The Journey to the Ocean

Grief is like the ocean

It has depths that I haven’t seen, yet still feel
I gaze at it respectfully from the shore
It seems in some ways to have a natural flow
A predictability
Yet in other ways
It comes crashing past boundaries
And overwhelms life
It has its hidden treasures
It holds many mysteries
Yet despite all of this
The most consistent similarity
Is that just like the ocean
Grief is
It just is
Always there
Always present
For years I journeyed through life and never came across the ocean of grief
I would hear sojourners before me speak of the salt tinted breezes
I would hear at times of it’s tragic intrusions
I heard of it
But I hadn’t seen it
Not like this.
Just like the ocean
Grief is a normal part of our emotional ecosystem
It operates differently than other areas
But is still a valuable part of our world
I lost my grandparents many years ago
They lived a full life
They were from rural Tennessee
One of the memories I will forever cherish
Was going with them to see the ocean for the first time.
They were in there late 70’s
I would stand with them and answer their questions as best I could
Grandpa thought it went slightly uphill
That would explain why all the waves kept coming in
I caught grandma waving at the ocean
When I asked her why
She said she was pretty sure that somebody had to be on the other side waving back at her
And so it is with me
I stand upon the shores of life
Watching the waves of grief
Trying to figure it out at times
When nobody is looking
I wave like grandma
It is a normal part of life
But it is different
It can be overwhelming
I have been writing about grief for awhile
Many of you have shared as well your stories of how you have gotten to these shores
There are others who will arrive
By different means
At different stages of life
May we welcome them
May we be patient with them
May we listen
May we watch the waves together
And maybe
When nobody is looking
May we wave at the other side

In honor of my grandparents, who taught me the simple beauty of simple faith and simple living
In honor of Gavin, who thanks to Jesus, is waving at me from the other side

Thank you Jesus for the hope that we have in you, that our journey does not end in death and that we live in Grace