The Ocean Is Filled With My Tears

Grief is a feeling we will all come to know at various points in our life.

Initially it helps us to name our feelings – sometimes we call it loss, sometimes we call it grief.

In Cook Islands we speak of “mamae ngakau” – a heavy troubled heart, a painful gut.

Some times we use images – a Tongan proverb refers to house getting hit by a wave…..


Galu / Ngaru – waves

Grief is often like waves of the sea hitting you. It is intense, strong, full on, with little or no break.

They knock you off your feet.
They drag you down.

It feels like your gasping for air, then you breathe they come again, and again.

As grief moves through us – we are able to survive those intense waves.

These waves will never stop but we get better at swimming over time.

Many experiences of grief

Just like there are many different types of waves in the sea, grief takes many forms and feels different for different people at different times.

At times, we have those long ocean swells of deep sadness, at other times our waves may be rough and angry,
Some times it is like there are no waves and we feel virtually nothing. At other times, we can have waves of that roll one after the other.

This is normal. This is OK.

Your experiences will keep changing, and your experiences may be different to those around you.

Swimming in these waves

We are able to swim in these waves, the waves of sadness, waves of loss, waves of anger, waves of emptiness.

One day we turn around and we realize we are swimming, we are coping.

Sometimes, we then beat ourselves up for coping. This is not forgetting. The pain allows us to know how important this person remains in our lives – their words, their smiles, their smells…

The grief allows us to live and remember.

One day, we will be swim with our grief, with those we have loved alongside, encouraging us.

Be strong

A Cook Island proverbs says:

“E kau, e tuatini nga tua ngaru. E ngaru popoki. E ngaru paarua, E aka maaro’i ro’i”

Swim there are many waves, waves that overlap, waves that double, be strong.

A weight in our ngaakau, our manava, our puku

Sometimes we can’t eat, can’t sleep, might feel sick, and can’t do anything….

This feeling just sits there, heavy like a rock.

Grief sits in our puku, it feels like it is rock, unable to be moved.

As each day goes past, it gets slightly easier to carry.


Faith will sparkle forth

“Noatu te ngaru i te ‘uri’ia, ka kaka rai te irinaki ki mua”

In spite of the waves in the storm, faith will sparkle forth.


This proverb reminds us that the waves of the storm will always ease up at some point.

Faith is there when everything else is devastated, faith is what get us through.




Where are you?

Different people need different things at different times…

Where are you?

Are you feeling overwhelmed, are you feeling like you are pulled under, are you struggling to keep your head above water,  are you a person in rough waters? Click here.

Are worried about those around you?  Are you the vaka in the storm? Click here.

Do you want to know more about how suicide effects people? Click here 

Do you need to know how to stay strong during a storm ? Click here


People you can talk too now

People you can talk too now: