Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm Struggling With A Wave ....

                                                 picture from here

..... that yet again, I never saw coming.

I have no idea where it came from, nor why it chose to hit now.
Especially since I haven't experienced a wave in more time since I can remember.

Yes, they still come, though they come only a few times a year now.  Thankfully.
But when they come, they are still powerful.
They still come to me by complete surprise, sneaking up on my while my eyes are on the shore, not scanning the horizon, watching for them, like in the old days.
They still have the power to knock me to my knees, and to threaten to pull me under with their powerful undertow.

But I am stronger now.  My legs may go out from under me, but I will not be pulled out to sea so easily.
I may stay on my knees for a while, but I will not be beaten by this wave.
And that is a very important thing to know.
Four years ago, or three, I would not have said that.  I could not have said that.
The waves that hit me relentlessly, one after another, did threaten to pull me out to sea.
And after so many waves .... I wanted to be pulled out.
I was beyond exhausted.
I had no strength left.
Or so I thought.

But here I am ..... a few years later, not doubting at all the strength that is within me.
And I guess that that is the point of my words today.
To tell you .... you who are months, weeks or even days out from this horrible event ..... that even though the waves do come this far out ..... they come far more infrequently .... and they will not pull you under.
Because you will become stronger day by day, month by month, year by year.
No, you cannot imagine it now..... where you are.
But I promise you, though I could never have imagined it either, here I am.
I'm sad.
I'm missing him.
I'm missing what our family was "before".
I'm missing so very much.

And I'm struggling.
In spite of having love in my life.
In spite of being loved the way Jim loved me.
In spite of ....
The waves still come.
But I will survive.
This wave does not have the power the earlier ones had.

I suppose that waves will always come.
No matter how many years go by.
No matter who's in my life.
No matter how much I am loved and how much I love.
I will always miss that man and what we had.
I will always miss what we never had the chance to have.
But I will continue to get stronger.

And so will you.
Trust me.


  1. "I will always miss that man and what we had"

    That says it all.
    Every bit.
    The day to day, the love, the dreams, the future plans, the way life looked when we were together and in love.

    I am still standing, even when i fall to my knees - I get up.
    Thank you

  2. Janine, such brilliance in this blog! So grounded and realistic and honest! I am two years out and become easily disappointed in myself when the waves hit and I find myself drifting out. While I have much more power than I had even 6 months ago, I still succumb to the grief waves. Thanks for picking me up and letting me know that I am doing okay!!!

    Yes, I miss my old life so very much!

  3. Just like the waves of the ocean never end, I am beginning to realize that grief will never end. Like the waves of the ocean, it will change and perhaps become calmer, but there will always be those storms pop up occasionally. Healing requires time, and it seems from all I read that it is usually more time than ever imagined. I now know that after having days when I feel like I am moving on, at the crest of the wave, there will always come those times when I am once again in the trough of the wave, or tumbled about, struggling to keep my head above water. Thank you Janine, I have learned so much from you as you are farther along in this journey than I. I miss my old live with him too.

  4. Thank You Janine I needed to read this,you Rock!!

  5. Thank you Janine, and I too agree with all the other responses. I am 2 yrs out and miss my husband so very much, our life, our dreams,all of it. And only last week I was hit with the wave again, but I do find they don't come as often, yes they do come sometimes, unexpected and sometimes expected. They still hit hard, but the intensity doesn't last as long as before. It amazes me sometimes that I have reached even this point. I never thought I would or could.

  6. Almost 18 months out... and the waves do still pull me under; but not nearly as often or as deep. I don't have meltdowns, but I am incredibly lonely and don't really know what to do about that. I haven't found my purpose - why am I here without my love? Don was the love of my life; he was truly my soulmate. I miss him every minute of every day, and he is always in my heart. But I feel lost, ungrounded, not really knowing what to do with myself and how to spend my time with purpose and meaning. Thank you for this space and your wonderful writing.

  7. Keith was my soulmate and even now after almost 16 months I find the waves still come. Not as big, not as strong, but they are there. I always knew though that I would be here and he would be gone. Maybe that is why me grief has not pulled me under so often or as deep since the first few weeks. I still miss and love him, but it's a gentle grief for me due to circumstance. (((HUGS))) to all. ShadowandCloud

  8. thank you Janine, perfect timing; sorry you are swept up by another wave; but thank you for letting me know that I am not the only one, and that even at almost 4 years out this is "normal".

  9. Ditto to Beth above. Thank you so much Janine. You truly save my life on a regular basis.
    Big Hugs to you. I wish I had a life preserver to throw to you.

  10. I am also nearly 2 years out and have an amazing love in my life and I do still get hit by waves but now I notice that I am grieve more FOR my husband, the things he is missing and being part of our children's lives and it's not so much about me as it was in the early days. Sometimes I feel guilty for not missing 'our' life together as much but it's good to know that we are able to grow and be strong as we work through our grief. Thank you! xo

  11. thanks to all, 5 years out and a wave hit last night. Grey's Anatomey brought it on with the man who had heart surgery while his wife died in the waiting area, haven't let it go yet. I too am with a great man who I care about but the wave hits aand the tears come. hopefully it will leave soon as I am hosting the holiday this weekend.
    Love to all as we ride the waves,,,,,

  12. I am 20 months out and having a wave right now. I just feel like I'm walking under a dark cloud. I can see the sun shining but can't get to it. But I know I will soon. Have to ride the wave...for now.

  13. I found this website by accident today. I'm a widow, 2 years and 4 months out. I'm so glad you wrote this...none of my friends are widowed, and really have no clue as to what this feels like. I had a wave of grief hit a couple of weeks ago, and thought I was losing my mind. I thought after 2 years that this would never happen any more. Thanks for sharing and letting me know that others are going through this as well, and that waves are a normal part of the grief process.

  14. u r a wonderful person and u understand my hubby passed away eleven months ago and a big wave hit me today but i will carry on