My Grief Challenges

Oceanside’s Tunnel Cave November 3, 2013

Oceanside’s Tunnel, Cave, is an actual tunnel, along shore, joining two portions of beach, in Oceanside, Oregon. This tunnel is scarey dark, not straight, and a very bumpy walking path, as I recollect.
I am a very claustrophobic person-maybe because of being accidentally shut in a chicken house, at a young age.  Or, from being left in a car for 3 days with my 2 younger brothers. Our ages: 3-maybe almost 4, 2 and  1-as best as I can figure from the various people who had known about the incident. A time when my Dad was not with us because he was in the service. Maybe my dislike for tight places is just because of my asthma.
A few years ago, visiting family thought the Oceanside Tunnel would be a neat trip. I watched as relatives, excitedly entered the hole in the rock. I didn’t want to be rude by not joining in, so, I questioned folks coming out from the darkness, to better help me decide what to do.
Was there water blocking the other end ? I was assured the water was low. You see, oft times there is no passage because the waters are blocking the openings.
Would I be able to see light from the other end ? Yes, the light at the other end was visible after a couple bends in the path. I had been told it was a short distance and if I stayed to the middle, the way was fairly easy.
Most of the family had ventured through to the other-side, leaving me to make the journey, alone. I could not see the opening at the other end. Something had fallen and hit my head. Footing was awful. There was a growing sense inside of me of a crushing doom. The journey was taking longer than it sounded it should have taken. I kept slipping and misstepping. I was certain this was a joke being played on me. Something flew by-nearly hitting me-there had been a fluttering in the air. Later, someone had thought it must have been a bat, as they were almost hit by it. I started feeling sick to my stomach. If I turned back, would that be closer than continuing ?  I could not, for the life of me, figure out how anyone could think this was fun. I plodded forward. Heavy sigh~~~ my gracious, how much further ? If my asthma was bothering me, I had no idea, I was in full on panic mode. I dabbed at the tears, hoping to be able see something that would indicate the end to be nearing. Finally, I saw some faint light on the cave wall. I was elated and picked up the pace- not a smart thing to do on that slick bumpy path. Up-righting myself I ventured on. Yes, the light was covering more of the bumpy, cold and dark cave wall. For some reason, I looked back. It then dawned on me that the only way back was to traverse this tumultuous breezeway, again. Back to the task at hand. I was so close to finishing.
Wait, what ? I could not believe people were standing at the very spot that was to be my escape. I plowed between them. I was getting out no matter what. Once upon the rocky beach, there was not a nice place to sit and let my gut settle. I tried to exchange pleasantries, but I was feeling so gut wrenchingly sick, I really didn’t care how marvelous anyone thought this place was. My main concern was to gather myself together enough to be able to get back through that frightening passageway.

A mega side note!!!  Growing up, I was the worst farm girl there ever was. During my youth years, on the farm, I only had to milk the cow-almost once. You see, one morning, the boys were sick or gone. I was chosen to take their place. My Dad had decided to see how I was doing. I think his jaw dropped when he saw that I was wearing gloves to milk the cow. He was so appalled, he quickly sent me back to the house, while he took over. I don’t recall the boys ever missing milking time, again. The reason I bring that little happening up, in this part of my telling-is because milking a cow without gloves would have been a far better task than this tunnel of turmoil I had to get back through.

As I was advancing toward the opening, to make my way back to where this all started, I stood agast. Again, there was blockage at the entrance-why were folks so fascinated at the openings/endings? Again, I barged through. I tried to be careful with my footing-if I allowed myself to slip, it only meant that this journey was going to take even longer- for me that was not acceptable. It seemed as though the length of the tunnel had increased by at least length of a football field. If I had known, I would have brought a flashlight. No, a flashlight would have only magnified the strange shapes on the wall and added more strange shadows-which I was trying to avoid seeing. Again, the thing that bothered me most, was that I was still the only one having any difficulty with this excursion. Upon reaching the opening, there appeared to be more water than when I had first entered. Not to my liking, to be sure. With some fancy footwork, that horrible journey was complete. It was my hope to find a secluded spot where I could let my adrenals settle down. I was also hoping that the nauseousness would soon end. I found a spot on top of the bank, with some grasses and branches giving me some privacy. The spot had turned out to be very relaxing, with a great view of the ocean. The sound of the crashing waves-from a safe distance- always puts me at ease.
It seemed to take the family A VERY LONG time to emerge from the tunnel. I could not believe how all those people found the tunnel to be such a fun adventure.
I must admit my attitude was not kind. I was drained from the horrific journey, but why ?
Both times through the tunnel, I was repeating the Lord’s prayer-I truly could think of nothing else. I was so certain I was not going to emerge.

I am so curious; how many reading this recollection, can even slightly relate to my angst ?
I wonder how many feel like they are the only one having difficulties in a situation that seems a breeze to many others ? Or is it ?
How many, with a task completed, can see that their experience has caused them to grow in a positive way ?  What really has been my witness, in all these events, that I so often fail, that make up my life ?
Does anyone else ponder in this way ?
Oh no, I see a pattern: I am looking at the negative. Guess it is time to turn that ship around. If anyone has had to turn around a large abject,  it is hard work, takes time and causes angst.

This is day # 185 of Shawn’s goneness. How can it really be ???
I did have another post I was going to use~~~A Different Approach~~~ But, since I am at Rockaway, the beach tunnel remembrance seemed fitting.
It has been quite cold and stormy. Many times, I have had to shut the sliding door to keep the rain out of the room. There was one moment, last night, when I had fallen asleep. I was jarred awake because the ocean was quiet, but for the most part, it has been powerfully magnificent, to hear and see-at a safe distance.
God has created a pretty neat place for all of us. Something for each to find comfort and joy in. My hope is that my family recall the fun from their tunnel jaunt !!!

One more thing: today was # 133 in my G/S emails. It mentioned moving forward. The scripture that accompanied it was Lamentations 3:21-23.
Bye for now, K


3 thoughts on “Oceanside’s Tunnel Cave November 3, 2013

  1. Lezlee Harvego says:


    I related very much to your post. I have had a like experience, only mine was underground into a coal mine. I thought I would die before I got above ground. Were you indicating that your grief experience was like being in the cave? I could not tell in your post!

    Sent from my iPad



    • For me, for now, the post is regarding Shawn’s goneness. At the same time I was hoping it could apply to other situations for other folks. Every person reacts to life situations differently, because we all bring our own experiences with us. I think there is an aloneness that can seem engulfing, in our various trials.
      Hopefully, this made some sense. I love that you commented. When I pushed the button, yesterday, to post, I was sure no one else would understand or relate.
      ~~~A coal cave-NO THANK YOU !!!~~~
      Take care, K


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