Loss of vision is like any other loss…
At the outset of your journey, it is important to remember that loss of sight is like any other loss, including job loss and death. Even with death, there is a tendency to only support the person experiencing the loss for a while. Then, all too often you tell them “it’s time to move on.” We each grieve and adapt at our own pace, not dictated by someone else’s schedule. Vision loss is obviously not as serious as death so the people around you may exhibit even less patience. This is why it’s important to remember that processing loss is a journey. It may be helpful to consider the insights of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who is famously known for her five stages of grief. These are a series of emotional stages experienced by survivors of an intimate’s death. They can be readily applied to a devastating life change, such as vision loss.
There are hundreds of “associations for the blind” in the United States and I suspect that similar resources exist in other countries. In most cases, these agencies employ gifted individuals who are deeply passionate about helping people recover from vision loss.
I’d very strongly recommend that you visit your local “association for the blind.” There are many name variations, and I’d encourage you to look up the following variations to find resources which are local to you (many but not all include some location-specific information such as State, County, or Region):
- Association for the Blind
- Association for the Blind & Visually-Impaired
- Center for Vision Loss
- Center for the Blind
- Center for the Blind & Visually-Impaired
Important note: The American Foundation for the Blind maintains a robust, state-by-state list of organizations dedicated to helping individuals experiencing vision loss (see their Directory of Services on the right sidebar). If I receive enough feedback, I may supplement their list with consumer feedback on my blogsite. Please feel free to send shout-outs for your favorite organization serving people who are blind or visually-impaired to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add them to my website resources.