“May this be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult and slow.”
~ Adapted from John O’Donahue, To Bless the Space Between Us
This adapted poem by John O’Donahue has been posted by my kitchen sink for years now. A bit of inspiration and hope for the intense effort that has been going on in my home and family to find healing for my son.
The consequences of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often subtle, yet have the potential to change a person’s life forever. My son has been struggling to find meaningful work and a sense of community and normalcy for many years since returning home from university with a business degree in 2010. My family and I were so hopeful that we could help him find healing. There were many attempts at treatment in silos of neuro rehab, mental health, and alcohol treatment programs. There has been limited coordination and follow-up between these treatment programs and very little family focused care. We have remained continually hopeful and resourceful (and weary).
My precious 30 year old son died unexpectedly on Friday evening, December 1, 2017 as a result of an airway obstruction due to aspiration.
A greater focus on family nursing and patient and family engaged care is urgently needed to address the physical, relational, emotional, and spiritual suffering experienced by individuals and families who are dealing with TBI.