The Wave

images.jpegYou know the one. That wave of emotion that overcomes us, drowns us, in that rush of remembering all at once, what our reality is now…


I still remember (how could I ever forget?) in the first days and weeks after Mike died, waking up before the sun and lying there trying to grasp that he wasn’t here anymore…dragging myself out of bed, because there was to be no more sleep, again…me, the night owl, getting up that early…unheard of. But that’s how it was.


In those early days, the wave had a slight delay, as if it was still rushing back out to sea gathering strength, those first few seconds of wakefulness being blank and numb, and then…wham, getting hit with the full force of the strange, horrible, new memory my brain was struggling with so much like an enormous tsunami of grief that pounded me continuously the rest of the day until, somehow, I was able to collapse back into that difficult, fitful sleep for another night, aided only by copious amounts of wine and more tears than I ever thought I could cry.


If you’ve been following my posts you know how my life has changed and shifted these past 28+ months. During this time the wave has varied in its strength and timing. I do have mornings I wake up without any delay, and with more of a light splash as opposed to that suffocating deluge…as if my heart and mind have somehow been learning to accept this new reality. Maybe living with that enormous shock every day is just to much for any human, and our brains work frantically until we are able to absorb it better over time. I don’t know. 


But that’s not every day. I have found this wave to be hiding behind the daily mirage of routine and schedule, taunting me; as if it is poised, impossibly high above my head, ready to crash down at any moment I am not prepared. If I start to take this “new normal” for granted, if I don’t take the time to properly remember and acknowledge my grief, I will find myself underwater yet again. 


I had thought I was past those few seconds of blank and numb, but I’m not. And strangely, sometimes those moments come not just at morning’s waking, but at random times during my days. I can be working, or out and about doing anything at all, my mind thinking only of the next task or errand or problem to deal with and then…wham. A few seconds of not thinking about the fact that my husband is dead rewards me only with a slap in the face that shakes my brain inside my skull.


Yesterday, I experienced the full force of the tsunami as I hadn’t in a long time. I woke up groggily, shuffled into the bathroom and then…wham. F*ck. Mike is dead. How is that possible??? The day I had planned flashed through my head…the schedule I have worked so diligently on these past two years to create a new normal for myself suddenly seemed so small and worthless. I try so hard to stay on top of it all, to keep a positive outlook, but in that moment it all felt so deflated and like, why bother?

Why, Mike? Why did you have to die? Why did you leave me here without you, with so many more years to live? Why???? I miss you so much, I can’t believe you are really gone…


Showing 8 reactions

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  • commented 2018-03-22 05:35:41 -0700
    Your post accurately describes my days for the last 9 months since my husband of 42 years died unexpectedly. It’s so hard to explain to others what we go through every hour of every day, thank you.
  • commented 2017-01-31 02:10:02 -0800
    This has been my reality every day for the past month, since Rick — my husband of 16 years — died suddenly and unexpectedly just one day before New Years Eve.
  • commented 2016-10-14 14:53:59 -0700
    Your post describes how I feel about the loss of my wife who will have passed 1 month ago tomorrow.
  • commented 2015-10-18 08:28:42 -0700
    Thank you for writing this as it put into words what I’ve been feeling but couldn’t explain. I am sorry for your loss. My husband passed away 3 months ago. It hurts more than I thought humanly possible.
  • commented 2015-07-06 16:02:51 -0700
    Hi Helen, I get that feeling very much. Waking up into the nightmare. I am so sorry for your loss too. It just sucks.
  • commented 2015-07-05 08:47:02 -0700
    It’s been 31/2 months since, this same wave crushes me relentlessly, every morning, when remembering that it wasn’t a nightmare, but my life has turned into a nightmare.
  • commented 2015-07-02 22:49:52 -0700
    I’m so sorry for your loss Jazzie. It is a really horrible thing, this widowhood…but glad you came here to read and comment. Hugs.
  • commented 2015-07-02 22:28:46 -0700
    This is so beautifully written and my spirit is crushed because I can say that I identify with this so much now. Thank you for sharing.