There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief … And unspeakable love …
Washington Irving

After the death of a beloved, there is no avoiding the overwhelming grief or the tears. In the immediate aftermath, we may be in shock, feel numb or even be in denial about the loss. Although everyone’s timetable is different, eventually we have to acknowledge the loss and how devastated we are. No matter how painful, we must sit with our grief and all that we’ve lost in order to start healing.

a close up image of a piece of paper with handwriting all over it

At Salt Water, we can help you learn to live with an unbearable loss. We offer ideas, strategies, tools and most importantly, hope that you can survive the death of someone you didn’t think you could live without.

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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Niko Winchell sitting on the bed rubbing his younger brother's back

Dear Niko

In the early morning hours, sometime between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m., October 21, 2012, you died while sleeping in the warmth and safety of your bed. My healthy, talented, vibrant, six foot tall son was gone, a mere eight days before your 16th birthday.

Molly wearing a white shirt standing in front of Dan holding a bat. Dan is on one knee teaching her how to hit. Jimmy is behind then on one knee holding up a baseball glove.

His Final Gift

Four years ago today, in the earliest hours of the morning, we lost Jimmy. Since that night, his absence has become the “constant” of all constants for me. Not a minute, hour or day goes by in which I don’t think of him, reflect on my unimaginable joy at his arrival and all the blessings he brought thereafter. I love him for all time.

Photo of the Milky Way against a backdrop of a dark, starry night

The Brightest Stars

All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some. who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others, they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems. But these stars are all silent. You — you alone — will have the stars as no one else has them … In one of the stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing.

Harmony, a black and white Boston terrier

You Left Today

You left today and went to that place I do not yet know. You took with you the sunshine and my smile.

Corals 2 at sunrise near Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

There Are No More Memories

“I don’t know how you go on without your son, sweet pea. I only know that you do. And you have. And you will.” Cheryl Strayed, “The Obliterated Place”

The word Son is written in steam on a glass shower door

Confessions of a Grieving Mom

Most mornings I write his name in the steam on my glass shower door. As I write, a droplet of water often runs from one of the letters down the door, like a tear.

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