Reiki and Grief

 July, August, September 2010 

By Carol A. Hulse

When Kathleen asked who wanted to work with the horses for our inaugural animal Reiki session at the May 2010 Reiki I workshop at BrightHaven Animal Sanctuary, I surprised myself by eagerly raising my hand. Don’t get me wrong – I love horses and think that they’re wonderful beings. However, I often feel intimidated by their sheer size. I soon learned why I was being drawn to the horses that day.



Carol and Sliver

Tears welled in my eyes as we approached 3 horses who were contentedly grazing in a paddock. I assumed that this emotion reflected my sadness over the June 2006 death of Martin, my beloved husband—my grief had been on the surface throughout the weekend. And perhaps these tears also showed the sacredness I felt regarding my first animal Reiki experience in the magical atmosphere of BrightHaven. I soon learned that these tears meant much more…

As I stood out in the field offering Reiki to Bellestar, a Shetland pony, tears started to flow down my cheeks. When I shared my experience with Kathleen who was standing nearby, she told me that Nicki, a special horse who was a prominent personality in the barnyard, recently died.

I centered myself again with Hara breathing and realized that there was grief other than my own I was experiencing. I felt strong and confident in the knowledge that I could feel the emotions of others and not be overwhelmed by those feelings. Rather, I could offer others a healing space and bear witness to their individual, internal healing process.

During our shared Reiki experience, perhaps Bellestar was able to release some of her grief over Nicki’s death as we were surrounded by the healing energy of Reiki. I know that I was able to softly relinquish some of my own sorrow into the gentle warm breeze.

About the Author:  Carol Hulse is an Animal Reiki Level 1 practitioner (soon to be Level 2) who lives in San Francisco, CA. She continues to learn about the healing power of animals from her cherished canine companion, Silver. Carol’s goal is to help animals live healthy, happy lives.


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