parents after they have carried you……

Yes!….. a cafe at the gates!

I went in, ordered a cup of tea and just as the woman handed it over, a song came over the radio. She probably wondered why I laughed out loud and went to sit outside!

The Seekers singing – Now the Carnival is over……

Now the harbour light is calling
this will be our last goodbye.
Though the carnival is over
I will love you till I die. 
In about half an hour, I was going to be handing Dad over so he could be put next to Mum – I love that the spirit world plays jokes with us when we get too serious!
As I drank my cup of tea, a huge orange and black butterfly landed on the wall next to me…
The time came for the appointment – now was the time to let go and not lose it…..
A little wait and then we were organizing the registration, the plaque and the payment….
The plaque will be ready in about 6 weeks and will have to come from Victoria! More amusement!
……Just in time for him to go into the niche next to Mum for what would have been their 58th Wedding Anniversary.  How perfect would that be?

Handing him over into the safe keeping of the Cemetery, I got a map and went down to see Mum’s spot.  
Last time I was there, was about 6 years ago when I went over to help Dad sell his unit to come to Melbourne. Looking rather neglected, I used a tissue …of which I had plenty…. and borrowed a flower from a nearby tree to spruce her up a bit ……
Then it was time to go…. Headed off to Kings Park and treated myself to a salad while I waited for my brother. I had some documents copied for him and he was able to get away from work for  a little while. 
With the roadworks in mind, I headed back to the airport with plenty of time to spare, refuelled the car and started the journey home.  
I had a whim to take a photo of the sun setting on the clouds behind us…. 
I believe in orbs…. I don’t care if others don“t….. because I was sitting up closer to the angels last night and it felt OK.  

Moving on….

As the water flows down the waterfall, so too do emotions flow relentlessly when a parent dies and more so, when it is the last remaining parent and you become an orphan.

Many people are familiar with Elizabeth Kuebler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief but  there are other variables in the process.
Many people would also be familiar with the quotation “No man is an island”, which was a sermon by John Donne in the 16th century.
No one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others.”

But what happens if you have a long term partner or spouse? 

Can you rely on the in-laws to emotionally support you as you go through your grieving process?

What about friends? 

Who would you rely on? 

It would be nice to move through the stages Kuebler-Ross outlined with no extraneous factors. 
So what if you are feeling bereft of support? 
Seeing a Grief Counsellor may help to work through underlying issues that were already in the family dynamic.