Sinking and Floating

Image Source: Engin Akyurt via Unsplash.

Written by H. WEND. April 11th, 2023.

I’ve been distant. I am so used to abandoning my ship, I almost did it again. I create something really wonderful, something I want so badly but then after a while the waters within and around me grow violent. The doubt sets in, the fear of not being able to stay consistent hovers over me, and unworthiness unveils my truth. Get to safety, return to quiet, return to nothingness. My body knows the drill all too well and I drown in the torrent again. Then, when it’s safe, I emerge in rebirth and start again.

“Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. Start there.”

Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar.

Nine weeks ago, my world imploded. Just like everything else, I figured I’d talk about it another time when I’ve found healing but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. I’m so tired of pushing things away to deal with later, only to spend years in its pain. Nine weeks ago, a long term relationship came to an end. It felt like an earthquake and though I am familiar with loss, I am no expert at coping with it.

At first, I was in denial, and I so badly wanted to hold onto the possibility that things would quickly return as they once were. I didn’t want to face the truth, the wreckage and the new path that cleared its way in front me. The truth is, being apart is better for us, at least, for now. My heart takes a thousand cuts while I type it and no horrible ending will change the fact that this person was the love of my life.

The breakdown of my relationship and the absence of my person has led to all the things you’d expect in grief. Sadness, anger, denial, bargaining, acceptance- all those things over and over again, and it’s kind of only just begun. But what I didn’t expect was to spiral all the way into grief- the grief I have managed to stuff into a drawer about my parents deaths.

My parents passed away within three years of each other. During these life-altering events, I was in a long-term relationship, and I didn’t realise until now, how that relationship was my lifeboat. It distracted me enough to be able to stay in myself, or so I thought.

I can’t begin to describe how it feels to face the rest of my life without my parents here on earth. It feels impossible. Even when things in my relationship were bad or unhealthy, even when I was sad in my relationship- it was my lifeboat, it was something to get up for, to hope for and to build on. I could barely function, but I never imagined I would function in a world without my parents anyway so it was a win. At least I had love. And this person was so much more than a lifeboat to me, but my grief slowly turned me into someone who needed and depended on a lifeboat. So, I laid down in my lifeboat, scared to see the wreckage, scared to make the slightest move that could lead to me falling overboard. What a burden to place on someone else.

Are you still with me? Can you see where I’m going?

The boat flipped. I am now in this process of sinking and floating. My instinct is to start kicking and when my face hits the surface, I take a deep breath and promise I won’t come back up again. I let myself sink. Further down I go, deep down into the quiet abyss. I ignore the urge to start kicking. What for, Hannah? What for? The urge becomes desperate. The faces of people I love surge through my mind, visions of the joy my mother felt when she first held me in her arms and my dad’s silent vow to protect his daughter makes itself vividly clear. Something deeper in my body lights up and jolts me. Fucking fight! I start kicking again until I can breathe air. I gasp while crying tears of desperation and hopelessness. I’m so tired. I’m so damn tired. Then, I realise if I’m still enough, if I make myself light enough by letting go, I can rest. I can do nothing but float. I’m not kicking, nor am I sinking. I’m just floating.

Somehow, this feels like the process I was meant to go through all along. I am forever grateful that I had someone wonderful to hold me when I woke with tears in my eyes after my mother’s death, someone who protected me from the fierce waves of my grief, but I was never meant to not get lost in the grief.

I feel more lost than I’ve ever felt in my life. This is brutal but perhaps necessary.

I’m in this process that I don’t completely understand myself yet. I’m in the throes heartbreak and grief. I’ve created something I love here on my blog and I don’t know if I will want to abandon it again but when that urge comes, I may not kick but I won’t sink, I will simply float.


  1. Carol anne says:

    Hugs Hannah!
    So sorry for your grief and pain! Losing your parents must have been incredibly tough! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. H. WEND says:

      That means a lot, thank you, I appreciate your words Carol anne ❤️


  2. You are weathering a storm, Hannah. It will pass, sooner or later. These terrible events cascading one after the other… I can’t imagine the pain you’re going through. Stay strong. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. H. WEND says:

      Such thoughtful words, thank you Tanmay! I appreciate you 💛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I cannot imagine your pain. They say time is a good healer. I think you need time to make your grief. Allow yourself to be sad and listen to your heart. Take care. 💝

    Liked by 1 person

    1. H. WEND says:

      Thank you Filipa. I agree, time is a good healer. Your words are so appreciated 💛

      Liked by 1 person

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