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When Steve was undergoing chemo, he developed chemo brain.  His thinking was compromised no it was very frustrating got him.

Im convinced there is an equivalent.  Grief brain.  Every day I find I can't concentrate, perpetually almost putting my keys in the fridge when I grab a bottle of water when I get home.  Do things I cannot for the life of me remember doing.  If I get into a deep emotional discussion about him I always have a stress headache after.  I can be sitting as comfortable as I can and fall into a pit of despair in a nanosecond.  I've found myself watching a show I really like and realize I zoned out minutes before and remember nothing I saw.  I've given up novels for magazines because articles are shorter.  I wake up most days not knowing what day it is.  I miss the pleasure of eating or a hot shower.  Everything is a chore.  Burned out lightbulb?  Fill the dogs water bowl?  Water the plants?  ACK!  People tell me thier plans for the evening or weekends and I forget what that was like.  Shopping is hard because I need so little as a single person.  I'm restless all the time and often wander around the house and I don't even know why.  Going to bed is always a gamble.  Will I cry myself to sleep or catch a break and drift off without fanfare?    The list goes on and on.

I may not have gotten those horrid transfusions, but I might as well have an IV in my heart that is poison too.  

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I'm sorry you are having the grief brain.  I get it too and it isn't easy to deal with.  I was bad with putting things in 'safe places' and then forgetting where the safe place was before my husband passed but it's even worse now.  There are days when I almost get lost in my little house, walking into the kitchen when I meant to go in my bedroom... I end up standing there trying to figure out what I'm doing.

I've heard that this normal when we are grieving but I wonder how long it will last and if there are things we can do to lessen it.  I just get so frustrated that I end up crying and then that upsets me more.

I wish we could forget the things that dont matter!   Good luck Gwen, maybe yours will go away soon.

Marita

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As I was reading what you wrote I actually thought your reading my mind. I loved reading books, but can't anymore. Even magazines are too much. I have trouble with my spelling when I write. There are days I just can't. Balance the checkbook, I better be having a good day for that too. I've also been having problems listening to people. We can be having a conversation and I realize I have no idea what they just said and I'm looking directly at them. I'm hoping its going to improve with time and I'm sure it will, but Charley is first and foremost on my mind for now and everything else is gonna have to sit on the back burner for awhile. It is a relief to know I'm not the only one temporarily "loosing my mind".  

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Unfortunately, it has not gotten better for me and at my age, I sometimes wonder if it is the start of Alzheimer's. That is a frightening thought and I refuse to go there.

I generally leave the house once a week to grocery shop, run errands, and visit the library. When I get in the truck, I have to tell myself the easiest route to take. I have only lived here for 45 years.  LOL The effort of pushing the grocery cart tires me to the point I no longer pay close attention to the items I buy or I get overcharged. I get so angry at myself when I do this.

I decided to watch my new BluRay of Dances With Wolves. Love that movie. In my unwatched stack, I found "Last Of The Mohicans", another favorite. The only problem is that I don't remember ever buying it. The player is only 6 months old so it was purchased in that time frame. That is scary.

I forget more and more things. At least I still remember to shower and pay what bills I can. I am so fortunate to have my grandson here with me. Although we don't spend a lot of time together, I think he watches out for me.

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This is probably something all of us can relate to. I don't think it has anything to do with age. We have lost a significant part of ourselves when our spouse has died. It took me a few years before I could concentrate on reading. I bought books on grief after Jim died and read them and couldn't remember that I had read them or that I even had them. I'm with Karen about the store. I make a list now and go just because I have to. I used to love to shop ~ not anymore. 

Yes, our hearts are broken but slowly, very slowly they begin to heal. They never mend completely but we learn to live with the cracks. There is a Japanese saying that when a bowl falls and breaks it is put back together with gold glue and that is okay because that is how the light gets in - something like that. If I can find the picture I'll post it. It still means something to me today after four years.  

Anne

Kintsukuroi means ‘to repair with gold’ in Japanese, and is the art of repairing pottery with gold and understanding that the piece is the more beautiful for having been broken.

Kintsugi-2[3].jpg

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1 hour ago, enna said:

This is probably something all of us can relate to

Relate to?  This is our life right now.  The pain of missing them, I am not sure that pain will let up.  But, I sure hope concentration improves.  I have bought the past couple of months of People's Magazine.  Have not looked at them.  I have bought autobiographies and biographies for my Kindle..  I can skip around in them without having to concentrate too much.  I have to find my clothes.  I have Scott's and Kelli's things in my dining room, all stacked.  My refrigerator is not freezing and no one to fix it till tomorrow, but it is only my problem because my groceries are defrosting.  I will not have to replace the refrigerator. 

I thought of the song Sunday Morning Coming Down this morning: ."And caught the Sunday smell of someone's fryin' chicken;  And it took me back to somethin' That I'd lost somewhere, somehow along the way."  I didn't smell chicken, someone was frying bacon.  The  only smell that comes to my mind is walking out of the house and smelling skunk where I used to live.  What does one soul good is the enemy of another's. We do what we have to do to survive and live wondering if we did the right thing.  It is like moving from Alaska to Florida, whichever one suits you best.   
 

