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Cochlear Implants, hearing loss and more! I carry an interesting perspective: someone who had normal hearing growing up, lost it all slowly as an adult, then regained it with cochlear implants. So I'm deaf, but I can hear - a true miracle. If you'd like to know more about me and my bilateral cochlear implant experiences right away, my two books have a wealth of information - see the links below. Check out the list of upcoming events too - perhaps one day we'll get to meet!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Bilateral Cochlear Implants: The Sounds of Sadness

Here's one topic I haven't seen discussed, yet I know it impacts virtually everyone with hearing loss: funerals and the related mourning rituals.  It's another one of those experiences that is particularly painful for those with hearing loss, yet is rarely talked about.  It's on my mind today because I attended two funerals in the past ten days.

In the years prior to getting my cochlear implants, funerals were particularly sad - as I would sit in respectful silence through prayers and eulogies, never understanding a word. It was as if I were engaged in an alternative service, one of quiet contemplation as I took in the visual aspects of the rituals.  I was having a totally different experience from everyone else.  It was sadness heaped upon sadness.

When I received my cochlear implants, that changed.  And now with bilateral cochlear implants, I felt truly connected to the people,  the proceedings, and the dignity of this human rite of passage.  I could hear the eulogies, I could greet people and provide comfort to them - the focus wasn't on me or my hearing loss.  I have to mention that there's one sound that still startles me when I hear it - the hollow thud of dirt hitting a coffin.  It's something I had never heard before getting my cochlear implants.

I know this subject may sound depressing, but there's a reason for these rituals and the grieving process - and as with other life events, they're deeply impacted by hearing loss.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    My name is John and I have a quick question about your blog! Could you please email me?

    Thank you,