Brain Injury Spouses
Brain Injury Spouses
I’ve been married to the most wonderful man for nearly 18 years. We spent the first 13 and ½ years in wonderful wedded bliss. Our life was idyllic and I often had to pinch myself to make sure it was all real. That bliss ended on June 7, 2011 when my husband’s car was struck from behind on the highway, sending it spinning through the grass median and head-on into an oncoming semi-truck. David survived the crash, but also suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. Three and a half years later, he lives in a nursing home, our children and I have moved out of our gorgeous Victorian farmhouse and into a smaller, more manageable ranch style home, and I spend approximately 3 hours each day visiting my husband and trying to encourage him. All the while, I have tried to find encouragement for myself. A sweet caseworker matched me up with another woman who has gone through a very similar circumstance. We are both so grateful to have found each other and we now covet our monthly get-togethers.
Susan and I talk about many things, but mostly we concentrate on how we can help each other cope with the loneliness in our lives. We are indeed widowed in the sense that we have lost someone very dear to us; however we are not widowed in the sense that our marriage has ended and we need to move on. I am very much still married, but my old marriage has ended. Not by choice, or because one of us did something really stupid or insensitive, but because my husband is not the person he used to be. I still have some of him – his smile, his humor, his love. But I’ve lost my provider, the father to my children, my handy-man, my bill-payer, my lover, my comforter, my foot masseuse, my vacation pal, my confidant, and so much more. I grieve like a widow and face a daily reminder of what I’ve lost in the new physical and mental form of my spouse.
So many people marvel at my strength and grace. They are not mine, but are gifts from above. Yet, what I try to conceal is the anguish and the fears I have about our future. Will I be able to handle the financial crisis this has left us in? Will I really be able to raise our 2 children alone? Will I make the right decisions when it comes to home repairs? How can I make his life more enjoyable? What else can I do to advocate for him? These are all very real concerns and ones I need to handle one day at a time and with a lot of prayer and patience.
I’ve started this website as a means to reach out to other members of the brain injured spouse community. I know there are many of us facing these same situations and fears and I am hopeful that we can connect here and encourage one another. God bless you all as you face each new day.