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The Day My Face was Smashed

Grief is not fun, but it is important for emotional health, when something terrible happens. One particular event, when I put a wall up against grief, was the day my face smashed into the concrete sidewalk after my bike tire went into a rectangular grate on the bridge. Yes, I had a helmet on and I hit the part of my head that was not where the helmet was, eyebrows down to my jaw!

This was 17 years ago and I still remember it everytime I spot a grate in the road. I had always thought about how awful it would be to break a bone and even worse to bash in your face. I remember looking at my face in the hospital mirror before it was stitched. My front teeth were knocked out. My nose was skinned. There were open cuts inside and outside of my mouth.

"This did not really happen," I told myself. I continued in denial. There were people around in the long days of healing and I kept saying I was fine. Because I wanted to be fine. It was my face, but it couldn't be.

I went through the grief of it all after my face healed, and yes, it did heal, although the dental work took 2 years.

Here's what I learned:

To allow people to enter in and be a comfort and a help. To receive.

To face trauma, no matter how bad it is.

Appreciation for the face. It houses all the senses. It is also what people see first.

Knowledge that bad things are bound to happen at times and I can get through it.

Compassion for others who have face issues, be it acne, scars, disformations, etc.

Understanding of how quickly facial tissue heals. Praise God.

Every hard thing eventually works growth in me and more trust in God.

I realized that grief is important to experience and share. I learned to allow people in to comfort me. Since that time, I have grieved the loss of my marriage, my mom and dad, and many other things. I am healthier because I denied the denial and allowed myself to grieve.