Grief is like the ocean. You wade into the water - you expect this sorrow. Sometimes it barely covers your toes and other times it climbs higher and higher. You acknowledge it. You live with it. It is part of a new "normal."
Waves of grief swell. Sometimes you see the wave coming - an anniversary, a birthday, Christmas or event you thought you'd share. You watch the wave start to build and you brace yourself for it. It jostles you, but you stay standing.
Then sometimes your focus turns back to the beach. You watch other people go on about their business, oblivious to your grief. You watch them wistfully, remembering a distant time when you were a little more carefree. You focus on other aspects of your own life. You start to feel like yourself again.
As your focus is on the beach, you never see the new wave coming. It slams into you. It crashes over the top of you, taking your breath away - taking your feet out from under you. Your butt's in the sand, you're coughing and sputtering, wiping the water from your eyes and wondering where the wave came from.
That is grief.