My Why podcast version of this blog available here.
This blog is special, because the subject wasn’t inspired solely by me. And I’ll tell you why.
As most of you know, if you’re regular listeners, I’m not working in paid employment right now, the podcast and my pen are what I spend my days with. And to be able to do these things, and earn a bit of that good old thing we call ‘money’, I set up a Buy Me a Coffee page (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/thesilentwhy). On this page you can support me and my work by either buying me one, or a few fancy teas (cos I’m not really a coffee drinker) from £3 each, or you can sign up to support me monthly for various amounts - the Buy Me a Coffee people take their share - and the rest helps me cover the costs of running the podcast and allows me to continue without it costing me to run. Now, I’m telling you this for a reason, it’s not an ad. When you sign up to support me monthly you get various ‘rewards’, and one of these rewards is that you get to choose a topic for me to write a blog on. And so this blog is for the very beautiful Evelyn Calaunan, all the way over in Australia, who has been a valued monthly supporter of my work for a while now and former guest on the podcast talking about her work as a Funeral Celebrant.
When I asked Evelyn what she’d like me to write about, I was curious to see what she’d suggest because she works with griefy people - and at the very freshest stage of bereavement. But the topic Evelyn chose for me to expand on and explore was an area of grief that she personally has been encountering and navigating. Having recently been through some heart-breaking personal grief of her own, as well as large bereavements in the past - like losing her father 25 years ago, Evelyn has found herself facing the waves of grief that can crop up unexpectedly or be triggered at strange times, even years down the line. Especially the sort that overtake you completely emotionally.
So I’ve had this on my mind for a while now, percolating, knowing there would eventually be the right time for this blog to be written. I like to make sure I never jump into something before I write it. In my brain I have many potential blogs sat there patiently waiting, and I gather information from life around and within me, or analogies that help make them clearer to understand, and this info all finds a way to stick to a blog, or fall away completely. Then one at a time each blog will stick their hand in the air when they’re fat with content, as if to say ‘It’s me. I’m next. I’m ready. I have something to say.’
And waves of grief did that to me this week after two things happened that connected with it in my mind. Yup, the topic of waves was literally waving.
The two things were:
Watching the second series of the documentary 100 Foot Wave - that explores the world of Big Wave Surfing.
And having my own emotional wipe out.
For those of you less familiar with grief, bereavement, and loss, it comes in many different forms and moves in very mysterious ways, but ultimately you have the strong, fresh onslaught of it (which can be at any time, not just the moment you hear bad news), and then from there on it hangs around and affects people in different ways - it might be through overpowering waves, a continuous dripping, a steady stream of sad, or intermittent pain pecking at you, or a rollercoaster of emotions, plus many other forms. But consistently you’ll find that people really connect with the idea that grief comes in waves. All different sizes, at all different times, in many different ways.
They say that grief comes in waves. And it’s true. The emotion comes and goes, comes and goes, comes and goes. They also say that you should never turn your back on the ocean; waves can come strong – catching you off guard – and hit you harder than you were prepared for. The waves of grief are no different. You might understand intellectually that they will keep coming, but some days they hit more forcefully, more fiercely than you ever imagined possible. And just when you thought you might be able to predict the next set, a rogue wave comes rushing in, undermining your balance and sweeping your feet out from under you. Adriel Booker
Waves work as an analogy for grief because we all know what waves are like, even if we’ve never seen the sea or stood in its waves, you will have seen them on the internet, or TV. You know they rise and fall, the tide comes in and goes out, they change throughout the year, throughout the seasons, throughout the day. And largely, to a degree, they can be very unpredictable.
