Location – Luxury oceanfront house in The Witterings
Client – Sandra, a retired medic who was stuggling to come to terms with bereavement
Brief – To help her recover her equillibrium and joie de vivre
Love and Loss
I could tell that Sandra was a strong, no-nonsense woman, but it was clear that she’d been absolutely pole-axed by the sudden passing of her beloved husband several years before. But – as many women do – she’d kept this pain from her family, and her health was beginning to suffer under the weight of both her deep loss and her attempts to conceal it.
Althought it was winter-time, I recommended the energy of the ocean as the ideal element to blow away the cobwebs of stuck energies and help her let go and move on, and she enthusiastically embraced the idea, choosing to stay in a luxurious house right on the beach, with fabulous views of the ocean from both the living room and the bedroom.
She wanted to fully immerse herself in the experience, and I devised a comprehensive therapy package for her, including Massage, Yin Yoga, TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), Sound Healing, and of course, my signature Meditation and Energy Work, as well as an ocean-side Fire Ceremony.
As always, I arrived at the property early on day one and set about creating a lovely nurturing nest, with lots of fresh flowers and a beautiful little Christmas tree with an advent gift to be opened on each of the five days we would be working together.
Sandra was thrilled with it all, and after an initial cuppa and chat, I suggested we get underway with our initial session together, but Sandra said that she’d firstly like to introduce me to her family, and proceeded to unpack all the large framed photos of them that she’d brought with her on retreat. That was when the sheer enormity of this lovely woman’s profound loss hit me; her family was clearly her whole world.
I recognised that this work was going to require infinite tenderness. As a Healer, my view is that feelings exist to be felt and that the suppression of them leads to all sorts of problems, but of course, Sandra had chosen a more stoical path, viewing any expression of grief as an indulgence that was best carried out in private…if at all. Keeping busy and putting others first was her panacea.
And so the process of gently ‘un-thawing’ her began.
It was immensely gratifying to watch the synergistic blend of holistic therapies and experiences work its magic. Sandra blossomed, and with each passing day she was looking years younger than when she first arrived. But although she threw herself wholeheartedly into all her retreat experiences, she continued to retain her characteristically cheerful disposition, and if emotions were arising, she kept them to herself.
The fire ceremony on our last evening was intented to be the culmination of our work together, but on that evening – in contrast to the lovely winter sunshine and sunsets we’d been enjoying – a storm was raging and the rain was barrelling down. So, instead of the grand oceanside ritual I’d envisaged, a smaller, simpler fire ritual was conducted in the garden in between the squalls, and afterwards, we lit all the candles indoors, where we hunkered down and sat talking into the evening over a soothingly sweet, non-alcoholic hot toddy… and somehow, something lifted from her energy field.
As we hugged goodbye the following morning, it dawned on me that there was something that ideally needed to happen, and I gently suggested that maybe it was time to let go of her late husband’s ashes.
I knew my words were big, but they landed well; Sandra said that she would try to find a time when her busy, adult offspring could be with her to do so… and I was absolutely delighted to receive a message a little while later to say that a small ceremony of release and letting go had indeed taken place on the Midwinter Solstice, and furthermore, that she was enjoying a deepening friendship with an old male friend who’d re-entered her life… A wonderful outcome, and a great testament to her courage and willingness to open up to life after such a devastating loss.