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Old June 8th, 2012, 14:29
cal821 cal821 is offline
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Default "Widow Brain" A must read for the recently Widowed

I want to bring up in discussion a problem we widows/widowers face in the begining after our loss of our dear spouse... it is called "Widows Brain"

Widow’s brain” is a real thing. A living, breathing, thing. It affects all people who experience such a traumatic loss. It beats you down and leaves you helpless and confused during a time that leaves very little room for such things.


Several articles I had read define widow’s brain as “ side effect of grief caused by your brain trying to protect you from the pain. Unfortunately, it causes you to pretty much forget everything....

It is why we suddenly stop speaking mid-sentence-we can’t remember what we were talking about/saying. . . it is why we quizzically stare around a room-we have no clue what it is we came in the room for and often times don’t remember how we got there in the first place. . . basically, it’s grief-induced amnesia.”....

I’d say that’s pretty accurate. It’s the inability to make even the simplest of decisions; to remember a thought even from just 30 seconds ago. In the beginning I can’t tell you how many times I had walked into a room unable to remember why I went in there.


How many times I had opened my mouth to say something only to have absolutely no idea what it was I wanted to say. I had 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..... Is probably a common train of thought for all of us when this happens..

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 couldn't even tell you how many times I ended up in tears in the beginning because I couldn't remember what my wife used to call something, or what her reaction to a situation had been.

There were so many details about our life together that I simply could not remember, no matter how hard I try. And that sucked. 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.


Have you ever felt like this or had this happen?

*** 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...

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 botheed me the most. I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I had misplaced my keys several times, I had 'lost (or misplaced, I don't know yet)' at my first checks, I misplaced 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 wished 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?" "At some point in the future you will laugh at this about yourself believe me!!"

And what's worse? I had seriously horrible memory gaps. Again, like amnesia. Sometimes I could 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 wallet? My Jacket? I don't know.


I would sometimes walk into a room, or specifically the kitchen, look around and wonder why the heck I was there. In the kitchen example... I will be standing with the frige open... and then it's like I'd 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. . It's like I was in a daze when it happens.

These things are VERY common that widows/ers do in the beginning ... 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 in the beginning I didn't remember half of the things I did the previous day.


Hopefully this will help you who are suffering from " Widow's Brain " and understand this is a common theme for us.. But it will pass in time so don't be alarmed..........


I wish you hope & peace


Cal821
__________________
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...

Cal821

Last edited by cal821 : June 8th, 2012 at 19:19.
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  #2  
Old June 8th, 2012, 15:28
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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thanks dave for telling me about widows brain i thought it was old age creeping up on me hazelxx
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  #3  
Old June 8th, 2012, 16:47
gumek gumek is offline
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Posts: 746
Default i was wondering, now i know why!!!!!

hey, i'm laughing so much it hurts, i thought it was jjust dippy old me, i'm still looking for the sat-nav, have been in conversation then suddenly, what?
dave did you find yourself walking around the house like a lost troll then caught site of yourself in the mirror? ahhh!!! I'll have a think about all this and put a tread or two on forum, hold on, what was i saying?

chrissie. xx
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  #4  
Old June 8th, 2012, 19:29
Oonagh Oonagh is offline
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Hi Cal,

thank you for that, my mum is going through exactly that situation now, bless her. She keeps putting it down to old age ( like Hazel ) but I keep telling her I was just the same when Drew passed away.

I can remember my stepdaughter brought a casserole for us both to eat, several days after Drews passing, and I popped it in the oven to heat up. When we were ready for it I opened the oven door and found that I hadn't turned the oven on, so it was fish and chips instead that night The worst thing I found was when the guy came who was taking the funeral, and so wanted to know things about Drew. I couldn't remember much at all! My brain was mush and I knew that there was lots to tell him really, but I just couldn't bring any of it to mind. My stepdaughter was with me fortunately, and she helped a lot, but I really wanted to share some of the funny stories about him, over the years, and couldn't. Just at the time you need to remember, you cant! Of course, now I remember lots of things
It is a horrible time and I identify with all the things you mentioned Cal. I got my words mixed up, stopped in mid sentence because I didn't know what the hell I was talking about, gabbled a lot, and then when it was important to talk to someone, I couldn't string a simple sentence together. I remember I kept apologising to people and saying 'I'm sorry, I'm not with it at all today, just bare with me please.' It's like living in a fog, very unreal and confusing.
Thankfully it does pass with time, but I think it's a very good idea to mention it as it can be quite bewildering and you think you're 'losing it', when it's just a natural thing happening.

Hugs, Gail.
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  #5  
Old June 10th, 2012, 19:43
hazelharris hazelharris is offline
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what is it called dave when the mind is muddled i,ve forgotten
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  #6  
Old June 11th, 2012, 15:04
cal821 cal821 is offline
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Posts: 466
Default Hi Hazel

I think it is called Befuddled or woolly-headed lol for me it is just bewildered lol
__________________
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...