To describe what we mean when we talk about waves of grief, I’m going to use a Reddit post that I came across. Twelve years ago someone posted onto the discussion website, Reddit, these words: ‘My friend just died. I don’t know what to do’. Underneath an account called ‘GSnow’ wrote a lengthy reply that has been quoted and commented on over 700 times, still gets follow-up comments now, and is quoted on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, TikTok, Twitter, plus many other grief websites (I’ll put a link in the blog). Here’s what Gsnow said:
Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents. I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see. As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive. In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life. Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out. Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks. https://www.reddit.com/r/Assistance/comments/hax0t/comment/c1u0rx2/
Gsnow’s response is quoted everywhere because people identify with it - this is what grief feels like. It’s not linear, it’s not chronological, it’s all over the shop, to quote one of our previous guests, Chris Lord-Brown, the Funeral Director:
Don’t expect the grief journey to be linear. It’s all over the place. It’s a child’s scribble of backwards and forwards, up and down. Chris Lord-Brown, Loss 43/101 - Loss of life for a Funeral Director
So, hopefully we’re all learning that grief comes in waves, but the big question, and the one Evelyn's been asking is - what can we do about them, how do we survive them when they overwhelm us?
I was watching 100 Foot Wave recently (and I’ve spoken about this before in my blogs The Season of November and Think or Swim. It tracks big wave surfers - surfing waves as big as buildings. Just to give you some context of the waves they’re chasing; 100 foot is around the size of nine-story building. So when these waves, even the smaller ones (like the size of the average two story house) knock you off your board and pull you under, you’re not coming up unscathed; whether that’s your body that takes the knock, your confidence or your surfboard. It’s often life-threatening. [See trailer video below]
When a surfer falls off their board on a wave they are sucked under, they can’t breathe, they get disorientated, they get hurt or injured, and ultimately they need rescuing. It’s not a small thing to go through. And some of you will already be making the connection that that’s how you’ve felt with grief- it’s not a small thing to go through. It changes lives, people, identities, relationships, situations, health, finances, the list goes on. It’s also often, but not always, life and death. Grief can feel like 30 feet of white water crashing down on your head when you least expected it, but sometimes it can also feel like gentle lapping at your feet with a soft reminder of what you’ve lost. Grief can be the wave that catches you unaware and strips you of your bikini top leaving you embarrassed and vulnerable, or it can be the wave you’ve been waiting and preparing for. It’s unpredictable and the thing that most of us find the hardest to come to terms with about it - it’s, to a degree, completely out of our control. And we just love to have control in life, don’t we?
The saddest news for many, is that the waves of grief probably won’t stop. You will always feel them. And that might be hard for those that haven’t been through it to understand. Our society has somehow cultivated this ‘get over’ grief or ‘get past it’ mentality, but as we’re hearing more and more people talk about it we're finding that’s not only not the case, but it’s not possible. And that’s led me since I started the podcast to explore this through many blogs on integrating grief into our lives - you can find those on the blog page of the website by clicking on the ‘grief’ category, examples are; Hello Darkness, my new friend, What happens if I let go and Griefstroke.
Then, I recently had, what I would call a bigger wave, wipe me out. It was building for a while I think (as they so often do) but the breaking point, the crash where the white water arrives (and makes that amazing crashing noise like waves do) came because of a deep sense of loss for many things that all rolled into one. And that’s another thing - grief often comes with a whole host of add-ons that you didn’t pay for or want thrown in for free. On top of a sadness I felt over feeling misunderstood and alone in one particular situation, then on piled the loss of not having our own children, the loss of years through health battles, not being able to be who I am, not having a career that supports us financially which I can proudly talk to others about, knowing that in not being a mother I’m not a career woman either. Then the questions piled into my mind - What if I can’t ever get my health back to a place where I can be who I wanted to be? If you get one shot at this life - what is mine really amounting to? How have I gone so wrong with relationships around me? Why does my situation feel so lonely? Where do I fit in my social circles when I’m not a mother, and not a man? Why am I still defending my choices around our infertility and adoption and worried when others don’t understand? Why do people continually assume the childless life is so much easier and free-er than other family situations? Even though these aren’t new, and many are much smaller things to me now than they were many years ago when we started our childless journey, I still find that when multiple small ripples all come at once and join onto something bigger that’s happening - you end up under a much bigger wave than you saw coming. And just like waves, you can’t get out quickly, even if you see it coming by the time you start to run to the shore the wave has built enough momentum to start to drag you towards it, and you know, you’re on the wrong side of it to escape that white water. One of the fascinating, terrifying and beautiful things about giant waves crashing is that white water on the top, that looks like a herd of wild white horses chasing their way to the shore. And sadly, again to an extent, no one can help you for a while (be that minutes, hours or days), there’s a chance no one saw you get hit by it or realised it was coming, and the only way to come out of it, is to go through it. You can’t really have waves without the crash, you can’t have grief without the waves.
