Jikiden Reiki

Jikiden Reiki is the Reiki from its birth place, Japan.
Nothing is added or amended from its original teaching from Mr. Chujiro Hayashi, one of the 20 students of Mr. Usui, the founder of Reiki.

30 May 2013

Hospice series 7 ~ Tight buds to the flower opening

This story is continued from Hospice series 6. 

Finally the bereavement group has started in mid November, 2012. 

I was very surprised of the size of the group, there were more than 
18 people in the group. 

People were very quiet. 

We were sitting so close each other and made a big circle, 
but it seemed like we didn't know how to speak, we weren't sure if we 
were allowed to speak at this point.

We were completely closed, mouth shut, 
just like a tight buds that doesn't even trust the sun.

Lucy was the main facilitator. (if you haven't read the past post, please click here
I was there to help to get the chairs out, get people in, while Joan was getting ready for the coffee and the snack, and Lucy was busy organizing the handouts.

I have never experienced the awkward circle in a silence. 

We didn't even know if we could smile each other. 

It felt like "smile" would be a rude thing to do here.

We all knew the main topic of this group, "suicide", and we knew everyone in the room had experienced the loss, but we couldn't speak about it until Lucy started the group.

Finally Lucy sat in the circle,
"Welcome everyone."

I felt such a relief as Lucy started to talk.

We started the group by introducing ourselves.

I have never been to any bereavement group like this. 

Perhaps, my bereavement place/opportunity would be at Buddhist Temple while a monk is chanting. Not like in the circle with a group of people who lost a loved ones.

The first person started to introduce her self.

"My name is ****, I'm from Chilliwack, 
I lost one of my my family member by suicide 2 years ago."

Then Lucy said casually,
"Well, everyone knows that everyone in this group lost a loved one 
by suicide, so we will go more specific about it. Who and How and When. "

Hmmmm, Very awkward....

"My name is ****, I'm from Chilliwack, I lost my son by suicide 
2 years ago, by shooting himself."

"My name is ****, I'm from Sardis, I lost my nephew by suicide 
4 years ago by hang himself."

"My name is ****, I'm from Chilliwack, I lost my sister by suicide 
6 month ago by jumping off from a building."

It continued until everyone finished.

Perhaps, if this group was a cancer bereavement group, they would go with the disease's name, like breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, brain tumor, etc. But this group would go with the method, hanging, shooting, jumping off, running into the car, medication over dose etc. 

It seems very heavy, but actually, I felt it as a sacred circle and and felt honoured. 

The first day went by very fast, as every one had a chance to talk a bit more about themselves.

Second week was the similar, but since we had started to open up a bit in a last session,
we were more relaxed.

Third week, I was starting to notice one thing.

"People want to talk very specific about what had happened. Over and over."

They speak the same thing repeatedly.

That means,

"They never had a safe place to talk about it. " 

One of the rule in the bereavement group is to listen without judgement. Just listen. 
Everyone felt safe in the group. 

Each time when we were given a subject to talk, "Guilt", "What if's", "Self care", "good memories", it always lead to the conversation of  
"What had happened before, during and after." with lots of tears.

It was like getting the heavy sticky phlegm out from the lung, heart, stomach. It feels better each time when the phlegm is out, but the it continues to build up, so people want to get it out repeatedly.

I also noticed more smiles and laughs as the weeks go by.

The buds started to remember to trust the sun, and started to open.

Hospice series 6 ~ Group is starting

This story is continued from Hospice series 5. 

I walked up to Joan and told her that I would like to be a part of the new suicide bereavement group as
a co-facilitator.

Her face lightened up and I could see her eyes started to fill up with tear of gratitude. She didn't think
there would be anyone would want to help for this group.

She told me she has been working on getting this group started for 1.5 years now and finally it seems 
like things are happening.

You can read the local news paper how this group started.

New group offers support for bereaved families

By Chilliwack Progress
Published: November 13, 2012 11:00 AM

Lucy Fraser (right), program director for Chilliwack Hospice Society, along with (from left) Fraser Health social worker Denise Armstrong, Joan Noel and Mari Okazaki are all part of the new Suicide Bereavement Support Group in Chilliwack. Noel and Okazaki both lost family members to suicide.

A new bereavement support group starting up in Chilliwack this month is specifically to help those touched by suicide of a loved one.
One of the group facilitators, Joan Noel, lost her 29-year-old twin son, Dylan, to suicide in 2009.
"After my son died I had so many unanswered questions and so much guilt," she told The Progress.
"It is the most horrific thing I have ever tried to deal with and I knew I needed to talk to someone."
In her grief, she reached out to the Chilliwack Hospice Society at first and attended a support  group for those suffering the loss of a loved one. But still she had a burning need to share with others who had experienced the unique agony of losing someone who took their own life.
The grieving mother tried to find one nearby, but the closest group met in Surrey. She attended to a few meetings and was wholly transformed by the experience from the beginning.
"Suicide is such a hush-hush subject," she said. "No one wants to talk about it."
In fact, it happens more than one would imagine.
"I didn't know that it happened so much in our communities, until it happened in my life."
No one wants to see their friends and family suffer further, so they tend to keep mum. But it turns out, sharing with others in a similar situation seems to lighten the load.
"For me I needed to talk about it, to try to understand why he would do such a thing. I remember for months after my son died, I kept going over the last few days of his life. Trying to figure out what led to his decision.
"I felt like a detective, going over ever little bit of information hoping to find a answer. I shared this at the support group in Surrey and another lady said she had done the same thing."
Suddenly it clicked.
"I could relate to so many of the people's stories. Everyone's story was different, but I found that I connected to everyone there in one way or another," Noel said. "I learned so much from this support group."
It was a real education, too in the very basics of mental illness.
"I thought if you had mental illness you heard voices in your head and had no control over your actions. I have since learned there are many forms of mental illness, like anxiety and depression."
Hospice program director Lucy Fraser noted there is still a societal stigma attached to suicide deaths, that doesn't really exist otherwise, like in the case of a death by cancer or heart disease.It can even impede people from seeking out that much-needed support.
"The stigma isn't even the biggest thing. It's the unanswered questions.
"When a family member ends their own life, the family is left with so many questions. What did we miss? What could we have done differently? Why didn't we notice?"
It's emotional pain heaped on top of pain, in layers, Fraser said.
Noel said she went through that exact process.
"For the longest time I was looking for a note from my son. But I never got that."
He did text a friend to say that he just couldn't live with the pain any longer.
"I did not know how much pain he was in, I just thought it was all normal life hurtles."
Noel decided to take decisive action to help assuage that pain. She called the Chilliwack Mental Health Centre to see
if they could help her get a support group going here. She met social worker Denise Armstrong, who is the Mental Health Liaison to the RCMP, and they got the ball rolling.
Now the group is about to get started in Chilliwack.
"I think this group will be very important. It helped me tremendously to have that support, although support groups aren't for everyone."
Everyone's story is different. But Noel said was pleased to discover that it lessens the pain to share, and benefits her to help other people and hear their stories.
"It gets people talking. You can relate and you say, 'Ok, I don't feel so bad now.'
"The pain never really goes away. It pops up daily.
"But I found the more you share your story, the less it weighs you down."
Now the Chilliwack Suicide Bereavement Support Group is set to start shortly, and it will run for eight weeks, every Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hospice headquarters on Hodgins Avenue.
For more details call 604-795-4660.

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