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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Alyssa holding a photo of Rudy with the caption at the top that says "In loving memory of Rudy Fuentes". The word RISE can be seen in the background.

Keeping Their Memory Alive

It’s hard to believe that it has been 14 months since I lost Rudy, my brother, tragically in a car accident on December 30, 2016. It’s so strange when a single date holds so much weight and power over us. We will never forget the day we lost the one we love, the smell of […]

Two hands forming the shape of a heart with a sunrise sky behind them

What Divides Us

“Here is what we seek: a compassion that can stand in awe at what the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it.” — Father Gregory Boyle

A wooden bridge stretching from left to right into the horizon during sunrise with trees on the left and water below

No Words At All

When there is pain, there are no words — Toni Morrison

Lessons of Grief — Year One

During the first year after losing my 20 year old son Brandon (who had the brightest smile, perfect dimples, the hardiest laugh and gave the best hugs), I learned a lot. A lot about myself, about people, about God, about death, about grief, about Brandon himself and also about life. These unwanted enlightenments or lessons […]

The Son Also Rises

My father was killed by cancer at the age of 43. I was 18 at the time. When I turned 43, I began honoring his memory by raising money for and awareness of cancer focused charities — primarily the LIVESTRONG Foundation and Pelatonia.

Alyssa with her head on her brother Rudy's shoulder. Rudy is wearing a checked shirt and is winking at the camera.

Grief Is Our Last Act Of Love

That’s when the phone rang, and my heart dropped because I knew something was wrong. The caller ID read Pomona Valley Hospital. As I answered the phone, I heard a soft female voice ask if I was related to Jennifer Fuentes. I said, “Yes, she’s my sister-in-law.” She said, “there’s been a motor vehicle accident, and you need to get to Pomona Valley Hospital.”

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