Someone close to me has just been involved in a really serious accident. The injuries were bad, probably as bad as they could possibly be, we were told to expect the worst and I guess we prepared to say our goodbyes. It may have been shock or denial but I never really believed that would be the case, and thankfully it wasn’t. We know we are very lucky and are really grateful for that. The injuries are still bad however, and life changing. I don’t want to go into the injuries because there is a young person in hospital right now trying to come to terms with the fact that life will never be the same again, and that’s personal for them, and not my business to discuss. What I do want to talk about are those moments, those game changing moments that come totally out of the blue, smack you in the face and change everything you think you knew about life, and what you do after them.
For me that moment was, as it is for so many people, a ringing phone far too early on a Sunday morning, Sometimes you just know that something’s going to change everything, I knew it as soon as I answered that phone, I knew it as I calmly and quietly sang along to the radio on the long drive to the hospital later that morning, calmly, quietly preparing myself, my mind clear and focused, that whole day I was a picture of calm- it was definitely shock – but I really believe there was a part of me that was mentally preparing myself for the storm that was to follow, The days and weeks that have followed have been almost indescribable and I’m not sure I would want to even if I could. The human mind is so clever, the way it deals with what it can and then just files everything that is too traumatic to cope with. I’ve always been level headed in a crisis but I’ve never really been in true shock before, as it is, I’m not sure I’ve really come out of shock since. The first thing I did was go into organise mode. Sorting things out, replying to the millions of messages and phone calls on behalf of the family. Not once on that first day did I shed a tear. The tears did come eventually, very early the next morning, after a long day of sitting in a hospital waiting room and a long night of pacing up and down, smoking a million cigarettes in my living room for half the night and laying in my bed for the other half listening to my husband and dog snore whilst my mind re ran every conversation from the day in my head. As the dawn broke I would be found staring out of my bedroom window into the dark woods opposite my house sobbing quietly as I prepared myself for what the day might hold, hoping that my loved one had made it through the night, against all odds.. he did.
It’s been quite a journey since then, a month later and so much has happened, we’ve come so far, and we’re still in really early days. There’s been tears-lots of tears-prayers, gratitude, denial, positivity, yet more tears as we head towards a new future, there’s been what ifs, there’s been steps forward and steps back, ups and downs, it’s like a rollercoaster. It’s totally unchartered territory for us all, and we’re all learning to accept change as we learn about the new path our lives will take.
It’s scary, for no one more so than our loved one, who has to face a whole new reality and for us as we support that journey.
Again I am amazed at the human mind’s ability to adapt and cope and how even when things are rock bottom the human mind can still find the positive.
I guess that’s the most amazing thing about life, our ability to fight back, be strong, see the light in even the darkest of times. I’m watching the people I love the most go through a truly harrowing experience and am hugely proud of the inner strength, positivity, strength of spirit and support for each other we all continue to show. That’s what family is about isn’t it? Picking each other up when needed, looking out for each other, laughing, crying, just knowing that we love each other, knowing that even though there’s a really long, hard and unknown journey ahead we will face it as warriors, and we will face it side by side