A usual conversation at our house would go something like this:
Todd: "The other day, it was such a pretty day, I was driving on Keene, way out past Catnip Hill. I actually gave the cats catnip last night and you should have seen them. Did you see where..." (silence)
Me: "You were talking about the pretty drive on Keene."
So many times Todd would be telling a story and get off track, usually because he was using such great detail I could visualize his every event. When he would lose track of what he was talking about he would just say "squirrel" and we would both laugh. He joked about me being able to help him backtrack so he could finish a story.
Well, HE would be laughing hysterically now. I cannot stay focused on anything. Words, tasks, driving directions, you name it, I am like the cat chasing a laser.
At Todd's celebration of life, the father of one of Todd's good friends told me "the first year is like a fog, you will have trouble focusing on things." At that time, I couldn't really relate because I had been so focused on just getting through the first week without Todd. A couple months later, a good friend of mine put a book in my mailbox. She shared that a friend of hers in somewhat of a similar situation found the book helpful.
Your Grief, Your Way. by Shelby Forsythia
I briefly scanned the book and opened right to page 114 where it states:
"Grief is an extremely emotional experience. It also does a number on your brain." -Barbara Fane
"Grief brain" is a very real side effect of grief. Forgetfulness, racing thoughts, feeling foggy or numb are commonly reported experiences after loss of a loved one. If you feel you brain is at maximum capacity or has gone AWOL, you are not alone. Be gentle with yourself and know that you're not crazy, you're just grieving."
This couldn't have happened at a better time. I had about five different house projects going on at once, was camping several times a month, leaving projects hanging, and decided to get a job. This book, just that one page, page 114, helped me in so many ways.
I realized that any job would help be get some structure by actually having to use a calendar. However, I needed a job that didn't require me to think too much outside of the 20-25 hours I worked. For 29 years I had been loving a job that required me to think about plans, kids, and staff 24/7. Clearly, I am not ready for any job that requires that much focus, and that is ok!
I realized that while pandemic life made it easy to do home improvement projects, even starting several projects at once, I wasn't as efficient at completing projects as I had been in the past, and that is ok!
I realized that there will be days that getting out of bed, moving to the couch, and watching Netflix all day is all I can seem to do, and that is ok!
I realized that there are times when I feel I'm sailing smoothly through the day then a memory of Todd hits me like a Mack Truck and all I can do is cry, and that is ok!
All in all this one page helped me "be gentle" with myself. The things listed above are all things that I would consider "not normal" for me, for how I used to be. However, this is my new normal, for now, and that is ok!