Grief and Loss - using essential oils to help comfort

by Penny Keay

It’s been a while since I wrote about using essential oils when you are experiencing grief or have a loss.

Grief comes from a loss that causes great sorrow and sadness. The loss most often is associated with that of a loved one, spouse, parent, a child or even the family pet, etc. The loss can also be anything that causes you to have a deep sadness. Deep grief can often times affect your emotional feelings and will transfer to become actual physical pain too.

Some types of loss are not so hard to handle, while others can take you months to recover especially when losing a spouse or a parent. Loss of a job, loss of a home or memories from childhood, photographs lost in fires or destroyed accidently, etc. Any of these types of losses may cause a form of grief. Sometimes the loss is emotional, sometimes monetary.

Essential oils can help with the emotional part but please realize that no matter what, you will still need to go through the grieving process whether the loss is human, animal or material (as in a home) or loss of a job. Essential oils can make it a little easier to cope.

Many essential oils have properties to help you deal emotionally with your sadness. They can help you relax the tense muscles and calm your inner you. There are other oils that will help your mind to sort all the many feeling and emotions you are experiencing. They will eventually help you to accept your loss.

Some essential oils used for grief or sadness include Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine, Sweet Marjoram, Neroli, Rose, Nutmeg, Frankincense, Melissa, Vetiver and Vanilla.

Each of these oils can be used separately or in combinations. Try not to use more than 4-5 oils in a blend. These can be used in diffusers or in a nice relaxing, warm bath.

Giving a small silk arrangement with some of these oils applied to the flowers to someone grieving is a beautiful way to brighten someone's day. Give them a small bottle of the blend to freshen the scenting so they can continue the healing process. They will start to feel better without knowing the real reason why!!

Everyone will experience some kind of loss in their lifetime.

The emotions triggered by a loss of a loved one or close friend can be many. Loss of a home, job or other valuable can trigger a few emotions just the same but some will be different.

Some emotions will be easier to deal with and recovery will be quick. Anger, anxiety, sadness, sorrow, confusion, guilt and depression are just a few. There are still many other emotions you may experience during the period of loss. You will not heal overnight. It can take months to years in some cases.

It has been many years since Al’s & my parents have passed. For us it took a while to heal from the losses. We were both very close emotionally to our parents.

Everyone will handle loss and grief differently. Some can go on easily, while others it takes time to heal.

We know that had it not been for our constant exposure to all these wonderful essential oils, our coping with the deaths of our parents within a few years period of time would not have been easy.

It seemed for us that we were always exposed to the right oils at the right time.

Please check through the list of our synergy blends as several contain one or more of the above mentioned oils and diffusing these may help with loss too. Some suggestions would be Calming blend, Beautiful blend, My Angels blend, Sensual, Tropical Dreams and Women's blends. Each of them has wonderful smells that may help you or another loved one or friend deal with a loss of any kind.

Any essential oil that is liked and that makes an individual feel better will help them emotionally. They will be the ones to choose. If you are choosing an oil or two for yourself or someone close to you, smell several different ones and if one of the oils you feel you just can’t get enough of, try diffusing it for a few days. Of course, you may have 2 or 3 you want to use and that is fine too.

Use the oils daily and soon you will feel better. They say time heals. But with essential oils things seem to be better faster and are definitely more enjoyable.

Special note about losing a pet: It is never an easy time. Sadness and sorrow may overcome you emotionally as you feel your sense of loss of your little companion.

Whenever you lose a pet you will still need to go through the grieving process as you do with the loss of a person.

Typically this process is much quicker and soon you will feel like yourself again. But to help you for the first day or so, you may want to use a few essential oils that will be uplifting and to help you with the sadness.

Essential oils that may help you will include those for grieving, but typically energizing and uplifting scents may provide you with the most benefit.

If you have a favorite essential oil or blend, by all means inhaling a few drops of that should make you feel better. Otherwise some essential oils that are uplifting include: Rose, Neroli, Grapefruit, Petitgrain, Jasmine, Mandarin, Blood Orange, Ylang-Ylang, Clary Sage, Melissa, Bergamot, Cypress, Vanilla, Roman Chamomile and Nutmeg. Or try making a blend using 1-4 of these oils and diffusing is one of the best ways to use these.

Your sense of loss and sadness for a pet should not last more than a few days to at most a week. If you are having a more than normal length of time handling this loss, do seek counseling from a qualified grief person. They are usually available through your local hospital or medical center. Occasionally you may find someone in your veterinary office that has also been trained to help with the loss of a pet.

Penny’s Note: This article was inspired for writing when we experienced the loss of our little Yorkie, Pearl (September 10, 2012). She was with us for 16 of her 18 plus years (as she came into our lives when she was 2 years).

Although we have had many pets in our lives, it is never easy to lose one. Pearl was my constant companion through the years and I miss her. I cried to help wash the pain away but also knew I would heal quickly since we have so many essential oils around us daily. There are many fond memories, all to be remembered with a smile on my face.

Working in the Veterinary field for 35 years I helped console & counsel many folks during their loss of their little four-legged fur children. As stated above, if your grief and sadness is excessive or lasts longer than a few days, please seek professional counseling. Although rare, sometimes there are other underlying emotional problems that can be triggered by the loss of a pet that may require intervention.

In the meantime, using uplifting energizing essential oils will help you through those first few days of loss.

Recipes to try

To Comfort at a Time of Loss or Grief
Rose Otto - 3 drops
Vanilla – 5 drops
Roman Chamomile – 3 drops
Mandarin – 3 drops

Blend the above essential oils in a ">glass bottle. Use in any diffuser . Or add to 1 ounce of a carrier oil and use as a massage oil.

UPLIFTING BLEND
Spearmint – 12 drops
Grapefruit 8 drops
Clove bud - 2 drops
Vanilla– 2 drops

Blend the above essential oils in a glass bottle. Use in any diffuser, such as a Terra Cotta Disc .

© 2012 Penny Keay

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