Silent Song of Brain Injury: Helena Part Eight
As Helena tells it, her life, despite a life that was dominated by melody, the background noise was drowning out the harmony. In simplifying her life to accommodate to her brain injury, she believes she has found renewed faith and a quieter soul with the silent song of brain injury. She explains:
Before my injury I had really lost hope about my life. I had no money, everything that I tried to do to earn money was… I was at the end of my rope. It was as though God said to me – okay this isn’t working for you, and I’m going to pick you up and put you in a different place,
So for nine months, because I couldn’t do much, I would sit in my bed, lie in my bed, and I think. All the, what I call noise in my head, from having tried to go so fast, running fast to keep up my pre life, all of that settled. All of a sudden it became very quiet, in my spirit and in my head, and I found a kind of, what I call a soul center (with her silent song of brain injury), that I had never had. So it’s like I got a chance to start over.
I had to just surrender to whatever was happening in my life, and before the accident I said to God, I don’t care if you’re with me. You’ve always been with me, it’s not enough. So when I think I was still in ICU, and I just got really mad with God and I said, you’ve made promises to your people for thousands of years; you’d better start delivering, because I don’t want to live that old life .
And God has provided you with that silent song of brain injury?
Yeah, he just said okay, I’m going to make you so quiet that you can’t do anything and you can kind of start over.
Two of the major things that happened after the injury was, I had to ask for help because I was so immobile. So that surrendering of, and I thought I had tried to do that before the accident, but I had to totally surrender myself to who, and I had to ask people, could you get me some Dr. Pepper.
The other thing was, that I had, people would ask me questions. It was though I had a whole file, so I’d look for the answers, okay, quick answers. I’d pull the file out, nothing there. Okay, more thoughtful answers, pull out that file, nothing there. Okay, educated guesses, pull that out, okay, winging it, pull that out, all that was gone, and the gift in that was that I got a chance to say, I don’t know.
I had no answers, so I could say I don’t know, and that, again that’s another kind of surrender. I wasn’t trying to fix things and be stoic and be a great professional singer, I could just, life became very simple.
The contribution of religion to her recovery has not just been her connection with God but with her church as well. Asked about the contributions to her recovery, in addition to providing safe haven when she was discharged from the hospital, she said:
They’ve done things like, they’ve prayed. I got cards and letters, they, they prayed for me, and they still do pray for me, and I, I know that that helped keep me afloat, and then physically they would take me to appointments or bring me groceries or just let me know that they were there, and if I, and when I needed them, they’d be there for me.
Going back to Abraham, humans have angrily challenged God’s plan for them. Helena’s story is not just the biblical story of renewed faith, but also a validation of the role that church and religion can and should play in a modern culture where family is often distant or disconnected. Praise be to those Episcopalians who provided her shelter, care and love through her darkest hour.
To some it up, with Gods help, Helena had to quiet the noise in her head and she found the best way to do that is with a silent song of brain injury.