Holding Space and Co-Dependency

Monday afternoon, my brother took his last breath. He was surrounded by his wife and three kids, who so beautifully ushered him out of this world. I stood at his bedside and filled my heart and mind with love and gratitude for him.

In the two weeks leading up to this, I concentrated on being present with my brother and holding space for my sister in-law, nephews, and niece. I focused on being there for my brother, caring for myself, and wanted my brother to know that I was there for his family. I spoke with my brother about all my good memories growing up with him and prayed over him, affirming peace, trust, and love. As for his family, they expressed their gratitude for me being their to anchor their anxiety, confusion, and sorrow. I felt very honored to be there for them and my brother during this emotionally and physically exhausting time.

Later that day I was lucky enough to process the whole experience with my therapist. In the end she reminded me that I had just put out a massive mount of energy, and asked me how I was going to replenish it. That night I decided to make an appointment for a Reiki session, and luckily, was able to get one in the next day.

During my session I was reminded that grieving breaks open the heart and creates opportunity for deeper feeling and growth. As the session continued, what came up for me was that I was having feelings of no longer being useful to my family. My connection to my (brother’s) family was pretty intense for the last two weeks. We were there gathering information and making decisions regarding my brother’s care, and I sat with each of them when it all felt like too much. Now it feels like it has all come to an abrupt end. I know that I am still connected to them and am still here for them, but I can’t help but feel alone.

Add to this that most of my family is out-of-town, and so they will not be arriving until his services take place. Until then I am alone. This is not how I am use to grieving a family member. Usually we are all together for several days afterwards, but not this time.

So during the Reiki session I was able to allow this feeling through and was reminded that, not only was I mothering myself and his family during this turbulent time, but that I can now come back to myself. I can now continue to re-parent myself as I have been over these past two years. Knowing this brings some comfort, but I’m not gonna lie. I really don’t like not having my family near by for this.

Being with my brother as he passed was intense. I felt (and feel) honored, sad, and scared. I feel a heavy family burden so what will become of that is yet to be seen.


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