When I first heard the term “widow brain,” or “widows fog,” I just assumed that widow brain was a difficult experience during only the earliest months of grief. As I have read more about the topic, I’ve been surprised to learn that the human brain permanently changes after a major trauma, and a highly stressful event such as the death of a spouse is very traumatic.
I can honestly say after almost two complete years on this dreadfully hard journey, that my brain just simply isn’t the same. It is kind of strange. I don’t recall simple details as well as I used to, like where I put household objects or paperwork. I get overwhelmed more easily by too many people talking at once along with music in the background or loud noises. I used to be the queen of multi-tasking and now I’m not so good at it anymore. If people ask me too many questions at once, I get overwhelmed by too many decisions to make and kinda blank out a bit or pause. Sometimes it feels like my head aches from over use or from a particularly hard day of grief and crying.
Recently, I had a really strange experience. Another trigger and trauma moment. I hadn’t been into our pharmacy in several years because we were using the covid curbside service. Sadly I showed up to discover that the service had been discontinued. This pharmacy is within the local medical facility where I had always run errands to pick up my sweetheart’s routine medications. The pharmacist that works there knew my husband and I both and had seen me at my worst at a curbside pick up just shortly after my hubby’s death. It is the month of his home going to heaven, and everything about the season changing reminds me of that awful event my life.
And worst of all…..that dreadful smell. The hospital smell of sterile, potent chemicals and circulated air overwhelmed me as I stepped through the front door. Now whenever I smell it, it smells like death. It was so strong that I couldn’t escape it even if I covered my nose with my shirt. My husband died in the emergency room. I detest the sterile hospital smell. Needless to say, I had what I would call a mini melt down and the tears flowed for so long once I climbed back into my vehicle.
I was shocked with how my mind functioned for the rest of the day. I was anxious and distracted and found it difficult to settle into any task. In conversation I kept saying the wrong words without realizing. A thick fog settled into my brain and it literally hurt my head to try to think through this fog. I couldn’t remember the simplest things. Widow brain is crazy.
Now what I want to know, is are there exercises or things I could be doing, eating, practicing, reading, etc….that could help heal my exhausted mind?
I know I’m not the only precious widow to experience this. So please know you aren’t alone if you are struggling with “widow brain.”
Do you have any stories or examples of how you have experienced this in your grief journey?
In Hope & Prayers,
This Widow Mama
Do you know someone ready to make a meaningful impact this holiday season? Join us in embracing the true spirit of giving by getting involved in the Hope for Widows Foundation’s ‘Bring Hope Holiday Assistance Program’ virtual initiative, now in its third year. This program directly supports widows who may be struggling to provide gifts and essentials for their children during the holiday season.
For many widows facing financial challenges, the choice between keeping the lights on, putting food on the table, and buying presents can be heart-wrenching. When you add the responsibilities of solo parenting, the weight of grief, and the toll it takes emotionally and physically, the burden becomes even greater.
To become a sponsor and access more information, and details visit the following link: https://bit.ly/3ZROBWo
For our widows/hope sisters in the community, please stay tuned as we’ll be sending out widow applications for sponsorship this holiday season very soon.
Let’s come together and make a difference in the lives of those who need it most.