If you’ve ever stood on a beach looking at the ocean, listening to its waves pound and roar, you have no doubt experienced the feeling of smallness in the grand scheme of time and the universe. As I did just that recently, I was overcome by the sensation of the cool, wet sand between my toes and the memory of my mom who was my shore buddy until her death seven years ago. It was our place and it now feels viscerally wrong to be there without her.
One of my closest and dearest friends was with me and as I began to cry I apologized to her. I hate that after all this time I find it incredibly difficult to set foot on a beach. My friend hugged me and encouraged me to let it out but I didn’t want to. I am tired of this inherent negative reaction to a positive locale I once loved. I feel weak and mad at myself for not being able to get passed the loss of not just my mom but this huge part of my life.
As we walked back to the car, my friend holding onto me as I slowly and carefully navigated the holes and shifting sand, I realized that throughout the whole of my life I have always had someone I care deeply about by my side on the beach. On this particular day, I would not have ventured onto the sand if I’d been by myself. Yes, my mom is gone and my sight wasn’t far behind her, five months in fact. But I have never bern alone since then. The love, and the ocean, remain.