the shock of life

*the shock of one's life

Fig. a serious (emotional) shock. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give one ~.) I opened the telegram and got the shock of my life. I had the shock of my life when I won $5,000.
See also: life, of, shock
References in periodicals archive ?
Two qualities that were often found lacking in the early months of last season when they struggled to adapt to the shock of life in the bottom tier.
A movie-set source tells me: "Brad got the shock of life.
Nothing can prepare a new dancer for the shock of life in the corps.
The water was cool as ice in the night and the shock of life was waiting for us there.
Millionaire Nick Leslau comes to Scotland, and finds that his huge wealth and business success can't prepare him for the shock of life in a housing scheme in Glasgow.