July 5, 2021

Episode #24 - Learning to Grieve - with Louise Adams

"Grief is for us, not for them," says end-of-life healer, Louise Adams. After working for 18 years with cancer patients (her calling), Louise has experienced the life force leaving bodies and transitioning into peace, love and light, while patients' families have been left with their grief. Louise has seen cultural differences in mourning rituals and feels our Western culture needs to re-vision death, life-after-death and grief so that we are able to grieve more freely and have support in place to teach people how to best navigate the transformative process of grieving - for themselves and for their loved ones in Spirit. Chris and Hannah add their own experiences into the mix.


Hannah channelled a series of three films called 'The Emergency Grief Kit' for anyone recently bereaved: the first film can be found here: https://youtu.be/FjWlzntSNrQ

All of the films can be found within RAISE, Hannah and Chris' online community, free to view: https://www.raisewithchrisandhan.digital (you have to request to join this private community, by they way ;) 

Transcript

Hannah Velten 02:58

Hello Hi, welcome. Come on in as usual. Come on into the circle. I can't believe I'm saying it, but this is our penultimate episode of 'The Finder of Lost Things'. I can't believe it. Yeah, I'm beginning to feel a little bit - 'lost' is not quite the right word - but I'm feeling I'm sort of having to let go of this last six months. I've enjoyed it so much. And I'm just beginning to let it go in this episode, I think probably, before we do our final episode. But I have an amazing guest to share with you today and I'm so happy that she agreed to come on the show. I think it's going to be really uplifting. I think if you are recently bereaved or you are facing a death of a loved one or you yourself are facing your own death, I think we're going to have a really inspiring, insightful and empowering and beautiful conversation today. 

 

Hannah Velten  04:07

My guest is Louise Adams, I'm going to let her introduce herself as to her sort of qualifications for being on the show really. But - I don't even know which episode it was; it was quite early on - but I was talking about Chris's experiences of the afterlife and his death - which I need to say, he was unconscious and he was in the water ([Hannah coughs] pardon me) - and I, at that time, said I would actually love to speak to a death doula. Somebody who has sat with patients maybe or somebody who's sat with people who are dying, and they know the sort of dying process and, you know, to have somebody on who could really bring comfort and I suppose explain a little bit for me as well what Chris might have experienced. And so in less than a few months, Louise Adams who is - I would call her a death doula and I know she has been called a death doula before - but she magically appeared in my life and I just thought I can't not ask her to come on the show [Hannah laughs]. So I did and she has. So I'm going to welcome Louise now. Hi, Louise.

 

Louise Adams  05:29

Hi Hannah. 

 

Hannah Velten  05:29

I know Louise is from Wales, the land of the dragon. So Hi, thank you so much for joining me, honestly, my heart is... I'm so pleased you're here. And I feel this episode is much needed. So yeah, do you want to just give a little introduction to yourself, your sort of background and why you've come to be on the podcast?

 

Louise Adams  05:55

Absolutely. Hi, Hannah. So as Hannah said, my name is Louise Adams. And what a gift to be invited here by Hannah. And what a divine gift from her brother, I'm sure that he's connected us both. And I'm absolutely sure that he's done that. So, you know, a big nod to him as well for inviting me here to share this beautiful space, you know, because they don't leave, they don't leave, and that's what I'm hopefully here to share with you all and to lift you all out of the immense sort of grief and sadness that we feel when we're Earthbound. So as Hannah said, you know, we've been gifted with the opportunity to meet, in this life, which is simply beautiful. And what a beautiful synchronicity. And when Hannah said 'I've been looking for a death doula' and I was like, ah, here I am? [Louise laughs] 

 

Louise Adams  06:52

So yeah, so I'm from the land of the dragons. So Wales, in the UK, where we roar {Louise laughs} Bringing some Welsh energy to sprinkle in here today. So my experience of working in end-of-life care has been a simply beautiful journey. And again, another synchronicity journey, as well, of how I got there. So I've been working for our NHS, which is our healthcare in the UK, as an NHS paid therapist, which is incredibly rare to be an NHS therapist, so we are a rare breed. And, you know, I'm certainly glad for being part of this. So I walked into our cancer hospital. I was a Reiki Master, teacher and healer, with already some years of experience behind me, and felt a calling to walk into my local NHS cancer hospital, and asked if I could be of service. And it was a leap of faith. And it's without a doubt, one of the greatest leap of faith I've ever made. And it's brought me to a place of, you know, incredible privilege of being able to sit with people at the end of their life - for the last 18 years. So, you know, I have to pinch myself sometimes and think of how long that's been. So I've worked with adults with cancer on their journey from diagnosis to end of life. And I've also worked with the families and the relatives who were left behind. So I work a lot with them with the healing process, and working through their grief, and sort of helping them back into the world of the living, because they still have to stay Earthbound. And I also work with teenagers, ending their life with cancer as well. So, you know, as I said, a huge privilege to hold people's hands and hold their energies as they transition into the next part of their journey. So yes, I'm really excited to be here.

 

Hannah Velten  08:58

Thank you. Oh, so there's a couple of things in there that I sort of thought, Oh, that's interesting. Like having that calling. What kind of prompted you to go into the hospital? Is there something there? Did you get a... what happened?