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yes, the forgetfulness and lack of concentration is yet another part of this grief journey and it does get frustrating.  I never had that problem before, but now like was said, I'll be watching a show and didn't even realize I zoned out and the next thing it is over.  I don't read anymore either, can't comprehend what I read.  I realize that my heart and soul will never heal completely and that I will miss him forever, but I sure hope this "grief brain" gets better soon (for all of us)

Joyce

 

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I have become alot more forgetful I think. I thought it might be the medication I am on. I forgot my mum's birthday, and my sister's birthday. I am usually very good with birthdays.

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I worried about the onset of Alzheimer's too.  

The more I worry about my memory the more difficult it seems to get.  The good old circular thing; the more I forget the more I worry and then I seem to forget more.

It is hard to concentrate on the brain games I to try to improve my mind, that frustrates me also.  Intellectually, I know that stress and grief are working against me; however, emotionally I just can't accept the facts.

Is there a tiny bit of hope for a clearer mind to hang on to?

Marita

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Yesterday, I took the ice cream container out of the freezer for my big treat.  Today I wondered what was in the fridge.  I put the ice cream in the fridge instead of freezer.  Never did that before.  I am joining the grief brain group.

Gin

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Cleanest dirty shirt, love those songs.........................................My memory appears to have holes in it , I do write notes, stickeys all over the place, go downstairs to get something , by the time I get to the bottom, forget what I'm looking for..................I accept this and take more notes...smart phone helps....Prayers for Baton Rouge

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I think we've all done that Gin. Our levels of concentration are pretty low at times. I tend to leave the oven on or put things away in the wrong place all the time. Or, I'll re-organize things and at a later date look for something I have "re-organized" and have no clue where it is.

Note to self: Start writing notes with directions for finding my newly re-organized stuff. ;)

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2 minutes ago, kevin said:

Prayers for Baton Ro

One of my friends mentioned on Facebook that the Black Panthers were in Shreveport and Baton Rouge.  I thought it was just so much hysteria.  She lives right next to Baton Rouge.  I know sometimes they do use too much force and possibly kill people that fight back and maybe people that don't fight back.  Get rid of them.  Like the  bad priests and preachers, get rid of them. I have no answers.  Three were killed, six were shot, one not expected to live.  Two shooters still at large.  Supposedly all in black with black masks.  So much hearsay.. 

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9 hours ago, enna said:

Kintsukuroi means ‘to repair with gold’ in Japanese, and is the art of repairing pottery with gold and understanding that the piece is the more beautiful for having been broken.

I remember this post, Anne!  A very beautiful analogy.  It also reminds me of when we break a bone and it heals, it heals so much stronger than it was to start with.

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Gin,

Your ice cream story reminded me of the time, I came home from the grocery store after buying meat on sale. I carried it into the utility room intending to put it in my big freezer. I set it on top of the washer so I could open the freezer and evidently "that's all she wrote". Must have gotten sidetracked as it was still sitting on the washer 2 days later when I went to get something from the freezer. Bye, bye meat. Grrr!!

My son says it's not Alzheimer's, that it is Sometimer's. Sometimes we just forget what we are doing. Many of you have mentioned trouble concentrating while reading or watching TV. Fortunately, I do not have that problem at all. It is just as well as that is what I spend the majority of my time doing. My grandson and I have been gradually watching all of the Stargate series late at night. His dad has all the dvds. Now, some of those I have trouble following. Lots of interesting places and fantasy characters.

Anne, I love the "Kintsukuroi" meaning. If we all just had some gold to pass along to each other.

Don't understand the violence either. Unfortunately, it has been and will always be with us.

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Bri and I watch all the teenager shows, soap operas for young people that Billy would have never watched.  I am hooked on Gossip Girl.

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At least I know that this doesn't only happen to me I am always losing and forgetting things lately all I can think about is Kevin  I thought it was happening because of it being only a few months now I know it happens no matter how far you are.

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Focus was really hard for me after losing George, I don't think I ever was as good at my job after losing him as I was before.  It seemed to do something to my brain!

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There are many articles out there about grief brain or widow brain.  Just google the phrase and see where it leads you.

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4 hours ago, Froggie4635 said:

There are many articles out there about grief brain or widow brain.  Just google the phrase and see where it leads you.

I did this Maryann.  I wonder how long this lasts.  I know it is getting in the way of my helping my mom and sister, helping my mom usher out of this world to the one where she can "join the family circle up above."  She wants to do this but won't let go.  Most of us don't understand this because letting go is what a lot of us would like to do.  I think of Doug Flutie's parents going within minutes of each other.  This "grief brain" plays with me and I can see Billy, sometimes I talk to him and I think he listens.  My dad used to work for the railroad and in early days he would work at distant locations on the line.  I think this was to get away from Mama, but I would ride my tricycle on the porch and call to him.  I would tell Mama "I think he hears me."  Now I am in my 70's calling to Billy.  Maybe I need a tricycle to make him hear me.  Believe it or not, even my daughter understands me and makes excuses for my weirdness.  So does my son.  I hated coming into that empty house I had shared with Billy.  My fear and anxiety would get the best of me and I was so frightened being alone.  I am not alone now.  I have hundreds of people living in these apartments.  I did not qualify for government assisted apartments, so most of these people are working people or widows.  

