top of page

Grief Brain Made Me Run A Red Light!

For anyone not familiar with the term "grief brain" I sincerely hope you never have to experience it. After losing Keven I was warned by parents who'd lost a child to overdose about this very real symptom of surviving a traumatic loss.


Earlier today I emailed the cherished leader of my writing group, Heidi, about a mistake I'd made and said something like, "forgive my brain, I'm not as sharp as I used to be". Then this happened...


After my daily walk with Chester B and Evo we were headed home in the car and came to the same intersection we cross daily. The signal was red so I stopped to wait for a green light. A moment later I realized I was driving through the red light! I had looked both ways (thankfully) and must have forgot that I was at a light. No harm done but this kind of stuff happens to me almost every day and its been 11 months now (as of tomorrow).


If you like scientific evidence and explanations of WHY this happens, here's the link a Discover Magazine article titled:


The Traumatic Loss of a Loved One is Like Experiencing a Brain Injury


Here is a quote from the article:


“Grieving is a protective process. It’s an evolutionary adaptation to help us survive in the face of emotional trauma.”


Then I saw this on Instagram written by a highly respected expert in dealing with grief, Megan Devine:


Grief impacts coordination. Your mind is so busy trying to make sense of a world that no longer makes sense, it's no wonder you're less coordinated — dropping things, knocking things over, accidentally bashing your knees, fingers, toes, or elbows, or just generally misjudging your spatial awareness. ⁣⁣


I can't wait to have time to read Megan's book cover to cover "Its Ok Not to be Ok", I've heard great things about it but have been too busy writing to read much these days (there is a light at the end of my tunnel!)


The photo below says it all. The big question is: How long does this @#&* last? At least a year, but how much longer? I'll let you know when I find out. Its different for everyone, my guess is it will take a few years for my brain to be back to normal, at which time the natural aging process may wreak havoc with my poor brain, so who knows!



Thanks for reading this - you all rock my world by sharing in my journey!


Photo Credit: Shoplaywood/Shutterstock)



6 Comments


Pat Repasi
Pat Repasi
Jul 05, 2022

Yep…do those things all the time!

Like

Elisabeth Piotelat
Elisabeth Piotelat
Jul 05, 2022

Thank you for this! I forgot to mention an adaptation of this paper in French that I wrote last February https://zazaa.blogspot.com/2022/02/deuil-et-cerveau.html

Like

I had not heard that term before. Clyde


Like

notimeformom1
notimeformom1
Jul 11, 2021

Wow!!! Thank you for sharing and writing about this topic, Barbara. There are times, even after 11 years that I do things that shock me. I am forgetful, even with things that I thought I would never forget. I know it's my grief brain, I know that part of me is just so overwhelmed that I don't think like I used to and making decisions has also become difficult. I noticed this early on in my loss, and some things have improved but not all. We all have to be gentle and patient with ourselves because the trauma we have been through is real, and very painful.

Like
Barbara Legere
Barbara Legere
Jul 12, 2021
Replying to

Pat, its been very difficult for me, but at least I know there's an explanation for it. Thanks for your comment!

Like
bottom of page