The 9 Year Journey of Dealing with Grief & Healing Process; What I've Learnt
"My life was flipped upside down when I was 15 years old"
It was a crisp cold winter day on November 20th, 2010. I'll never forget that day as it haunts me until this day. Every year on November 20th, I relive the awful memories that I faced at the young age of 15 years old. My mom went to work that morning promising it would be a quick 4-6hr shift and that she would be back by the early afternoon. My mom used to work as a flag girl directing traffic on construction sites.
That day she was doing a job at 200th by Langley, BC. Next to the traintracks her work vehicle was parked and when she was on a quick 15min break in her truck. A train came by blowing it's whistle, within 15 seconds of the train blowing it's whistle it had smacked my mom's work vehicle that was parked too closely to the train tracks where the guys where working on construction on the road beside it.She was airlifted to VGH (Vancouver General Hospital) where she was in a coma for over 6 months.
Every year, I remember that day like it was crystal clear that my uncle and my younger brother's dad was knocking on my door. They entered in telling Jordan and I that something bad has happened to our mom, and that we need to come with them instantly. I remember instantly breaking down and crying saying "no this can't be real, she's all I have, this can't be happening to us." My brother Jordan went with his dad to his home there and I went with my mom's older brother Mark to the hospital in Vancouver.
There is where I saw my mom laying on a bed completely pale in the face, blood all over the side of her face where her head had smacked inside the truck from the impact of a train hitting her vehicle. She had tubes in and out of her helping her breathe and what not. I remember fainting after 5 seconds of seeing her like that and my aunt had to lift me back up again. It was like I was in a horrible nightmare, except I couldn't wake up from this dream. This was reality, it was real and actually happened and no one understands why or what happened that day. It's now 2019, it has been quite the journey for me over the past 9 years with healing from this. I was very depressed for many years after her car accident. I ended up actually going on anti-depressents when I was 18 years old because I was that much in the hole. My mom was my everything, she did everything for me.
The hardest thing is, the doctors told us she wasn't going to make it. The survival rate of someone being hit by a train is 3% and guess what she is that 3%. She was in a vegetated state and in a coma for a little over 6 months before she woke up one day. Ever since that day she's been learning how to talk again and walk again. She needs assistance 24/7 and lives in a carehome where they assist her with feeding her, taking her to the bathroom, cooking for her, daily therapy with multiple doctors and therapists. It roughly costs $10,000/month I would say for her living expenses. Will she ever be the same? The answer is sadly no, the old Sheri we all knew is gone now, we have a different version of her now.
My mom has a brain injury and is sometimes mentally at the age of a 12-14 year old girl at times. With brain injuries you can either go two ways, either super angry or super happy. My mom thankfully went super happy way, which is much easier overall to deal with. However, doesn't mean that she doesn't get sad. She actually has her moments where she fades in and out of depression. That's always really hard to deal with as you have to try and point out all the things she has to look forward to and the positive things in her life to keep her motivated.
I know for a fact my mom would never want to live this way nor does she currently; she's expressed to me in the past and still to this day. "Makaela, if I can't wipe my own ass or feed myself, do me a favor and shoot me". Word for word, that is what my mother always said to me growing up and I know she means it. She hates living like this. Could you imagine waking up one day after being asleep for 1/2 a year and you don't remember the last 2 years before the car accident nor the accident. Could you imagine how hard that must be for her? Remembering she was normal and all of us instantly, trying to talk and not being able to anymore, trying to walk and move normally and your body doesn't function at all like before. It must have been devastating and heartbreaking for her for the longest time and I don't blame her. No matter if I disliked that person, I would never wish anything so horrible like this to happen to anyone!
After her car accident I went down a dark path of drinking my sorrows away and turning to drugs and partying to cope with my pain. It was the worst path I could of gone on. I had so many breakdowns during the years that I finally had enough of feeling sorry for myself. Everything happens for a reason, wether we like it or not. People come and go out of our lives consistently, it's enjoying the time we have together and being in the present, the now. I wish I got to spend more time with her normally because we probably would of done some cool ass shit together as she is one of my best gal pals. But since her accident, it's brought my family closer together, we've become stronger together and we've been a better supporting unit for one another throughout anything.
This year I decided to go sober and give up partying and focusing my energy on things that are good for my soul and well-being. I been doing yoga 4-6 days a week and then I changed my diet and dropped almost a full 2 dress sizes down in less than 3 months. My mind is sharper and clearer, I'm no longer turning to food for emotional support, I wake up early everyday without an alarm clock feeling good and ready to tackle my day. I've learnt to turn down jobs/money to have more days off to myself to rest and relax as this is important to reduce stress levels. Instead of going out and drinking and feeling hungover and gross the next day, I'm taking and using my energy and putting it back into my artwork again as well as creating a health and fitness plans to sell coming 2020. It's amazing how once you make the decision that you want to heal and improve your life the huge benefits that come along once you start finally aligning yourself back up.
My goal and dream is to create a healing retreat here in Vancouver as well as one in Bali for people to come heal whatever trauma they have. Yoga and meditation has really helped me drastically on my overall mental health and physical health, as well as my overall wellness. I want to help people achieve the same results as myself of loving themselves inside and out again. As well as heal the pain within their psyche and body. Also one other goal of mine is to become a Natrualpathic Doctor and to build a house for my mom to live next to mine and have her taken care of 24/7. She can then wheel on over whenever she likes which would make her day.
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