Yesterday I was meeting with a rehab counselor and she brought up an excellent question for me to pose to both of my kids one to one. The question is "what do you think about what happened to me?".
The reason this is a great question to ask is because I honestly don’t know how my accident influenced their thinking. Although we consider ourselves to be an open, caring family, I’ve not given them a chance to express how it felt to hear about their dad lying in the ICU, and eventually seeing the misshapen skull due to the cranietomy (see the pictures for yourself on our caring bridge site photo section). Consider also that the duration of the harder part of this stretched out to 2 months before my skull was reattached.
I think we have some great and valuable ground to cover with both girls. I started a conversation this morning with our youngest by asking the question above "what do you think about what happened to me?". Her response was something. She said "well – I cried a lot when I heard, but you’re still alive, so I was okay". It tells me that the accident tapped into some pretty serious fears that we really want to understand and assuage. She’s 6 1/2, and losing one of your parents then is S-C-A-R-Y, especially when the adults in your family are worrying about the same thing too.
Wish us luck.
By the way, the rehabilitation outfit we’re working with is called Rehab Without Walls, and so far, so good.