Mothers & Sons...and The Power of Grief
(Guest Blog Contributor: Stephanie Owsiany)
Recently as a family we watched White Fang, the cartoon movie. I’ll save you the suspense: it’s not nearly as good as the original with Ethan Hawk (which shouldn’t come as a surprise.) There was a scene where the Native Americans had to find a way to save their land, so they sold White Fang’s mother. They show the two wolves being separated and as the mother is led away, White Fang runs up to her and nuzzles her and lets out a cry. When he goes back to his master, he is told, “It’s not time for mothers anymore. This is what growing up feels like.” So of course, I hear this and it makes me sad, I look at my kids who are sitting there watching and I say, “it’s always time for mothers!” And I realize my 5-year-old son is upset. I bend down to give him his food and he’s crying and reaching for me. I pull him towards me and just hold him as he cries. Even as I think about it now, I just cherish this moment so tremendously for so many reasons. I love how sensitive he is. I love how her feels compassion for others, humans and animals. I love that he knows he can cry whenever he feels sad, even during a movie. And I love that I see myself in him so clearly, only he is so brave, and so himself, no matter what. I have always felt scared to cry and show my big emotions to others. I always cry during sad movies, sad songs, when someone else is sad, and have always felt like I should apologize for it. It is still a struggle for me to just let myself feel the feelings, whatever they are, let them come and just be, without judgment. Being able to help my children with this or allow them to do this when they already naturally want to, is an amazing gift. When our do Stanley died almost two years ago, Gordon was only 3 and Sophi was 5. My husband and I had come to the painful decision that it was time to let him go. Since the kids were so little, we had them out of the house when the vet came, and later that day we let them know that Stanley had died. We had prepared them that he would probably die soon, and I remember crying as we talked. Sophi gets uncomfortable when I cry and doesn’t easily feel or express her own emotions. I don’t remember their exact reactions, but neither of them seemed to really understand what that meant. Like they had to try to process that he wouldn’t be here anymore and wasn’t coming back. I was completely heartbroken but trying not to scare or overwhelm them with my own emotions. It was a few nights later when I was putting Gordon to bed that he asked about Stan, and he started crying. He said he missed him and wished he hadn’t died. The emotion I felt over this little boy who was able to say that and cry those tears was just overwhelming, and still is today as I type this. I realized what a remarkable gift it was that he was giving me. The opportunity to share in sadness with this little person, as we both grieved the dog we loved so much. We did this each night a bedtime for a while, and it was so healing. I am so grateful for that experience. And so, three days ago, we got a new dog. It took me a long time to feel ready for another dog. My grieving process with Stan has been just that, a process, and many times I’ve been hit with memories of him and overwhelming sadness that he is no longer physically here. Slowly I started to remember the joy that having a dog can bring, especially to children. I started to think of that more than I thought of the pain at the end of Stan’s life, when it was so hard to watch him, and so hard to help him. All the thoughts I had of how I should have spent more time with him, should have done more for him, those thoughts have haunted me. I felt the pain more than I remembered the joy. But having a new dog to love and give a great life to is healing as well. Continuing on, opening our hearts again, taking a risk. That’s what life is all about right?
Today I have essential oils that help me feel these feeling. I’ll be honest, using oils for physical health is a lot easier than remembering to use them for emotional health. Yet the way they aid our bodies when we need emotional healing is incredibly powerful. One of my favorites lately is Release. This is a blend of several powerful oils including Ylang-ylang, Lavandin, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood and Blue Tansy to name a few. Its aroma is lightly sweet and promotes harmony and balance. I love to use it on my wrists and inhale deeply when I’m feeling difficult feelings like anger and jealousy, to help me let go. Another favorite is Acceptance, to help me do just that. This blend had Frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Geranium, Blue Tansy, Neroli, Coriander and Bergamot. This one can make a great perfume; I love to wear this on my neck, and I have a small spray bottle with this and Valor in it which is to die for! The scent is just heavenly. Valor promotes feelings of courage and I find myself needing acceptance and courage in a lot of situations! Perhaps you are more intrigued by these uses of essential oils than the more standard uses for physical health. Either way, diffusing essential oils into the air is a wonderful introduction to incorporating these beauties into your life. When I put my son to bed the night of the White Fang movie, I made sure to tell him that it is absolutely ok to cry, and it is always ok to need your Mom. These are two truths for me, perhaps that rings true for you as well.
Peace and love to you all.
Guest Blog Contributor: Stephanie Owsiany
Beginning to use oils catapulted Stephanie into a new world of health and wellness. She sought out the highest quality oils she could find to use for health and wellness and has made significant changes in her and her family’s lifestyle in just a few years. Because of what she has learned and how their lives have improved, she has a passion to share this way of life with all who seek change and a healthy lifestyle. She has learned from more experienced oil users, aromatherapists, nutritionists, and holistic and wellness gurus throughout her journey. Additionally, she continues to take classes, research and experiment as often as possible to increase her knowledge. Stephanie has retail items for sale at hOMePYM and offers workshops at hOMePYM and other local venues.