One of my close friends was asked not too long ago if she really thinks it’s a good idea to look back at photos and videos of her child before Brain Injury.
I am going to preface this by saying: what a stupid thing to say. Don’t ever say that.
Is it a good idea?
It generally ends in sadness over what we’ve lost.
Because brain injury brings loss. There is a significant grieving process.
We lost the child we once had and now have a “new” child. While constantly looking at our “old” child, but now in their “new” body. It’s confusing.
I frequently find myself living in this parallel world, thinking of the things he would be doing now had he not suffered his brain injury.
Our entire family does. Timothy was talking with us today about all the things Ethan would be able to do right now had he not gotten his brain injury. He was frustrated about it all.
We find ourselves looking at pre-injury photos and videos to remember. Remember the child we once had, to maybe renew hope that we can get back to that one day while at the same time not knowing if we will. And then you try to find the balance of accepting this new life but also holding onto hope that things will get better.
It’s honestly all so very confusing. And heartbreaking.
Sometimes looking at old photos makes us forget for even just a moment, till we get pulled back into the harsh reality of it all.
How do you grieve the loss of a part of your child while they’re still right there? Just, so very different.
Is it a good idea to look back? I don’t know. Sometimes? Maybe not. But I do it anyways. Because I miss it, and I want it back.
Think before you speak. Put yourselves into the shoes of others. Or at least try your best, because reality is, you won’t understand. If you don’t know what to say, just be there.
Enjoy the memories with us and grieve our losses with us too.
We’re just as confused as you are.
On that note, here’s Ethan at the beach last year. Sitting so cute as the waves would hit his little bum.
Beach trips are different now.