To Moms and Dads who Live with the Trauma of Brain Injury

By Janelle Breese Biagioni

June 20, 2011

To Moms and Dads

“There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child.”
— Henry Ward Beecher

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day offer children (young and old) a time to express appreciation for the unwavering support and love given by their parents.  Over the years, I have met fathers and mothers who are supporting a child with a brain injury.  Some of the children are under the age of nineteen, while others are adults. The devotion, love, and sense of commitment demonstrated by these caregivers is enormous – in fact, on many occasions, it astounded me.

As I remember the strength and encouragement I received from my mother following my husband’s brain injury, I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude.  Without her wisdom, sense of humour and her steadfastness in assuring me that we could get through this together, I honestly wonder how I could have made it.  My mom accepted my tears, my words of fear, my anger, and my sorrow.  She didn’t blink an eye when I said, “I don’t feel like his wife any more. I feel like his mother.”  Instead, she listened unconditionally and allowed me a safe space to grieve and mourn.

Caregivers need support!  If someone you know is raising a child who is living with a brain injury, or who is supporting an adult child with a brain injury, don’t take it for granted that because these folks ‘appear’ to be doing okay that they must be doing okay.  It’s not always the case.  Rather than assuming all is well, explore the world they now live in.  Take time and reflect on how you would feel if you were walking a mile in their shoes.  When you get a sense of what that might be like, reach out, and lend an ear.  Being a “sounding board” that does not judge, distort, or attempt to change or fix the situation is truly a gift. 

To all the mothers and fathers who have a young child or an adult child with a brain injury – I applaud your strength, your energy, and your unwavering love.

2 responses to “To Moms and Dads who Live with the Trauma of Brain Injury”

  1. Karen MacLeod says:

    Searching for help/support for parents of 24 year old male child
    with TBI and recurring substance abuse.. someone to talk to…thankyou.

  2. It doesn’t matter how old your son or daughter is who has been injured – that child remains so special in the heart of a parent. No one else can replace that special bond between parent and child. It is why the loss can feel so great as parents grieve.

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