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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Church with tan walls and red tile roof in a small town in Germany. The photo is taken from across the road. The church has trees and a green lawn in front of it.

Stories That Feed Your Soul

Tears are words that need to be written. Paulo Coehlo

Sandy beach with waves in the background. In the foreground, there are four pieces of driftwood stuck vertically into the sand.

manform

… even this late, it comes — the knowing, the unbearable laid true for five years: you are gone.

A pocket watch half buried in the sand

You Don’t Have That Kind Of Time

In her book, Bird By Bird, writer Anne Lamott tells the story of going dress shopping with her best friend, Pammy. Anne was 38 and looking for an outfit that would impress her current boyfriend. Pammy was the same age and dying of breast cancer. When Anne emerged from the dressing room wearing a short, tight […]

A single red geranium with a fuzzy backdrop of green behind it

Teaching Myself Joy

Every one of us is called upon, probably many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job or a limb or a loved one, a graduation, bringing a new baby home: it’s impossible to think at first how this will be possible. Eventually what moves it all forward is the subterranean ebb and flow of being alive among the living.

Erin Benson on the left wearing sunglasses and a light pink shirt; Sam is on the right wearing a gray hoodie and licking her face.

What You Do

I’m sitting in the passenger seat of our mini-van attempting to keep my twin four-year olds entertained on a long drive home. My face is hot and tingly, and my palms slick as I relive an unpleasant encounter at a Cracker Barrel somewhere off I-95. While trying to pay for my family’s meal, my debit […]

Mom wearing a light green long sleeve shirt and green beads sitting in her kitchen in front of a clay pot in the shape of a turkey. The cabinetry is yellow in color.

Aging and Living

Anne Lamott’s article in O Magazine sums up some important pluses of aging and some downsides. Lamott unfailingly has something of value to offer. The article reminded me of her writing manual Bird By Bird, a truly effective aid to the struggling, defeated, depressed beginning writer. Oh the comfort she offers the writer reading with horror the […]

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