Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm. “Come in,” she said, “I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”
Salt Water was created to provide a safe harbor for people grieving the death of someone they didn’t think they could live without. Our goal is to create a community where people can support each other by sharing wisdom and ideas and offering hope that we can get through the rest of our lives without our beloveds. A place where we can find beauty, grace and healing in the aftermath of our terrible loss and connect with others who are “that sweet mix of compassionate enough and broken enough to be brave enough to start something new” (Becca Stevens, founder and president of Thistle Farms).
When my son Jimmy died after an eight year battle with cancer, I went looking for a community of support. Because I am not religious, the books, websites, articles and podcasts that spoke of the death of a child as being “God’s plan”, suggested I would see my child again in heaven or claimed my child was “in a better place” offered me no comfort. The websites for grieving atheists didn’t ease my pain either because I am spiritual, and more importantly, I’m deeply grateful for my friends and family members who prayed for Jimmy while he was alive and for our family. I was looking for a community where the common bond was our loss, not our explanation for it.
I also noticed when listening to podcasts and reading articles that many of the authors were hurt and angry about what their friends and family said or didn’t say and did or didn’t do. These sites often had articles titled “The Eight Things You Should NEVER Say to a Grieving Mother” which, it seemed to me, would make the people who love our family uncomfortable about reaching out and worse, stop reaching out at all. Grieving podcasters would criticize friends or family members for making “stupid” comments and in the next breath complain that those same people were pulling away from them. For me, there are no “perfect” or magical words that will bring Jimmy back. When someone who cares about me reaches out or spends time with me, what I see is the love, not their so-called “imperfect” phrasing.
Death can isolate you. At Salt Water, we want grievers to feel welcome, regardless of the type of loss they’ve experienced, what they believe, where they are in the grief process or how they’re feeling. By finding common ground and connecting with others, we can help each other heal and build a new life after the loss of someone we will mourn and miss for the rest of our lives. As Ram Dass says, “we are all just walking each other home”.
We invite you to become part of our community. Share your story, ask a question, make a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
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