Thinking back today, it is, strangely, on one hand a faint memory, on the other an impactful experience. An experience that left me with one net impression – mortality.
I’ve heard this word from many survivors. Not only stroke survivors, but accident victims, heart attack survivors, survivors of a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Normally we do not talk about it. But people who have had a close shave, almost inevitably, have to confront it. During counselling many people revealed how scary it was. Not at the time, but afterwards when they thought about it. Slowly it dawned on them that this could have been the end. Not easy to admit.
Confronting the “M”- word. Part of the grieving process. Part of rehabilitation. Part of being honest with yourself.
We are used to going into hospital, getting fixed, being released, and going back to work. We can’t wait to get back into it. Back to normal life. We are desperate to get our life back to the way it was before. Why? It will never be the same again. You can’t un-experience things. This is not negative. The opposite!
Many people reported that the experience changed them for the better. It certainly makes you think. Think of all the people who didn’t make it. Suddenly you realize that you are one of the lucky ones.
Now, that we are going into spring in New Zealand, the birds wake me up with their singing. I look around,…I smile. I’m still alive. True, I’m in a wheelchair, but I’m alive. I would be smiling anywhere in the world.
…being in New Zealand is merely a bonus.