But why do things come in waves? Well, let’s face it, we couldn’t handle it all at once. The sea coming in, all in one go, would overwhelm the shore, and our grief landing all at once would overwhelm our soul. The other reason we have waves is wind. Now I’m not going to make the correlation between wind and waves at sea and grief and wind in a human (although I’m sure there are some!). But I have noticed a few things with the wind that swept over England recently. As I watched the trees swaying and bending I realised that once again nature has a lot to teach us, and the main thing I realised was that they are prepared for it. The wind comes in waves for them, they don’t know when it’s coming, or how strong it’ll be, but they are prepared for it. If they are well-grounded, healthy and bendable, then they will survive it. However, if they are weak, damaged, uncared for or broken - they can fall.
There’s a famous poem by Vicki Harrison about grief.
Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim. Vicki Harrison
And it’s very true and many people connect with this and quote it when talking about grief, but there’s something quite key about its message that’s easily missed. The last line says ‘All we can do is learn to swim’. Learn to swim. Learning takes time, it’s not something you just acquire by osmosis. This means it has to be done before the storm hits, before the waves crash, because trying to learn to swim once you’re immersed in the wave, flailing around, is going to be impossible. The truth is, although you might manage to choreograph some form of undignified doggy paddy in the moment to save your skin, there’s not going to be a swimming coach hanging around in the wave to help teach you an olympic-level swimming routine to get yourself out. These skills have to be acquired before you get in the ocean.
So, how do we survive these waves? And what can we do to prepare for them?
I’d love to tell you I have all the answers, (in fact, I’m going to, just to feel good about myself for a second - ‘I have all the answers.’
But, really, I don’t. But I do have a bunch of acquired knowledge from experiencing it myself, talking to many others that have been through it, watching people and learning from nature - which I’m beginning to think might actually have everything we need to know for life baked into it somewhere.
Here are my 3 top tips:
Remember it’s normal. Don’t underestimate the power of remembering that what you’re going through is also encountered by every other human that’s ever been and will be on the planet. You’re not alone. Not only does this mean that you can give yourself less of a hard time about experiencing it, but it also means there’s lots out there to help you, and whole communities of people feeling the same way. So if you’re particularly finding it hard - there are definitely people feeling the same way, and know how you feel, and you should find them, even if it’s just a Facebook group. The waves on the sea, that we can all see coming with our eyes (if you’re blessed enough to have your sight), take people by surprise every day, so why on earth shouldn’t the invisible ones of grief? It’s normal to be surprised by them, it’s normal to be wiped out by them, it’s normal to find yourself in the middle of one with your butt flying past your ear, wondering if you still have all your limbs intact, it’s normal to be sat on the sand afterwards dazed, confused and a bit broken, it’s normal to take a while to right yourself again, physically and mentally. Don’t beat yourself up for going through something normal. I’m saying this to myself as much as to you. And it’s normal for this to happen to you over whatever you feel loss for - grief doesn’t recognise whether it’s the loss of a parent, a child, a 99-year-old, a career, a limb, a sense, a relationship, an achievement, a marriage, health, identity, a pet, a sentimental object, expectations of a life you wanted, a future… it doesn’t matter, if it wipes you out, it wipes you out, stop comparing and expecting to feel better because your loss wasn’t as bad as someone else’s. There is no ‘worst loss’ - and creating them and ranking them only diminishes what other people go through. Know that your loss is your loss, it affects you in the way it affects you, you can’t control or change that and it’s ok to feel those feelings - in fact, it’s necessary to survive. If you don’t, the wave just builds and the crash is even more pummelling.
