“And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” John F. Kennedy

I know for certain that I need to be in the presence of water. I have lived by the water where I raised my family across the street from the Long Island Sound for thirty years. I now live on Martha’s Vineyard, an island surrounded by water. Ocean, sounds, rivers, streams and ponds the presence of water is everywhere. Water is calming, it helps ground me. Walking on the beach toes in the water offers the reality that I am so small. I am just a drop compared to this magnificent form of nature. The ocean is massive, powerful and provides a home for all its fishy residents and feeds humanity. The ocean has been an endless playground of fun for me and my family. The waves never stop and allow us to roll around and ride. There are countless times I tried to embrace the cold and frothy waves ending in a self-embrace I so desperately needed.

Jack loved the water. He moved to San Diego because he wanted to surf all year and be near the crashing So Cal waves. He loved to fish, surf and swim. (He also loved girls in bikinis at the beach.)

In my grief, I retreat to water. I can sit for hours staring out at the horizon, burying my toes in the warm sand, or just lying back and listening to the crashing waves as they hit the shore and I stare at the sky. I am so fortunate to have access to this “blue space.” But it doesn’t have to be the beach. “Blue space is an urban design term for visible water. Attractive blue spaces such as waterfront parks, harbors, ports, marinas, rivers, open air streams, canals, lakes, ponds and fountains are thought to improve quality of life.”

“Scientist say that the beach gives you an incredible feeling of peace and calmness”


And if oceans and ponds are not within reach, there is the shower. My shower and I are good friends. I have spent hours in the shower. (I know it is wasting, but I needed it) The warm water pouring over my head and down my body covering me in warmth and solitude is comforting. There are not many places where I can be alone, but this is one of them. I love the shower. I am able to cry in the shower and no one is the wiser. It is my space. The watery ocean like tears of salt and water can be washed away without evidence.

We are mostly water, approximately 60%-70%. All of our body functions depend on water. Water is important! It heals us, comforts us, supports us, and feeds us. Find your water, appreciate and respect its power. And if you can, put your toes in.

“A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor Roosevelt



  1. Carin Collins

    Barbara, I’m just getting on board with Dear Jack and I’m so proud of you!
    All beautiful and true about water- healing in every way. Love you, my friend. Carin

    • Barbara Conroy

      Thank you Carin for reading. There will be lots more posts. Please share to all who you think might need the support xoxo b

  2. Leslie

    Beautifully written and I totally agree with you. Im not a big fan of the ocean…it scares me but I do love the sound of crashing waves or a babbling brook. The repetitive sound is meditative and calming.

  3. Kim

    I’ve been following your blog Barbara. Thank you for all of this sharing. It is beautiful – xo

    • Barbara Conroy

      Thank you kim, I think of you often. Thank you for reading and please pass on to those who might find the information helpful. xo