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The Dark Black Cave - a journey through grief

Updated on October 6, 2010

Last year I lost both of my parents within six weeks of each other. Being a bit artistic, I felt a need to create a painting to express how I was feeling and make sense of what I had been through.

A strong image came into my mind, and instead of making a painting, I decided to put the image into writing and developed a story around it.


The Dark Black Cave

I have visited the dark black cave that lives under the sea. It is the place where I went to grieve. I did not choose to go to that place, but it is where I ended up. It was the worst place I have ever been.

Then one day, after having been in the cave for several months, I suddenly found myself free of the cave, swimming on the surface of the sea. How I got there, I don’t know. Maybe I was washed out of the cave by strong tides and currents. The sea was calm and it was a sunny day and as I treaded water, I felt lighter and happier than I had for a long time. In the near distance I spotted land and started to swim towards it. I felt hands in the water helping me along.

As I got nearer to the island, I saw a man on the beach, reaching out to help me. As he pulled me from the water he said “Welcome, you have had a long and arduous journey but you are near your journeys end.”

He took me to his village, where I met all the inhabitants. I told the man that this new land and it’s people looked similar to where I had come from. He agreed with me and then pointed out across the sea to an island in the distance.

“That island is where you have come from, and the only way to get to this island is to go through the dark black cave.” I asked “So, everyone who lives on this island has lost someone they love?” He answered “Yes and we are quite a crowded island. Everyone who has ever been born or ever will be born, will at some point lose their parents, grandparents, a husband or wife, brother, sister, a friend, maybe even their own children. Many of them will find themselves sucked into the dark black cave and eventually find their way to this island.”

“Does anyone ever try to go back to their home island?” I asked. “Many people would like to go back, but you can never go back” he replied. “The home island has changed forever. The people you have lost are no longer there. You can go back to the cave and stay there if you wish, but I am sure you don’t want to.”.

I saw no alternative other than to make a new life on this island.

So now I stand with others on the shore and reach out my hands to help those who have made their own grief journey through the dark black cave, and try to give them a helping hand out of the sea.

You may be asking what about the hands that were helping me in the sea? I would like to think that they were the hands of my deceased family, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, willing me onto a new life.


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      julie 6 years ago

      i have just lost my father and am hurting so very much at present.I have just read your story and found it very moving and actually feel it has helped me.

      Thankyou, so much.

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      iris 6 years ago

      I lost my son in 2oo1 -- I Was in deep grief - the days went into years -- after 5 or 6 I could not cry everyday or I would die -- I miss him alot and love him more -- it is very hard to come out of the dark.

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      overcomingpain 6 years ago from Tennessee

      I lost both my parents in the same week of September 2011.I am sorry for your loss and the Dark Black Cave is a good way to deal with the pain. I am in a support group but it feels like a fishbowl. Please let me know what else may help?

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      Anita 7 years ago

      Thank you so much, the Dark Black Cave explains everything I am going through after losing my nephew, who grew up like my little brother to me, 3 months ago...Sorry for you lost.

    • 2413life profile image

      2413life 7 years ago from Still figuring that out......

      I am sorry about the loss of your parents I cannot imagine and in such a short time. My mother is a survivor of breast cancer and I am so thankful we caught it early. I liked very much your "The Dark Black Cave", very moving. Once you have grief like that you are never ever the same. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Best wishes to you.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      I am so sorry you lost both your parents, and so close together too. It is a hard journey towards overcoming your loss and to feeling better. It is good that you write. I lost my Mom this past October. I wrote a hub called "Grieving When You Lose Someone Close To You". It is about making sure you nuture yourself through the stages of grief and that you process all the stages. Take good care of yourself. Your story is beautiful and poetic. I wish you good things in your life.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 7 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Wow, I was hung on every word. I lost my husband one year ago, yesterday. I like the analogy of the dark cave and the hands pulling him/her through the other side. Thank you

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      rontlog, this describes what it's like perfectly, doesn't it. Thank you for linking to my Hub. I'd like to link back to this one if you don't mind.

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      loriamoore 8 years ago

      Grief is tough. I became a published author as a result of writing through my grief. Take care.