There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.
~ Mary Renault, The Charioteer
There is a feeling of disbelief that comes over you, that takes over, and you kind of go through the motions. You do what you're supposed to do, but in fact you're not there at all.
~ Frederick Barthelme, Elroy Nights
I drew a deep breath, trying to think of something to say, then pulled a handkerchief from my pocket and gave it to him. "Are you breathing, Ian?" His mouth twitched a little. "Aye, I think so." "That's all you have to do, for now.
~ Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone (Outlander, #7)
God has mercifully ordered that the human brain works slowly; first the blow, hours afterwards the bruise.
~ Walter de la Mare, The Return