Brain Injury and Grief – Fact or Fiction?

Brain Injury Blog by Janelle Breese Biagioni

February 28, 2011

Brain Injury and Grief – Fact or Fiction?

There are many experiences in life that cause us to grieve. Generally, we think grief results from someone’s death. Certainly, death is a cause for grief; however, it is not the only way to experience loss. Divorce, separation, transitional losses (e.g. moving to a new community), and developmental losses (e.g. children leaving home) are also ways in which we can experience loss. In addition, chronic illness (Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease) and catastrophic injuries (brain injury) cause loss too.

The grief journey is complex. It feels like a lonely path; nobody understands what you are going through. That is true. No one can truly understand how another person feels; however, those who have walked this journey never forget what they felt or experienced. They can be a tremendous source of strength and courage to you.

Understanding the grief journey and its connection with brain injury is important. It’s important because if you do not acknowledge the losses that arise from having a brain injury, it will be difficult – if not impossible – to move forward in life. This is true for the person who is living with the outcome of a brain injury and it is true for those in relationships with them (i.e. spouse, children, family and friends).

Think about the life losses that have you have experienced, including brain injury. Do you feel that you were able to fully acknowledge the grief that resulted from your loss?

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