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The 5 Stages of Grief with a Dose of Divine Grace

The past week has shown me fear, exhaustion, hope and bliss…

I have observed myself going through all 5 stages of grief in the 5 weeks since my diagnosis. Not that each one was a week…but I have hit every single one in that time.

  1. Denial/Isolation – The first week was spent at home crying, reaching out on the phone to just a small handful of close people, not answering my phone or texts, tuning out by binge watching the whole new season of “Supernatural” in 2 days and having thoughts of, “Well how bad would it really be to just do nothing about it…it’s slow growing…I might be ok for a while.”

  2. Anger – Once I was ready to reach out to people, and found myself in beautiful communities of women dealing with Cancer, I was able to get really pissed off about my diagnosis. I was in a safe place to cry, yell and ask the Universe, “WTF???!!!!” How much major medical shit can one person really be expected to go through in one lifetime? I know a lot of people have it worse than me, but dying and coming back from a fire, third degree burns and skin grafts over 30% of my body, a month in the hospital receiving a colon resection, being cut out of a car by the jaws of life with a bruised lung and cracked ribs, and beating Hepatitis C is more than a lot of people have to deal with in a whole lifetime, and I am only 43 years old. A side note to this is that for anyone going through some intense shit, it is MORE than normal and ok to be downright pissed off…it is part of the process of healing. I have had a few white lighters tell me I should “Love my Cancer…release it with love”…that is all fine and good as a theory/belief…but anger is an energy as Johnny Rotten sang, and the time I spent with anger and fighting this was well needed and all part of the process to get me through some really bad days. We cannot truly embrace the light until we feel and know our darkness.

  3. Bargaining – Oh…there was a lot of this. Especially around releasing my whole womb and everything involved with that. I wanted to keep the Ovaries…but was told there was a 50% chance of the Cancer coming back to them years or even decades after taking out the Uterus. I even asked what would happen if we just scraped out the Uterus, but left it in and cauterized it, so it wouldn’t create Cancer cells anymore. I tried to get out of YET ANOTHER surgery this lifetime…but alas…you don’t fuck around with Cancer, and after signing my huge stack of pre-admission paperwork for the surgery at City of Hope…I quickly moved onto the next stage.

  4. Depression – Oh shit. Another incision…more pain…more scar tissue…what will my “new normal” be? Why even fight anymore? Why get out of bed? I will have a gaping hole where my womb once was. Not that I ever wanted children (in fact my biggest fear in life has been getting pregnant) but the womb is still my feminine power, and all of it is being ripped out of me. My Uterus Universe is full of Cancer…why did I grow cancer where a child should be? These…and a lot of other depressive thoughts came flooding through, and I connected with women my age who I know and trust to talk about life after a hysterectomy and how their lives are (all of them are completely normal, having great sex and say it was the best decision of their lives)…many tear filled hours of conversation later, and I am slowly coming into the next stage.

  5. Acceptance – This Uterus has been nothing but drama for me my whole life. From the feeling of cramps like broken glass within it I had in my 20’s every time I had a period to having to have my Uterus scraped out and growths removed in my 30’s, and then not having a period for almost a year to getting back on the pill to “create” a regular period in my late 30’s and HATING how I felt emotionally on the pill to my 40’s where I was back on the pill for a while, but took myself off the beginning of this year to find that I haven’t stopped bleeding for 6 months. I am done having a Uterus, and I release it with love and light.

NOW is the right time for me to be within this strength of acceptance…after feeling the pain and anger within the dark.

You can’t skip right to the light the moment you get hit with something intense…you have to get through the dark. These stages must all be felt within this order to be able to truly accept what is happening, welcome it and get through the grief. This is a widely held belief within the Psychology and Hypnotherapy world and I truly feel the wisdom and healing within this.

I have also spent time within these 5 weeks honoring my Uterus while she is still with me. A dear Shaman friend helped me do a releasing fire ritual on the Full Moon of May, which is also Hecate’s Full Moon, and she is the Goddess I am very drawn to in life, and have been working with to help me through this crossroads I find myself in. She, being the Goddess of the Crossroads, it more than makes sense to have her help in this chapter of life.

