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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Single yellow leaf on the ground with water behind it and purple reflection in the water

Mono No Aware

All through autumn we hear a double voice: one that says everything is ripe; the other says everything is dying. Greta Erlich

Brave

Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing. Emma Donoghue

Jan's friend Georgann and Jan's cat Diego, an orange and white tabby laying on a beige couch together. Georgann has short dark hair and is wearing glasses

Precariat

I can’t remember when my late best friend started telling me this, but I do know that she mentioned it fairly often throughout the 17 years that she coped with metastasized colon cancer. “I have a grateful heart,” Georgann would say.

Jimmy at age 1 wearing a striped train engineer cap, an SF Giants light gray onesie with Giants on his left breast sitting with trains from Thomas the Tank Engine

Facing The Beautiful Awful

No one feels another’s grief, no one understands another’s joy. Franz Schubert

an image of a piece of broken pottery embedded in the sand on a wet beach with the word 'Love' on it and a peace sign above the word

What I’ve Learned

“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know” Pema Chodron

Bird palms against a light blue gray sky

Begin with the word and

And so it goes, as we’ve learned, not a way of facing life but of facing death—grief tagging after us like a shadow

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