Loss. The longing for what could have been or the aching over what did transpire that you couldn’t avoid. For you, loss might present as the death of a loved one, a divorce, a career ending, family heartbreak, dashed hopes and dreams…the list is endless. But it boils down to:
This isn’t how you pictured your life.
Many elusive factors feel like sand, shifting slowly yet persistently through your clenched fingers.
You know you can’t stop it, but you grip tightly anyway.
Grief comes in waves. You feel adrift as the tides rise and fall.
You discern the loss -the affliction- and become familiar with its pangs and edges. You must allow yourself to rise and fall in the frothy waves.
Certain moments you have the sensation of drowning, but you keep going. For a time, you live beneath the surface of the breakers.
You’re not sure if you will ever emerge. So dark is the vast and murky pool in which you find yourself submerged, that you begin to forget the feel of the sun’s warmth.
Your feet finally hit the sand buried deep beneath the ocean’s current.
And you push off from the bottom.
And your head shoots out of the cool water.
And you see the sun.
Though you lived for a time below the ocean, you break free to find that parts of you died during your plunge to the depths.
Some aspects of you are no more.
There are pieces of your old self that you miss, and others have lent you freedom in their departure.
Though you are the same, you are different.
It’s as if you’ve been recalibrated, for your heart is more tender… larger. Your insights are more elevated and precise.
Your time of nearly dying has stripped away enough that it leaves you bare.
You must choose what new adornments with which to clothe yourself. It is a terrifying, yet noble task. You sit squarely in the conductor’s chair of your own destiny and the notes all lie before you. They are fully at your disposal.
Will you choose bitterness or empathy?
Compassion or hardness of heart?
Despair or hope?
Will you strive to connect with and care for those who enter your circle, or will you isolate and fortify the truest parts of your being?
The ocean doesn’t have to have the final say.
Loss won’t claim the last word.
For beneath the surface of every sea lies a floor…. which leads to shore.
*Photo by Tori Vandament