My friend had me do a Sand Painting, which is a Shamanic practice, and I did this for 3 days before the fire…taking rocks, sticks, flowers and anything from Nature to create a work of art in the dirt naming each element of Nature and what it represents as I added it to my painting.

My Sand Painting

I used a huge rose for my Uterus, a beautiful Serpentine Jade Crystal Skull to represent me, a stick I found in the Redwood Forests 10 years ago in the shape of  a fork in the road to symbolize Hecate. I used Redwood cones as my close circle of friends who have sprouted up around me as gigantic, strong and healing as my redwoods are to me. I added my surgeon in there, and asked for guidance to know the best decisions for me and called out to my guides for messages…and oh my gods have I been receiving messages from them daily…sometimes even multiple times a day that I am on the right path with my treatment and recovery from this. I added oranges from a tree in my mom’s yard that came from a clipping of my grandfather’s huge orange tree he started from seed 40 years ago to represent my family and my ancestors and a bunch of jasmine to bring beauty, joy and love into this experience.

I must also mention that a lot of the flowers and pieces of Nature I used came from the funeral arrangement which was given to me by my funeral director friend after my friend Stacey’s funeral. She died of Cancer the day before I received my diagnosis, and she has been a huge angel and guide to me within my journey. I felt like I got to spend these 3 days with her as I used the flowers from her celebration of life flowers.

After the three days passed of me working on my Sand Painting, I showed up at my Shaman friend’s house with all of the sticks, flowers, leaves and redwood cones I made it with and we burned all of it in her beautiful magical back yard under the Full Moon in her fire pit with her singing a beautiful chant. I must add that she lives right across the street from the cemetery I go to in order to release things energetically I don’t need anymore and to connect with Hecate…so I felt Hecate hard core, and sang a teary song I wrote for her into the darkness of might, and felt the energy from the graveyard take my sand painting intentions away and up to Source.

I took the skull and put it into the flames and then buried it in her back yard to be unearthed at a later date to use as a tool for my healing and rebirth.

The stars aligned for me to go see Amma, The Hugging Saint on the Following New Moon of June…so on my way to Amma’s I dug up my skull, and she was vibrating with power…literally buzzing! I felt as if I was digging up some hidden strength within me that I forgotten I had, or perhaps never had access to until now.

I used all 5 elements on this beautiful skull to prepare her to be my healing tool. When I first received her as a gift from my beautiful friend I used air to whisper and breathe all of my wishes for healing into her.

Then I brought her over to the fire ceremony and put her in the fire to receive the purification and powerful cleansing that only fire can bring.

Next, I buried her in the dark damp earth.

Upon unearthing her, I washed her in water in preparation to bring her to my Guru, Amma…which brings in the 5th Element…Spirit.

I took my skull and 2 copies of my book, Baptism By Flame…one to give to Amma as a gift, and another for her to bless for me to keep.

The moment I stepped into the LAX Hilton turned India land, I breathed out a huge sigh of relief.

The day before going to see her was one of the roughest days of the 5 weeks. I was at City of Hope 5 hours straight to get a EKG, CT Scan, Chest Xray, meet with the Anesthesiologist and I gave enough blood to feed a nest of Vampires. I dragged myself home from City of Hope and went to sleep immediately feeling exhausted, drained and a completely overwhelmed from everything happening at once.

The energy I was feeling at Amma was building me up, filling me up and helping me to come to terms with all that is about to happen to me and all that I will be releasing in the coming 1.5 weeks.

I did Seva (volunteering selfless service) the moment I walked in at 4pm to help with crowd control for the thousands of people who would be coming for a hug that night…they were already milling about and lining up for their token to go receive a hug, and since I have been going for 15 years now…the LA Satsang leaders always rely on me to help with this Seva to answer everyone’s questions, direct new comers and show people where to go within the vast spiritual Indian Village that Amma creates when she visits here.

It also allowed me to step outside of myself for a few hours. To see people in wheel chairs being wheeled into the Hall to see Amma…even a person on oxygen…things are rough for me…but not that rough at all.

After a few hours of Seva, I was ready to just be and receive, and I was seated RIGHT in front of Amma, just a few rows back….like magic. The moment she walked in, my body reacted…I felt tingles up and down my legs and a huge weight lifting from my heart. The tears fell in buckets, and continued for the whole 3 hours of Satsang, chanting, singing and messages from Amma that we received.

