“And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?”
Isn’t that the perfect metaphor for grief?!?
I was watching “Castaway” the other day (for the gazillionth time) and again heard those words spoken by Chuck, Tom Hanks’ character, as he recounted how he’d survived on that island for years and years; hopeless he’d ever leave. But then one day, a piece of an old, plastic portapotty washed up on the beach and he fashioned it into a makeshift sail to finally get off the island and be rescued.
When you’re walking through grief it can feel hopeless; as if you’re isolated, stuck, and all alone on an island of pain.
If you remember in the movie, Chuck ventured out into the waves many times. But he always ended up bruised, injured and discouraged.
Plenty of books have been written and professional counselors talk about the “tidal waves of grief” that will knock us over. We’re not supposed to fight them, rather we’re to find some wreckage to hang on to and then let the the waves take us where they want.
But while working through grief, you can’t stay in a place of constantly being beaten up by the ocean waves; out of control with no direction. You might need to go back to the island, find your footing and then just sit and wait for the sun to rise…being hopeful something useful will wash up on your shore.
And what washes up may look and feel like crap in the moment (like a Porta potty ). But if you have eyes to see, you may find purposefulness in the crap￼￼￼ and it might just be the sail you use to get off your island.
Grief is a process. Long and drawn out for some. Shorter and more easily to manage for others.
For me, I hated it when I heard about another young wife losing her husband. That’s some really big CRAP! But that crap became a sail that gave me (and Kjell) purpose and direction to start Broken Halos Haven.