Navigating the Waves of Loss

Learning to Swim in the Sea of Emotions

Grief is a journey that takes us through the depths of loss, and the emotions that accompany it are much like the ever-changing tides.  Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.  In the vastness of the ocean, we may feel small and vulnerable. But as we learn to swim through the emotions of loss, we discover our own strength and resilience finding solace, healing, and a renewed sense of purpose along the way.

Understanding the Emotions

When we experience the loss of a loved one, whether it be a friend, family member, or someone dear to us, we are thrust into a sea of emotions. At times, the waters may be calm, and we find solace in the memories and the love we shared. But there are moments when the waves of grief crash over us, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and struggling to stay afloat.

Friends of those who took their own life express a range of emotions, many that they have no idea how to manage or use for better purposes.   These emotions are hard for others to understand if they have never been in an experience like this before.  In addition, no two people experience the same emotions in the same way.

  1. “My emotions are constantly changing – sadness, guilt, anger, and a profound sense of loss. It’s a rollercoaster.”
  2. “The pain is indescribable. It’s a mix of heartache, confusion, and a constant longing for answers that may never come.”
  3. “It does not feel real. I think they are going to walk through the door at any minute.”
  4. “I think I am fine and then a sight, sound, smell, or memory pops up and sucks me right back down.”
  5. “Waves of sadness crash over me, leaving me breathless and searching for answers.”
  6. “I feel guilty. I question if there was something more I could have done, if I missed any signs. Why didn’t we all talk and put our pieces together. “
  7. “I know they were struggling. I was not comfortable discussing it with them.  I could have saved them. Now it is too late.”
  8. “How can I be a good friend when I stopped doing stuff with them because they were getting hard to be around.”
  9. “The void left by my friend’s absence is overwhelming. It’s a constant ache in my heart, a reminder of the laughter and connection we once shared.”
  10. “I’m angry at my friend for leaving, angry at myself for not being able to save them, and angry at a world that can be so cruel.”
  11. “There are moments when I feel numb, as if the world around me has lost its color. It’s a surreal experience.”
  12. “Surviving a friend’s suicide has taught me true grief. It’s raw and messy, filled with tears, sleepless nights, and a longing for closure.”

Learning to Swim

Just like swimming in the ocean, navigating the emotions of loss requires strength, resilience, and the willingness to adapt. Here are a few insights to help us learn to swim in this sea of emotions:

  1. Acknowledge the waves: It’s important to recognize and honor the emotions that arise. Allow yourself to feel the pain, sadness, anger, or any other emotions that come your way. Embrace them as a natural part of the grieving process.
  2. Ride the waves: Just as waves rise and fall, emotions will come and go. Ride the waves of grief, knowing that they will eventually subside. Allow yourself to experience the highs and lows, knowing that healing takes time.
  3. Seek support: Just as a lifeguard can provide assistance in the ocean, seek support from loved ones, friends, or professionals who can offer a listening ear and a comforting presence. Share your feelings and memories, and allow others to support you through this challenging time.
  4. Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is crucial when navigating the sea of emotions. Engage in activities that bring you comfort and solace, whether it’s spending time in nature, journaling, practicing mindfulness, or seeking therapy. Prioritize self-care to replenish your emotional reserves.
  5. Embrace the process: Grief is a unique journey for each individual. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and it’s important to honor your own process. Be patient and compassionate with yourself as you navigate the waves of emotions.
  6. Find meaning and purpose: As you learn to swim in the sea of emotions, seek ways to find meaning and purpose in your loss. Honor your loved one’s memory by engaging in activities or causes that hold significance to you. Channel your emotions into positive actions that can bring healing and growth.

Remember, learning to swim in the sea of emotions takes time and patience. It’s a journey of self-discovery, healing, and finding new ways to navigate life without your loved one. Embrace the waves, knowing that with each stroke, you are moving forward on your path of healing and resilience.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to a helpline or mental health professional in your country. You are not alone, and help is available.

Remember, you are loved, and your feelings matter.

Jen Weis

The publisher of Morning Cup.