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Grief Brain

Updated: Aug 26, 2022


Say What????? You read that right, Grief Brain.


You may be familiar with some of these scenarios; wandering around the house in a fog, loosing track of keys and time, going to the kitchen and not knowing why, needing to drive to a specific location and forgetting how to get there, sitting and staring for hours on end, reading the same paragraph over and over and over and still not comprehending, trying to remember an important date or not knowing what day of the week it is.


While anyone of us may experience one of the above scenarios and not think to much of it; pair the experience with the manifestations of grief like crying, rage, bitterness or guilt, and you have the perfect mess. This messy phenomenon is referred to as Grief Brain.


Grief Brain is the inability to focus on anything for any length of time, forgetfulness or racing thoughts. Grief Brain is the sensation of being in a fog or living in slow motion or living in a frenzy. Grief Brain is the desire to think clearly but grief clouds the thoughts. Grief Brain can cause great frustration or the opposite, an abundance of apathy. Regardless of your experience with Grief Brain, you are NOT going crazy and you are NOT alone. Actually, you are quite normal.


Remember a few weeks ago and we talked about grace? Grief Brain requires a lot of grace. Before you begin to spiral down into self- pity, self-condemnation or chastisement, think about what you are living. Someone very significant to you has just died. Take a few moments to ponder all this means for you. Most likely, your world has been turned upside down and inside out. Is there any wonder your thoughts are jumbled; your days are mixed up and your cell phone gets misplaced? Your life has drastically changed and it may take your brain time to catch up. Your brain may be telling you to slow down, feel the grief and rest your body. There is no need to panic, you are normal and so is grief brain. Allow yourself the grace to live with grief brain, listen to your intuition and let yourself BE.


Grief Brain eases over time as you begin to accept grief into your life. As you daily acknowledge the death and the many changes it brings, you will begin to think with more clarity and focus. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.


Some find it beneficial to have a notebook and pen handy. You can write down those important details that cannot be forgotten. When you feel ready, choose one entry to focus on and only one. While focusing on this one thing, don’t burden yourself with other details. You have written those details down.


If you want to rest for the day, then by all means, rest. You can rest with the assurance that you have recorded the important stuff in your notebook and you don’t need to cloud your thinking with those details.


Now, take a break, sit in your favorite spot, gently close down your eyes, slowly breathe deeply into your belly, in and out, over and over, give your grief brain a rest and think only of your breath. This is living with Grief in Life and you are doing it well.

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