I was just reading an email message from a friend who just lost his brother to an aggressive form of cancer. It is the most “full” message I think I’ve received in a long time. I can feel his experience and that of his family as they reflect on the seemingly normal yet remarkable life his brother led – how he touched everyone with his positive approach to living. I’m writing about this because I remember how in the midst of the early days of my husband’s traumatic brain injury how I was inspired by what was (and is) truly important in my life. I venture to say you know what I’m talking about.
I remember being powered by this uplift in a time of tragedy and uncertainty. To this day, I can “feel” what that felt like back then. It is a reminder to me that there is more to this life than simply existing. Through our own personal experience as either the family/caregiver of someone with a TBI or as the survivor of the injury, we each have inspiration of some sort arising out of the experience. It isn’t necessarily a big, grand plan. It may simply be the realization that we want to love more and hate less. Or that life is so short we don’t want to miss the simplicity of living and sharing with those we love.
We each gain strength through this experience we call “tragedy”. In a sense, we receive a gift of life – a different life – one that opens new doors to how we view it and experience it. We wouldn’t have these opportunities now were it not for this event that occurred. At least this is my experience. I can’t make it be this way for you except to suggest that you sit back and really look at how you’ve grown as a result. See what is now truly important to you. In my experience, it is the little things now that matter. It’s the people in my life who have stuck with me through “thick and thin” even when I wasn’t so much fun to be around. And…it feels as though had I not embraced the tragedy of my husband’s injury, I would not feel this gratitude that I now experience. They say that “things happen for a reason”. I don’t necessarily agree with that because sometimes there simply doesn’t seem to be a reason why things happen – they just do. However, if there is a reason in my case, it is because it was time for me to grow into who and I am and to learn what love really is. Thus…I embrace this tragedy for as I said to a friend the other day, “grace and growth simply camouflage as tragedy.”
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays.