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Grief Wave

April 1, 2013

A grief wave is nothing like the wave of the ocean for me.

I remember reading in a book in the past year or two since I was diagnosed with MS that there will be waves of grief. This was one of the most helpful pieces of information I have read in a very long time. I think if I hadn’t read this about the waves, I would simply equate that thinking I was going in and out of states of insanity.

It took me 1.5 years to figure out how deeply I was grieving the concept and symptoms of MS when I was told in September 2010. When I experience the most challenging relapse since my diagnosis at the end of May 2012, that’s when I realized how grateful I was for reading that small passage on grief. Because, it was at that time, I witnesses how having a revisiting health crisis spike could great a crashing, side wiping wave of grief. The grief seemed to soften over time as the recovery started to take place. Then once the recovery seemed close to 100% – the grief turned from loss, depression, anger and sorrow to gratitude, joy and euphoria.

What I didn’t realize at the time and was either yet to encounter or simply not in a conscious state that it had already taken place in the place was the ideal that I would experience a wave of grief without having a relapse or health issue.

A grief wave could creep up on my unexpectedly in ways I never expected. I the act of kindness a woman I know shared with me a medication that helped her client MS symptoms dissipate. This information was shared with me. The platform from which I stand on and hold myself together on a daily basis – this hopefulness that is usually is in so alive in me, all of a sudden had this extra layer. I was cautious about this new information. I’m not sure why, I suppose because taking this mediation was only a possibility, and on top of that, there was no guarantee that I would benefit from it they way this other woman did.

When I asked my neurologist to support me by prescribing this drug, she said this medication would be better suited to my regular doctor’s knowledge. She was encouraging so I remained hopeful. Then I went to my general doctor. She was angry my neurologist “put this onto her” as responsiblity to have to say “no” to me.

Truth is, I hear was “no”. Within a second of the know, I didn’t realize it at the time, the wave of grief came along and smashed my spirit. I went from feeling this great sense of hope to feeling deeply hopeless. I tried to stand up against the wave, yet I just haven’t been able to find my ground. I can still breath and so it’s an odd feeling. I can still walk and talk and laugh and smile yet I don’t feel the same. I am having a very hard time finding my way back to the emotional stability I so diligently found for the most part.

I feel unravelled further by things that normally would not put me off. This to me is a friendly reminder the grief wave is present. What’s funny is one day it feels like the wave is dormant and I feel a sense of relief, yet the wave is like a looming shadow that waits for an opening and then it smashes in again.

This is the part I am trying to understand. How can I allow my self to be vulnerable right now when I know the wave is going to pounce as soon as this opening is ever so slightly present? In some ways it feels like more than I can manage yet I know I have been faced with unbearable grief so great I felt I was dying so in the context of this reality, I know in my heart – this grief is just a wave washing over me. Like the aliveness of the ocean, it may be alive in me for another day, a week, a month, a year yet at some point it will pass for a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year. There is comfortable knowing that at the very moment I am writing this blog post, there are others just like me who are experience a wave of grief too. For whatever reason their wave has arrived,  we are one.

Tomorrow is a new day and so I will leave it at that – I will find out tomorrow if it is a waveless day or a day fill with a series of waves as it was today.




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