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Seeing the Aftermath

I never really grasped the extent of my family’s hardship in dealing with my aunt’s accident until recently.  It is through stories that I became aware of the gravity of the situation, the sudden shock when it happened, and the long road to understanding and acceptance.  My aunt was injured in a car accident when she was in her 20’s.  She suffered extensive brain damage and lost the ability to walk or communicate in an effective way.

Growing up I never really understood what this meant to my family.  I knew what happened, but didn’t ever put all of the pieces together.  My aunt was a beautiful young woman out enjoying her life – and in an instant it all changed.  She was in the hospital, in pain, and eventually confined to a wheelchair, never to be able to survive alone again.  Her life effectively ended – as she knew it, and so began the second phase of her life.  She suddenly had special needs, and it wasn’t without the efforts of my grandmother, and the combined support of my entire family that she was able to continue on.  I still cannot even begin to imagine the feelings running through my family in the days immediately following the accident.  I can’t imagine the pain they felt hearing the news for the first time, and the confusion in the following days while the uncertainties were still in the air.  Things looked grim, yet they all trudged on… and here we are today.

My aunt will live out the rest of her life in a wheelchair, but her pains, and the pains of my family have mostly receded.  She will always need help doing even the most basic tasks, but with a supportive family continuing to help her, I am confident that she will continue to live – and in her own way – thrive.

Thanks for reading – If you are finding yourself in a similar situation either now or in the future, just remember that it is in our friends and family that we can all enjoy our lives – no matter what situation or circumstances we may find ourselves in.


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