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Can you imagine someone you love, that you spent so much of your life with and were wholeheartedly bonded to, being taken away from you so unexpectedly? Can you imagine being so blindsided and left in a complete daze from the impact?

The thought of never being able to see them again, the thought of never being able to hug them again, not being able see their smile or hear their laughter is heartbreaking.

They were right there in front of me. They lived, moved and breathed. They were alive and then in an instant, they were gone… forever. No matter how hard I will it, I can’t undo it. I look at their photos and just cannot comprehend that I can never see them again no matter how much I know it’s real.

Can you imagine that sick feeling hitting deep down in the pit of your stomach because you know you will never again take anymore picture with them? Can you imagine the feeling of knowing they will never grow any older than the last photos that you have of them?

They’re right there frozen in time in front of your eyes and you are frozen right there with them feeling despair at the thought of not being able to stay there forever because time doesn’t give you that choice.

After the initial impact and when your head is a little less foggy, you start going through the motions of functioning until at some point, you actual do start to function. It’s at this point that you honestly aren’t sure if you’re healing from the devastation or if you are numb.

But then, suddenly, the grief tsunamis hit you and your head starts running away with your heart. All of the thoughts rush in, panic begins and you remember that you have to live like this, without them, for the rest of your life. Suddenly, it’s hard to breathe again. The thoughts go through your head and once again you’re desperately screaming inside for it to stop.

The tsunamis will come just like they do in our great big oceans. They are part of this grief journey and they are a deafening, knee-dropping reminder of our powerlessness.

Somehow though, despite it all, you see that there is something else. You realize that there is something large and beautiful out there in the vast ocean. It’s so grand that it’s beyond our comprehension. We bow to its majesty and without fully understanding, we find a calm in its fragrant, crisp air. Sprinkles of salt fall onto our skin and it’s heaviness begins to melt away. The waves return back to a gentle, low tide and you are able to breathe again and admire it’s beauty.

Love does this. The love that I receive from my children and my husband does this. The love that I give back does this.

The holes in my heart from the loss of my dad and my brother are permanent and are part of me forever. I am changed forever.

I choose to survive the tsunamis. I embrace them, deal with them and hold on the best I can.

Do you?