Three things I learned when I was hit by a wave

Have you ever stood by the sea enjoying the view and then all of a sudden you get hit by a freak wave which seemingly came out of nowhere?

I was recently hit by a big wave which knocked me for six.

And I wasn’t by the sea, I was at home.

In case you’re wondering we didn’t have a massive flood in the house, I’m talking about grief.

Because grief comes in waves.

freak waves

When you’re first grieving it feels like massive waves are crashing over you relentlessly and without mercy. You feel like you’re going to drown, you can’t swim and it takes all your strength and determination to hold on until you can come up for air.

After a while; maybe weeks or maybe months the waves come less frequently and in between you start to function.

Some waves you can predict for example anniversaries, Christmas and Mother’s day so you can prepare yourself.

Others come out of the blue, triggered by something unexpected.

And in between you start to breathe again, you start to live.

After a few more weeks or months the waves come less frequently and they’re smaller. And by now you’ve learned how to swim. You’ll still get wet, but you know you’ll be okay.

Your swimming strokes are, at best described as messy because those who taught you weren’t good swimmers either. You may not realise it but you took on beliefs about how to deal with grief from those around you and they may not be serving you well. Maybe you have a belief that you shouldn’t show emotion, you should grieve and you must keep busy.

My experience

I believe that each time you grieve it sets off a new sequence of waves.

freak waves 2When I finished IVF I didn’t know I grieving. The waves kept coming until I did my NLP and Timeline work and now if they come at all, they’re almost unnoticeable and infrequent.

When Mum died I knew that was grief, the waves were massive and unrelenting. And I learned to swim haphazardly from my family.

My Dad died less than a year ago, and I’ve examined and changed those beliefs I had so I feel I can swim pretty well. Then a couple of weeks ago I felt like I was standing on the beach with the waves receding into the distance.

I was on dry land because my head was convinced that I was okay so for a moment I turned my back on the sea.

But my body thought differently which was when the freak wave struck knocking me for six for a few days. It’s receded now but I still feel like I’m up to my knees in water, so I’ll be working through the NLP and TimeLine processes that work so well.

What did I learn?

Here are three things I’ve learned by being hit by the wave:

  1.  Pay attention to your body because it will tell you what you need to know.
  2.  If you’re going to turn your back on the sea, watch out for freak waves.
  3.  Examining and changing those beliefs you hold about grief will help you to swim faster.


What about you?

Does this resonate with you?

What beliefs have you learned about how to grieve or do you have any swimming tips that could help others? If so please leave a comment below (you can use another name).



4 thoughts on “Three things I learned when I was hit by a wave”

  1. I love the way you’ve described the waves of grief – thank you 🙂 I can very much relate – for many years I used to be hit by a wave every time April approached because that’s the month I had 2 miscarriages in on consecutive years. These waves are all but gone now because over time I learned it was better not to fear them or to try pushing them away, but to accept them and wait for them to pass instead. It is amazing how much stronger you become by rising up each time the waves come!
    Helen Rebello recently posted…How to Uncover Your Inner Happy Buddha Without Omming….My Profile

    • Thanks Helen, I like that ‘rising up each time the waves come’ I think that describes what to do perfectly.
      And as you say accepting that they’ll come & letting them pass is better than fighting.


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