The first article I read when I googled "Widow's Brain" explained a lot.  I know that I used to google everything.  We would watch a TV movie and I would google the cast.  Billy would have me google so many things.  After he left, my "Widow's Brain" had no use for googling.  I used my Amazon Prime more often than anything else.  I would order books and then delete them.  I think Gin was the one who said that reading those books confused her (about the afterlife, etc.) and had quit reading.  I approach these books with a feeling of dread, that I might open a page and something might go against what I believe.  But, what do I believe?  I want to believe there is a Heaven, I want to believe that Billy and I will be united again.  But, somehow I don't think he is going to tell me if he was disappointed in me or not.  Maybe by that time I will be in a place that him telling me anything will just be shared by the joy of being close to him again.  After all, Heaven could not be Heaven without Billy, or our other mates.  And this belief might be simplistic to some people but it is as necessary for me to believe this as it is to believe the sun will come up tomorrow, a tomorrow we are not promised.

But, like Marty Short talking to his deceased wife Nan and finally saying "where did you go."  He only got silence.  He said when it is time, we will know, and we will know in a moment's notice.  

Tomorrow is Billy's birthday.  We are going to release balloons from his hometown landing on Dorcheat Bayou, his favorite place.  It drifts into Bistineau, but going into the big lake is not what we liked to do.  We would have bought a home on the bayou, but the flooding was too much, so we bought a home where the bayou went into the lake.  I wish we had "do-overs" and wish we had stayed.  "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."  Or Billy's mom's more realistic "S__t in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up the fastest."  We had to leave though, we had to get our son off drugs and away from the drug people he knew.  He was willing and there was no question about what we would do.

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Do you perhaps think there might be someone that your mom needs to see before she lets go?  Or perhaps there is someone around who she can't let go of?  I have seen many shows that talk about departing loved ones.  The person who has lost someone, but wasn't there for the final moments and feels guilty...they have been told that their loved one could not leave while they were there...that it was too hard and they couldn't break away.  Perhaps she is aware of just how much time she has left to live...and wants every second of it. There are so many questions without answers.  If only there was a manual on all this.

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No, I cannot think of anyone.  When I am with her she dismisses me and wants Kelli.  She never mentions Daddy, at least not often and he is an afterthought.  Billy is mentioned more.  There is no one else.  She has outlived all her relatives except nephews and nieces and some of them are gone, they are not close and never have been.  It was hard for anyone to get close to her..  After Daddy died she struck up an old high school romance with Thomas Dean, her old high school sweetheart.  I thought that might be going somewhere but she broke it off because he put her "up on a pretzel"  My mom has always had a way with words, sometimes terribly wrong words.  He passed away a number of years ago.  She has outlived everyone.  She loves Marcy and Kelli being around her.  My son and myself, we are afterthoughts.  Those are the only two, except for Nawlin's, Kelli's poodle.  She sits with Mama very patiently.  Can only think she is stubborn.  She actually wants to go and has mentioned that she is ready in so many sane moments, but for some reason is dragging her heels.

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Marg,

I share my birthday with Billy.  It sure is not the same.  First birthday since Al died.  He used to write me a beautiful poem and make a card.  We would do several things during the birthday week...dinner, play, see friends.  Now I will see friends, family, but the best will be missing.  I wish the day will just pass.  I changed my will and trust and picked them up today.  Too much.

Marg, I hope you have some peace.

Gin

 

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Gin - those special days sure are not the same, but hope you can find some enjoyment being with friends and family.  All the things that have to be changed just seem to keep coming, hopefully we will be done with those kind of changes soon.  My thoughts are with you.  Hugs

Joyce

 

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Gin, Happy Birthday tomorrow.  I have to sit with Mama in the evening.  I think I mentioned that we are going to set off balloons from the Dorcheat Bayou ramp at Sibley, the little town Billy grew up in.  The kids have it set for 7:30 p.m.  I don't know how that is going to go.  We never celebrated too much for anything.  I did not know that the Easter Bunny was supposed to come on Easter morning, he didn't come to my house or anyone I knew.  I don't think he knew where our little border town was.  But, Kelli always felt she was left out of something (we later learned) because we did not do it up big like at Christmas.  Hey, my kids were exceptional, they were the only ones with dyed eggs that still had runny yellows.  I never learned how to boil an egg right.  But we always decorated them.  They had parties up until a certain age.  We always bought Kelli a rainbow ice cream cake from some ice cream shop.  I think I marked her with that cake.  I am not too happy about the "celebration" tomorrow night either, but this is for them, not for me, and it is their plans.  

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