 

Louise Adams  09:14

Do you know what, actually, this was kind of a brush with a near-death myself. So I was a civil servant. And in my civil service job, I was threatened with a gun. And in that moment [Hannah shudders and makes a noise], yeah, in that moment, so I faced a feeling of, well, that could be me. And I naturally went on the sick from that role. And it was whilst I was on the sick from that role that I was seeking to use my healing, because as a healer with no purpose that's just not right. So you know, it was just a feeling. It was a calling. It was a dream. I meditate. I meditate daily and in my meditation, I was shown the cancer hospital. So it was just as much a shock to me [Louise laughs] as it was to the people that I walked into that day, and literally walked in and said, 'I'd like to be of service. I'm a healer, I teach Reiki, I'd like to work with you. Is that okay?' And I walked in and I never left for 18 years.

 

Hannah Velten  10:22

Oh, my goodness, that is amazing. My whole body, the minute you said that, was tingling so much. I can't believe there's so many... like a healer without a purpose. 

 

Louise Adams  10:32

Yes, yes. 

 

Hannah Velten  10:34

Oh, my goodness. And taking that leap of faith, like you just said. Like, you could have just ignored that, couldn't you? 

 

Louise Adams  10:41

Oh, of course, I could. I mean I was a lone parent, you know. I had a daughter to feed. I had a home to support. And there I was with no purpose. And I was being paid because I was on the sick, but that wasn't enough. That really wasn't enough. So it was certainly a calling. And without a doubt the loudest calling I've ever had.

 

Hannah Velten  11:05

Oh, that's so beautiful. And then your brush with death? The minute you said that I really got the bodily chills from that. Does that still sort of affect you now?

 

Louise Adams  11:20

I still have the memories of it. So I had to have counselling after that time, because I developed PTSD, which was a huge shock to me, because I thought PTSD was for people that were in the war, that had returned from, you know, combat, and to realise that I was in a process of PTSD myself, I think that was the tool that I then ran with as the healer in the cancer hospital. Because what I recognised very early was that patients, or the relatives, develop PTSD, because they're saying goodbye to their loved ones. And I really, honestly believe that I was meant to have experienced this, to deepen my work as a healer of service to others. And it's been where I've been ever since.

 

Hannah Velten  12:08

Thank you for sharing that. Yeah. I mean, that's similar to me. I mean, that's why I do what I do now. And in fact, if Chrisitan hadn't gone missing, and what have you, none of this would be happening. 

 

Louise Adams  12:18

Absolutely. 

 

Hannah Velten  12:19

So when you say that... maybe I should talk about it now, just because you've mentioned it - the trauma response - because I held my sort of trauma in hugely, and it was actually the last thing that I was prompted to release. So how did it manifest in yourself?

 

Louise Adams  12:39

So for me at the time, it was actually very subtle. Mine appeared in the physical body, because as a healer I think I'm so used to processing my own hurt so quickly - because as a healer we're taught to do that - so because I heal mentally and emotionally very quickly, my system had to resonate with that somewhere. So I developed physical symptoms. So I became physically poorly. And I remember my doctor who knew me very, very well, he knew that I was a very sort of capable healer, if you like; you know, and he always said to me, you know, 'If there's anyone I'll never treat for stress, it'll be you, because you're so resilient.' And there I was, with all these physical symptoms, so severe headaches, nausea, you know, sort of... what do they call it? When you're looking around for danger? 

 

Hannah Velten  13:35

Hypervigilance.

 

Louise Adams  13:34

Yeah, hypervigilance, I developed this hypervigilance. And I remember sitting in my doctor's surgery, and he said, 'Has anything happened to you recently?' And I was like, 'I don't think so. You know, I had a divorce a couple of years ago. And that was fine, because that was meant to be, and I'm a lone parent.' He said, 'Anything else?' And I sort of said, 'Well, I was threatened with a gun about six months ago.' And he was like, 'Stop, stop, talk, talk to me.' And I read it like a story, because I'd processed it. And there it was and he said, 'There it is.' So I had a physical manifestation of it. And I now recognise that in me, but more importantly, I recognise it in others. So when I'm working with the relatives that are left behind as the healer I work with them too, to release this grief and trauma. And that's what I've become known for. So yeah...

 

Hannah Velten  13:35

Oh, there's so many layers to grief isn't there? And like holding it in the body is so... 

 

Louise Adams  14:30

...painful...

 

Hannah Velten  14:38

So damaging.

 

Louise Adams  14:40

It is, and that's what I did. You know, I wasn't aware that I was holding it in. I think I was just aware that as a lone parent, I had to get on with it. And I know a lot of our relatives say that to me. "I have to get on with it. I still have to be a mam or a dad or, you know, an uncle or auntie". They still have to have a life. I recognise that and that's where I can step in with my therapies and my healing and say, right, let's take you out of that journey of pain to full healing.

 

Hannah Velten  15:12

Yeah, cuz I mean, I've had clients who... well, so many people, they experienced a bereavement, but, at the time, they just couldn't grieve. You know, they had to go back to work, they had a family, you know, they were the strong one in the family, so they couldn't be seen to grieve, and it comes out... like COVID been great for that [Hannah laughs wryly)... comes out years, decades later.

