Hi all, I've read a number of posts by people who have a brain injury about the sadness of losing friends following their injury. I am the friend of B who has an ABI and I wanted to post about how it feels from my perspective.
When B had her accident there was a flurry of activity amongst her friends with lots of people offering help. Over the last 4 months the flurry has slowed right down. There is a small group of us visiting regularly.
B remembers very little of anything over the last 15 years. I've known B for 7 years and she can recall nothing of any time we have spent together. I find at the moment that things around me remind me of time spent with B every bloody day, songs on the radio, passing places we used to hang out, and just about every time I get on the bike (B was / is? a cyclist too). I can tell you it hurts every time.
I don't know if longer term I can be friends with B, I don't know what we will have in common. I don't even know if B will like me anymore. I'm not even certain if we know what we can do together if her ABI takes our major bonding activity of bikes and alcohol out of the equation (I know this is a bad mix, please don't tell me off!) I don't know where B will live and B looks so different too and that unsettles me. I find I want to 'help' her look as she used to, but realise this is much more about my needs than hers. And dear God she has now started to smoke and I hate that!
B filled a special place in my life, B still retains, on her good days, a great sense of humour. B appreciates the time I spend with her. B was a loyal supportive person to people having a tough time. It could so easily have been me with an ABI instead and I think B would have been there for me. B gives me a lovely hug every time I say goodbye. B loves it when I hold her hand and we walk around, and she always did.
I'm not even certain how to end this. Perhaps it's self indulgent, maybe it's illuminating...I'll be seeing her next week.