Healing Grief: Natrum Muriaticum
When I was 21 years old, my father unexpectedly died 10 days after my birthday. He was 47 years old. Death is strange. It's as natural as birth, we all know it's going to happen, yet when we see someone grieving the loss of a beloved we treat them like an untouchable. At that time friends, neighbours, teachers, and even relatives carefully tip-toed around me and my immediate family unsure of what to say or do after this tragic loss. So they avoided us altogether as if death were contagious.
Cast into the turbulent sea of grieving, and terribly untrained for it, I had to learn the skill of swimming in the cold and unforgiving waters of sorrow. Like many individuals destined for the healing arts, this was just one of many life events that had me thrown ashore, forced to walk the initiatory path of the wounded healer.
The year of my father's death and the few years following were pivotal toward understanding what it means to navigate profound loss, depression, and lifelessness. I had no hope, no motivation, and felt isolated during the very years I was supposed to be enjoying the best years of my life.
Then I found homeopathic medicine (a story for another time).
There were a small handfull of remedies that significantly helped me during these difficult Underworld years. One of them is called Natrum muriaticum. A homeopathic remedy for numbing, life-stealing grief. Natrum muriaticum (Nat-mur) is made from salt. The raw substance is processed according to homeopathic principles and made into a homeopathic remedy.
Imagine you are standing on the jutting rocks over-looking the cold, wild ocean on a stormy day. This remedy encompasses all the moods and textures this image conjures. Salt is the mineral of our emotions. The hot tears, the salt in the wound, the heavy overcast of forboding clouds rolling in. The longing for days gone by. Gazing into the sea waiting for our beloved to return. A loss so tremendous, only the expansiveness of the ocean can hold your grief when you realize they aren't coming home.
A perfect match for me at the time, this remedy is for the individual who protects themselves from showing the world the gut-splitting vulnerability of their pain. In particular, Nat-mur is for heartbreak, betrayal, loss, yet carrying it all with a brave face. It's for the strong, dutiful person who shoulders immense responsibility.
After my farther died and the few years after, I was careful not allow anyone except for a precious few to come into my world. I turned away from most relationships, not wanting to burden anyone with the depth of my grief and lostness. I avowed nothing was wrong. And yet I was disappearing from myself, the salt of amassed tears forming a fortress preventing close relationships and hindering me from moving forward. Thankfully, it was at this moment in time I found myself on the front steps of homeopathy college, with no understanding (yet) of how the training I was about to embark on to help others was really there to teach me that I first must help myself.
Five days after the very first dose of Natrum-mur, I cried....because I could feel something. Numbness was dissolving. A few short weeks after the crying, I felt something new. A feeling that resembled joy for the first time in years. It was a tiny feeling. Soon, I found myself going out and engaging with more people as I felt a sparkle of joy and enthusiasm emerging. A few weeks later, my friend remarked I was smiling. And a year of regular homeopathic treatment, I could look in the mirror and see a light in my eyes I thought died along with my father.
As with any appropriately given remedy and the sequential treatment that follows, over this year insights into my own soul were uncovered. I was revealing myself to myself. Delicately, like origami. And eventually, years later, peacefulness genuinely came.
The grief didn't exactly go away, but it did shift in such a way that I could move forward and feel the texture of other emotions and enjoy life again. In the words of Megan Devine, author of the fantastic book on trauma and loss It's Okay that You're Not Okay, "Some things in life cannot be fixed, they can only be carried."
I do not want to mid-lead you: my journey of healing through this horrible grief was not a straight-lined path. I learned healing is spiral-shaped. There were periods of time I felt stagnant. Times I felt I was going backwards. Tormenting grief revisited. And yet, finally, on the other side of the healing journey I could look back and see just how far I had come, and how all of it was truly an advancement forward.
Nat-mur is common enough to be sold at your local pharmacy or health food store. You can purchase it yourself if you relate to this picture. However for long-standing complicated situations the guidance of a qualified homeopathic practitioner is recommended. For perspective, I saw my homeopath regularly that first year, and we changed potencies and even used different remedies while I was undergoing treatment.
We live in grief-inducing times. This remedy can be a helpful ingredient in your medicine chest if you feel wrecked with grief from life events.
The best way to take it for every-day stress & grief: take 3 pills once a day for 2-5 days depending on the severity of the situation. Then stop. Wait and watch and see what happens in the coming weeks. Repeat 3 pills on occasion as needed. If you are not experienced with homeopathy, consider seeking a practitioner. Learn about homeopathy by purchasing a few books (like this one or this one). As any system of medicine demands: educate yourself on the principles so you can use it responsibly.