 

Louise Adams  15:38

It really does. And that's what I see time and time again, you know, so I will often say to people just let it out. You know, in the Western world (if you like) we are so inept at grief. We're not taught to grieve, you know, we are as a society, you know, certainly in Britain, you know, we've got the stiff upper lip, you know, onwards and upwards. You know, we've even got these ridiculous memes, 'Keep calm and carry on', you know, they're sold everywhere... you have these subliminal messages, 'Keep calm and carry on'. What does that even mean? That means keep calm, hold it in, don't you dare grieve. So for me, as the healer, I'm consciously aware of that all the time. And sort of telling people through the language patterns that we see - don't keep it in, do not hold your grief in. You know, be like the other cultures that wail. Wail and grieve, and shout and scream and get it out. But we're not conditioned; we're really not conditioned to be that way.

 

Hannah Velten  16:44

No. We'll talk a bit more about that a bit later on. The other thing I just wanted to pick up from your intro, you've worked with lots of different ages of patient. 

 

Louise Adams  16:55

Yes. 

 

Hannah Velten  16:55

The question that came into my head was... I mean, I know Christian was young, he was 27, when he died, when he passed on, over, (whatever the term is [both laugh]), but are there differences in the attitude towards death between the ages? Because you've obviously worked with teenagers? Is that a huge subject, or can you give me a sort of rough idea? 

 

Louise Adams  17:22

Yeah, it's a huge subject, but I can precis it down into, again, the expectations and life that happens as an adult, you know. We've got mortgages. We've got families. We've got people to leave behind, you know. An adult, when they're passing away, is consciously sort of working with their family - how is this gonna work? And how's that going to work? and blah, blah, blah. A child going through death is just... it sounds really strange thing to say... but it's one of the most beautiful things to see, because children don't hold on like adults do. And for me, that has been one of the most beautiful gifts in my time, in end-of-life care, is that the teenagers, the young people that die, they don't hold on so much. Their body is newer, so the body is newer. And I think that's something to do with it. But I think that acceptance, that they know that they're closer to the beautiful place they came from. That's what it feels like to me. So when I think about children, and I see them, my heart goes out to people who grieve for children. For me, the children are the safest in all of this. They are the ones that transition into their near past. They're closer to where they came from. So for me, I've sat with children as they've died, and it's the most beautiful experience. And I know that sounds such a strange thing to say, because I've got one ear on the parents, you know, I've got one ear sometimes listening to their grief, but I'm also holding the space of the child who is so... almost... (um, how do I say this without, you know, making this sound wrong?) but almost excited to go back to that beautiful place of freedom from a body that no longer works, you know. Because they're back with their soul. They're back with their soul without a broken body, and they understand that more than adults do. So it's, yeah, it's very different.

 

Hannah Velten  19:24

Oh, that's amazing. I hadn't ever thought about it like that. But that's so true. So true. Amazing.

 

Louise Adams  19:34

So your brother would have been the same. He was young.

 

Hannah Velten  19:37

Yeah, yeah. 27 with the devil-may-care attitude, most of the time.

 

Louise Adams  19:44

So that childlike energy that he had - HAS, still has - that energy kept in the childlike spirit. So I firmly believe, having worked in the end of life with those children, is that they're so close to that beautiful spirit energy. That child, vibrant energy, that they're happy. They're happy in that place. You know, adults are different. They're grieving for the family they leave behind, and the guilt. It's almost like a 'leavers' guilt' that they feel, whereas the child doesn't have that. It really is beautiful.

 

Hannah Velten  20:20

I know we were talking before about... this kind of fits in... I'm just gonna go with the flow with whatever pops in... We were talking about the regrets of the dying, weren't we? Before we move on to the sort of process of dying, we were talking about that last time and... I asked you to sort of have a think about maybe what are the main sort of regrets of people when they're dying, which can help us live?

 

Louise Adams  20:53

Absolutely. And I would say, I mean, I've spoken to so many people, or listened to so many people, as they take their final moments and their biggest regret is they didn't live. That is, without a doubt, the biggest regret. We have this life and we don't live it, you know. And there's lots of analogies and memes and things these days - you know, live every day, like it's your last - and we hear of these sayings, but they are so true. They are so true. And I think that's the biggest thing people say is, "I wish I'd.... I wish I'd...' I think for a lot of people... and generations make a difference as well. So a lot of the older generation, again, were conditioned to be that stiff-upper-lip and if you show love, you show weakness. You know, if you show tears, you show weakness. And yet for the ones that are living in those final moments, they hear their family say 'sorry'. You know the word 'sorry'. And again, as a society or societal norms, the word 'sorry' is seen as a weakness. And yeah, it's the one thing I hear the most: 'I'm so sorry'. You know, and I think for me, that simple word, we should use more. You know, so when we do wrong of somebody (even if it's intentional or not), just say 'sorry'. You know, just say 'sorry', with love. So I think there's certainly those familiar themes. But the biggest one is I wish I'd lived. I wish I'd lived without caring what other people think - that's another big one that comes out. Because we care. We care so much. I do myself. I've been trapped in that myself - that cycle of caring too much about what other people think about me. And actually, at the end of your life, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't matter, because those that love us care. Those that, you know, that are bullies and negative people around us, they might not like us, that's just tough. That's their business, not ours. You know, when I would hear about these sort of, yeah, 'I wish I'd live my life without that care', you know, in the most beautiful way. So yeah, I think that's one of the biggest things I've taken from it, is just to live and to say 'sorry', and to say, 'I love you'. To say, 'I love you', because, again, certain generations found that hard... If you said 'I love you', especially a man, you know, a man saying 'I love him' is seen as weak. Wow, wow. Where does that come from? What societal norms and conditions placed that one upon us? You know, so, you know, that's something that children don't have: children say 'I love you', children say 'I'm sorry'. Children don't care what other people think about them. You know, they just live. And that's the sort of huge difference I saw in life and death between the ages, as well. So it's beautiful.

