The Common Good

A Good Age: 'Being There' After A Family Trauma

Date: January 27, 2014

It's been a year now since my brother moved from a rehabilitation center, where he had received months of physical therapy, to a long-term care center where he lives. The move came eight months after he had a massive stroke at age 70, in June 2012. It's all been a huge adjustment.

Just as Steve has struggled to come to terms with his new life, so have I had lessons to learn and much to understand.

In a column last week, "The Art of Presence," David Brooks of the New York Timesdescribed some of the ways family members and others can help, not hinder, recovery from a trauma: "how those of us outside the zone might better communicate with those inside the zone."

He was inspired by a blog Catherine Woodiwiss wrote for Sojourners about her recovery after being hit by a car while cycling. Both listed rules and lessons that I found helpful. Reading through them, I came up with a few additions of my own.