Be prepared. Preparation and the right tools can go a long way to helping you survive these waves. In surfing, preparation is 90% of the battle. Training starts for surfers long before they get in the water, and not just training their muscles and mind but also their lungs and diaphragm to breathe underwater so it responds immediately when they need it. Learning how to breathe steadily or holding their breath (even when they have none left) in a calm manner under intense stress under the water could mean the difference between drowning and surviving. They make sure they’re in peak physical condition and hone the skills needed to make their bodies do whatever is required for every unique wave, to ensure they come out of it still on the board. They also have the right board which comes in different shapes, weights and sizes depending on where they’re surfing. Surviving, or even surfing waves, isn’t luck or good judgement - it’s preparation too. You could say that in surfing prep saves lives, whereas in grieving - prep saves cries. It’s not exactly obvious what that means but it sounds good. And yes, you can prepare for loss and grief. In fact, those that have been through it more than once will tell you they learnt something each time that made the next loss a bit easier to navigate. I’m not saying it gets easier, although some will tell you that was their experience, but it’s a bit like having your first child and then having the second - it’s not easier, but the territory is more familiar and that takes away a lot of the debilitating fear that can occur under the wave. This time, you might be more confident that you’ll come out the other side, and that is a huge part of accepting and facing what you’re encountering. Each time your grief is triggered by something you’ll become more familiar with those emotions and if you want to, you can start to learn from them about what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it. This doesn’t mean you can avoid going through it again, but it does mean that you’ll begin to understand it more. And even before you go through your first encounter with grief, you can learn from others about it. That’s the whole focus of this podcast, to help you prepare for grief and navigate it by hearing from those who have gone through it ahead of you. And the Let’s Chat episodes were specifically designed to help us face different types of loss and prepare for it. Every guest leaves behind a tool for my metaphorical toolshed, to help you know about it and have it ready to pick up when you face loss. Every single person I’ve spoken to on the podcast for any kind of episode, has taught me something about going through grief and loss, and they’re all nuggets of information I treasure, store and draw on when I need it myself. Even if all you pick up from this is that waves of grief are normal, unpredictable, but also survivable, and you believe that and cling to it when the next wave hits you, I guarantee that will help you in some way. For example, if you are lost at sea, in the water, flailing, with no idea if help will ever come, you’ll start to panic that you might be lost forever, that help might never find you, that you might die, you’ll lose track of all reason, and start doing things that make it worse - like running out of breath and tiring your body too quickly. But if someone told you before you were in the water that someone would rescue you within 10 minutes, and then you find yourself in the exact same situation but with the knowledge that you’d be rescued , instantly it’s a completely different situation. Yes, it’s still scary, cold, wet, tiring, lonely, confusing and something to recover from, but just a little bit of head knowledge makes all the difference to how you survive it. This person comes out of the water a very different person than the one that was freaking out for 10 minutes and is now a wreck because of it. I can’t guarantee you will come out of it unscathed, but I can show you many people who have come out of it, and just knowing it’s survivable and that the pain does change and ease eventually - well, that can make a lot of difference as you’re going through it. It did for me. I saw people on the other side of infertility that were childless and surviving, not just surviving, I saw people thriving, and I clung to that as I went through it, I’ve seen the same with those who have lost partners, children, jobs, relationships etc etc, and to me, they’re the beacons I will hold onto if I face those same losses myself one day. It doesn’t make the grief easier, it just shows me there’s a light at the end of the dark tunnel where there are others waiting for me who have already got through it.