 

Hannah Velten  24:09

Yeah, there's several things in there, just from Chris's point of view. I mean, Chris lived his life as he wanted to live it. He certainly did. Certainly lived life to the maximum. And Chris and I, when we'd found out that he died - I will read you a bit later on, when it comes to it - but he wrote with me, and his main thing was how sorry he was for, like, the trouble he'd caused. Obviously now we've moved on and it's not a problem, but like he was so, so sorry. That was what his letter was mainly about. And he also talked about what it was like on the other side, which we will talk about. Yeah. And all these memes that say, you know, 'Live life like it's your last' and it's usual that you get that when you've had a near death experience like yourself or you've had, you know, somebody very close to you die and you're like, you've got to grab every opportunity, but I don't know that we do. We do a lot of talking about it, don't we, and if everybody lived like seizing the day and doing what they really wanted to do, you might feel you would hurt a lot of people, but actually, in the end, I think everyone would be in a.... like, if you're happy in yourself, and you're balanced and you're peaceful in yourself and doing your purpose (like you were walking into the hospital and getting that job), you know, life in general would be a lot calmer, wouldn't it, for everybody.

 

Louise Adams  25:51

It would be. You know, we need to stay in our lane, don't we. We need to stay in our lane. And you're right, I've just come out of a weekend healing festival for healers [Louise laughs], so I'm currently sort of overflowing with love at the moment, because I've been loved from all angles. And, you know, we're creating that in certain parts of the UK where we're sort of seeding this new beginning, if you like, of creating communities again. You know, because in tribes and indigenous tribes around the world, love is what keeps them together. Love is what connects them. You know, and that's what we've certainly created this weekend. So, you know, you're right. If we're all over-filling with love, that overspills into the people around us and has that sort of a cumulative effect.

 

Hannah Velten  26:40

Yeah. The ripple. The famous ripple effect. Absolutely. Yeah, so if we kind of move on. So the work - I was gonna say you live 'in between' - [both laugh] but the work you do, you have a patient who's dying and you also have the family, who are facing a death, like you are at... It's like an initiation. I guess. That's how I kind of see it for both sides, everybody. Yeah... can you sort of talk me through your role? 

 

Louise Adams  27:24

Yeah, yeah, I think so. 

 

Hannah Velten  27:25

Is that possible? 

 

Louise Adams  27:26

Yeah. I'll try 

 

Hannah Velten  27:27

And sort of process of what goes on, and what healing you do?

 

Louise Adams  27:33

Yeah. Okay. So the healing I do is Reiki. So I'm a Reiki Master Teacher. So I teach that and, in the past, I've taught Reiki to relatives...

 

Hannah Velten  27:43

So what does Reiki sort of mean in layman's terms?

 

Hannah Velten  27:48

So Reiki, for me, is a universal energy, so it's not affiliated with any religion. So it's a very neutral energy to work with. And we call it 'universal lifeforce energy'. So it's the energy that exists all around us, all of the time; we're all plugged into it from birth, that's our birthright. Some of us are more aware of it than others. So we all have the ability to self heal - we've got that element within us. When you're initiated into Reiki (which is what I do as the Reiki Master Teacher - I initiate people into that place) they then become the self healer, and the healer of others. So there's various different parts to that. So Reiki 1 is about self healing. And some people will just be Reiki 1 for the whole of their lives. Others will say, right, Louise, I now want to go and work with others, I want to give Reiki to others. So they come back and do their Reiki 2 with me. And then if they want to master the experience, they then become a Reiki Master through me as well. So there's a whole experience that goes with that. But in terms of working with that end-of-life care, so when I'm in a room, or in a home, wherever I am with these people, I'm in that space (and as you said it) almost holding the hands of both. So it's holding the hand and the energy of the person who's about to leave, but also holding the space for the family to be with that. And certainly in the NHS setting, the family are fully aware that we're present. So often the patient has requested us, in the past, and often the families will say, 'They are so much calmer when they've had Reiki, so can they have Reiki at the end of their life.' And that is, beyond doubt, the biggest privilege ever to be invited into that space, especially when I've been invited into people's homes as well, which is even more profound, even more beautiful. So I'm going to talk about the home because I think that's where it's at. So when people are home in that beautiful space of theirs, I will sit with the patient and just hold their energy, and I will go to where I'm guided. And when I say 'guided', you know, it's not some mystical woowoo, it's that just feeling of where does this person want me to hold them right now, as they leave? 

 

Hannah Velten  27:55

And when you say... sorry, when you say 'holding' someone, can you describe what that means? 

