Category Description:

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.

Ambiguous Loss – The Sorrow that Won’t Go Away after a Brain Injury

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Ambiguous loss is also called “mobile mourning” and “chronic sorrow.” It can affect both the survivor and family member in deep and ongoing ways. Family caregivers may recognize it as that strange feeling that the person who survived the brain injury just is not the same person he/she was before. It’s confusing because you may be grateful that the person lived, but grieve for the person he was before. Ambiguous loss matters because it can make it hard for you to find hope or move on in this “new normal” life.

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Grief Bursts

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Dr. Alan Wolfelt uses the terms “grief burst”, “grief attack” or “memory embrace” to describe those times when a feeling of deep sadness washes over the bereaved and renders them to tears.

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Children and Grief after Brain Injury

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Children cannot be fooled. They know when something is wrong or when something “bad” has happened. As parents, we want to protect them and it is natural to want to keep them from experiencing pain and suffering. However, to avoid discussing with them how you feel or to not let them see you cry isn’t protecting them. Allowing them to see you cry because your heart is broken is not weak or shameful. Letting them know that they are safe in the midst of chaos and that you will all get through this together… is a gift.

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Primary and Secondary Losses

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After a loss – death, divorce, separation, or other painful transition – the person encounters primary and secondary losses. Catastrophic injuries are also ways to encounter primary and secondary losses.

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Bereavement, Grieving and Mourning

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We use the words bereavement (or bereaved) and grieving and mourning interchangeably, as though they all mean the same thing. They don’t.

To be bereaved is to be “deprived of a close relation or friend through their death.” In other words, it is the event or “the call” ~ it is what has happened to you that caused you to lose someone or something.

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All of the Above is True

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Have you noticed that living with brain injury sometimes involves contradictions and inconsistencies? My husband Alan had a severe anoxic brain injury following a cardiac arrest. When friends asked how Alan was doing in his recovery my answers often started with,” Well on one hand…”

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Brain Injury and Grief – Fact or Fiction?

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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

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Anniversary is a Reminder of Loss after Brain Injury

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Those of us who have had a spouse, parent or close friend die know the significance of that first anniversary of the person’s death. It is a milestone and a reminder of the time that has passed and the emotional pain that accompanies the grief as we mourn the person we have lost.

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Holidays Aren’t All Ho! Ho! Ho! after Brain Injury

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Holidays can be especially hard for all family members when a spouse, child, parent or sibling has a brain injury. In this brain injury blog, Marilyn Lash recalls how feelings of loss resurfaced in her family as her injured brother struggled to cope with the stress of holidays.

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Grieving Losses after a Brain Injury

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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.

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