Have a safety net. Sometimes you can’t get through this alone, and there’s no reason you should have to anyway. We were made as humans to live in community, relationships, tribes, nations, groups, families. Big wave surfers have safety crews on jet skis that find them if they fall, swoop in inbetween the waves, and pull them out. Many of these big waves aren’t close to the shore, so the surfers don’t just wash up on the beach, they’re stuck in acres of white water until someone pulls them out and over the waves to the other side again. These jet skis are who they wave to when they’re in trouble - the wave says ‘This is where I am, and I need you to see me and pull me out’. We need this in grief too. You need people around you that you can signal to, and they’ll come and help. Ideally, people who know you well enough to know how you need help. Sometimes you’ll be struggling but you know you’re fine doing it alone and need to implement the swimming you’ve previously learnt, but other times you’ll need help from others. Just as there are lots of improvements in safety with surfing, there are many resources available to help those that are grieving. If you don’t have people around you before the grief, it’s very hard to find them during or afterwards. So have a look around you, what’s your safety net looking like? Who would drop everything to help you at 2am when you call to say you’ve just experienced something traumatic? Who would rush over because you just lost your job? Who sees you when you’re not on top form and does their best to reach down and pull you up again? Are you investing in those relationships? Or are you spending more time and energy on people that might not do that for you? Sometimes the very people we would run to in a crisis are the ones we don’t actually invest that much in, assuming because we know they’ll be there we don’t need to. Sometimes it’s sad or scary to realise you don’t really have people around you that are free to support you in that way. I know a lot of people without children really find this hard, once all their friends and family have children and can’t go out any more, can’t visit, can’t have the same freedoms, they assume that because they’re not free in this respect, they also wouldn’t be able to help them if something big happened. This isn’t always the case. Sasha Bates that we spoke to for Loss 23/101 - loss of a husband and best friend, was childless when her husband, Bill, very suddenly died, and she said this:
I always valued my friends hugely, I always knew that I had lovely friends. But I suppose it's easy when things are going well, it's easy to be there for each other… you don't really know who's going to be there in the bad times until the bad times hit. So when I was in the hospital for those days, just trying to come to terms with the fact he wasn't coming home… two of the friends that had turned up initially, on the first morning… I don't quite know how they did it. I mean, they were very good at not saying or showing this, but they had kids and clients and families and their whole lives have been disrupted to be there. They kept saying, 'Well, who can we ring? Who can we get to be here with you?' And my mind just went blank. I thought well there isn't anybody, you two are my best friends. And it felt really desolate. And they said, 'Okay, well come on, let's make a plan' and got my phone out… And it dawned on me that actually I did have quite a huge network. And then these two friends rang the people up that I said, 'I think these might help'. And before I knew it people were like pouring in, and I kind of realised, people do step up. And people do love me and they do love Bill, and you know, even the ones that maybe were more his friends than mine, they knew that they could honour him by looking after me. And that was really, really powerful. And I kind of went from thinking that there was literally nobody, to thinking, 'oh my goodness, I've got a whole army of people that are here for me'. And when you go through that with people, you become friends in a very different way. Once your kind of friendships have been tested, I think you do become family, because you've been through something really huge together. Sasha Bates, Loss 23/101: Loss of a husband and best friend
So who have you got around you that you need to invest in to make sure you have the right people around you when the waves hit? Or are you someone that you know you’d step in for someone if they needed you at any time of day (and you mean it, I’m talking leave your family at 2am, drive in the dark with bad hair and no make-up mean it) - but maybe you need to tell them that because they don’t know they have people like you around. Don’t assume people know you’re there for them, don’t assume you have no one there for you. Find and know that you have a safety net - they’re not always obvious. Like when climbers clip themselves to safety rails and pulley things - maybe there are people that have clipped to the back of your belt to catch you if you fall and you haven’t even realised it. We need to be better about showing there is support in place for others BEFORE the wave of loss, bereavement, divorce, child loss, redundancy, etc hits, not during or after.
