I can close my eyes and transport myself right back to standing on the sandy shore, feeling the ocean breeze feathering across my cheeks and rummaging through my hair. Watching huge wave after huge wave rushing towards me, growing taller and taller — getting closer and closer — louder and louder. Whatever was happening in the sky — it was menacing. It erupted all in a rush, mercilessly raining down on me. I knew I didn’t want to die too, I didn’t see the use in that — it wouldn’t bring her back. I just wanted to surrender to the grief, stop resisting it’s pull. So, in barely more than a whisper, I turned and told you with a sinking realisation:
‘The truth is — I just don’t know if I know how to be happy anymore.’
I turned back to face the ocean. Waves now appeared to be touching the sky right there above my head, I closed my eyes as they came crashing back down to Earth — to take me under.
‘Maybe now, I’ll learn how to breathe under water.’
In less than a blink of an eye, your arms wrapped around my waist — pulling me inland towards your chest. Suddenly, there we were — on your living room floor. As you wrapped me up in your love — you said:
‘Don’t say that, please — don’t do this to me. I love you.’
So, I surrendered to you — I let you take me under instead.
Now twelve years later, I wonder if it might have been safer — for me to have ridden those waves and risked being swept away by the tsunami of grief that day. I once welcomed the inevitable devastation of the ocean, I never welcomed or expected yours. I wound up washed up and just as alone — on a love island.
I found the strength, to paddle myself back to shore — eventually.
I guess, I never would have learned to breathe under water anyway. At least, I remember how to be happy again. Resistance is futile, there is not one feeling that is permanent — no matter how long it stays. I know any emotion — grief, love — happiness — comes and goes in waves. All I have to do, is immerse myself — and just let them wash over me.