Grief & Loss and why I turn to our Grief & Loss Flower Essence so often

I’ve had a lot of conversations about grief and loss lately. 2024 has started off for many I know with rocky times and big losses. This has me thinking about what grieving beloveds need. As I share in their grief, I take our Grief & Loss Flower Essence not so much to keep grief from my door or to manage my grief, but so I can be present to those grieving and can be there with an open heart as they navigate their losses.

We have pervasive cultural ideas that our grief is something to be denied if possible and suppress if not. Not only are we encouraged to aggressively manage our own grief, but we are encouraged to do this with other’s grief too. I went to the dictionary to look for other expressions like “stiff upper lip.” I wanted to comment how unfortunate I thought these phrases that inhibit grief are. I was horrified to discover that the following phrases were listed as synonyms for “stiff upper lip:” assured, composed, cool as a cucumber, self possessed, tranquil, unflappable. There it was in the dictionary that we respect those who don’t cry and don’t express their grief and see them as assured, composed and cool as a cucumber. The verbal bones of our world and so many other forces encourage us to close our hearts to grief and the grieving when perhaps most of all grieving folks need open hearted companionship.

I heard two different stories about grief this week. They stood in opposition to each other and spoke poignantly of what can be in situations of grief and what is often the case instead.

This is the first story shared with me. Having recently lost his mother, this young man went to his brother to talk about his deep and complicated grief. His brother put him off. He told him to get his act together and get over his depression. He said to suck it up. As I heard this young man recount his shock at his brother’s response, it brought home to me again that what we most want in our grief is not to feel alone, to have others willing to go there with us and be present with us in our grief.

It would seem a logical thing that a sibling would be open to hearing his brother’s grief, however this sibling was locked in our cultures ideas of grief management, ideas that drain us and lock us in a frozen place. The young man felt compassion for his brother, even as he felt that he needed to make different choices about whom to look to for support in his grief.

The other story involved a beloved but geographically distant friend receiving a very challenging medical diagnosis. Even as I began to worry about the help she would need, many local friends gathered to organize the necessary and ongoing care. My friend had participated in a Grief group after the death of her husband. It seemed that her friends in this group went immediately and fearlessly into the experience of being present for her as she faced her situation and grieved the loss of what had been her life before this moment. It was awe inspiring to hear of this outpouring of love.

In thinking about these two different situations, I realized not for the first time that Grief & Loss Essence serves both those grieving and those who stay present with those who are grieving. Yes, the Flowers in our Grief & Loss mix help us be present with our grief, move with our grief and come to terms with our grief. The Flowers buoy us up in the worst moments but never repress or control or suppress our grief. They also help us bear witness and console the grieving.

Every time I look at the Flower Essences in Grief & Loss, I learn something more about what we need when we are grieving. Every time I work with this remedy, which has literally been thousands of time, I feel profoundly supported.

I’ve come to respect this Flower Essence combination and its deep wisdom more and more as the years go by. The Grief & Loss Essence is like a parable. The more I experience in life, the more aware I am of this Essence’s many strengths. What I saw in it 35 years ago were qualities that helped me with the uncomplicated griefs of losing a beloved grandmother, step grandmother and companion animals. These were clean griefs without regret or confusion. Later I would discover how this mix had layers of purpose and support as I leaned on it for the much more complicated losses and griefs that came my way as I got older.

How grateful I have been that it was Angels and not me who composed this mix. They always knew the vast complexities of possible griefs and losses and could easily rise above all cutural biases to create a healing remedy with no patriarchal overtones of controlling, suppressing or denying grief.

While every Flower in this Grief & Loss mix has many gifts, I thought I would mention one or two for each Flower acknowledging that it is a woefully inadequate description of the Flower’s strengths but a bit of a shout out in any case. I will always remain grateful for the ways this remedy has helped me live with grief and loss and be a companion as best I can to others in grief.

Alex MacKenzie Rose– helps us find the courage and fortitude to be present in our grief or that of another

Arrowhead– helps us know what we feel as well as bring our most clear eyed and grounded self to even the most murky and overwhelming situations

Arbor Garden– helps us feel our indivisible oneness even when we have been divided by death or other circumstances

Blackberry– a sweet friend untangling our confusion so we have clarity and release from the anguish of our mental tangles

Borage– for the courage to dive into our feelings with calm, a sense of purpose and confidence we are not alone in our sorrows

Camaieux Rose– shelters and consoles us as we accept painful realities (from the Roses on the Additional Flower Essence list)

Coral Pink Rose– uplifts and supports us when we have experienced many losses and griefs and feel worn down, helps us release worry

Crinum Lily– for griefs & losses that call us to heal deep and old wounds of trauma (from the Costa Rica Essences on the Additional Flower Essence list)

Cucumberconfidence that grief is its own perfect expression of deep truth and though painful is itself life affirming

Eyes of Mary– supports us to find a perspective on our losses without belittling our pain, helps us respond lovingly to those who are suffering without a desire to fix things for them

Honeysuckle finding the truth of how we feel about our losses free of nostalgia or sentimentality

Hyssop helps to stay present in our grief with complete kindness for ourselves

Indian Pipe– help to feel the ever present current of peace in all situations even extremely sad and painful ones

Joe Pye Weed– support from spirit who hold us in total love as we grieve

Madame Hardy Rose– for the sorrow when we lose a deeply beloved person or place that feels irreplaceable (from the Roses on the Additional Flower Essence list)

Maltese Cross– helps us find our confidence that we will survive grief that tears us apart

Maple– for knowing our strength and finding our center amidst great suffering

Mustard– support when we feel griefs that are ancient, gloomy and relentless

Old Blush China Rose– for the strength to endure, a very old Rose that helps us find our own ability to keep going

Painkiller Plant– helps us experience the gifts our painful suffering has given us

Pale Pink Rose– support for all involved at the transition of death

Pink Tecoma comfort in our grief, a soft blanket wrapped around us

Star of Bethlehem– confidence the losses will one day bring new beginnings,

Swamp Candles– for dark night of the soul experiences

Trillium– brings sturdy balance and inner calm amidst grief experiences

White Bleeding Heart- solace for broken hearts (from the Green Hope Essences on the Additional Flower Essence list)

White Hibiscus– a mending balm when events have left us feeling broken and empty

Witch Hazel– when in a season of losses, this one helps us find sparks of enduring life

Yellow Water Lily– helps us feel connected to source even amidst difficult losses and deep griefs

(Yes, I’ve sort of figured out how to add photos again but still some problems…. ongoing difficulties being part of the “flow” of things! )