Previously I wrote about a woman whose son had died several years before. She was searching for understanding of his death, even though he appeared to her nightly at the foot of her bed. His nightly message to her was “Please stop crying Mother, I am okay now”. She ignored and dismissed these visitations as crazy or dreams, and instead searched for an authority to explain her son’s death to her.
I devised for her a meditative strategy which worked, to help her understand her son’s death. This strategy is based on my understanding of the neuroscience of spirituality, as well as techniques I have learned from Shamans, therapists, controlled remote viewing, and healers.
First I will tell you the exact strategy, and then in a later blog I will discuss how I came up with it and its neuroscientific and shamanistic rationale.
The strategy was this: I asked her to develop a daily ritual based on some aspect of her son’s life with her. This could be anything so long as it had meaning for her. She chose to spend 1/2 hour thinking about him, in her kitchen, in mid-afternoon. She chose this because when he would get home from school, they frequently talked for 30 minutes or so. She commonly had a snack for him. I asked her to make him a snack, just as she had done when he was alive.
1) I asked her to keep a journal of all her thoughts during this ritual period. She was to speak to him out loud, even though no one was present. I instructed her to not judge or analyze anything she thought or felt during this period of time. I asked her to ask him, the Universe, god (as she believed in god) or anyone else, any questions she had. She was to write down both the questions and answers. Again, the only rule was that there was to be no judgment or analysis during this period of time.
All judgments and analysis of the situation are to be listed in a seperate area of the journal, under the heading judgment and analysis.
For example, a sample entry would be as follows:
Date: Wondering over and over again why I let him go out that night (the night he died in a motorcycle accident) Can’t seem to stop thinking this same thought over and over again. Journal this, exactly what thoughts. Try to say them outloud as they are written.
Then “it must be my fault he died”. This is a judgment and to be placed in separate section of the book. or “well he was 18, he really came and went as he pleased”. This is analysis, and also placed in separate section. Or “my friend said it was meant to be”. This is analysis and to be placed in separate section. Or “it was just an accident, it couldn’t have been prevented”. This is both judgment and analysis and to be placed in separate section.
Then “I miss him so much, I cannot bear this grief”. This would be journaled. “This is unbearable, I want to die myself.” This would be in main journal.
2) Before going to bed at night, while very sleepy, then think or ask a specific question, from the heart. “Why did you die?”, “Are you in heaven”, are example questions. They must be sincere questions from the heart.
When she woke up in the morning, she was to immediately write down the very first thought that she had, regardless of whether it seemed to have anything to do with anything at all. Not the second or third thoughts, the very first thought.
3) Throughout the day, when she had obsessive or retetitive thoughts about her son, I asked her to again write these thoughts in the journaling section of her journal. I also asked her to say them outloud.
I asked her to again write in the analysis and judgment section of the journal any thoughts that fit those catagories.
4) I asked her to have her husband help her with this process of sorting and organizing her thoughts into primary thoughts and grief reactions, and secondary judgment and analysis of her situation.
“I am crazy” for example, is a judgment. I am thinking about my son too much is analysis. Writing the actual content of obsessive thoughts is for the journaling section. Any internal commentary on those thoughts is for the judgement and analysis section.
5) I asked her to see and take her journal to a counselor in her hometown. Compassionate Friends has a national network of grief experienced counselors.
So, this Meditation/Practice is as follows, in summary
1) Create a ritual for talk to the deceased on a regular basis.
2) Journal, separating feelings and immediately thoughts from judgements and analysis.
3) Before bed, as a sincere question from the heart. Write down the first thought in the morning, regardless of its content. (Even if it’s “I have to go to the bathroom”, whatever it is)
4) Say thoughts outloud, ideally. Read the journal outloud from time to time. Show the journal regularly to someone compassionate and loving and ask for help in the sorting and organizing of the thoughts. See a counselor if possible.
From this regimen, unexpected and unanticipated solutions will come. Be prepared for odd, even humerous insights that lead to a solution or resolution.
In this particular case, this mother slept that night peacefully for the first time in over 2 years. She did not have trouble sleeping again, and was well on her way to healthy grieving for her son within weeks.
Melvin L Morse MD