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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A buck with large antlers, light brown in color with a white patch on his chest

Winter Migration

There is something familiar about the buck,
straining to ease himself under
the bottom strand of a barbed-wire fence,

Molly on Santorinini. She is standing in front of the town looking back over her left shoulder toward the camera. She's wearing a white dress with spaghetti straps and sunglasses with her purse over her left shoulder and across her body. The town is in front of her to the left in the photo and the ocean and distant island are visible in the top left of the photo.

For My Daughter As She Leaves

There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. Hodding Carter Jr.

Silhouette of a female standing on a rock with other tall rock towers to her left. She has her arms outstretched in the shape of a Y. The sun is setting and the sky is red and blue and purple

Truths Are More Powerful Than Platitudes

Life is so beautiful. Life is so hard. Kate Bowler

White coffee cup on a wood table with a spoon in front of it. Coffee is spraying out of the cup, as if it's been dropped on the table. Next to the cup is a plate of sugar cookies


He always said the years
after the meltdown — when blood vessels
inside his skull exploded —
were a bonus, that if evolution
really worked, he’d have been dead
by now.

Vertical piece of stone sitting next to a dirt path in a grassy area. In the distance, you can see a turquoise body of water, a line of mountains and cloudy skies above.

The Life That Remains

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. Pablo Neruda

Cherry cabinet with two doors and stars in between the upper and lower panels of the doors.

The Cherry Wardrobe

Built to last, its vertical lines are plum.
The only ornamentation, a simple
crown moulding, the inward curve
of the cavetto.

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