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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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 […]

Beach on Cyprus at sunset with striated cliffs on the right side

Doing Our Best

Family relationships pertain to a plane where the ordinary rules of judgment and conduct do not apply. They are a labyrinth of tensions, quarrels and reconciliations, whose logic is self-contradictory, whose ethics stem from a cozy jungle and whose values and criteria are distorted like the curved space of a self-contained universe. It is a […]

Glass of water with small heart leaning on the front right side lit with purple and blue light

The Weight of Grief

Look closely and you will see
Almost everyone carrying bags
Of cement on their shoulders.
That’s why it takes courage
To get out of bed in the morning
And climb into the day.
Edward Hirsch

Harmony, a black and white Boston Terrier standing in a creek.

It’s Still Your Birthday

You’re not here, but it’s still your birthday. You died 18 months ago and went to a place that lies beyond my view. But thankfully, the essence of you remains and the memory of you colors every aspect of my life.

Beach on Maui at sunset. The water reflects the colors of the sunset; there are a few white clouds in the sky above the water.

What it comes to is this:

Though we appear to die, we do not. Death is merely a change of address …

Artwork from The Memory Box. The image is of a little girl in a brightly lit window standing in front of a bed with a handmade quilt on it. There's a bird on the window sill of the window next to her.

The Memory Box

Joanna Rowland grew up in Sacramento, California where she still lives today with her husband and three children. She teaches Kindergarten by day and writes picture books at night. In the summer, you’ll find her by the pool coaching synchronized swimming or cozying up with a book.

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