Submerged: Let Yourself Feel Deeply.
Intense suffering in the heart breathes life into all of our senses while simultaneously pushing us into the proverbial ocean of darkness.
It creates humility and astoundingly humbles us. Everything that is trivial becomes very clear. Everything that holds beauty becomes tangible and we crave for the things that hold the weight of comfort. It is through this that we become more.
More of everything, more human… and we are able to see the world through a different light when we resurface.
When Death comes into our lives, it feels like water moving in all around us. There is the shock to the system. I assume this filling in of water is nature’s way of putting us back into the womb. Everything gets further away, and there are no words or sounds that can be heard and deciphered.
It is as if we are hanging onto an umbilical cord, and have left our body. That is what I remember, just water.
When there is grief like this, it overcomes the senses.
When this began, my dear friend looked at me and said, “Just let yourself surrender, ride the wave.”
And in that moment, I knew what she meant. I did not know that the weight of these waves would push me so far under that at moments I thought I would never come up.
This journey is my own and not anyone else’s. But it has put me in touch with the visceral human pain experienced by so many people who have felt the weight of such a great loss.
When someone we loved to the core leaves us, it shakes the center of who we thought we were and where we are. There is a deafening darkness and silence that comes.
There is no bravery in suffering in your silence. It seems that often people are rewarded for their stoicism.
Let yourself dive deep and fearlessly into the depths of what you feel. The only way through, is in. There is no right way to bring yourself to the light. This is your own journey.
Surround yourself with the people who understand. There will only be a few but hold them close, and know they are not always the ones you expected but that doesn’t make them any less. There are people to arrive and hold you for every moment of your life.
Let each day and each moment come, just like the ebb and the flow of the ocean. There are times when there is nothing that will stop this; it is the natural flow of things.
When you are strong enough, find nature and let nature find you. Let yourself have the time to be completely undistracted.
Let yourself recall every moment, write letters and burn them, or put them in a box, run on the beaches or the mountains or wherever your heart takes you.
Recognize that you are not alone, and that from the beginning of time, people have felt these exact things you have felt. Although no one has your exact story. There is a common progression of the heart. That you may feel at times, so alone.
So tired, so utterly exhausted by your journey that jumps from sadness to anger to joy, and back again. This is your symphony and this is your story.
Revel in the beauty of feeling this, this amazing love for whomever this person may be, that we are human and that you were able to love this much. That not everyone is able to open so wide and love.
With your breaking heart, there will come a rebirth where everything appears new, and there will be a pure gratitude for your life and all that is beauty.
You are not obligated to anyone at this time. Do only the bare minimum of what you can do and that is enough. You cannot rush into healing, it comes at its own pace.
Do not let anyone try to hurry you along. This is your heart, and only you know it. Let yourself do nothing. Some days you will feel okay, and some days the waves will push you down under. Retreat to the places that feel safe and know that there will come a day that the weight will be less.
Know that it’s okay, that who you were before this was perhaps a different person. Death that is close to us, changes us. It will affect everything. You may feel angry.
Angry that people don’t know how much you hurt, or that everyone else is having a good time and moving along, while you are curled up in the fetal position trying to get it together to go to your job, or that your partner or friends or family may want you to just get through it.
There is no definitive timeline. Love is timeless and never-ending, and so are the remains of friendships and love. It is truly the only thing that remains from our lives, our connections and how we impacted people. It is never a grand definition of character but all the small moments that remain.
Let those stories take you through, and eventually you will come to a place inside yourself when you can smile at the memories. It seems that in all things tragic, the advice people give us sound cliche. Perhaps this whole thing does.
As a beautiful girl reminded me once, “Most things are cliche because they are true.”
Nourish yourself. Do not deprive yourself of the things you need. Sleep, rest, and food are the most basic needs — without them, everything else becomes much harder. This may be the hardest part, just making sure you take good care of yourself.
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to call on the ones you need most.
When you are ready, move your body. In whatever way you can. Like my friend told me, the energy needs to move through you. Even if that seems like the last thing you ever want to do. When you are ready, pick your body up and walk, do Yoga, dance in your living room, surf, hike.
Whatever it takes to get there. This component, although it took me over a month, was the saving grace in all the sadness and anger that had built up inside me. I was dancing in my living room and I had lifted my arms up, chest wide, and I felt my heart crack open. I cried on my floor that afternoon.
In Hawaii, one of the first things people will tell you about the ocean is, if you are caught in a rip current, do not fight it and panic by trying to get to shore. You will exhaust yourself and drown. You are supposed to swim parallel to shore until the current takes you in, which it eventually will.
This is just like loss. You have to surrender to this. It’s so terrifying to go into our pain sometimes we want to just get through it. But if you let yourself, you will resurface and be brought back to shore.
Listen to your heart.
Your heart is speaking loudly… listen.
“Light became art, it arched with the sea and the sky. I lost my breath underwater, until I found your hands to hold me ever so gently out of the darkness and into the light…” ~ Jericho Rell
Jericho Rell is in love with the island she inhabits, and a lover of the sea and adventure. She divides her time between being a radio DJ, a mother, a student, a massage therapist, an actress, and a fashion host. She also has a deep love and appreciation for the beautiful symphony that comes together from our souls through our words. You can follow her blog or find her on Facebook.