Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grief Spasm

I have only recently come across the term "grief spasm," but it seems particularly applicable to this life we're now living.  I don't often write about the more difficult aspects of SCI because I don't think most people want to hear about it and, quite honestly, we're in a really good place.  The initial shock and horror has worn off, and we're very aware of how lucky Jason has been.  That being said, there are still the occasional moments when the magnitude of what has happened hits me.  It doesn't normally last all that long, so I think referring to it as a "spasm" works.  I've gone weeks and weeks without really having any major meltdowns, so I suppose I was due one this past weekend.  And, really, I kinda brought it on myself.

Jason has new tires and, as he and Danny were working on them over the weekend, J realized that he didn't have a tool that he would need, so he asked me to run to the bike shop (wheelchair wheels are no different than bike tires) to grab the tool for him.  I said yes, not thinking it would be that big of a deal.  This was the bike shop Jason more or less lived in in the weeks leading up to Death Ride, and neither of us had been back to it since the accident.  We only ever went there to do stuff for his bike, so looking back, I'm not surprised it caused me some difficulties.  Anyways, I went inside, asked for the proper tool and, as I was checking out, I was overwhelmed with sadness and, yes, grief.  I saw all the people there with their bikes, and I was reminded of our other life..the "before" that we won't ever get to have again (even if there is a cure for SCI, we are too changed to go back to what we were before this accident.  This isn't really a bad thing).  It was too much.  Thankfully, I was able to get outside before I completely lost it (I'm hoping no one looked out at this moment...if they did, they probably wondered what part of buying a tire wrench was so upsetting).  When these things happen, I just let myself cry.  I work on the assumption that if I'm crying, it's probably because I need to get things out...no use trying to suppress it...I think that's when you run into problems.

This didn't last long.  I was able to pull myself together and finish my other errands without any problems.  I don't know that I'll be going back to that store again, though.  No reason to invite trouble.

I hope writing this doesn't give anyone the wrong impression (or cause anyone to start recommending counselors...we've both seen counselors since this accident).  We truly are happy.  We have a great life, but this doesn't mean that our lives (our at least my life) are free from these moments of sadness.  I can't write about Jason's feelings about all of this (We talk about it, of course), because we've both learned that, even though we are going through a lot of the same events, we are having very different experiences that neither of us can fully understand.  I will never really know what it's like to be told you'll never walk again, just like he won't understand what it's like to fear that the love of your life might die.  But that's okay.  As a couple, we're stronger than ever, and part of that strength is derived from this recognition of these differences.

I'll leave this topic alone for now...and will return in a few days with more uplifting material :)


  1. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I assume you've been swamped with requests to check out this link (http://gizmodo.com/5894489/segway+style-device-for-paraplegics-puts-wheelchairs-to-shame) to the next generation mobility device for spinal injury patients - didn't want to run the risk of you not seeing it!

    good luck - keep going!