Updated: Dec 6, 2021
This past Sunday we celebrated the second Sunday of Advent. This means we are full swing into the time of waiting, hoping and anticipating. A new liturgical year for the Church.
For many grieving moms, myself included, it can be a strange season that can bring any number of emotional highs and lows. Some of the following can be a struggle.
The uncertainty of how to bring your loss into the season.
The empty stocking that matches the empty feeling.
Wishing the cries of a newborn replaced your own.
Feeling betrayed when those Christmas cards arrive missing your child's name.
As grieving moms we can relate more to Our Sorrowful Mother's piercing swords than a warm fuzzy feeling of hope.
But even without the warm and fuzzy feelings there is still hope. The hope of being reunited with our children one day. If you are looking for some encouragement, consider spending some of your Advent with the Saints and the Scriptures. Our free E-book for Advent is perfect for grief as it contains short and digestible passages and quotes.
The aromas (essential oils) of Advent contain a certain symbolism to the Nativity. Just as our society overlooks grief they also overlook the significance of the Nativity. It holds little meaning. And possibly, like the Nativity, the aromas are common, lowly, forgotten and perhaps unwanted. Yet they serve a purpose in our grief.
Juniper (Juniperus communis): In the advent wreath it represents immortality. Juniper grows and produces fruit all year round (it does take 3 years for the fruit to reach maturity) which is probably why it was chosen to symbolize the immortal soul. Tradition says the Holy Family was hidden by a juniper tree while in their flight to Egypt because Herod's soldiers were in hot pursuit. It helps with calming anxiety, emotional and nervous exhaustion. It brings peace and self-worth.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rose of Mary is intended to honour Our Blessed Mother. Rosemary symbolizes love and loyalty. It reputedly only thrives for 33 years. Tradition says it muffled the crackling twigs underfoot as the Holy Family travelled, thus preventing detection and ensuring a safe journey to Bethlehem. And the white rosemary flower turned the colour of Mary’s blue cloak when she laid it gently upon the blooming bush as the family was fleeing from Herod’s dreaded soldiers.
There are a number of chemotypes (CT) with rosemary (more on that in another post) but 1,8 cineole CT is wonderful for colds and the elimination of toxins from the liver and kidneys. As a precaution it should not be used on children under 6. It is great for brain fog. It can stimulate your mind and increase your energy level.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Lavender is called the 'universal oil'. It is thought that the swaddling clothes were hung to dry on a lavender bush. It is soothing, calming and often used to encourage sleep and relieve anxiety. Lavender plants were said to spring up wherever the swaddling clothes of the Holy Child were placed. It is no surprise that lavender is the herb symbolic of cleanliness, purity and immortality. Lavender is a wonderful tonic for the nervous system. It may help with depression, shock, insomnia, burnout, headaches and more. It promotes emotional balance, compassion, and helps to relieve any fears. Lavender can also promote the relaxation of your physical symptoms such as easing palpitations and lowering blood pressure.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris): Helps with tolerance, direction, strength, and focus. Thyme represents courage and bravery, a fitting plant for a child who would one day have to suffer for the sins of us all and die. Thyme has a number of chemotypes (CT) as well, but my favourite is the Linalool (CT). Linalool promotes feelings of calmness and helps with reducing anxiety.
I suggest you pick one that appeals to you, use it for a month and take note of the effect it has on your grief. Using a couple of drops in a diffuser is a great way to use these oils. If you are interested in a personalized aromatherapy blend for your grief click the button below.
This Advent I want you to remember three truths. You are loved. Your baby is loved. And you are not alone in your grief. I invite you to join our facebook group.
Let me know below which essential oil you would use.
Praying for you my friend. Our Lady of Sorrows, Pray for us.