Finding My Inner Grief Guide

Many years ago, I attended a workshop to enhance my ability to empower my cancer patients to recover. We were taught about imagery and asked to close our eyes and visualize what the physician described to us. He wanted us to find an inner grief guide. I had no belief in what he discussed, so sat with my eyes open looking at him on the stage.

When he looked at me and could see I wasn’t following his directions, I closed my eyes to trick him. That’s when interesting things happened. I am an artist and a visual person and suddenly I was seeing everything we were told to visualize.

We were told to imagine walking on a path and meeting our inner guide. I figured Jesus, Moses or Maimonides would appear. Instead, a bearded fellow wearing a cap and a white spiritual looking robe appeared and said, “My name is George.”

His Name is George

I was disappointed but found it interesting. After that event, there were times when George would enter my mind, speak to me and give me directions about my life. On the day my father was supposed to die, George asked me if I knew how my mother and father met. When I said no, he said, “Then ask your mother when you get to the hospital.”

I did and the answer was that my dad lost a coin toss and had to take my mother out. As my mother told more humorous stories, my dad, despite his coma, seemed to hear her. He started smiling and looking wonderful. I thought he was going to postpone dying but when the last family member appeared, he took his last breath.

After that, I trusted the voice and always listened to its advice. I also noticed that my lectures were more spontaneous and one night I wasn’t paying any attention to my outline but it sounded so good I just let it flow out of me. After I was finished a woman came up and said, “I’ve heard you before. That was better than usual.”

I agreed with her. The next woman who came up said, “Standing in front of you for the entire lecture was this man so I drew his picture for you.” And it was George. From that night on, I let George lead.

My Grief Guide

I have learned that George is my lifelong angel who has saved my life when I have fallen off our roof, been in terrible car accidents, as a child choking on a toy and more. So now I am what I conceive of as his instrument. Just as the TV set portrays the programs but doesn’t create them. I do the talking while George writes the script.

Last but not least the event which completed my understanding of George was after speaking at a Christian funeral of a friend, at the same location as the event I previously mentioned, the healer and psychic Olga Worrall came up to me after the funeral and asked if I was Jewish. I responded, “Why do you ask because I spoke at a Christian funeral.”

“No, because there is a rabbi standing next you.” Then I understood all of George’s garments and their religious meaning and symbolism. He is ever with me, talking to me and guiding me. His voice is truly heard by me and not imagined. When my mind is quiet or I seek his help he always responds.

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Bernie Siegel

Dr. Bernie Siegel, who prefers to be called Bernie, not Dr. Siegel, was born in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Colgate University and Cornell University Medical College. He holds membership in two scholastic honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha and graduated with honors. His surgical training took place at Yale New Haven Hospital, West Haven Veteran’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He retired from practice as an assistant clinical professor of surgery at Yale of general and pediatric surgery in 1989 to speak to patients and their caregivers. In 1978 he originated Exceptional Cancer Patients, a specific form of individual and group therapy utilizing patients’ drawings, dreams, images and feelings. ECaP is based on “carefrontation,” a safe, loving therapeutic confrontation, which facilitates personal lifestyle changes, personal empowerment and healing of the individual’s life. The physical, spiritual and psychological benefits which followed led to his desire to make everyone aware of his or her healing potential. He realized exceptional behavior is what we are all capable of. Bernie, and his wife and coworker Bobbie, live in a suburb of New Haven, Connecticut. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Bernie and Bobbie have co-authored their children, books and articles. Their home with its many children, pets and interests resembled a cross between a family art gallery, museum, zoo and automobile repair shop. It still resembles these things, although the children are trying to improve its appearance in order to avoid embarrassment. In 1986 his first book, Love. Medicine & Miracles was published. This event redirected his life. In 1989 Peace, Love & Healing and in 1993 How To Live Between Office Visits followed. He is currently working on other books with the goal of humanizing medical education and medical care, as well as, empowering patients and teaching survival behavior to enhance immune system competency. Bernie’s realization that we all need help dealing with the difficulties of life, not just the physical ones, led to Bernie writing his fourth book in 1998 Prescriptions for Living. It helps people to become aware of the eternal truths and wisdom of the sages through Bernie’s stories and insights rather than wait a personal disaster. He wants to help people fix their lives before they are broken, and thus not have to become strong at the broken places. Published in 2003 are Help Me To Heal to empower patients and their caregivers and 365 Prescriptions For The Soul, in 2004 a children’s book about how difficulties can become blessings, Smudge Bunny, in 2005 101 Exercises For The Soul and out in the Fall of 2006 a prescriptions for parenting book Love, Magic & Mud Pies. Published in 2008 Buddy’s Candle, for children of all ages, related to dealing with the loss of a loved one, be it a pet or parent, and to be published in 2009 Faith, Hope & Healing with survivor stories and my reflections about what they teach us. Woody Allen once said, “If I had one wish it would be to be somebody else.” Bernie’s wish was to be a few inches taller. His work has been such a growth experience that he is now a few inches taller. His prediction is that in the next decade the role of consciousness, spirituality, non-local healing, body memory, and heart energy will all be explored as scientific subjects. For many, Bernie needs no introduction. He has touched many lives all over our planet. In 1978 he began talking about patient empowerment and the choice to live fully and die in peace. As a physician, who has cared for and counseled innumerable people whose mortality has been threatened by an illness, Bernie embraces a philosophy of living and dying that stands at the forefront of the medical ethics and spiritual issues our society grapples with today. He continues to assist in the breaking of new ground in the field of healing and personally struggling to live the message of kindness and love. Dr. Siegel appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss Finding Thanksgiving After Loss.

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