Three weeks ago an acquaintance contacted me and asked if I could speak to his friends family. On New Year's Eve the family was involved in a major car accident. Their nine-year old daughter had suffered a severe brain injury and was in a coma. I agreed to talk to the family but I was unsure of what to say. I am not an expert on brain injury, and I am not a typical case. Just four months out of it, I have returned to a somewhat normal life. I work full time, I have a few beers from time to time. I can drive to the store. Not only am I not an expert, but I have no way of knowing how a nine-year old girl would come out of a coma and what her recovery would look like. Right when I agreed to speak to the family, I worried that they might take my case as the norm. I hated the thought of getting their hopes up. We were so different. A car crash is considered to be much worse than blunt trauma like I experienced. Plus, her coma wasn't induced, mine was. Usually that means the initial injury is much more severe.
During the following weeks I dragged my feet. I never contacted the family, but I thought about it almost everyday. Today, as I read through Aimee's journal that she wrote while I was in the coma, I decided to follow-up on the little girl's condition. I vowed to contact the family and do my best to help. I looked at the website the family started. Her picture was posted. She was in a ballerina's outfit and had a huge smile dancing across her face. Next to the image was the update. She was dead. Her brain trauma was too severe.
The news hit me hard. I hated the thought of a nine-year old girl dying in a hospital bed. I hated the thought that I came out of this in such good shape and she didn't. I hated myself for not acting quicker, though, I was glad I didn't meet the family and tell them everything would be all right. It wasn't.
The melancholy stayed with me the whole day. It didn't help that I just started writing an article on my experience, thus the reason I was reading Aimee's journal. That was hard enough to handle, but when I found out about the girl, it paralyzed me.
The human condition hits harder than it used to. When I was released from the hospital someone said to me that I had finally grown up. He said that tragedies are what makes a person an adult. I didn't believe him at first. Now, I do. Before when some tragedy happened, I would say how sad it was and then go on my way. Now, I can't handle the tragedies. They paralyze me. I guess I have grown up. I just wish growing up didn't mean having to accept the calamity of it all.
This Blog Has a New Home - *To view my latest work please visit my NEW blog at: www.capturedbyaimee.com/blog*
7 years ago