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  • Writer's pictureAmie Kerber

Steps to Healing

I will be the first one to admit that I have no idea what I am doing, how I am still continuing on, or how to heal this broken heart and shattered life plan. All of my training working in mental health, all of the counseling I've done to patients in crisis, all the resources I've gathered, all of the skills and tips and tricks, seem to fall short in the magnitude of this earthquake. They feel small in comparison to how big this feels, but I suppose if I am being objective, they do provide a foundation from which to build. So here I am, shakily trying to fit the pieces together.

In the very early days I could feel the need to have energy work done. I could feel my energy trapped in my solar plexus, and it hurt. Every day I would have to excuse myself to lay in bed because the pain in my chest was too much, sometimes it would wake me up in the middle of the night, but most often it was in the afternoon hours that it would hit. I had no idea grief could hurt in the way that it did. I've never experienced anything like that before, and I felt nudgings that having my chakras cleared through reiki would be one way to navigate through it. A good friend had recommended a semi-local shaman that she had seen a few times, and I booked a package of reiki sessions with her. I had 3 weeks of weekly sessions, followed by a few follow up sessions the weeks following. I was not new to the concept of reiki, having had sessions in the past during times when I felt that my energy was off, and I can say with certainty that these sessions helped clear the heaviness I felt in my chest. This shaman was also the first to connect with Quinn's spirit, and her messages brought my first glimpses that comfort could be found in the wreckage.

I've talked briefly on Instagram about my experiences with mediums and mediumship, but this is another avenue I accessed early on. It more so "sought me out" initially, as a friend was having a reading with a medium, and Quinn came through during this session to acknowledge that she has seen the Quinn bracelets being made in her honor. The medium would have had no knowledge of myself or of Quinn, so Quinn coming forward felt like a blessing that this was something our family could access as well to connect with her. I've had very positive experiences with a few different mediums since this happened, and it has provided additional reassurances that Quinn's spirit is still around us. I'm not sure how to ever make sense of losing a child, I don't think its something that ever makes sense, but the concept of an eternal soul is something that now does make sense to me, and Quinn has shown me that.

Reading is something that I've always found to be a helpful tool. I'm a thinker, and reading is something that has allowed me to learn more fully about the concept of grief, loss, and bereavement. Some of the books I've read, or are reading, include "It's okay to not be okay," "Growing up in Heaven," "Healing after loss," "A grief observed," and "The unspeakable loss." I have more on my nightstand that I plan to continue working my way through.

Exercise. It felt impossible to do at the start, but a few weeks in it felt necessary to do every day. It felt like a release of some of the pent up emotional energy. An alternative way to get out the water that would otherwise become tears. Going to F45, a place where I was mostly anonymous, ended up being so important to me, and I miss it right now as the gyms are currently closed.

Matthias and I started attending a Grief Program for parents a few weeks ago. It has made the last few weeks feel a bit heavier than the weeks preceding the start of the group, but I know that in the long run doing this program will be helpful. I already feel more knowledgeable about the theories of grief since attending, and it is comforting to foster connection with other loss parents.

Speaking of connection, this is another very important part of the steps to healing I have taken. I have been able to connect with a few other moms who have lost their children, and it has been like a lighthouse in the storm. I know that I am not the first person to go through this, and sadly, I won't be the last person to go through this. Knowing that there are other people out there who are surviving and scraping by in the same way that I am provides a camaraderie in the face of something that is foreign to many people.

Grief and loss will effect us all at some point in our lives, but the extent to which the loss of a child obliterates a parent's life is unlike any other loss there is. Matthias and I agree on this topic wholeheartedly. It would have been easier to lose each other than it has been to lose Quinn. While I know that other loss that I will face one day will be hard, it won't come close to touching *this*. While it provides a sense of "strength" it also provides a brokenness like no other. So I will try to put the pieces together, the outcome will be different, and it will never again be whole, but it will be rooted in love. It should always be rooted in love. I know that steps to healing will look different for everyone experiencing loss. However, I think the unifying theme within the concept of "healing" is that it starts with a decision. I could easily be swallowed whole by this. It is harder to choose being here, to show up for the rest of my life. But I know its what Quinn would have chosen, and I know its what I need to do for Ivy, so I will choose the steps to heal, day after day, for them.

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