It wasn’t until six months after my son Reed’s sudden death that I felt the excruciating pain of grief grip my left shoulder. Standing at his grave, I was wondering how I was going to remove the blue splotches of candle wax that had penetrated the porous headstone. His friends had come here the night before after joining me for his favorite barbecue rib dinner to continue the celebration of his birth sixteen years earlier.
Traumatic death cuts the flow of life as we know it. We had all been hurled by the tsunami of grief into despair by Reed’s death.
My bones ached from the pain of now being a member of the club that no parent ever wants to join.
Kneeling at his grave site with hot water and a knife to begin the clean-up process, my left shoulder was gripped by an unfamiliar pain. It was as if a saber-toothed tiger sunk its fangs into me. I dropped the knife and held my shoulder with my right hand gasping for breath. Between sobs, I did not recognize this as grief rearing its head to signal it living in my body. Grief cuts us off from ourselves.
Three months later, in the first week of Rubenfeld Synergy training, I experience this same feeling, only this time I am with another practitioner. Cupping her hands on each side of my left shoulder, Jane asks, ”What are you noticing in this shoulder?” The power of her touch and the grace of this simple question supported me to feel deeply.
“Pain! It feels like a saber-toothed tiger has picked me up by my shoulder and is shaking me to death.” I sob.
Jane simply moves her hands down the sides of my arm and my eyes fly open. “It’s gone.”
The pain was mysteriously gone.
With this powerful method of Talk & Touch, I had felt the pain of grief in my body. I named the pain as the image in my body. It was then tamed by the release of the practitioner’s skillful listening hands. In an instant of leaning into the feeling, my healing was revealed.
I would invite each person reading these words to ask : “When was the last time I felt and named the sensations in my body ? When did I claim their deeper messages? When did leaning into them release them?
If you’re struggling with the emotional process of grief...
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