Friday, April 17, 2009

A Widow's Brain....

Dear Wonderful Widows!

When Anneke was eight, a year after Mike died, I dropped her off at her Tae Kwon Do lesson and I was so relieved to have time alone that I forgot to pick her up. Forty-five minutes later as I unpacked the groceries she walked in the house having gotten a ride home from her instructor. She was incredulous and outraged. “You forgot me! You actually forgot me!” I was speechless. My daughter who forgives almost anything did not forgive this for a long time. A child who has been abandoned by her father does not take well to being forgotten by her mother. I had visions of the instructor reporting me to DSS.

Even worse, a year later I forgot her again. She was at summer camp. I remembered 45 minutes after closing time and burned rubber to get there. The fact that I almost got a speeding ticket did not make up for my forgetting. She is now 15 and still talks about being forgotten. I tell her that widowhood messes with a woman’s brain. That was my excuse for years and nine years later, it still comes in handy.

Widowhood does mess with ones brain.

That was also the year that I lost the telephone while it was in my hand. It rang and rang, and everywhere I looked I heard it loud and clear. The bathroom, the kitchen, under the couch…Only when I finally put it down did I realize that it had been in my hand.

It was like looking for my glasses when they were on my head. Once I had 2 pairs of glasses on the top of my head.
I have learned not to be amazed at what widowhood does to us.

But is surely messes with our brains.

Mie Elmhirst. Widows Breathe


  1. I am learning that very quickly. And it's not a good thing. Does it ever get any better ????

  2. I so agree with you here. I have always been one who has been in control and who has a plan for everything. NOW, I'm lucky to remember where I live. So many of the daily things we do, I still find that my body does them without me even realizing that I had been there. I guess that is one of God's designs to get us through this. Our bodies work, but our hearts and minds stand still. When there is something taking place that is important, I have to call my girlfriend so she will continue to remind me. I finally got our taxes done, yes, on the 15th. My husband ALWAYS had them done before the second week in January and this is the first year in my life that I had waited until the very last day. I don't know if anything will ever get better. Hugs to all of you, Lorry

  3. I totally agree. I just thought I was losing my mind. Widow's brain...finally a name. It's been almost 5 years that I lost Jim to brain cancer and I sometimes think it gets easier but it's still the same. Definitely time stands still I still think I'm 51 but according to the calendar I turned 56...just can't get it in my head.
    Thanks for posting.

  4. Thank you Mie! Yes, "widow's brain", I love it. Some times the kinds of forgetting can be funny, but at others it can be embarassing as when I temporarily forgot the name of a new friend who helped me during my first yr. of grieving losing Ray! Ugh! The fog is not as dense now (I'm going on 2 yrs.), but it's still here ....