Coping with grief. Grieving can be a very personal, private and lonely experience. This was mine when I lost my first son through stillbirth. I found it difficult to be around people who couldn’t handle my tears, sadness and need to endlessly talk about my baby. I found comfort and relief in those that could. As a counsellor and life long yoga student and teacher, I had the tools to draw on that allowed me to totally meet my experience exactly as it was. Part of this was accepting that there was no part of me in the initial stages wanting anything to do with yoga, or anything to do with the life I lived whilst pregnant or prior. I didn’t want any reminders. It was just too hard.
I just wanted to be alone. I was afraid of going out in fear of bumping into people that I knew and unleashing my relentless tears onto them. And worst of all was seeing pregnant women! I remember having thoughts of, “you know it could happen to you at any moment, don’t think you are safe, stillbirth is so unpredictable, you aren’t in control, you could loose your baby too- and I hope you do just so I know I’m not the only one”. I hated myself for having these thoughts. How “unyogic” of me!!! Practice ahimsa Eleni; in thought, speech and action”. This inner battle added to my already heavy heart. Trying to change the way I was feeling and thinking, no matter how “unyogic” it was of me, caused me more inner turmoil than I could handle.
I don’t know how or what shifted, but I eventually stopped trying to change my “unyogic” feelings and thoughts and finally allowed myself to have them. This was one way I started coping with grief. I allowed myself to be okay with not wanting to go out and being okay with not wanting to see other pregnant women and saying, no thank-you to yoga! Clouded by so much heartache, I had forgotten for a moment how to drop into the deeper wisdom of yoga.
When we give our hearts consent to meet our grief and our thoughts and feeling with total intimacy and without trying to change them the healing journey begins. Mine did, and this was the best way I found of coping with grief. The biggest guidance I can give if you have experienced such profound loss is to let your grief in all the way. Don’t worry about what thoughts, feelings or emotions you are having. They are all part of you and all part of what life is needing to express itself through you in that very intimate and present moment. This is the core of classical Tantra teachings! Let it all in- the good, the sad, and learn to be with the whole of reality.