Grieving Your Injury

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Most people are familiar with grieving the loss of someone they know and care about, but not many are familiar with grieving the loss of their own life. When someone suffers a spinal cord injury, or an illness that changes life as they once knew it, it is basically a death to their old life. Your whole life can change in the blink of an eye and nobody teaches us how to deal with this change.

A lot of times we are pushed into getting over it and moving on with your new life. We hear things like “everything happens for a reason” and are expected to just accept things because there’s supposedly a reason behind them. Now I am all for accepting things and moving on AFTER you take the time to grieve what you lost. It is okay to be sad! It is okay to be angry! It is okay to be confused! Do not let anybody tell you how to feel about your new life!

I wish I knew the importance of going through all of my emotions in the beginning instead of trying to push them aside and be strong. You do not have to pretend you are okay with everything if you are not. It is okay not to be okay! The reason grieving the loss of your old body is so important is because through those emotions is where you will truly find yourself. Through the tears and the anger you will discover a new strength. Through the confusion you will discover a purpose. There is no time limit on grieving especially when you are grieving yourself. It may take months or years, and you will have bad days even after the sadness goes away. Just remind yourself that this is a new life, a different life, but not a bad life.

Kaley Yerman

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