I’ve mentioned that healing my ancestors became important to me because it was through healing my ancestral lineages that I, too, began to heal.
Initially, my desire to learn more about my ancestors and to connect with them occurred when I found out my dad needed to be in a nursing home.
My dad had Type II Diabetes and with his medical training (he was a dentist), he easily managed his insulin and other medications. But as he aged, he developed dementia and began having trouble remembering what to take when. When he was 84, he and my mom agreed that he needed to be in a place with a medical staff to take care of him.
When I learned that dad was in a nursing home, I was shocked and distraught. I understood that he needed 24-hour nursing care. I was glad he was getting that help. It was his dementia that made my heart ache. My dad was the keeper of memories for his family. As his memory faded so too did the stories, names, and memories of this part of my family.
My dad, Howard Rosen, grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. After he finished dental school, he moved to Chicago where his older brother, my Uncle Mort had established a successful dental practice. My grandmother, Helen Rosen moved to Chicago with my dad to be with her sons.
The remainder of dad’s family lived in Cleveland. This included my grandmother’s extensive family; her nine brothers and sisters, their children, and their grandchildren.
Dad never talked a lot about his past or about his family. I didn’t get the impression that his past was painful so much as he didn’t find it very interesting. He loved living in Chicago and he was happily focused on his dental practice and his family. But my sisters and I barely knew his Cleveland family. I knew a little about my grandmother’s family and nothing at all about my grandfather’s family because my grandfather had died before I was born.
I realize now that I always intended to sit down with my dad and to interview him about his family. When he went into the nursing home, it became too late. I was surprised by how deeply painful the loss was for me. Not only was I grieving for my dad but I was grieving for the loss of my connection to his family. Half of my identity felt lost.
At about this time, I received an email from my friend, Larisa Noonan, who had a practice focused on helping people with chronic pain. In addition, to teaching self-care practices, Larisa was also teaching the ways in which our ancestors affected our wellbeing. She was offering consults for helping people learn about their ancestors.
Intrigued, I scheduled a meeting with her.
Larisa shared with me how the unresolved traumas experienced by her ancestors had contributed to the chronic pain she experienced and that as she began to work with her ancestors to heal this trauma, the benefits of healing showed up in her own life. Over the years I knew Larisa, she always seemed confident and focused. Now I was also struck by the sense of happiness and peace that resonated from her. I was also happy to hear about how her healing practice was quietly prospering. Larisa was never someone who aggressively promoted herself and now more and more people were finding their way to her.
The quiet success of Larisa’s practice was truly beautiful and attractive to me. For years I had been looking for a way to use my strengths in my work and without having to do all the hustle and “getting out there,” which seemed required to be successful. I wanted to be able to be fully myself and be successful. I didn’t want to have to play the role of “dynamic entrepreneur” so that my business would support me.
It was an easy decision for me to hire Larisa to teach me ancestral healing practices. And while my initial desire was to reconnect with my father’s father, the process of healing my ancestral lineages have given me so much more.
Some of the many gifts of ancestral lineage healing I’ve experienced have included being empowered simply by being myself, clarity and confidence in my work, my return to doing arts and crafts, and complete cessation of OCD symptoms which have troubled me since the age of 12.
As amazing as all of this may sound, it’s important for me to add that the process of ancestral lineage healing is hardly a “magic bullet.” Although it is popular in New Age circles it is NOT a “flavor of the day.” The actual processes are not sexy or cool. I’m not a shaman or medium. I’m not even a certified practitioner of the method I’ve used. I am simply a human being who is doing processes done by all of our ancestors to connect more deeply with family who are no longer living and in ways that honor the Earth itself.