On Grief, Trauma and Loss
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On Grief, Trauma and Loss
On June 4, 2022, I lost my love – my husband of 46 years – my Bill.
We did everything together. We had an extraordinarily loving relationship, and I know how rare and beautiful it was and how blessed we were. As we matured, our relationship also matured into a deeper abiding love and respect for one another. We always said that between us we had one brain, one heart. What one didn’t remember, the other would. What one was thinking, the other usually picked up on. We were pretty much inseparable.
Bill’s death (even putting those two words to paper still feels so surreal) was so sudden, so unexpected, and so traumatic because he passed away in my arms on the beautiful beach where we were walking with friends.
The coroner’s preliminary findings were what we all expected: heart attack
To lose someone so dear to me, so much a part of my life’s journey, has filled me with such grief and sadness that some days I felt I had completely lost the joy of life. It would hit me like a 100-foot tidal wave. I’ve lost both parents and all of my aunts and uncles, but nothing prepared me for this catastrophe.
Friends were telling me “one hour at a time”, “one day at a time”, but for me sometimes it was one breath at a time.
I do not wish to dwell on these aspects, however, because I think that you, my reader, will completely understand. We can all imagine such loss easily enough, and many have been through it already. We will all go through the loss of someone dear to us at one time or another, grief and loss are a part of life. Whether it be the death of a partner, a child, a dear friend, a treasured family member, a pet, even loss of a way of life – we will all experience it in some degree or another.
What I do want to share are the things that really helped me through the worst phases. Perhaps they will help you too. All of these things helped to raise my vibration so much that my friends kept telling me how well I looked, how well I was doing (frequent eye leakages notwithstanding), and just generally helped me to cope so much better than I would have without them. Because grief can affect every part of your life, I think it’s helpful to have a list of things that can help you. Here are my top 9 things that made me feel better:
1. Sharing the Loss – I chose to share my grief with as many people as possible. Our family members first, obviously they needed to be told. Then friends and neighbors. I shared it on my Facebook business page (Marnie Clark Breast Health Coach) and my private group (Toxic Free Thrivers). I felt my breast cancer community should know as well because I knew I was going to need time to grieve and that they wouldn’t be hearing from me for awhile. The biggest impact that all of this had on me was that through everyone’s beautiful thoughts and prayers for me I was able to feel uplifted, surrounded in love, and even protected from the dreaded viruses that were moving through my community.
2. Biofrequency Device – I have spoken about this device before in this article. What I absolutely loved about this device is that (when I finally remembered to use it) it helped me move from feeling ragged, torn, blasted into a million pieces – to a feeling of coherence, grace, peace – like it was putting back together all of the pieces. Quite miraculous. Everyone should have one of these to support both physical and mental health.
3. Crystals – One week after Bill’s death, I placed my favorite crystals, plus one that a friend sent me when she heard my news, into a grid on the dining room table, together with a few personal objects that belonged to my Bill. I had a little private ceremony for him and felt so much better for doing so. Later I took some of the more powerful crystals into my bedroom and placed them on my bedside table to support me while I slept. For those that don’t believe in crystals, this is going to sound plain silly, but I have come to understand that the frequency and vibration of certain crystals can assist us in any healing journey.
4. Essential Oils – I used specific essential oil blends to help support me emotionally. Specifically, I used Peace and Calming, Stress Away, Valor, Clarity, Abundance, Tranquil – all blends by Young Liiving Essential Oils. Breathing in the oils deeply during times of stress and anxiety helped me so much!
5. Emotional Freedom Technique/ Tapping – This is a technique that I use with my clients to help them move through negative thoughts and emotions. The energy of negative emotions like grief, loss, fear, anxiety, regret, etc often gets stuck in certain points on the body. The Chinese have understood this for centuries and this is part of the reason why acupuncture was developed – to help move energy. These negative emotions can get stuck in our bodies and cause dis-ease later down the track. I found that employing EFT/Tapping just as I was feeling that painful or negative emotion helped take me out of the raw pain and agony of these emotional states and moved me into a more peaceful and calm state fairly quickly. My favorite teacher of EFT/Tapping is Brad Yates – here are some of his best videos on grief and loss – choose the one that resonates with you.
6. Meditation and Prayer – It has been said that the difference between meditation and prayer is that with prayer you are talking to the Divine and meditation is when you are listening for the answers. It’s important to realize that listening is just as important as talking. Both are beneficial and really help you during the grief process. At first I found it difficult to meditate, my thoughts were all over the place. By employing the first five items above, however, on a regular basis, my thoughts soon calmed down and I was able to just sit and breathe, and wait for some Divine messages to come through to me. They don’t always, and that’s fine. Just sitting in calming meditation helps to steady your nerves. When they do come through, however, it is such a wonderful blessing.
7. Stop Running the Story Line – For many days, until I began employing some of these techniques, I kept reliving the moments prior to and surrounding Bill’s passing. It was such a painful memory and would have me in tears and feeling miserable every time. Somewhere I read that when we get ourselves all worked up about things that have happened – or things we fear might happen – it helps to interrupt your thoughts and tell yourself “Stop running the story line”. Just stop it. You can choose your thoughts and if the ones you are having are making you feel miserable, stop them. Turn the thoughts around by thinking of some good memory with your loved one instead. Once I began doing this, I began feeling much better. In the book “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay, there’s a favorite passage I always loved. She says “Invite your fears in, and then tell them to sit down and shut up!” This immediately takes you from a state of fear and anxiety to a much more empowered state of mind.
