Reiki and Grief

Guestblogger Carol Ryan lives in Massachusetts and began practicing Reiki in July 2010.

Reiki Healing for Grief, and Life

Reiki healingWhen our father died in 2010, I focused more on my brother’s grief than on my own.

Michael is smart and childlike, with developmental disabilities and autism. Close family ties helped him through Mom’s passing in 2003. But now, both people who’d been the center of his world were gone, and my attempt to fill that space in his life was consuming mine.

Of course my father had also died, but I’d deal with that later.

I mostly buried the emotion. I was busy and Michael needed me. In truth, he needed me far less than what my skewed sense of responsibility made me believe.

Meanwhile, I’d been thinking of learning to practice Reiki. I imagined helping friends and family, volunteering in hospitals, maybe helping myself a bit – but only when I had time and after everyone else was taken care of.

Once I actually attended a First degree Reiki class, self-care unexpectedly entered my life. Part of the class commitment was to practice a full session of hands-on Reiki self-treatment for 21 days, in order to form an essential habit that would continue for life.

I felt immediately more relaxed when practicing self-treatment each night and morning, and started sleeping better. I cried uncontrollably whenever I was alone, and realized my Reiki practice was helping me grieve.

Daily yoga and meditation sessions often turned into lying-on-my-mat-pounding-my-fists-into-the-floor sessions. Journaling also helped release the grief I’d been blocking. I felt sure my daily Reiki practice was supporting this process, and however painful, I knew that grief is something to go through, not around. I was grateful for progress, and eager to feel better.

Two weeks into my practicing Reiki, my self-treatment led to a short nap.

I woke up as abruptly as if someone had shaken me. For the first time since Dad’s passing, I felt great. Not just okay, but laugh-out-loud-for-no-reason great. This wasn’t the end of the grieving, of course, but it was a turning point that reminded me how I’d once felt, and would feel again.

With continued Reiki self-treatment, I was better able to offer Michael the love, attention, and reassurance he needed.

Several months later, my sister and I began a journey to move our brother from his group home back to our childhood home, with the care that he needs. That’s another story, one in which I have felt hugely supported by my continuing Reiki self-treatment, a gift for which I’ll always be grateful.

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7 Responses to “Reiki and Grief”

  1. Gay Edelman October 15, 2012 8:59 am Permalink

    This hit me so close to home. When I first was given level one, I too learned self-practice. I’ve continued it daily for nearly a decade. At the time I was suffering from a lot of anxiety and low-grade depression. I was also praying for my higher power to show itself—the proverbial burning bush.

    I got everything I needed and more. The burning bush was how my hands became hot during the initiation. Self-care as a principle for living entered when I committed to treating myself daily. And, miracle of miracles, much of the depression lifted. Not only did the Reiki heal, but the IDEA of Reiki gave me a sense that I have power to heal my own. Life.

    Now, on to grief. Yes, many losses in the past two years, including a terribly shocking tragedy that happened to friends. The Reiki is part of that processing and healing. What a gift!

  2. Kelly Tammaro October 15, 2012 1:02 pm Permalink

    So glad you took the time to put these “special” words down on paper. Self-practice has also helped me tremendously in response to my own personal grief.

  3. Gouri October 23, 2012 10:00 am Permalink

    Lovely post.. I can really relate to this. Even though I am a Reiki master, it took me a few months to use Reiki on myself after my Dads death, but when I did it was wonderful- I had so many wonderful comforting dreams and visions, I was able to progress his passing in a healthy and happy way. xx

    • Pamela Miles October 23, 2012 10:41 am Permalink

      Gouri, thank you for sharing how your Reiki self-treatment helped you heal after your father’s grief.

      By doing so, you also inadvertently underlined the importance of maintaining a daily self-practice. When we have a dedicated time each day to place our hands on ourselves, we have the support of our Reiki practice to heal us through life’s challenges as well as helping us recover afterward. Most of my students have their daily self-practice in bed as they awaken or fall asleep, or both.

      Anyone who needs help with self-treatment can click here for support.

  4. Carol Ryan October 30, 2012 3:54 pm Permalink

    Gay and Gouri, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts…I’m so glad to hear that Reiki also has helped you. Kelly, thank you for the gift of your friendship and the oppurtunity to do hospice work with you, and Pamela, as always, thanks for all that you do and all that you share!

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  6. Susan October 13, 2012 8:14 am Permalink

    What a beautiful story. Thankyou for sharing. My own story is similar but my grief was for the ending of a 30 year marriage. A few months after my husband walked out I had my first Reiki treatment & did a Reiki 1 workshop a couple of months later. Reiki opened up the concept of self care in a very real way. I was a meditator but Reiki added something to my spiritual practice that was missing in meditation. Placing my hands on myself to give a treatment was such a nurturing experience & the sensations I felt in my body reassured me that something really was happening. Over time, I slowly rebuilt my life. I’m sure I would have done so without Reiki but I know that it would have taken much longer & been far more difficult. Reiki gave me the love, peace & clarity that I so desperately needed.

    • Carol Ryan October 13, 2012 7:43 pm Permalink

      Thank you for your kind words, Susan. I’m so glad Reiki helped you through your own healing process – it’s truly a gift that can teach us and give us so much.

  7. Gay Edelman October 15, 2012 8:59 am Permalink

    This hit me so close to home. When I first was given level one, I too learned self-practice. I’ve continued it daily for nearly a decade. At the time I was suffering from a lot of anxiety and low-grade depression. I was also praying for my higher power to show itself—the proverbial burning bush.

    I got everything I needed and more. The burning bush was how my hands became hot during the initiation. Self-care as a principle for living entered when I committed to treating myself daily. And, miracle of miracles, much of the depression lifted. Not only did the Reiki heal, but the IDEA of Reiki gave me a sense that I have power to heal my own. Life.

    Now, on to grief. Yes, many losses in the past two years, including a terribly shocking tragedy that happened to friends. The Reiki is part of that processing and healing. What a gift!

  8. Kelly Tammaro October 15, 2012 1:02 pm Permalink

    So glad you took the time to put these “special” words down on paper. Self-practice has also helped me tremendously in response to my own personal grief.

  9. Gouri October 23, 2012 10:00 am Permalink

    Lovely post.. I can really relate to this. Even though I am a Reiki master, it took me a few months to use Reiki on myself after my Dads death, but when I did it was wonderful- I had so many wonderful comforting dreams and visions, I was able to progress his passing in a healthy and happy way. xx

    • Pamela Miles October 23, 2012 10:41 am Permalink

      Gouri, thank you for sharing how your Reiki self-treatment helped you heal after your father’s grief.

      By doing so, you also inadvertently underlined the importance of maintaining a daily self-practice. When we have a dedicated time each day to place our hands on ourselves, we have the support of our Reiki practice to heal us through life’s challenges as well as helping us recover afterward. Most of my students have their daily self-practice in bed as they awaken or fall asleep, or both.

      Anyone who needs help with self-treatment can click here for support.

  10. Carol Ryan October 30, 2012 3:54 pm Permalink

    Gay and Gouri, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts…I’m so glad to hear that Reiki also has helped you. Kelly, thank you for the gift of your friendship and the oppurtunity to do hospice work with you, and Pamela, as always, thanks for all that you do and all that you share!


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