Today is the 5th anniversary of my middle sister, Dee's death & I'm feeling sad about it. To some people this may sound morbid & you might be wondering why I'm writing about it. If you've ever lost someone close to you, especially a sibling, then you might understand some of my feelings.

I can remember when I was younger thinking people were strange when remembering those people that had died on the anniversary of that person's death and I used to think "why not forget about the day they died & rather focus on their birthday & celebrate the fact that the person lived?”  Well over the past 5 years I've done both - some years I've felt fine about Dee's death & celebrated the fact that she'd lived & that she'd been my sister and then other years I've felt sad!

I’ve lost many people to death along the years – both sets of my grandparents, both of my in-laws as well as many other family members and friends, young and old.  I grew up in a war zone in Zimbabwe (called Rhodesia then) in Africa and in those days we were constantly hearing about people dying, some we knew and some we didn’t.  What we learnt is that death was part of life and that afterwards we had to pick ourselves up and get on with it!

When bereaved we go through a range of emotions which many experts call THE 5 STAGES OF GRIEF:
1.   DENIAL (they couldn’t have died);
2.   ANGER (I can’t believe they died and left me or why has God taken them away from me?);
3.   BARGAINING (if only I had done this or that, they might not have died!);
4.   DEPRESSION (what’s the use of carrying on, I can’t even try, especially without them?
5.   ACCEPTANCE (I know they’ve gone and although I miss them, I can or have to move on without them!).
In reality these 5 stages of grief do not follow one after the other – some stages come before or after others and it’s helpful to know this!

People say that "time heals the heart" but the thing about bereavement is that you never know how you are going to feel from day to day or year to year and just when you think that you've moved on (Acceptance) suddenly an unexpected feeling or emotion pops up!

So what do we do when that happens? My advice from my own experiences and those of the many people I've worked with is to let your feelings be and go with the flow. In other words if you are feeling okay about it then feel okay and if you feel sad then be sad! Don't let the views, opinions or ideals of society or other people make you act or feel in a way that is not congruent to how you really feel.

Sometimes the feelings will come and go quickly and at other times they will linger. When they linger let them be but if they continue to linger on then that's when you should talk to someone. You can talk to family and friends but sometimes these people will not understand your feelings and they may pass judgement and criticism, either to you or behind your back about you, often to others.

What you usually need is someone to listen to you and to help you explore your feelings in a safe and non-judgemental way. A trained professional who has experience in bereavement, such as a bereavement counsellor, a psychologist or a healer, will help you to do this.  This is usually a process that takes time but it will help you to move forward being able to more fully understand your feelings and emotions which will usually allow you to live your life feeling okay about your loved one’s death.

There are many other therapies that can help you to move on from grief and bereavement and the one that has helped me the most over the last 5 years is the use of Flower and Gem Essences, in particular the Australian Bush Flower essences.  Another source of help was reading the book "On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss" by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler.  It explained many things that helped me to understand death better especially soon after Dee had died.

We all have our own ways of remembering those who have died and if you are unsure about how to do this here are some ideas:
-   Light a candle and let it burn safely for as long as you’d like – remember the person as a light in your life;
-   Display a photograph of your beloved where you can see them regularly;
-   Display fresh flowers, that remind you of your beloved, in a vase where you can easily see them;
-   Play some music that reminds you of your beloved;
-   Visit a place that your beloved enjoyed;
-   Plant a bush, tree or flowering plant somewhere that you’ll be able to visit and tend to regularly;
-   Create a memory box or book with items or photographs and words that remind you of the person;
-   Write a story or passage about the person so those who didn’t know them will be able to read and learn more
    about the person, especially for future generations. You could also do this on a video or voice recorder.
Whatever way you choose to remember your beloved person try to give thanks and gratitude that the person touched your life in the ways that they did.

I believe that all things happen for a reason and only time will allow us to fully realise what those reasons are.  In the meantime we are still alive and need to keep our feet on the ground and live the best lives that we can - I am sure that this is what our deceased ones would like to see us doing.

Dee’s life was not an easy or happy one at times and it impacted hers and many other people’s lives along the way.  I still have a great deal that I would like to write about her and our family so if you are interested in reading or learning more please pop back to my blog in the near future.  Many thanks for taking the time to read my blog and best wishes to you and your loved ones, here or not. Xxx
 
As mentioned in my last blog things are rapidly changing on Earth and in the last few weeks we've had a number of energetic gateways and influences - 10.10.2010, 20.10.2010 and the Blue Full Moon on 23.10.2010. The energies are shifting and people are moving and changing or having to fix things in their lives.  When there are such energetic shifts we are all affected at some level - often on the emotional but this can also manifest on a physical level. 