Overall, just like the ocean waves, the waves of grief don’t stop. As we know there isn’t grief without love, and love doesn’t stop, so why should the grief attached stop. I’m accepting that should I live to 90 years old, I know I’ll still see people’s children visiting them in the old people’s home and pause to think on the family I didn’t have, the body I’m in that didn’t bear children, the things that affected or changed in my life. Just like some people say they never fully get over the loss of a parent, there are continual, everyday moments when they miss something about that relationship, or the loss of a child when you think of the milestones that could have been. If Chris and I had had the family we assumed we’d have, our children would be 13 and about 11 this year. I imagine they’ll all nearly be taller than me and at least one of them would have Chris’ ears - hopefully a boy. You can’t just assume the waves of something like that just stop one day, and so there’s a chance the waves of your grief won’t either. However, they often get smaller, even if you still get the occasional tsunami from somewhere, and there are ways to turn them into something that doesn’t shrink you to the floor in tears in a public bathroom.
Eventually, with the grief, can come the love and the memories of what you loved, be that a person or a thing or a job or an expectation. It is possible to get to a point one day, where the appreciation for what you had and enjoyed and loved, is something you can also take from the wave. It might feel hard to imagine that, and it’s definitely an easier job if you have happy memories of what you lost, especially if it was a person, but I still believe it’s possible anyway. The only major exception might be when someone dies - like a parent - that wasn’t a very nice person and there are no happy memories, but there is still the grief. And there are always exceptions, but even then, there will be ways to work through the waves in a different way.
I’ve asked a few parents that have lost children, at different ages and stages, if they had the choice, would they go back and not have that child, to save themselves from the pain of losing them. To date, not one has said yes they would do that. They all chose the pain, just to have experienced the memories and moments of happiness (no matter how brief) with that child. I hope that one day when I feel the wave of loss over the children we never had and never got to meet, that I will also feel the love we would have had for them, the knowledge that we are not alone in knowing this kind of pain, and that there are other wonderful things I can do and be on this path, even if it wasn’t our first choice.
I have noticed that a man is usually about as happy as he has made up his mind to be. Abraham Lincoln
I believe there’s a lot of truth to this - but it’s flippin’ hard work, not easy, and it’s not every day that I believe it’s possible.
I don’t know if you did this as a child (if you ever went to the beach) but I used to love wading out beyond the crash of the waves to the deeper bit where the waves just rolled through you, lifting your feet briefly off the sandy bed of the sea. I’d wait for one that would lift me high and take me towards the shore a bit before dropping me gently down onto my feet again. We’d laugh and do it together with siblings, friends, family. These are the waves I want to reach one day. I’ll have waded past where they crash into the deeper end where they might take me off my feet for a bit, but I don’t fall over, I don’t go under, I’m just placed gently back on my feet again. I will remember and feel the grief as it washes through me, but I’ll also experience the joy that I’ve found along the way that’s now attached to that grief, I’ll know that magical feeling of holding both grief and joy at the same time and I’ll stay on my feet. Standing side by side with all the other griefy peeps that are doing the same thing. Yes the occasional wave might crash on my head, but like when I was a child I want the gasping, the shock and fear to last a small moment before I’m picking myself up soaked, sand splashed and laughing, as someone calls to me to come back and risk it again. Maybe I won’t ever get there, but there is no harm in dreaming and I think the more I set my sights on that being my goal, the more chance I have of achieving it.
May the sun bring you energy every day, bringing light into the darkness of your soul. May the moon softly restore you by light bathing you in the glow of restful sleep and peaceful dreams. May the rain wash away your worries and cleanse the hurt that sits in your heart. May the breeze blow new strength into your being, and may you believe in the courage of yourself. May you walk gently through the world, keeping your loved one with you always, knowing that you are never parted in the beating of your heart. A Traditional Apache Grief Blessing
The last shot on this video is equally beautiful and terrifying.
Perhaps a bit like grief.