A wave hit me yesterday.
And I never saw it coming .... although I should have.
I have found that there are 3 types of waves for me:
1. the waves that come out of nowhere, for no rhyme or reason, but crash upon me anyway.
2. the waves that I expect to come .... a certain date, experience or something that I know will bring on a lot of emotions. It's easier to stand up under these waves because I know that they're coming and I can brace myself for them
3. the waves that I didn't see coming ..... but should have. These waves hit hard and then I get frustrated with myself for not anticipating them .... for not knowing that they would come.
I haven't had a wave in a while, even though Christmas week was one big teary week for me.
But yesterday .... I should have seen it coming.
C had to have a routine medical procedure done and needed help since he would be sedated and couldn't drive home afterward.
So I went .... no problem.
He went back into the procedure area and I waited in the waiting room for an hour or so, reading.
They called me back when he was in the recovery room.
He was still asleep when I walked in.
I took his hand and watched him sleep.
I looked at his iv and the monitor recording his blood pressure and heart rate.
And then .....
..... this part is always difficult to explain by those who've never experienced these "waves".....
it's like you're standing there, in the present, as I was .... and then something grabs you by the back of the neck and pulls you forcefully ..... fast and hard ..... backwards through a dark tunnel. At the speed of light.
And then you're not there ..... in the present. You find yourself in the past .... standing there.
I was standing at Jim's hospital beside, on what was to be the last day of his life, though we didn't know that.
I was looking at his IV and his monitor.
I was holding his hand.
And I think I stopped breathing for a few moments.
And blinked .... and was back at C's bedside.
My heart should have been monitored at that point.
I sat down .... I didn't trust my legs to hold me up for another second.
And while C slept, I thought about the last time that I was holding a man's hand, standing at his bedside.
And I was surprised.
Why in the hell did I NOT see that coming?!
I'd not been in this position since December 17th, 2007. Why did my brain never clue in to the fact that this might bring up some emotions .... that it might be hard?
I never, ever saw it coming.
And so I wonder .... do these third type of waves come because I am now living less with my grief, and more with my "after"?
My grief is not with me 24 hours a day as it once was. It's no longer the first thing I think of in the morning or the last thing I think of before I go to bed.
Oh, it's there ..... it will always be there ..... but I don't think I "wear" it full time, the way I once did. I think it resides in a back pocket, or like a necklace, close to my heart.
But it no longer defines me.
So yes, I still get hit by waves, but far less often than I used to.
And when they do hit, they do much less damage.
I'm able to lean into them and take them for what they are .... a temporary rush of emotions that I allow myself to feel (most of the time).
I got hit by a wave yesterday.
I never saw it coming.
But maybe .... just maybe .... that's a good thing.