 

Louise Adams  30:13

Yeah, of course. So it may be that I literally just hold their feet. It may be that I just hold their feet and just sit with the energy in the physical body and hold them physically. Or it might be that if the person I'm working with knows about energy, and they know about the chakra system, for example, I've worked with people's chakra systems before and worked with their energies, and just held their system. And that's probably a whole new conversation, because that's a whole new realm of itself. So I will go to where I'm guided. So I will either hold them physically, which nine times out of 10 is what I will do. So I will have my hand on their body somewhere; it might be their feet, it might be their heart. Very often, I feel called to their heart energy, because that's where the fear is at the end. So for some people, when they're holding on, and they're fearful, I'll hold the heart, and I'll hold their hand. So I'll literally hold their heart energy. And I sit with that person, and work with healing, and the person takes that off you. So as a healer, I never profess to go to someone and give healing, the person takes healing from me. I just act as the vessel. It's not an egotistical thing of like, 'I'm going to give you healing, 'till you pass.' It's 'I'm going to sit here, take what you need until you've left.' And that in itself is just a beautiful connection. So I will hold that person's energy. If I have maybe a relative... and relatives will hold their families, so they'll be holding their hands or holding their head and touching them... sometimes if a family relative is literally close to freaking out, they've got that fear, I'll often hold them at the same time. So what I often do, and what I've often done, is almost act as a bridge; between holding the heart of the person who's dying, and holding the heart of the person who's left behind. And even if it's just their hand, or their heart, or their head, wherever that might be, it's just holding, until we just equalise the energy between them leaving. And it's just - I'm smiling, because it's just the most incredible experience. It really is.

 

Hannah Velten  32:37

Oh, goodness, I can understand that. So they're level. So they're both in a place of love. 

 

Louise Adams  32:44

Yes, completely, totally. 

 

Hannah Velten  32:47

So the fear has gone.

 

Louise Adams  32:49

Yeah, you hold it 'till it dissipates. Because they feel the love and the connection and the healing. Both of them do, at the same time. And it's a simultaneous feeling of that person calming, the person who's left behind is calming. And the person who's leaving is calming as well. So you're taking away that fear on both sides. You can't take away grief, but you can certainly work with fear at the end. And I think that's a lot of what my healing is. It's balancing the fear at the end.

 

Hannah Velten  33:20

Okay. And you described to me, when we chatted earlier, about the actual dying process. I know it was one of your first experiences that really... well, I mean... can you describe that to me now?

 

Louise Adams  33:39

I can. Yeah. So it's one of the most probably profound experiences. So it was not that far from my own near-death, I suppose. So it was in the very beginning of my journey in the Cancer Centre and I was working with a beautiful friend of mine (who's still a beautiful friend of mine) and she had just lost someone herself, but she was also one of the healers in the cancer hospital. I can't remember... at this stage, I think I'd also taught her Reiki as well. So we were working with Reiki together. And I said, 'Well, why don't we work with this lady together? You know, you've just passed your Reiki, let's do this together. Let's share the experience.' And, without a doubt, it was the most profound death, I think, you know, of all of them, because it was my initiation myself into that. And I work with the chakra system in the healing, so we work with the seven main chakras - there are many more but we work with seven. So we work up the body, if you like. So, if you could liken this and if you could imagine (for those of you that are listening) that the root energy is round about the hips. Then you've got the sacral energy which is round about the waist. Then you move up into the solar plexus, which is diaphragm area. Then into the heart, which is where you imagine the heart to be. Up into the throat, which is where we express our truth. Then into our third eye on the forehead, which is our reality and our imagination. And the crown is at the top of the head. And the crown, for me, always represents that leaving space. And this is what I now know from working here. So the root energy, for me, is the body energy; it's the physical body that's going to be left behind. So I said to my friend, 'You hold the crown, (which is the place that I felt that they would leave) and I will hold the root (which is the physical body). And one by one, let's just see what happens." And we really did open ourselves up to 'let's just see where this goes', it was beautiful. And the lady that was passing was such a big part of this. Even though she was no longer verbally communicating with us, her energy system communicated so clearly - this is why I stay doing what I do. 

 

Louise Adams  36:07

So towards the end of life, people are often very aware of the noises that the body makes. And that can be quite distressing for the family. So in particular, the chest, it's got like a rattling sound to it. And it's not a very nice word, but they call it 'the death rattle', which is an awful word to use. But it's just where the lungs are no longer, you know, going to need to work. So the body does make these uncomfortable sounds, but the person - I promise you - is not hurting. I can honestly say that, because I felt it so many times. So as I held the root energy, it was... it was like little light bulbs, sort of flickering; you know when a light bulb is about to flicker and go. And the root energy did that. And I thought, oh my goodness, it's gone. So I moved up to the sacral energy, which was the next energy centre, and the same thing happened again. And the noise that came into my head was almost like a moth hitting the light bulb, where you just get those flickers of energy. And this light bulb was sort of flickering, you know, making little sparks, and then it would dim, and then just go, really gently. And then the same for each energy centre. Solar Plexus did the same. The Solar Plexus is the seat of our soul. It's our lifeforce energy. So it's a huge part of us. So that took the longest, because that's one of the biggest energy centres that we have. But again, it was just beautiful. And you could almost see the colours of the energy system as this was happening as well. So it was, you know, a sort of kaleidoscope of colour for us as the healers, but for the person - for the lady that was passing - it was such a beautiful feeling of acceptance. And just one by one, these light bulbs just dimmed so, so gently, and then just went quiet. But the feeling was one of lightness, for her, was one a full acceptance, was relief. You know, for her, it was like, 'Oh, I'm leaving. I'm going to the place. I'm going back to my soul energy'. You could almost feel her excitement. So she had excitement, she had awe and wonder and, yes, she felt the person she was leaving too. She felt that too. But she also felt this acceptance of like, this is okay, I'm fine. And then all of these energy centres closed down. So I then almost didn't have a purpose anymore, because I was still in the physical body. And my friend had the crown, which is the top of the head, which is ultimately, to me, the place of that connection; that connection to Souce, to the universal energy all around us. And she left through there. And it was just the most beautiful experience. Beautiful.

