Everyone has at one time or another walked into their kitchen and just stood there wondering … what did I come into this room for? When you have experienced the death of someone close to you, the stress of the loss can make that “what am I doing” feeling such a frequent companion that you begin to wonder if you are “losing it.”
You pick up a book or a magazine to read and your eyes go over the words but there is no connection to your mind. You have no idea what you just read. It seems like nothing is where it belongs. You can’t find the keys to the car, your glasses, or the cup of coffee you were just drinking a minute ago. Grief does strange things to people. But this new forgetful, can’t-think-straight person is not you forever. It’s just you for now.
While you are in this overwhelmed foggy state of grief, try to lean in and give yourself a break. Make the decisions you must and put the others on the back burner. Make a drop zone near where you enter the house and try to leave keys, your sunglasses, your cell phone and maybe the unread mail right there in the zone. That way you will have one space to look for things.
Some folks find it helpful to use their phone or voice assistant (like Siri or Alexa) to remind them of important appointments. Many find it helpful to be more structured than usual. Go to bed on schedule and wake on schedule. Make your coffee and make your to do list first thing in the morning. In the evening, before you call it a day, check that list. If there are things that you didn’t get done just move them forward to tomorrow’s list and let go. Before you go to bed, do something for yourself. Maybe you make a cup of herbal tea and have nice soak in the tub, listen to your favorite music, work on a puzzle, or just unwind and clear your mind for a good night’s rest.
Although it might seem like a good time to have a night-cap, experts tell us alcohol really isn’t conducive to sound sleep. It might be better to indulge a few hours before bedtime rather than just before you turn in for the night. It’s also tempting to drift off to sleep with the T.V. on. But that’s really not a good habit to adopt. Instead, try having your voice assistant play a restful meditation to help you sleep. Getting proper rest is an excellent treatment for the fog of grief.
Relieve yourself of some of your chores. Relax your housekeeping or yard maintenance standards just a bit. You can return to your usual higher standards when you are on a more even keel in a few weeks or months. Be kind to you.
The fog will lift. You will be more like your old self again. You are not losing it, you are grieving.