Let It Out

November 3, 2018

By Sanda Rathamone

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” ― Helen Keller

For those of you who may not know, I enrolled in massage school a couple of years after Elijah died. Grief and loss pushed me into the direction of becoming some kind of healer. I also wanted to heal my grief by doing something that was therapeutic and served a clear purpose in helping others.

I never imagined myself doing this kind of work before loss; I have always thought of myself as a life coach, counselor, or teacher. I was more so inspired to give this new path a chance and felt an intuitive nudge that life after loss had led me here.

(Related Read: Finding My 'Why')

Massage therapy is a holistic approach to mind/body and spiritual health and for so long, I wanted to further understand how the emotions play a role in our physical health, especially grief. 

Within a year after loss, I remember googling anything that would help lessen my emotional pain and found a YouTube video on a particular acupressure point for grief. Little did I know that this would be a telling of the future in that I would be practicing massage therapy, including using acupressure points. 

So, for Friday's class, we were learning more about "potent points."

We have already somewhat mastered 6 general acupressure points (for relaxation) in our shiatsu sequence. Part of this class was to use points we have already learned. The other part was to add "new" pressure points that we went over in class or find something entirely new in the books and include them in our practice body work sessions.

After demo, I was itching to go up to the front of the class and take a quick look in the books. There were a few copies of Acupressure's Potent Points: A Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments By Michael Reed Gach, PhD and one of Acupressure for Emotional Healing: A Self-Care Guide for Trauma, Stress, & Common Emotional Imbalances by Michael Reed Gach PhD, Beth Ann Henning Dipl. A.B. sitting on the floor, against the white board.

I wanted to find points on infertility.

Before walking up there, one of my classmates was already looking through one of the copies. She told me about her story on how one day, she went to a Barnes & Nobles and found a book on acupressure points. One of the points helped her grandmother who had a serious case of TMJ where she couldn't speak or eat and had to be taken care of, while put on medication.

She was surprised to find that after years of medication and no improvements, a simple acupressure point healed her grandmother. Today, it is if her grandmother had never been in any pain. So, she was looking through the books to see if she could find that same point, but it was nowhere in the books.

I was really excited to hear about her grandmother's miraculous healing, as well her "magical" encounter with the book. She told me that she felt like she was being led to that bookstore and that book at that specific time in her life and it was funny to hear her say this because I had this same kind of experience at bookstores, especially after Elijah died.

I don't remember telling her, but I must have mentioned how I was looking for points on infertility. I told her that it has been a struggle to conceive again after losing Elijah. 

And instead of saying with insensitivity, "Oh, you're still young. You'll have another one," she told me to take good care of myself and my body.

She also shared her own loss. She told me how her firstborn was a stillborn girl and at nine months gestation, her baby girl died after giving one and final breath. She later went on to have two other beautiful children (who are now in their 40s) after changing the way she took care of herself and her body.

I was deeply touched, but so surprised to hear about her loss. No one in class had ever approached me with a similar story on baby loss. We didn't have much time to continue our talk - break time was over - but after telling her that I lost Elijah at five months pregnant, she whispered something about how "we are chosen," "certain children choose us," and "it is a gift."

After Elijah died, there are confusing days where I just cannot understand why he had to die.

Why I have to suffer the loss of my baby and why others do not. Why others get to have children just to abandon them and why I have to struggle for my own. I was angry when I heard on the news about some North Carolina woman abandoning two children, one of them is a 19-month-old. I don't know if it is forgivable to leave her children because she is a "single mother and could not do it alone."

I didn't know whether to pity her or shame her, but I could hear God telling me to stay humble. My own mother was a single mother of five when I was a teen and I know how hard it is, but it just didn't sit well with me.

I would never, ever, abandon my children, even if times were tough. I cannot even think of giving up any child after losing Elijah. 

Yet, deep down, I know that there is a beautiful purpose and meaning to his death. It is difficult to put it in words or give this purpose and meaning a name, but I can easily - without a doubt - feel it in my heart and bones and know that it is embedded and entrusted to me. In some way, whatever this purpose and meaning is, I am to share it and use it for the good of all.

Before starting the body work session, my partner was going over some points in one of the books: Acupressure for Emotional Healing: A Self-Care Guide for Trauma, Stress, & Common Emotional Imbalances. She was feeling emotional that day and was looking for something to help with courage. I asked if there were any on grief - we flipped through the pages and found a few things. Those same points I saw on YouTube a year ago was one of them.

At the beginning of the session, things were going in a good direction. I felt relaxed. And then, when it was time for grief points, the music changed to this very emotional tone and I began to see shadows with my eyes closed. I could see this shadow trying to morph into the shape of a person. All I could think about was Elijah; my inner voice expressed how much I missed him.

I don't know if it was her touch, the music, the points, my grief, or hearing about my other classmate's loss, but suddenly, I was emotionally heavy with grief. My eyes kept welling up in tears and I knew that what I was feeling needed to come out. I don't know who's voice it was, but I heard, "Let it out." I was trying so hard to stop the tears...

My partner gave me a tissue (it's funny that I gave her a tissue before I began the first session with her, me being the therapist, her the client). We were both having an emotional day.

She gave me a gentle kiss on the forehead, as if to say, "You are loved." 

I am still very emotional when it comes to Elijah and always will be. But as much as it hurts, I am mostly private about when I need to let it out and cry.

It's hard to function in a world where many will tell me that someday, I will need to "move on" and "move forward," when the pain I feel never goes away. It's more difficult seeing the world continue to spin and change, while my world is crumbling and rebuilding itself at the same time.

Every day, I am living in six dimensions: the past, the present, the future, hell, heaven, and earth. I am constantly reminded of what could have been and the moments and memories I have lost. Little by little, what heals the pain is letting it out, one breath, one tear, and one step at a time.

With love,

Must Read:
Read the full story about Elijah:
Elijah's Story: From Gender Reveal To A Spontaneous Delivery

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