 

Hannah Velten  39:14

Oh, my goodness, thank you so much for describing it so beautifully. I feel like I'm entranced by you and the experience... You also told me - I don't know if you want to explain as well - the reaction of loved ones when they find it hard to let go. I know you had an experience that you describe to me, would you be able to share that?

 

Louise Adams  39:44

Of course, I will. It was the same experience. So it's the same person and, without a doubt, this was why it was so beautiful, because it taught me how immensely powerful grief is. Because what happened was, as she was leaving (and she'd left), we didn't hear anymore her body, so we had almost zoomed out completely of her physical being, because she'd gone... It was beautiful and sort of shocking all at the same time - of that transition to hold between life and death - because as she left, and of course the breathing had stopped - we were holding her energy with such awe and we were looking at each other. And I looked at my friends, knowing full well she'd been recently bereaved herself, and I looked at her and just nodded and said, 'Are you okay?' through my eyes, we didn't speak. 'Are you okay?' In other words, do you want me to carry on? Do you want me to hold?' And there was this beautiful connection here with this as well. But when the husband heard that she'd gone, he screamed. He let out this almost primal scream of grief, of, oh, my god, she's gone. And as he did that, it was so loud, it shook us all. It literally shook us all. But what it did was it brought her back in, back into the physical body with such a jolt, I will never forget it - it was like dominoes falling; you know, when you hit one domino, and all the others go down - she sort of almost swiftly came back in. But in a shocking feeling. It didn't hurt her. But it was just a feeling of just like, 'it's okay, I'm still here, I'm still here'. And she survived another six hours for him. So he bought her back, just for that time. And I've not seen that since, that's extremely rare. Because what I don't want to give is the unrealistic expectation that if you do that, you can bring your people back. You know, because we have to be realistic with grief at the same time. But to stand in both of those worlds, for me, was just wow, the power of physical grief. You know, the power of grief to sort of not let go. But she had gone. She was so ready. And it just left us with that feeling of like almost sadness for her that she was so ready to go, but an awe for him and an awe for her for just staying that one last moment... I think it was six hours, we weren't there for the final six hours, because it happened overnight, which was for her and for him, you know. And then he was able to finally let her go, because she did, she chose to leave then. But yeah, just to feel that jolt back in... but the knowledge, as well, that she would have gone so peacefully.

 

Hannah Velten  43:01

And that's what you normally see, is it? That first experience you had, you've seen that replicated again and again, have you?

 

Louise Adams  43:09

I have done. I suppose I have seen that, because, you know... not always in that direct way (it was a quite unique because we were part of that experience), but I think certainly the power of grief to... it's so hard to verbalise some of these things, it really is, I'm trying to do it justice by putting it into words... She was just able to hang on that little bit longer. Whereas other people I've worked with, know when the relatives have left the room. So... the person who's passing away, doesn't want their relative to see them at those final moments. And I categorically know that the person can also choose to leave. And I've seen that more. I've seen that much more than I've seen that first story. So that first story of him pulling her back was quite unusual, you know, but the other way round is more normal. So we will sit with patients and work with patients and and often the patient will say, 'I don't want my family to see me dying. I don't want them to witness my death.' And through time we've often said to people you will know and you will choose - that's all we can say, because you can't prescribe that for people. So we will often have that sense of, like, don't worry about it. The right thing will happen. But I know - from the people that have gone - the relatives will be with them for days, and I mean days at a time. They haven't showered, they haven't brushed their teeth, they haven't eaten a meal and the nurses will come in and out and say, 'Please go and have a break', but they will stay. And one in particular sticks to my mind. And she would not leave the room of her daughter. And I kept saying to her, 'You have to nourish yourself first, you have to. Because if you're going to say goodbye, in the strength that you're going to need to say goodbye, you're going to need to live.' I know that seems a really strange thing to say, but you have to be alive to say goodbye. Because otherwise you're going to pass out, you're going to be ill, and you're not going to be present. But what often happens then, is that that person will go for a shower, they'll go for food, they'll walk down the corridor, they'll get fresh air, and the relative will choose to go. And for me, I take huge comfort in that, because it's what they want. But I know from the relatives I work with, in the family that are left behind, the 'survivor guilt' that people feel in that moment they carry for the whole of their lives. And as the healer, I'm always saying to people, 'They chose. Please don't feel guilty, because they chose to go when you weren't in the room. So please don't carry that round like luggage, for the rest of your life. Because trust me, that was divine timing - that was deliberate. You might not like that. And that might not sit with you (and I'm quite blunt with people, because you have to be honest) That will not sit with you. But I'm telling you, that was their choice. So the memory you have as them is living."

