Spousal Loss: Spiritual and Physical Aspects of Loss

Body work expert Dr. Lyn Prashant joins Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley on this special episode of The Grief Relief show. Prashant lost her husband at a young age—they were both in their mid-30s when he passed away. She had worked in the grief field for years, and says that “talk therapy” was the standard place for grieving people to handle their grief. When she lost her husband in 1984, she found that she really needed physical ways to relieve the grief. “Talking alone does not allow the body to release the accumulation of grief,” she says. Physical symptoms of grief are very common, and grievers need specific tools to translate their grief.

It has become the major focus of Prashant’s work. She meets her patients where they’re at emotionally, providing appropriate feedback and tools to help them process grief. “There’s no end to it,” she explains, since grief is part of the human experience. However, there are many strategies to transform physical grief. Unfortunately, it’s not something that’s commonly “prescribed,” but Prashant is working to change that.

Physical Grief Relief

Her husband had been sick before, but the Prashants were hopeful that his remission was permanent. The re-diagnosis was shocking. The silver lining is that being diagnosed with a terminal illness allows families a timeframe to celebrate life and prepare for the impending change. For Prashant, it gave her more meaning and validity.

She realized that in her process (and with a background as a PE teacher) she could talk about her loss and her husband—but still the pain in her heart remained. Intellectually she would have new ideas, but the physical sense of a heavy heart didn’t end until she discovered massage therapy. “Something was being addressed within my whole system that talking didn’t accomplish.”

Lyn Prashant

More Articles Written by Lyn

Lyn Prashant, PhD., FT., IGT., IGC, is the Founder and Training Director of the process called Degriefing®. Lyn is an internationally recognized professional grief counselor, engaging lecturer, published author, and therapeutic massage therapist/teacher specializing in transforming grief by using grief as “the most available untapped, emotional resource for personal transformation”. She teaches at the Mayo Clinic, U.C. Berkeley, California Pacific Medical Center; training health care professionals, hospice workers, hospital staffs, community leaders and it’s members. Lyn, fluent in Spanish, has offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. She can be reached at www.degriefing.com and 415.457.2272 Lyn presents this work internationally in honor of her late sister Donna and her late husband Mark. Lyn’s parents, Harriet and Nathan Smith, live in Boynton Beach, Florida, and a younger sibling, Karen Miro, and her two children live in South Salem, New York. To Listen to Lyn on Open to Hope Lyn was featured on the Open to Hope Foundation radio show program “Healing the Grieving Heart” on October 22, 2009. You can listen to her in the archives of this program at http://www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley102209.mp3 .


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  • Cheri Fray says:

    I lost the love of my life on Sept. 22, 2015 – He was 55 years old, and we were married at age 18 – 37.5 yrs. This sting is so deep – however, God is my source and strength through every journey in life….