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Many survivors and family members are confused by their feeling of grief and loss as they are expected to feel grateful for having surviveed the injury. Mourning takes many forms and it not restricted to death. These blog articles help survivors, families and caregivers understand the meaning of loss, the complexity of grief, and the process of mourning.

A Living Grief by Katherine A. Kimes, Ed.D.

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Katherine A. Kimes experienced the trauma of a brain injury at the age of sixteen. Her mother became the primary caretaker. This is their story in brief. Katherine gives insight into her perception and viewpoint and shows there is a need for the survivor and other family members to understand the ongoing legacy of a TBI.

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Relocation Rebound – Dealing with Mild TBI and Stress Because of Moving, by C.C. LeBlanc

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C.C. LeBlanc, a mild TBI survivor, has gone through relocation stresses and suggests that before you move, carefully examine your needs for a meaningful quality of life. Almost everything you have developed in your life to be functional will be disrupted. You need to be prepared for stress, that your TBI will be aggravated, and your coping skills will be challenged. C.C. LeBlanc would like to share some guidelines based on her own experiences.

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How I Regained my Humanity after a Brain Injury by Jeff Sebell

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A brain injury brings with it a confusing barrage of physical, emotional and cognitive changes that affects the survivor deeply and personally. The simplest expression of this is when we say, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

This is also known as a loss of humanity. It has profound implications, manifesting itself as confusion, doubt and depression, and making our “recovery” that much more difficult. In my own situation, the hardships I encountered left me thinking, a number of times, that my life wasn’t worth living.

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Sharing Pain or Over-sharing? by Carolyn Roy-Bornstein, MD, FAAP

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As a pediatrician and mother of a son who sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was a teenager, Dr. Carolyn Roy-Bornstein discusses the pros and cons of sharing her personal experiences with TBI patients. Many clinicians are trained not to disclose any personal stories, but she proposes that it may be beneficial at times.

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The Journey of Grief after Brain Injury by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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Grief after brain injury is a journey for families, survivors and caregivers. It involves loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning and life can feel suspended during the early stages of shock and grief. Janelle Breese Biagioni explains various types of grief and mourning, including ambiguous grief and extraordinary mourning. By understanding the grief process, families can regain a sense of hope.

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Ambiguous Loss Wounds Veterans and Family by Marilyn Lash, MSW

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Ambiguous loss can not be seen but it is real and felt by combat veterans, their families and caregivers who struggle with the invisible wounds of war. The story of a World War 2 veteran Louis Zamperini illustrates how even the most strong willed and courageous combat veteran found another war at home with chronic PTSD that almost destroyed him. How much has changed with our returning veterans today?

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A Grief Misunderstood by Carolyn Roy-Bornstein, MD

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My son Neil had been hit by a drunk teenaged hit-and-run driver while walking his girlfriend, Trista, home. He was taken to the local hospital where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and quickly transferred to a Boston hospital’s intensive care unit. His girlfriend was not so “lucky.” She succumbed to massive head trauma and the next day was taken off life support.

I knew we had a long road ahead of us. Neil spent days in the ICU, months in physical rehab, and years in therapy and on anti-depressants. I grieved for everything Neil had lost: not only his girlfriend but also his memory, his concentration, his executive function, his sense of humor. What should have been the time of his life—senior prom, high school graduation, getting into the college of his choice—just turned out to be one long struggle.

But with my grief came guilt.

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The Onion Effect: Understanding the Tears and Layers of Loss by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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Grief after brain injury is a journey accompanied by painful life changing feelings. We usually think of loss due to death, divorce, or other major life transitions, but loss can be triggered by illness or disability. The resulting pain and suffering that accompanies this loss is often misunderstood because the person who has been injured has survived so family and friends often don’t understand a family’s grief. Janelle Breese Biagioni explores the work of grieving and explains why it is so important for survivors and families to recognize and deal with the many losses that can result after TBI.

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Brain Injury and Grief: Fact or Fiction? by Janelle Breese Biagioni

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The grief that follows a brain injury often perplexes relatives, friends, and coworkers. After all, if the person survived the brain injury, shouldn’t the reaction be joy, relief and gratitude? Janelle Breese Biagioni explores the meaning of grief and loss after TBI and why mourning is so important for emotional healing.

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Many Layers of Loss after Brain Injury – Grief is like an onion

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Grieving after a brain injury is like peeling an onion. There are many layers. The more you let yourself feel, the more you mourn what has been lost. But how do families grieve when the person has survived a brain injury? As Janelle Breese Biagioni, an expert on grief and loss says, “The only wrong way to grieve is not to grieve.” But so many family members are confused by their feeling of loss and grief – because, after all, the person survived their injury to the brain – shouldn’t they be feeling grateful, relieved, even joyful?

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