Saturday, March 17, 2012

"Widow Brain"

Okay so I don't think anyone will quite understand the magnitude of this problem unless they have lost a spouse or someone very close. If you want a look into some of my internal struggles and every day life, read on, friends, read on....

Widow brain is a very frustrating, angering, and upsetting thing. Sometimes it gets rather embarrassing. It's when you just forget just about
e v e r y t h i n g

*** You stop mid sentence when you're talking to someone because:
1. you get side tracked by something such as
a. background noise/happenings
b. your own thoughts
c. scattered emotions and feelings
d. all of the above, all at once
2. you completely forget what you were saying
3. you completely forget your entire point
4. you, even sometimes, forget what the conversation is even about.
And it's worse than just your normal "oh shoot I forgot what I was saying." Much worse. Trust me - before Spencer got sick and passed I frequently lost my train of thought, but OH BOY - did I ever think that I'd get this level of amnesia?! HECK NO! Sometimes I get so frustrated to the point of tears. I am normally NOT socially awkward - but this makes me feel very awkward when talking to friends and even sometimes family because I so desperately want to talk and have a good time, but I stumble on my words and thought process all. the. time. It gets worse when I am either thinking of Spencer, or when I am talking about things related to Spencer and his passing. This is why right now I really prefer e-mailing and occasionally texting over phone calls and in person conversations... because it's not only annoying... it's a blunt reminder that I feel like I'm completely losing it and what I have lost.

You misplace pretty much every single thing you have at some point....
Again... this isn't your ordinary "I can't find what I'm looking for" situation. This is probably the number one thing that bothers me most. I literally feel like I'm losing my mind. I have misplaced my keys several times, I have 'lost (or misplaced, I don't know yet)' my first checks, I misplaced my purse, my camera, that paper I was JUST looking at.... And the list goes ON AND ON AND ON!

And it's not JUST misplacing my things. Oh how I wish it was JUST misplacing a few things here and there.. No, it's misplacing them and then finding them in the most random and strange places.... =/ Those kind of places that you go, "when did I even open that cabinet up?" Ya. Horrible.
And what's worse? I have seriously horrible memory gaps. Again, terrible amnesia. Sometimes I can remember point A to point B... but point B to point C?? Don't even try to ask me what I was doing, where I was at, where that glass of water that I just had in my hand two seconds ago went.... Talking about my very first misplaced check - I honestly do not know what happened from the time I left the house to the time I arrived at my own home. can't recall a bit of it. Who knows the place that I went right after I got home. Who knows where I set down that check. Did I have it in my hand while walking home? Was it in my pocket? My purse? My bag? I don't know.

I will sometimes walk into a room, or specifically the kitchen, look around and wonder why the heck I'm there. In the kitchen example... I will be standing with the frige open... and then it's like I snap out of a 'dream-like-state' and wonder HOW the heck my feet just carried me from my position on the couch to the open refrigerator door. Ugh. Horrible. It's like I'm in a daze when it happens.

I mean I don't want anyone to get concerned about it. I've read this is a VERY common thing that widows/ers do... and people who are grieving in general do. We glide through life... just try to sustain. It's often times a fog going day by day and sometimes I don't remember half of the things I did the previous day.

I just really needed to vent. I am frustrated by this. I hate being so awkward and forgetful! (don't worry.... I have my mom looking over my shoulder with the bigger things to back me up and make sure nothing SUPER important is getting misplaced and that I'm okay)..... I just wonder when this will ease up - because I'm getting VERY sick of it >.<

EDIT: I was just googling "Widow Brain" after writing this post.... I wanted to read what others had to say about it.. and while reading another Widow blog and I found this... I feel like it sums up what I was attempting to say PERFECTLY...

" It’s the inability to make even the simplest of decisions; to remember a thought even from just 30 seconds ago. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into a room unable to remember why I went in there. How many times I’ve opened my mouth to say something only to have absolutely no idea what it was I wanted to say. I’ve even walked away from my car in a parking lot while it was still running. Twice.

As if grief and loss wasn’t bad enough, “widow’s brain” leaves you feeling like you have almost no control over the pieces of your life that remain. I used to be so organized. So ready. So on top of everything. Now, we’re lucky if I remember to grab Shane’s lunch on our way out the door in the morning. And don’t think I haven’t had to go back for it once or twice, either.

And probably the worst thing about “widow’s brain” – it prevents you from being able to recall your memories. Even the one’s you want to remember. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve ended up in tears because I can’t remember what Chris used to call something, or what his reaction to a situation had been. There are so many details about our life together that I simply can not remember, no matter how hard I try. And that sucks. Losing your spouse is difficult enough; why take away the widow’s ability to recall facets of their life together as well? It’s almost like the things that made “us”, “us”, are gone now too.

When does enough actually get to be enough?"


  1. I was having dinner with a friend tonight and told her that I was suffering from "widow's brain." She looked at me like I was crazy. I lost my husband two months ago and this blog sums it up perfectly. I sent her the link.

  2. Being able to relate to other widows after I lost Spencer was what propelled me through the most difficult moments. Just knowing that I wasn't alone and I wasn't the only one in the world experiencing such weird phenomena. I'm very sorry to hear that you lost your husband. I understand as much as I can how painful it is. I hope that you're able to find some comfort by reading blogs through my journey and through others as you navigate this new life. I found the most support through, and highly recommend it if you're needing to relate, vent, blog, share memories and etc.