 

Hannah Velten  46:33

Ah, okay. Yeah, I get that now. Definitely. So if we now move on to the grieving side, because I know you have a beautiful quote, which I will let you say, about what you think grief is for. 

 

Louise Adams  46:49

Oh, remind me. [Louise laughs] 

 

Hannah Velten  46:51

Oh, you said it a couple of times actually - grief is for us, not for them. The grief we hold... I know you want to say stuff about grief and how you've seen a good example of grieving and your thoughts about grief.

 

Louise Adams  47:17

Yeah, so, again, grief is not something we're taught, which I think is wrong. You know, when you consider (if we're being pragmatic) that the only guarantee we have in life is that we're all dying from the minute we're born. Yeah, you know, so that's very blunt, and very direct, but it's also very realistic. 

 

Hannah Velten  47:39

And true!

 

Louise Adams  47:39

It is very true. And I think that we have to learn the cycle of life and death. You know, so certainly for my daughter growing up, this is why (bless her), this is why my daughter had so many animals growing up. Because from a very young age, I wanted to teach her about the cycle of life and death. Because I know that every child is going through a phase of realising - and the child will - all of a sudden the child will get to a certain age, and they're no longer closer to the place they came from. They're more in the physical world as they get older. And all of a sudden, I remember my daughter doing this, 'Oh, Mum, I'm frightened to die. And I'm frightened of you dying." It's that conversation we all have with young children. But I think the perspective that I've gained from working in that end-of-life care, is that... and that's why I can afford to be pragmatic, that it is the only guarantee we've got... so I think the way we need to approach this going forward is to be taught how to grieve. You know, to be taught that we have to grieve. That we have to let it out. That we have to process it. You know, we also live in a very culturally diverse world and different cultures have different ways of dealing with grief. So some cultures will say, you know, death is a much better place... you know, I almost admire sometimes - and certainly working with different cultures as well in my experience - certain cultures will face death with almost an angelic perspective of acceptance and sort of, you know, acceptance that this is okay. But we survive in the West. You know, and I keep going back to this, because our Western culture is to fear death, is to bottle up the grief, is to not feel it, is to not process it. So I think, you know, in itself, it's such a huge subject, but I think we need to be realistic and talk about it. You know, have 'grief circles' that people can come together and sit in circle. This is something that I will probably do more of going forward is to sit with people and say, 'Welcome to the circle. Let's talk. Let's open up. Let's share.' I mean, it's a huge subject in itself, so is there anything in particular that you want me to touch upon? 

 

Hannah Velten  50:13

Yeah, I mean, I know having a missing brother, you have that ambiguous loss, so you don't know whether to grieve or not - you obviously are grieving, but you don't want to grieve because, you know, he might walk through the door. So my grief got so stuck. So my journey was literally facing my grief and actually going through it. And I know how frightening it is, so I have complete compassion with anybody who just feels that the grief will just overwhelm them. And, like, how do you even begin? I mean, I know how I would do it, but what would you sort of suggest the first step may be, or a first way to face it?

 

Louise Adams  51:03

I think, for me, it's certainly to surround yourself with people. That's certainly something for people I've worked with. What people tend to do in grief is to go into themselves, and they tend to sit with it in a lonely place. And I think that's the damage of grief - is that loneliness, that sitting with it and feeling that only you can do this. But actually, when I look at different cultures, and the way different people experience grief, sitting in community - you know, I don't mean, you know, rocking up and making a tribe (although you can do that too) - but I mean, it's about being authentic in your grief. So if that means one day you're shouting and you're screaming, then let it come out. So you know, again, we're so conditioned to hold things in. And that's the one thing I want to say, is to let it out, do not let grief sit inside you. Because the only person that will hurt is you. And I promise you, the person that's left {in Spirit] does not want that. So it is about expressing it, in all of its layers. And that can be raw in the first few days or months or weeks. It can also be a complete numbness. So a lot of people I work with experience a numbness that often in - and I'm going to say the first year - I think I spoke to you about this before. There's an expectation that the first year is the hardest. Because people say, you know, or there'll be birthdays, there'll be anniversaries, they'll be Christmas, the first Christmas, the first birthday. And what tends to happen then is community arrive for you in that first year. If you're lucky enough. So friends will phone you. 'It's their birthday coming up, what can we do? What would you like us to do?' And people often put a plaster on it and say, 'Let's take you out and forget about it.' But I almost want to say to people sit with them in that time. And instead of saying let's go out and forget about it for the night, how about just sit with it, with somebody and talk about them? You know, talk about them and just let it out. So what I've often found is that the community essence of like 'how are you?' in the first year, it's a band aid fix. It's the second and the third year that's the hardest, because that's when people step away. That's when people think the first year is done. They'll be okay now they've had a year. And as you said earlier, Hannah, certainly in our culture, you go back to work. You can't afford to be off with grief. I've got a dear friend of mine at the moment who's grieving and she had to be back in work within a week otherwise she doesn't get paid. You know, so we have that conditioning around grief that's just wrong. So for me, I think it's about feeling it in its rawness and sitting with it, and not putting a bandaid on it, not running from it and escaping and thinking oh, I need to keep myself busy, so I don't think about this. Because it's normal to process. It's normal to cry. It's normal to fall apart at the seams. Okay, but I just want to almost give permission for that to happen.