Cal821
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  #7  
Old June 11th, 2012, 16:20
sdk sdk is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: goshen, new york
Posts: 161
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I think we all need to get a big package of post its and writing down things.
Yesterday I bought a package of chicken and left it in my car all night and had to throw it out this morning. I also was supposed to have my car inspected (we need to do that once a year here in the states or your get a ticket ($150.00).
It does feel like as my mother used to say "If your head was not attached you would lose that to."

Sheryl
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  #8  
Old June 11th, 2012, 18:46
gumek gumek is offline
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Default no one home

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdk View Post
I think we all need to get a big package of post its and writing down things.
Yesterday I bought a package of chicken and left it in my car all night and had to throw it out this morning. I also was supposed to have my car inspected (we need to do that once a year here in the states or your get a ticket ($150.00).
It does feel like as my mother used to say "If your head was not attached you would lose that to."

Sheryl
a saying here sheryl is the lights on but no ones home. hugs xxx chrissie.
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  #9  
Old June 11th, 2012, 18:53
cal821 cal821 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 466
Default

(LOL) Chrissie
__________________
Memory can only tell us what we were,
in the company of those we loved;
it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become.
Yet no person is really alone;
those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words,
and what they did has become woven into what we are.

I wish you peace and a level path on your journey...

Cal821
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old June 12th, 2012, 09:27
whitedove whitedove is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 14
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal821 View Post
I want to bring up in discussion a problem we widows/widowers face in the begining after our loss of our dear spouse... it is called "Widows Brain"

Widow’s brain” is a real thing. A living, breathing, thing. It affects all people who experience such a traumatic loss. It beats you down and leaves you helpless and confused during a time that leaves very little room for such things.


Several articles I had read define widow’s brain as “ side effect of grief caused by your brain trying to protect you from the pain. Unfortunately, it causes you to pretty much forget everything....

It is why we suddenly stop speaking mid-sentence-we can’t remember what we were talking about/saying. . . it is why we quizzically stare around a room-we have no clue what it is we came in the room for and often times don’t remember how we got there in the first place. . . basically, it’s grief-induced amnesia.”....

I’d say that’s pretty accurate. It’s the inability to make even the simplest of decisions; to remember a thought even from just 30 seconds ago. In the beginning I can’t tell you how many times I had walked into a room unable to remember why I went in there.


How many times I had opened my mouth to say something only to have absolutely no idea what it was I wanted to say. I had 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..... Is probably a common train of thought for all of us when this happens..

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 couldn't even tell you how many times I ended up in tears in the beginning because I couldn't remember what my wife used to call something, or what her reaction to a situation had been.

There were so many details about our life together that I simply could not remember, no matter how hard I try. And that sucked. 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.


Have you ever felt like this or had this happen?

*** 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...

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 botheed me the most. I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I had misplaced my keys several times, I had 'lost (or misplaced, I don't know yet)' at my first checks, I misplaced 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 wished 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?" "At some point in the future you will laugh at this about yourself believe me!!"

And what's worse? I had seriously horrible memory gaps. Again, like amnesia. Sometimes I could 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 wallet? My Jacket? I don't know.


I would sometimes walk into a room, or specifically the kitchen, look around and wonder why the heck I was there. In the kitchen example... I will be standing with the frige open... and then it's like I'd 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. . It's like I was in a daze when it happens.

These things are VERY common that widows/ers do in the beginning ... 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 in the beginning I didn't remember half of the things I did the previous day.


Hopefully this will help you who are suffering from " Widow's Brain " and understand this is a common theme for us.. But it will pass in time so don't be alarmed..........


I wish you hope & peace


Cal821
Hi Cal821
Yeah I do this all the time I have left stuff in the car at the shops had to go back to get it. Even gone to the shops to forget what on earth am I getting here cant remember. Driven my car round and round a roundabout forgetting where i am supposed to be going, even driving the car with people in it and ending up some place else even the kids have said to me where we going with me saying I cant remember you tell me. Its scary at times, I have even put things in the wrong place clothes in the dishwasher and the dishes in the washing machine turned them all on walked away later on wondering what the hell is that noise only to check it all out looking to make sure no one else is around and crying then laughing and then swearing at myself for being so stupid. Yes the brain does not cope well with grief and either does our heart or soul my is broken beyond repair I feel. You see I had to end my husbands life with morphine I know he was in pain but in the end I did it every day I live with that vision it is hard road to recovery as a carer even life after. No one is there we struggle on our own pick ourself up push ourselves to the limit pretend every thing is ok. But our hearts are broken I at times find it difficult to breath wonder why Im even here. When is this ever going to end this sorrow when will i ever be happy again this is the brain doing overtime when we dont want it to.
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