'Grief is the last act of love we have to give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love'
A dear friend recently lost her mother when she died unexpectedly. Not a Covid-19 related death, but the sudden passing of a wonderful woman whom she'd not had the chance to see during lockdown. She's struggling understandably with this sudden shock, mixed with feelings of unreality and numbness.
Going to visit her for the first time, I wanted to try and take her something that would feel like the big hug I wished to pass on to her, so began thinking of the essential oils that have healing properties. The power of plants to connect to our deep emotions is well documented and they can be a real source of support during bereavement.
Grief is multifaceted and can bring about many feelings, including anger, shock, depression, confusion, lethargy, and more. Often described as a 'cycle' or 'stages', the journey through loss isn't always clear and emotions may change from day to day or hour to hour. Triggers may be unexpected and take you by surprise.
Oils have been used for centuries to mark the passing ritual of loss and some of the most well known that offer comfort are known for their power to help soothe the pain of heartache and loss:
Rose - grief closes the Heart Chakra and Rose can help unlock it allowing feelings to flow. This incredible oil also heals feelings of despair.
Bergamot - gently releases pent-up emotions, enabling you to express feelings effectively and realistically. Bergamot also relives feelings of apathy and listlessness.
Melissa - this tonic for the heart has a calming effect and reduces anger in times of crisis or trauma. It is also naturally uplifting and has natural antidepressant qualities.
Frankincense - wonderful oil for alleviating anxiety, nervous tension and stress. Frankincense can also help with insomnia, restlessness and irritability and is an emotional wound healer.
Neroli - provides relief and strength for exhaustion and feelings of hopelessness. A natural sedative and also a natural antidepressant.
Australian Sandalwood - helps with mental and physical burn-out. This oil fortifies the soul to persevere through times of emotional challenge.
A simple, but effective blend of oils to help with loss that can be made at home:
- 2 drops Bergamot
- 4 drops Rose Otto
- 4 drops Australian Sandalwood
To make this into a 2.5 % blend suitable for massaging onto the chest and heart area, dilute with 20ml of carrier oil eg. Sunflower or Grapeseed. Alternatively this blend can be diffused or put a few drops into warm bathwater for a gentle, relaxing ritual. Keeping an essential oil roller-ball in your pocket can also help with moments of overwhelm.
The closest thing to the loving thoughts I wished to give to my friend was a Bloom Cherish set, filled with heart healing essential oils. She is at the start of her pathway through loss and I hoped that the gentle power of aromatherapy could offer her a small measure of strength during this difficult time.
If you have experienced grief, are going through the struggle at the moment or have a friend or family member who needs your support, then essential oils can be a solace and we hope this article is of help.