8. Ho’oponopono – This is an ancient Hawaiian healing technique for reconciliation and forgiveness. I believe that we create our reality, that we are responsible for our lives. I believe it is important to take full responsibility for everything that comes into our lives, whatever it may be. Ho’oponopono acts like a spiritual cleanser, helping us to heal on many levels. It helps to clear out negative energy that is accumulated and removes any bad feelings towards yourself or others. It’s quite simple and employs just four main phrases:
Please forgive me
I love you
I’ve been chanting these statements for a few days now and I know it sounds pretty simple, but here’s how it has helped me through the grief process. By saying “I’m sorry” and “Please forgive me” to my loved one, it helped with my feelings of guilt that I didn’t know how sick he was, didn’t drive him to the doctor myself (he’d had a few days of feeling breathless upon exertion), and other assorted guilty feelings. “I love you” is pretty self-explanatory. We can say that to our loved ones that have passed at any time and it actually helps us to say the words out loud. I learned that “I love you” is one of the highest vibrational statements you can utter. “Thank you” helped me to honor his very important presence in my life – the things he taught me, the things he did for me (so many things!), and for our life together, all those good memories. Interestingly, I was gifted a Ho’oponopono program for my biofrequency device (mentioned at #2 above) that allows me to also run the energetic frequency of these four statements to my physical body as well. So much more powerful to do them together!
9. Eat Well, Avoid Toxins, Try to Sleep, Walk Outside in Nature. These things are always important, but especially important during grieving and deep loss. All of these things are so crucial for you right now and will help to raise your vibration, nourish the cells of your body and help you feel better. Don’t be tempted to dull the pain by drinking alcohol or using drugs. Dulling or avoiding the pain won’t help because it’s still there facing you square on when you sober up. Also, pouring toxic things into your body is a very dangerous thing to do when you are grieving. By employing some of the techniques in this list you will find that you can move through the grief process more easily, without quite so much pain and agony. I also used the wonderful sleep programs in my biofrequency device to help me sleep better and deeper. When you eat and sleep well, and get outside into nature, you can handle just about anything much better.
Despite what anyone says, time alone will not heal a broken heart. And it takes however long it takes, it will be different for everyone.
I know that I’m still moving through the various phases of grief and loss and probably will for some time. But by employing these 9 tips, I feel like I’m doing it with love, grace, support, and it has actually been a very healing and inspirational journey so far. It’s only 44 days and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to the next phase of my life. I will always love Bill, I will always honor his presence in my life, I will certainly always miss him, however, I will not let this ginormous loss destroy me. He wouldn’t want that.
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About Marnie Clark
Hi I’m Marnie Clark, breast cancer survivor turned coach. I have 20 years of experience in natural medicine. In 2004/05 I battled breast cancer myself. You can see more about my journey on my page Breast Cancer Diary.
I’ve been healthy and recurrence-free since 2004 and in 2012 I became a Breast Cancer Coach because I became aware of the fact that whilst there is now a wealth of information on the Internet, much of it is confusing, conflicting, and sometimes just wrong!
So it is my duty to help you unconfuse and untangle all that information, and find what works for YOU.
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Marnie dear, you are in my thoughts and in my prayers. God will see you through your grief.
Know that your beloved husband is resting with the Lord
So so sorry to hear you lost Bill, you’re life partner for so long. Thank you for your post at this challenging time. I lost my mum also suddenly, but to covid, your words resonated with me. Best wishes to you Marnie, xx
Marnie, sending you love and prayers. Thank you for sharing all of this info. You are an amazing woman.
Dear Marnie, Your comments and tips are so helpful. I lost my husband of 50 years this year. When you describe your relationship it sounds like ours. So of course your words penetrate my whole heart and soul. I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for openly sharing.
Thank you so much for your lovely message. I’m so sorry for your loss as well. We were lucky to have them for as long as we did.
Hoping for some healing for you.
I am so sorry dear Marnie for you terrible loss. How extraordinary of you to think of other people at this difficult time and give advice how to cope with the sorrow. The same thing happened to me in April after 49 years of marriage. My dear husband died suddenly of a brain hemorrage and I am now trying to make sense of it all and go on living without him. I am grateful for the tools you have given me. I wish you strength and courage to get on with your life. Britt xx
God bless you stay strong you are in my prayers.
Marnie, my heart and prayers go out to you. And just like your caring self, you have shared, not only your journey, but your healing and steps on moving forward that we can all learn from and use in different areas of our lives. Thankyou and God be with you !
Sending you my heartfelt condolences Marnie. Thank you for these tips which will help me in my personal journey.
Thanks so much, Miranda, lovely to hear from you.
I love how you are making lemonade out of lemons…
New here myself, but very sorry to hear about your tragic loss…
My condolences of course,
So extremely proud of you my wonderfully strong and loving sister and friend ❤️
What a wonderful article. Thank you.
Sending you love & light…
My thoughts are with you, you are an incredibly strong lady, keep all your treasured memories close to your heart, ❤️
Sending heartfelt condolences to you Marnie. Wishing you peace and grace as you navigate through this challenging time. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with your bc audience, and these 9 helpful tips to guide others going through this similar time.❤️🩹
Beautiful sharing and amazing tips Marnie. Much love and big blessings to you. I sense your Bill is beaming with love & pride for you ✨🙏🏼 XO
Thank you everyone for your beautiful words of love and support. I am so grateful to each of you. Blessings to all.