Grieving Losses after a Brain Injury

Grieving for One’s Child after Brain Injury

By Denise Boggs

Grieving is hard to describe

Grieving is a deep sadness that we try to avoid, it is an anguish in your heart that words really can’t touch or describe. But, I know from experience that grieving is necessary and must be embraced when there has been a loss in your life. This would be a loss of anything that you loved and cherished, a child, a spouse, or the loss of someone the way they once were. Grieving is a time when you face the pain and the sorrow of what you have lost. This pain you feel after a loss is real; you feel it day after day as it lingers like a throbbing toothache. Will it ever end? The answer is yes, it will as you grieve what you have lost and release it.

After the accident

During the time when our son was in a coma after a horrible car accident, as I took a few hours to sleep, I would wake up thinking it was all just a bad dream. Then I would fully awake, only to find it was real, we had been hit by a semi truck, and yes, our son was in a coma, suffering with a TBI. At that point I was flooded with emotions; I felt an overwhelming sadness, even though I didn’t know at the time, what I had lost. In the days to come as he came out of the coma I realized the happy, carefree, young boy; my first born son, was not there. His body was there, the same eyes, nose, and mouth, but his personality and wit were just not there. He left with us that day in March, 2005 and never returned. Now, we have a brand new son, a different son, one we love, but, we had to grieve and release the son we lost March 26, 2005.

To grieve is to heal

Grieving is not a sign of weakness, it is an essential part of emotional healing. But, grieving should not be done alone, everyone needs comfort from someone who understands and cares. As you read this, your pain may be touched; the sadness of your own loss may surface. You may even feel overwhelmed right now. If you feel these emotions, you are grieving; don’t try to stop it, call a friend, a family member, or a pastor and ask them if you can talk and share how you are feeling. During those sad days; God never left my side, He was there, and I could feel His comfort.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4

As I read the Twenty-third Psalm in the Bible, I was assured everyday that God was with me as I walked through the valley of the shadow of death. When the doctors gave shocking reports, God was with me, He never left me, His comfort wrapped around me like a warm blanket on a cold night. As I walked down the hall or sat silently in our son’s room watching his heart monitor, I knew I was not alone, He was there, giving me strength and hope. Now, five years latter the grieving process has finally ended. I grieved the losses and now I can celebrate our son and enjoy him and his new personality.

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5 responses to “Grieving Losses after a Brain Injury”

  1. Hello, and thanks for your inquiry about quoting a few of our blog posts…proper crediting, etc. as mentioned in your message would be much appreciated.


    Bill Herrin

  2. Would you mind if I quote a few of your blogposts as long as I provide credit and sources returning to your weblog: I’ll aslo make certain to give you the appropriate anchortext link using your webpage title: grieving after a brain injury. Be sure to let me know if this is ok with you. Thanks!

  3. Denise, I love your comment above. As a grieving spouse, I have been hospitalized five times in 4 months. I feel as though I am drowning in the lake.

    Currently husband is in the hospital and off the respirator and coming home again. The grief/loss process for the living with brain injury is very complicated, isn’t it.

    Best to you and your family. Ginger

  4. I am sorry for the loss of your son, but understand the joy when you finally realize that you are beginning to know your “new” son.

    Both are still there. And there is a new you as well. It does take time to get to the awareness you have achieved and if grabbing giref by the horns is the way, well, here I come grief! I do have the help to swim to the other side. Thank you for the wisdom because it is hard to jump into those waters you describe.

    A joyous Thanksgiving to you and your some and family this coming week.

  5. Denise Boggs says:

    I know what it is to grieve. It is like swiming across a lake when you have never swam before. you need a little help to get to the other side.

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