There was a moment where Amma was looking out into the crowd slowly, as I swear she connects to the soul of all of the thousands of people present, and her eyes stayed on me for a bit longer, and I literally felt a bit of a shift in my gut as EVEN MORE tears fell. Once I started crying harder, her eyes finally moved onto the next person as if she felt that a release and healing was happening for me, so she could move on. I continued to cry and Om with everyone in the room, and the hugging began.

I had a few hours to wait until my number was called to receive a hug, so I walked around the LAX Hilton Indian Village and saw all of my Amma friends…received huge hugs from them, and spent some time receiving well wishes and healings from them. I even saw a few friends who I didn’t know through Amma who were meeting her for the first time, and was excited to see them there for the beginning of their beautiful journey with The Mother of The Universe.

After a delicious dinner of vegetarian Indian Food and delicious Chai straight from India, I walked around the marketplace to stock up on Amma blessed oils and incense for the year. That was when I noticed the table to purchase Pujas, and I walked over immediately.

The last time I had a Puja done for me was about 12 years ago, it was a Kali-Puja, which is meant to cut anything out of your way to your soul’s highest good. A week after the Puja was done…I lost my job and immediately wrote a whole new album with the bass player of my old band who was also unemployed at the same time. I also finally wrote my Reiki class manuals and went to Massage Therapy school and began to look at The Healing Woods as my new era of work in the world.

Today I am starring down the barrel of a surgery which I am intending to be the launching pad of my physical rebirth, so what better time to have the Divine Love and Grace of Amma to help me on my way? I read a list of all of the different Pujas available, and the Shiva-Puja seemed to be the right fit as it said it helps with health and literally best done before or after a surgery to promote healing and wellness. BINGO!

I purchased my Puja, and spoke with the devotee from India who was taking information for each Puja. There was a 2 week waiting period, which I am already past for it to be done before my surgery, since it is just over a week and a half away, so I asked if there was any way to have the Puja done before 6/26. I explained it was a surgery for Cancer, and the woman literally got her phone out, took a picture of my sheet I filled out, and texted it directly to someone at the Ashram in India asking to get my Puja done on the same day as my surgery. She was a Cancer Survivor too, and told me to rest easy that Amma will be with me before, during and especially after my surgery to help me recover.

Ma Devi, who did the first Puja for me, which lead to me losing my job and gaining a career in healing work.

My number was called for my hug, and I gathered my books and my crystal skull, and made my way through the Darshan Line to get up to Amma for my hug. Darshan in Hindi means “To see God” and different Saints have different ways of giving people Darshan. Some sing, some touch your Third Eye…Amma hugs…and it is the most blissful divine hug with so much karmic healing attached.

I had my book opened up to the beginning of Chapter 6 – Meeting a Living Saint, which also has a quote by Amma on it, and as I got up to her, I told her I wrote about her and that I wanted to tell the world about her love. She looked at the book with a childlike expression of joy and then right into my eyes with so much gratitude I literally felt it like a warm blanket surround me. She turned the pages and there was a page that had the words to my song I wrote for her. This is the same song I sang to her almost 10 years ago, when I was in the Amma LA Satsang Music Group so I could offer it to Amma with my voice.

My blessed book and Crystal Skull. The rose petal is also blessed by Amma and will stay in my book forever.

It all came rushing over me as I was in her arms…she read the lyrics I once sang to her and held me an extra long time. She took my crystal skull and kissed it, and gave it back to me after pushing it into my heart chakra. This felt like some sort of divine activation, and I started to feel dizzy. I was helped up off of my knees, and lead to a place a few feet away from Amma to sit for a while and do my mantra, which I did with so much love and gratitude.

Yes…I definitely feel that I am ready to accept and flow within this chapter of my life. I allowed myself to feel the darkness, to feel the fear and be real with the situation. Cancer sucks…no way around that at all no matter how white light you are. Now that I have honored the shadow, the darkness and the pain…I can come into the light a full being…shadow and all.

EVERYONE has a shadow…and no one should be shamed out of embracing and honoring it.

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