Grief, Metaphoric Rising

Metaphoric Rising: The Ocean Mist

The Ocean Mist captures the world of depression and anxiety. The building intensity while desperately trying to mask the turmoil and simply trying to hold on …… for a better day. Many times however the journey of depression ends in suicide. As we think about notables – Robin Williams; Kate Spade; Anthony Bourdain; and Chester Bennington – there are so many more who struggle and so many families left behind to manage through inexplicable grief. The Ocean Mist attempts to capture these journeys.

“The thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as they see light at the end of the tunnel. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”

The churn of the ocean built over may weeks; many months; many years. The build was slow unseen from above but visible beneath the surface. Stormy seas presented on occasion but settling once again to the calm surface. The ever present churn swirling beneath the surface ready to break at any moment.

Navigating the seas was difficult as both a passenger and the captain. All of the right equipment and tools supported the choppy seas and the calm ocean waters were simply relished.

The explosive storm hit after weeks of small ripples and it was unexpected. The impact of the storm threw the passengers from the safety of the boat in a harsh disruptive manner. Into the angry seas, unprepared, un-provisioned and only ourselves to hold onto….

The initial waves were strong and powerful. Washing over us, pushing us downward into the dark cold sea. Our strength – individually and collectively – made it through the impact of the explosive stormy seas and those powerhouse waves of destruction. Tired, we could not sleep. Hungry, we could not eat. Afraid; cold; alone…….but together. 

We knew how to swim. We had been in the ocean before, many times.  But we had never, ever been in the ocean during this type of storm. Never. We struggled to stay above water and to ride the storm. Some days would have been easy to just release and simply let go. But we could not let the angry ocean swallow us too. We were stronger.

The storm subsided slowly over time. An occasional rogue wave would knock us down and under yet with each rogue wave we became stronger; more adaptable; more resilient; and able to manage through them. 

The calmer waters were relaxing and allowed us to float comfortably along the surface. The sun began to shine and the light albeit dull at first became lighter and brighter as the storm dissipated. The sun; the birds and the shore up ahead gave us signs of hope. Our determination to survive the storm created a new found appreciation of the sun; the shore; the breeze and a continued respect for the ocean and the churn that builds at times into a storm.

Many years after surviving the explosive storm there is an awareness on so many levels. The ocean calm can be deceiving. The twinkling crystal blue waters on the surface can hold a brewing storm churning. Understanding that about the ocean waters and sharing the story of survival of the storm is important and must be told. Lives can be lost, lives can be saved. Survival is difficult as the journey sometimes. The angry ocean doesn’t have to win and the calm seas can and do prevail. We all just need to possess the strength to ride out the storms

“It takes strength to make your way through grief, to grab hold of life and let it pull you forward.”

1 thought on “Metaphoric Rising: The Ocean Mist”

  1. Dear Leslie,

    Your Metaphoric Rising account describes what all of us face from the day that we are born until we die. Over the years, in my own experience when I face adversity, I recall the Serenity Prayer; in which, I am reminded to take action on the things that I can do and let go those things that I can’t do.

    Have a great week!


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