I watched Tracy Morgan’s first interview since sustaining his brain injury along with other physical injuries almost one year ago when a Wal-Mart semi-truck crashed into his limo.
Morgan got quite emotionally upset during the course of the interview. He became repeatedly tearful as Matt Lauer asked him about his recollection of the accident and the death of his friend, another passenger in the car. He described having “good days and bad days” as well as dealing with headaches, memory problems, and nose bleeds. I really felt for Morgan, and cringed when Lauer talked of a grand return to host Saturday Night Live and of making us all laugh again. Morgan earnestly promised he would and stated he was not yet 100%. What I felt was lacking from the interview was an understanding that with brain injury, a complete return to the person’s previous abilities is not always possible. If Tracy Morgan is not able to host SNL or return to stand up comedy, that doesn’t mean that he has failed. Far from it, as he has already made significant progress. Myopically framing success as returning to the person you once were can set the individual and their family up for disappointment.
I wish the best for Morgan and his family as they adjust to his recovery and the new life they share together. I hope wherever his journey takes him that he can re-define his new normal.