I remember years ago when I had an appointment with a healer and the healer phoned me to cancel due to illness - I was SO surprised as in those days I felt that healers should NOT get sick! I've since realised however, that we are all humans and that if we do not listen to our emotions or our bodies then we can become sick or dis-eased. I very seldom get ill but was struck down by chronic bronchitis about 10 days ago. My illness was due to my immune system being low as I hadn't been sleeping properly (my son had been waking me up every night for a couple of weeks due to fear of the dark) and I was processing some very deeply held grief (my friend was spending time with her aunt who was dying and did die and it brought back many of the memories of when my middle sister was dying and died in 2006 at the age of 38). So even though I'm a healer and know what makes me ill and I was well aware of what was going on with my emotions I still got sick. Part of me felt frustrated that I was ill as I had a lot of work to do (luckily no clients as it was over the weekend) but I had to just "go with the flow" and ended up in bed for 2 days! I mixed up a combination of Australian Bush Flower Essences (Bush Fuchsia, Bush Iris, Crowea, Pink Mulla Mulla, Red Suva Frangipani & Sturt Desert Pea) to help me and by Tuesday last week was feeling a great deal better.

What I want to point out here is that we are all humans and that at some level we all determine and mould our lives, however there are times when things happen that feel beyond our control and at these times we need to relax into the process (go with the flow) rather than fight it, ask for help from those around us and picture ourselves well and healthy again. Our minds and bodies are extremely complex and powerful - thoughts become energy and our bodies work hard and often very quickly to help us heal.
 
My sister and I had a chat on the phone this morning about life's ups and downs (see Terry's blog below).  The last few months, particularly the last few weeks, have held many challenges and changes for many people.  Life on Earth is rapidly changing whether we like it or not and we can either fight it or go with the flow and move forward. I believe that it's really time to let go of the past - of anyone or anything that has hurt or upset us over the years, and to move forward in positive ways.  Ask yourself:  "What is the best way for me to move forward from this hurt or upset?" and then give yourself an answer or advice that you would give to someone else and follow that advice!  Take action and let go of the past.  Think of it as a huge load on your back that you've been carrying and that has been weighing you down then picture yourself either putting it down or cutting it free from your back and shoulders forever (at long last...phew!).  How do you feel?

Instead of blaming, feeling bitter or resentful towards someone or something always try and find a positive way forward.  Life is supposed to be enjoyable but if you carry around any negative feelings against anyone or anything you cannot be free to enjoy your life!  Have a wonderful week.
 
Whether we like it or not love is always conditional, it seems to me.  If you are pleasing someone and pattering to their needs then you are the “bees knees” if not then you are chucked aside.  This seems to be true regardless of how well or how long you have known the person or even how well you think they know you!!  I have had two incidents this week that have reminded me of this.  Sadly again it reiterates to me that people will let you down and the only sure thing that you can rely on is God.  I am grateful for that knowledge and believe that regardless of what’s happening in your life you still need to step up and do your best, I think that is why the air is fresher the higher you go.  It’s October in Africa, and we are fried and frazzled in the heat and tempers are short so roll on the rains and the fresh cool air they bring!
 
Living in the 3rd world (Zimbabwe, or maybe the 4th – not sure of the criteria) has its tests.  One advantage though is that we have our faith tested on a daily basis.  We have a lot of opportunity to “give things to God”, as we really have no other option and very often no control over our situation.  By giving our troubles and worries to God we are able to experience his grace over our lives.  Daily I am reminded that I would not be able to do anything without God’s grace and I am so grateful for this.  Faith changes things but grace changes lives.  

10/10/10 has come and gone and I am still hoping that it has ushered in new and better things.  I know for sure that the only real constant in our lives IS change.  Things change in a flash, we are going along happy one minute and then bam, things change.  We just have to remember that external changes create space for us to change internally and vice versa.  The external earthly vibrations have definitely changed over the past 6 months resulting in shifts specifically in the area of relationships.  I see old friends being re-united on one hand and on the other, out-dated relationships dissolving.  It seems that the gap between those people vibrating on a denser level and those on a brighter, lighter level has widened making it almost impossible for these two extremes to mingle.  So keep raising your vibrations however you do it – whether it be meditating, praying, singing, giving, sharing or whatever else it may be.  Then you can be sure to grow with change and turn your life into one worth living.
 
Hi, thanks for visiting my new website.  I'll be posting blogs with all sorts of information about the work I do and things that interest me.

My wonderful sister, Terry Parham, who lives in Zimbabwe, Africa is going to be blogging on this site too - she practices as a Bach Flower Therapist, a Reiki Therapist, a Feng Shui Practitioner, a Psychic & Clairvoyant and a Yoga Teacher as well as being a Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Cousin, Niece and Entrepreneur amongst many other things!  She'll blog about things that interest her and about living life in Africa.

We hope that you'll join us time and again on our respective journeys.