There must be something strangely sacred about salt. It is in our tears and in the sea.Kahlil Gibran

Those of us who’ve suffered one or more devastating losses often describe grief as being like the ocean with pain and longing breaking over us in waves. At times, the sadness is overwhelming, and we feel as though we’re drowning. But over time, we learn to float, to keep our head above water. We begin to recognize when the big waves are coming and become better able to deal with them. Although we never escape the sadness, we learn to navigate the waters of grief and move forward into the life we create in the wake of our loss.

a panoramic photo of Pismo Beach at sunset

During my darkest days, I found that the wisdom and experience of other grievers helped me to re-enter the world. They showed me that life after the death of a beloved was possible, that I could begin to see beauty, find grace and feel hope, even joy. They helped me realize that love was all around me, and all I had to do was lean in.

At Salt Water, our community can help you find your equilibrium and begin to heal after an unbearable loss. As Barbara Kingsolver put it so beautifully in High Tide in Tucson:

What a stroke of luck. What a singular brute feat of outrageous fortune: to be born into citizenship in the animal kingdom. We love and we lose, go back to the start and do it right over again. For every heavy forebrain solemnly cataloguing the facts of a harsh landscape, there’s a rush of intuition behind it crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.

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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Being With Grief

This is not the life you pictured but here you are. You can still make something beautiful. Grieve. Breathe. Begin again. Thema Bryant-Davis

an old black and white image of Margo as a baby being held by her father as she rests her head on his shoulder

A Second Chance Life

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be … I hope you live a life you’re proud of. And if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again. Benjamin Button My father worked well […]

The Peace I Seek

“The world can’t give us serenity,” he said. “The world can’t give us peace. We can only find it in our hearts.” “I hate that,” I said. “I know. But the good news is that by the same token, the world can’t take it away.” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird What stands between me and […]

Modesto ash

Jan Haag teaches journalism and creative writing at Sacramento City College where she is the chair of the journalism department and advises student publications. She is the author of Companion Spirit, a collection of poems about her husband’s death at the age of 48, published by Amherst Writers & Artists Press. She leads writing groups in […]

Two Empty Chairs

My name is Nicole, and I am a mother of two young men. One doesn’t walk this earth with me anymore. We lost Jackson a week after he’d returned from college. He had just graduated, and he’d just celebrated his 22nd birthday. I carry the grief and weight of his loss with equal measure to […]

Praise For What Remains

For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it. Amanda Gorman

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