Brain Problems

I’ve read articles where experts talk about the affects of grief on the brain. The idea that people in the depths of grief don’t have the same brain function as they did before.

There’s truth to that.

I can’t speak to the science. I have no idea. I can speak to my everyday brain.

I have always been a scheduled person. I want plan out days, weeks, months.

I was eager to plan holiday celebrations.

I loved planning vacations.

I was on time and kept my life and my family’s life in order.

Man, that’s not how my life runs anymore.

I have to calendar every event. If it’s not in my phone, I won’t remember it.

Planning activities feel so overwhelming. If it’s more than three steps then it’s too much for me. We’re winging way more than we used to.

The number of times I open my computer to look something up, or turn on my phone, or walk into another room and completely forget what I’m doing. It’s UNREAL! Things are gone from my brain in seconds! I mean, I did that occasionally before, but now, it’s off the charts.

Between Lance and I, we pull off vacations together, each taking a part. Even then, it’s not planned out like it once was.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that my brain is constantly trying to process grief. Every minute, it’s working through the trauma, the sadness, the missing, the strategies to get my family and me through this hard life.

This leaves a lot less brain power for the everyday.

When people say that grief affects every aspect of people’s lives, it’s true.

Down to everyday functioning.

Down to brain power.

Mental Side Effects: The Impossible is Always Possible

Rory’s death is statistically not great.

Her age.

How she died.

All of it.

It makes everyday feel like anything can happen.

Since her death, I panic a lot. Especially about my family.

When the boys sleep in longer than they usually do, I creep toward their door.

With every step I’m praying.

Please let him be alive.

Please let him be alive.

Please let him be alive.

I can’t breathe again until I see their chests going up and down.

Today, Chiler went outside and was lying on the trampoline.

In my head I kept trying to convince myself.

He’s fine.

He’s just enjoying the outside.

I couldn’t stand it.

I had to go outside and make sure he was okay.

Praying the whole way.

Like We Used To

I had a dream last night. Something that doesn’t happen often.

Rory was there. I recognized her but she felt a little older.

We pressed our foreheads together, touching our nose.

Beauty. Joy.

Then we pulled away. She ran her index finger down my nose and smiled.

She said, “Just like you used to.”

I stayed in that moment with her face glowing at mine.

Perfection.

It’s How the Brain Deals

A while ago Lance and I were talking with our grief counselor. We were sharing our fear that Rory isn’t always going to be at the forefront of our brains. That there may come a time that we won’t think of her as often.

He told us it’s going to happen.

This is our brain’s coping mechanism.

There will be nothing new with Rory.

No new events.

No doctors appointments.

No homework.

No tucking her in at night.

Nothing.

All that’s left is memories.

And that’s how our brain will treat it.

Memories.

Instead our brains will focus on current events.

The boys’ homework.

Their dental appointments.

Their activities.

Their tuck ins.

Their worries.

That all moves to the forefront.

Rory memories aren’t gone. But they’re filed away.

I can’t resent my brain. It’s helping me cope and function.

But I hate that there’s nothing new.

I wish there was a new event. A new memory I can create with Rory.