|Mark Davis Pickup|
"... For example, the sudden catastrophe of spinal cord injury can be the source of deep despair and bitterness for the individual who finds himself facing paraplegia or quadriplegia, often in the blink of an eye.
All it takes is a fall or car accident. It is a terrible shock to lose partial or complete use of one's limbs. A severed spinal cord irrevocably and drastically alters how a person lives his life.
Grief is like a river that can block the sufferer from continuing his life journey. It is imperative to cross the river of grief and discover what is on the other shore. After the initial shock passes, it becomes critically important to actively and intentionally rebuild one's life and incorporate the new reality.
The individual must develop a new self-identity that includes his disability or condition and his loved ones must encourage this process and accept the new person and how he perceives himself. But the individual's new reality should not be focused on his disability. This transition phase is uncertain and even dangerous.
Some people refuse to rise above their circumstances and face their new reality. They want their old life back or they want no life. They are unwilling to cross the river of grief and can become suicidal. Unresolved grief in people with disabilities (and their loved ones) can fuel calls for euthanasia and assisted suicide."
To read the rest of my column go to http://wcr.ab.ca/Columns/OpinionsStories/tabid/70/entryid/3686/Disability-forces-one-to-cross-a-river-of-grief.aspx
Mark Davis Pickup