Thursday, February 17, 2011


I know you can't really understand what it means to be a parent until you are one. This read, however, quite a glimpse.

Most of the "physical drama" is that of the son. Even when the father suffers a cerebral hemorrhage his thoughts focus on his son's whereabouts.

Reading about brain bleeds makes me a little anxious. One passage brought me relief and concern.

"In the immediate aftermath of my brain hemorrhage, I complained that I had missed out on what I imagined might be a benefit of surviving a near death experience - that is, beyond the ultimate perk: still being alive. That said, I have often heard and read survivor's describe the epiphanies that came from tragedy. Their lives transformed, became simpler, with clearer priorities."

No such epiphany following my hemorrhage. I don't ever think I felt near death. Mostly, there was uncertainty. Near death or not - a brain bleed is serious stuff and I wondered if my life would change in the aftermath of the event. It didn't and this has always had me wondering (and concerned) about my ability to reflect and change. On the other hand, radical life changes in the aftermath of "trauma" also seemed like a bit of a cliche or a merchandising of the experience.

"I was judging too early. Thing have shifted since then. Just as there are stages of grieving or dying , there must be stages after a trauma because the lessons of the neuro ICU sank in over time."

It's been a year and a half since my "trauma." My life is alarmingly similar. Does that indicate lack of transformation? Not necessarily. There are surface details and then there's gradual processing and related action. I haven't entirely realized (or even formed, for that matter) a new vision yet I do question that one I've held. I question why I haven't accomplished it and then wonder if it's the right path at all. A world of contradictions?

"If only life were easier. It isn't - nor is that my goal any longer. Once I desperately wanted things to be simpler, but my worldview was broken over the course of Nic's addiction and my stay in the ICU. From them, I learned another lesson: that I can accept - in fact am relieved to accept - a world of contradictions, wherein everything is gray and almost nothing is black and white. There is much good, but to enjoy the beauty, the love, one must bear the painful."

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