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Being and Becoming: How to Let Go of Grief



Grief is perhaps the most significant issue in the post-TBI recovery process. It is a more long term issue to handle comapred to the difficult and challenging aspect of the physical/neurological effects following the initial injury. Along with the aspects related to the injury proper, grief stands out as the most heart wrenching set of thoughts and conversations. It requires discovery and discernment, exploration and examination, and efforts to forgive and forget whatever it is that is the source that generates grief. Forgiving and forgetting are the two biggest steps of grief regardless of what causes grief.

 

The concept of experiencing this injury and that I should expect grief to be an important part of the recovery process was something I was able to accept on a theoretical process - theoretical because I've used that process in many areas of my reading and research - a process to indicate whether a theory was true or false. Learning that I should prepare to cope with grief was fairly straight forward "in theory". It took weeks to accept the idea as being true and it took several weeks for an incident - many incidents to be honest - for actual tears to form. Tears soon became standard issue: I would cry in the morning before church, several times during, and even afterward. Other times the crying would be during or after a movie. One night, I cried while listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire's song "Miracles".

 

In my soul, I believe all the tears were tears of joy because it seemed clear my mind was thinking of the topic at the moment as something purifying; something cleansing; something spiritual. Something that brought me to the third aspect of grief: the idea of letting go. My experience of grief was considered to be one with both mountains and valleys; both pain and healing; trials and tribulations. So far, it has only been a very emotional, but very healthy, purification. It still involves situations where it feels like clouds move in and those clouds raise doubts and even fear about what lies ahead. Fortunately, most of those periods include transformational observations or experiences, or something from within my spirit that brings a ray of light from the clouds and often leads to more tears. When it does, I praise God that it includes a smile, a hug, and an offering as to what is occurring and why it may seem dour but is in fact redeeming and heartwarming.