 

Hannah Velten  54:33

Yeah, and it needs to be - and we talked about this before - it needs to be from the ground up, doesn't it. This is how society and culture should be built-in; like we should have more time off - how can you possibly go back (after a week) after a major bereavement? I know people who have, and we've had guests on the show who have, and they've literally gone, after a few months, they've just gone, 'Actually, you know what, I'm now going to fall apart because I can't hold it any longer.' And we need to have it from the ground up - a real re-vision of what grief is and how we hold it in the Western society and how we can have a community and we all come together, like we've been in a circle for this podcast for the last six months, you know.

 

Louise Adams  55:21

Absolutely. What springs to mind here (it's just come up to me now)... we birth a child, we have maternity leave, we lose someone - which is the death of someone - and we get a week's leave. We need to work on this. Because death and birth, they are as important as each other, in terms of the emotional impact of both of those. We hold so much reverence, don't we, for birth and you have to have that time off and blah, blah, blah, because it's a beautiful time. Grief is a hard time, it's a difficult time to let go. So why aren't we giving the same amount of time? You know, I'm not saying you should have six months' paid leave. But I'm just saying, let's talk about that. Let's talk about that disparity.

 

Hannah Velten  56:17

And I know from - we've only got two minutes left - but I know from my point of view, the spirits that have passed over, they can't sort of connect and communicate if you're stuck in that sort of grief cage. And I know we talked about them waiting for us, on the other side of our grief, and that's when we can connect. And that's what Chris and I have done.

 

Louise Adams  56:43

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, time is different for them. Time for us is a man made construct. Time for them is the same. So they're still there. They're still there just waiting for us to almost vibrate at the frequency of love again.

 

Hannah Velten  56:59

That's all it is. 

 

Louise Adams  57:00

That's all it is. And the birth and the death... I'm showing it when my hands... like a scale. And I'm conscious that we're on a radio programme, but we've got this scale of, you know, birth is revered and death is down here. But actually, they're both about love. Both of them are.

 

Hannah Velten  57:19

Absolutely, absolutely and to get that balance... I haven't got time now to read the letter, but that's how it was explained to us. You have to be in balance, both in love. Without the fear. This fear gets in the way of everything. 

 

Louise Adams  57:37

Giving grief love. Give your grief love. 

 

Hannah Velten  57:40

Yeah, and love yourself.

 

Louise Adams  57:42

And love yourself in the process of you're grieving. Don't berate yourself. That's what we do. We berate ourselves. I shouldn't be still upset. I shouldn't still be grieving. My God, yes, you should.

 

Hannah Velten  57:54

And actually the longer you don't accept it, the longer the grief stays there... so you have to let it flow. 

 

Louise Adams  58:01

Yeah, it gets stuck. 

 

Hannah Velten  58:01

Anyway, we have run out of time, Louise. Urgh. 

 

Louise Adams  58:02

Oh WOW. 

 

Hannah Velten  58:02

We covered so much and I hope everyone enjoyed that... the show notes will be available tomorrow and the transcription at finderoflostthingspodcast.com - so thank you so much, Louise. Where can anyone find your work? Give us a quick website...

 

Louise Adams  58:23

So I'm a little bit hidden on social media - I'm a bit of a nightmare for it, just because I work with word-of-mouth. So my therapy name is JustB Therapies and my website is https://whereveryouarejustb.com (just be because I couldn't find a name that was short enough!). But yeah, just connect with me and, you know, if I can help anybody certainly in that process then I will. That's what I do.

 

Hannah Velten  58:58

Ah, bless you. Thank you so much. Thank you so much, Louise. That was amazing. And yeah, it's gonna be our last show next week. And we have Laura Gardner who was on our first show - who actually created our theme tune - she's going to be on with me and we're going to do a look back at the last six months and try and work out the processes and try and pull all the threads together. So I'm so looking forward to that. So thank you to Louise and lots of love everybody. I'll see you next week. Bye.

Louise Adams

Healer/Teacher

Hi there
My name is Louise. I am a Reiki Master Teacher; Complementary Therapist; Lecturer of Complementary Therapies, Training company director and Trainee Homeopath.
For 18 years I have worked part NHS/part private health care and my own personal clinic. I also have my own Training Company - Petals Training. I teach live online accredited courses on "How to teach"; Confidence; Motivation; Stress Management to individuals and staff.
As a therapist my emotional focus is on managing peoples stress, anxiety, PTSD; Fears/Phobias etc. My physical work as a therapist involves treating the side effects of cancer treatment and chronic health conditions.
In my NHS/private health care role I have worked in end of life cancer care for adults and teenagers experiencing cancer. I also work from diagnosis, through treatment and back to health.
I also work with the relatives who are grieving the loss of their loved ones.
In my end of life work my passion/calling is holding space as a healer for patients and their loved ones in their final moments. Holding the energy of the patient as they pass whilst also holding the energy of the relatives saying their goodbyes.
Within my cancer work I have taught Reiki to patients; relatives; carers etc. The ability to use Self-healing techniques for empowerment, relaxation, recovery etc has been an important part of my time as a healer/teacher.