The skiff was the first piece of debris to drift across the Pacific Ocean and land on the coast of California.
But more would come, landing on the shores of Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska and British Columbia.
A soccer ball, a fridge, a sealed boat compartment full of live striped beak fish from Japan's coral reefs.
Even now, five years following that monster storm, the ocean brings bits of loss to the shores to be recovered.
He held and kept me, my free spirit settling into his solidness.
But maybe what I didn't see was that as our bodies pressed together we were plunging down...so much lost in happiness that we didn't realize lovers sometimes drown.
And because her sincerity, her connection, her witness, DOES mean something to you. Even if you have been treading water, anchorless for so long in a cold ocean with 100 foot waves that you are too numb to feel exactly what it is.
I sat down to write him a personal note. To tell him I know what he means, that I too hear so often from my friends and my family:
"I feel like I never talk to you anymore."
"You are really bad at texting me back."
"I don't know how to be here for you if you don't tell me."
"We are grieving too. We need you."
I want to tell him that while I need the shore I stood on before, that I also find new meaning in new shores, in things separate from the life I had before a tsunami of grief pulled me across the ocean.
I want to tell him that sometimes when we lose our anchors we just start to drift, and we don't know where the winds and the waves take us. We find different shores, we move through different oceans and the people of our familiar beaches sometimes can't see or understand when our sails disappear beyond the horizon...but I start to drown in the metaphor, and I never write him the letter, writing this lyrical essay instead.