I knew it was over. In the same way you know the end of the day is over. There was nothing I could do about it but watch it all disappear. Every laugh, every sigh, every whisper, every soft caress, every touch of the cheek, gone. In all the gentle words spoken, to all the tender notes sung, it was just, gone. In an instant that would drag out for years, despite my warnings, despite my urging to hold on and not let go, it was just, over.
And yet, I held out. Hoping, waiting for the sign that would never come, praying for an outcome that was impossible, longing for some sense of normalcy. “Oh, do something!” I screamed from within, but no one heard my voice. It was so far away, as if it was coming from a cave in a desolate cavern, long abandoned by the seekers of treasure. And yet, a treasure lay there, still, uncovered in the darkness, under layers of neglect, unnoticed and unexplored.
It hardly seemed possible to believe, after all this time, for things to go amiss so quickly when once there had been so much bountiful happiness and mature beauty. The ever- knowing heart, always on the watch, in the middle of it all, lost it’s way after all this time. It was not only sad, it was pitiful. It was not possible and yet, not only was it possible, it was real. It was happening and I couldn’t stop it, couldn’t redirect it, nor could I grasp the sense of why.
It, was, over. Gone, like the end of summer turning into fall, with it’s leaves turning from green into autumn’s hues, it was unmistakable. Could I not notice and wonder, what is to come after the tree stands naked and the colors vanish under a dark and gloomy sky?
There was no way to change it, and yet I tried. Swimming against the tide, hoping for a miracle, and at the same time knowing, deep down in my soul, it was over.
But I never cried. Not once. Not in the way most people cry. There wasn’t time. There was too much to sort out, too much to mull over, too much of too much of everything. And in the deafening silence of the long, lonely nights, I sat there, numb and terrified that morning would come and I would have to face another day as difficult as the last and it would never, ever be the same again.
And so I decided that each day, I would decide to cry tomorrow. Because the day was in and of itself so unbelievably painful, and intensely grief-ridden, that to cry would mean it was, really, truly, never to be repeated. It was one thing to hear it, but believing it and accepting it, was something else entirely and I was not going down with the ship until the crow’s nest sunk.
But, there was no denying it when it finally happened. I knew, it was over and I had to find some way to begin again. I had to gather all the bits and pieces that used to be me and go on. But where? Where do you go when you can’t take yourself with you? Where do you go when a direction, any direction is daunting? How do you find your way home when your home is gone?
Life with a brain injury is one of the most difficult experiences any soul can endure for one very simple and yet complicated reason; No one knows how to turn the you that is, back into the you that you were. You are living a Humpty Dumpty life and “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men”, are useless. There is no special brew, no cutting-edge surgery, no ancient Chinese secret. You are broken and lost within yourself. Even when you are surrounded by doctors, therapists and well-meaning souls, you are invisible. No one sees YOU anymore, because you’re not there. And you know it. The only way to survive it, is to decide to cry tomorrow. Today, there is work to do. Today, the journey continues. Today, you begin again.