My good friend, Val has been talking with me about the tension between my rehabilitation and acceptance of my disability and status. Perhaps this can be interpreted as that I will make some progress towards restoration, independence and freedom, but I need to work towards acceptance of my disability, integrating this within my life.
This is good in principle but I find there is a need (and Val, being a therapist, fully understands and agrees) to allow the grieving process to continue. Some mornings I wake up and it suddenly hits me again. I find it can be really painful even 3 years on, the loss and the long-term consequences of my stroke, something that happened in an instant, when I collapsed to the ground thinking “ok, this is strange but I will come round” like you normally do when you feel unwell. It was a very odd, and frightening, yes a terrifying experience and I did not come round. It exploded out of nowhere and it smashed my life into bits. Why? But why not? Life is complex, there is no way of understanding what can be around the corner, and as we all appreciate, life is incredibly fragile. Just look what is happening in Afghanistan at the moment. Out of nowhere people’s lives have been shattered and changed without knowing what the future holds. But then this is so true for all of us and especially as we get older, with our gradual decline perhaps exacerbated by some form of disease or life limiting condition.
We all live with some form of loss and hold grief whether we are ageing/declining or had a dramatic explosive event. Death, dying, loss and grief is everyone’s business, and my point is that recognising life is fragile, life is to be lived with everything it has to offer, whilst there remains the tension between acceptance and restoration living with love in all its fullness, knowing we are loved and can love. Enjoying life and dancing because whoever you are whatever your circumstances, you can.
So, as someone said to me the other day, be grateful and give thanks you woke up this morning.