I find myself surrounded by amazing women healers and they hold me up against the frailties of this world. When I was pregnant with Mary Rose, my daughter who died an hour after birth, my tribe included the incredible therapist, doulas, midwives, massage therapist and homeopath. Yes, I use homeopathic remedies even though some believe homeopathy to be a placebo, a nothing, a sham. I see homeopathy as holy healing and I call Aniela, my dear classical homeopath, the Holy Homeopath. The spiritual are one with the physical in this treatment and she sees me for who I am: a broken seeker who walks her path one step at a time, one breath, then another.
I’m not sure why homeopathy is a topic of controversy, but I recognize when people roll their eyes at me when I mention how much homeopathic remedies have helped me. They work for millions of people in India, the Royal Family of England, and people all over Europe and the United States. In Copeland’s Cure, writer Natalie Robins, offers documented research on how homeopathy was once taught at most medical schools in the United States until the American Medical Association (AMA) went to war and successfully took homeopaths out of their association. Why? Money. Homeopathic remedies are cheap and they work. Therefore, patients require fewer allopathic medicines. Where it was once considered unethical to advertise for any pharmaceutical, now the pharmaceutical industry is a powerful force in American healthcare. To understand the extent that homeopathy was used by medical doctors in the 1800s and early 1900s, according to Robins, “More than 1,900 homeopathic doctors were commissioned in the army and navy during the [first world] war” (143).
I started homeopathic treatment in my late 20s. I have a primary care doctor and go when I need to, but I usually start with natural remedies as they are easier on the body and have fewer side effects. With my pregnancy with Mary Rose, she was “diagnosed” by high-risk OB/GYNs and I continued to work through the medical system seeing a neonatologist, infant cardiologist and other doctors. Under Aniela’s care I could tell you the remedies that heal burns, fevers, poison ivy and an autoimmune disorder, but I want to talk about grief. There were at least two times during my pregnancy with Mary Rose, when I cried until my body convulsed for so long that I thought I would never stop. The first time that this happened I texted Aniela. I can’t stop crying, I wrote. Ignacia, was her reply. And within minutes my crying slowed and I was able to make dinner for my son. Even though my daughter had a fatal “diagnosis” I ate well, took vitamins and supplements and refused to take any medicine, even for excruciating nine-day headaches. I love both of my children equally and boundlessly and did not want to treat my daughter with less respect and concern, even though she was expected to die. Under the care of my homeopath, I used ignatia from the shock of the “diagnosis” to the end of the pregnancy and the intense grieving period that followed Mary Rose’s birth and death.
There is a heaviness in my heart center, I typed a few weeks later, I can’t bear the heaviness of this grief. Aniela replied, Take two doses of ignatia in one hour. The ignatia sometimes held for five weeks or a couple of months, but once I uncontrollably cried or couldn’t bear the heaviness of trisomy 18 and my grief, I would take a dose and feel lighter. Aniela gets me. She answers my emails and texts at strange hours. She generously and graciously offers homeopathic advice when other homeopaths would charge fees for every correspondence. I met Aniela through an occupational therapist who is of the Baha’i Faith. “She is the best,” Leigh said, “go see her.” And for once someone used that phrase correctly. I drove to New York City with my fussy baby alone to meet this woman, who is also of the Baha’i Faith. She has been treating us both ever since.
On August 8th, Aniela left me a voice mail message after I texted her that Mary Rose was born and died. “We’re all praying for you. We love you. We love you. We love you and we’re praying for you and dear Mary Rose.” She rocked me in her lull of we-love-yous. A few days later there was a package with a Baha’i prayer that is framed and hanging next to a picture of Mary Rose in my dining room.
The Great Being saith:
The Tongue of Wisdom proclaimeth:
He that hath Me not is bereft of all things.
Turn ye away from all that is on earth and seek none else but Me.
I am the Sun of Wisdom and the Ocean of Knowledge.
I cheer the faint and revive the dead.
I am the guiding Light that illumineth the way.
I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty.
I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight.
Tablets of Baha’u’llah
I received it on Saturday, a week after Mary Rose’s funeral, when I got home from a pow wow I attended with Sindy and Leslie. I had just seen a falcon at one of the booths.
I think of homeopathy as prayer, a subtle energy of God, present in His/Her creations (because God is bigger than either genders), lifting us gently out of imbalance and restoring our life force and energy. It is a long journey, and though we are moving on from ignatia to balance me from my difficult pregnancy, I will always be grateful for the remedy, so subtle it could make a weeping mother wipe away her tears and reach for a knife to cut tomatoes for her son’s dinner.
I call Aniela holy. To be holy is to be fully human and to embrace life which also includes death. It is to breathe in communion with every other sentient being and an inner knowing that we are connected in many ways. Only by walking in unity with each other and our Creator and our Earth can we build the communities that will embrace and support life in all its forms, with healthy DNA or trisomies, with love, always with love.