Featured Loss

ocean

March 27, 2017

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.

And then.

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.

Unmistakably so.

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

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11 Comments

  • Reply Becky leblanc March 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

    So beautiful!! ❤

  • Reply Katherine March 27, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Good gracious these words are beautiful. And packed with meaning. Beautifully said.

  • Reply Julie March 27, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I love how you write, it flows so beautifully. But with so much truth. Thank you so much for spilling your heart onto a page so all can read. It brings healing to my heart.

  • Reply Mindy March 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    Wow. Thank you Em. This is both heartwrenching & soul lifting at the same time. Love you SO much friend!

  • Reply Connie March 28, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    When I read this, I couldn’t help but reflect on how Jesus felt on the cross. Our Lord has given you a very special gift, born of love and pain.

  • Reply Robyn March 28, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Amazing. As a mother who lost a child, I have felt and feel those feelings you expressed so perfectly. The feelings you shared-so many are felt but not said as beautifully. You have a gift for writing. Please do not ever stop!!

    • Emily Lanphier
      Reply Emily Lanphier March 28, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      I’m so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for your heartfelt comment and encouragement!

  • Reply Sonia Salfity March 28, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    WOW… you just made me cry… that is just precious.. blessings to you sweet soul..

  • Reply Mary Favara March 28, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Very beautifully expressed. Thank you.

  • Reply Nick March 29, 2017 at 12:00 am

    Wow. I’ve never read such a poignant yet refreshing reflection of what grief feels like. It’s so personal and overwhelming, and you have looked grief in the mirror and told us what you saw, and how you felt. Thank you so much for your words. They are beautiful.

    • Emily Lanphier
      Reply Emily Lanphier April 6, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Coming from someone as eloquent as you, Nick, I so appreciate your words. Thank you.

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