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Grief is like nearly drowning

Grief is like nearly drowning

When I was 21, I nearly drowned.

I am a strong ocean swimmer, but I got sucked under a wave and couldn’t find my way to the surface. I remember – vividly – being tumbled around and not knowing which way was up or down, but desperately wanting to find my way out.

And then I did. And I burst into tears and staggered to the shore and paid closer attention to the mood of the ocean before rushing in on rough days. I learnt to respect it.

Grief is like nearly drowning. You get sucked in and tumbled around and you just want to get out but you can’t fight your way to the surface, no matter how hard you try. It is out of your hands and near-impossible to tell which way is up.

And then, one day – or one hour, or a few minutes – you find the surface, and take a deep lungful of air. But you can’t be more careful next time, because it comes out of nowhere and knocks you down without warning.

Grief is serious. And hard. And long. It deserves respect, the way the ocean on a rough day deserves respect. It is visceral, and embodied, and I’m not entirely sure that it can be understood until you’ve lived through it. It has that in common with nearly drowning, too.

I suppose the big difference is that grief does one day lift. It does ease, eventually. You learn to live with it. If you wait long enough, you rise to the surface. Thank heavens for that…

#grief #griefsucks #griefjourney #griefsupport

Published inInspiring

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