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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Sometimes you have to ignore the weather forecast

My professional life has been spent fixing things or helping other people figure out how to fix things. I’m a machinist, tooling designer and occasional interpreter between mechanics and engineers. My job is to lead a small team taking theoretical repair schemes and making them reality. I thought I had a pretty good handle on processing grief after losing my mom in 2003. I was wrong. Suddenly losing my son in 2020 rocked my reality in ways I never could have imagined.

Dan, Margo, Molly and Jimmy in Alaska standing on the dock in front of a cruise ship. Dan is wearing a blue and white Hawaiian print shirt and sunglasses. Margo has her hair in a pony tail and is wearing a white tank top. Molly is wearing a red shirt with white sleeves and blue jeans. Jimmy is wearing a red jacket with a hood and jeans

Once We Were Four

This kind of happiness requires courage. It requires a willingness to love. A willingness to forgive. A willingness to believe in some sort of goodness. It requires that we each accept what has been lost and offer ourselves to what we have now. Meredith Hall, Beneficence

Jimmy speaking at the 2007 LIVESTRONG Challenge. He's wearing a black t-shirt and speaking into a microphone. His hair is dark brown and cut short

Grief Blind

Invisible tears are the hardest to wipe away. Megan Slagter

Molly standing on the Viking Ship statue in Reykjavik . She's wearing a Viking hat, black jacket and blue jeans

Walking To The End Of The World

You may have to break your heart, but it isn’t nothing to know even one moment alive. Ellen Bass

Old row boat floating in the mist. Both the sky and the water are gray as is the boat. The board has a green tie rope in the front and other ropes draped on the sides

The Gift Of Grieving

Grieving. You get no credit for grieving, my colleague said. Her mother had died the year before.

BIPOC woman with a light teal sweater sitting on a couch working on a laptop. There's a lamp with a white shade behind her and a tan table. Her hair is dark and pulled back.

Grieving When You’re In Charge

For loss is our common denominator. None of us will escape it … How do we move through struggle and let community hold us when we have been laid low? Elizabeth George

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