Grief impacts short-term memory. This is another super common, yet seldom discussed physical side effect of grief.
There’s a clumsy forgetfulness, or absentmindedness, that often comes with grief.
No matter how your short-term memory worked before your loss, it has likely changed in your grief. Forgetting names, misplacing things, missing appointments, not being able to remember if you fed yourself or gave the dog their medicine this morning—all normal. It’s as if remembering all those little details are “extra” expenses, and your mind can’t afford them.
This is another of grief’s physical side effects that does seem to consistently improve over time. As you live further from the event of your loss, your mind will make more space for memory.
In the meantime, leaving yourself multiple reminders and notes is a good way to outsource your memory. Your need for multiple sticky notes, timers, and alarms is not a sign that you aren’t doing well. It’s proof that you’re doing whatever you can to support your mind and make things easier for yourself.
How about you? Have you noticed any changes to your memory? Let us know in the comments.
Bonus question: What do you do to help yourself with the forgetfulness or absentmindedness that often comes with grief? Other folks in this community can use your ideas.
Wishing for some company inside your grief? Now, as always, the very best place I know to connect YOU with other grieving folks is inside the Writing Your Grief community. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there is always someone there: when you feel invisible inside your grief, these folks see you. When your friends have their own sh*t to deal with and you can’t lean on them, your WYG family is there. I mean it folks, this community is unlike any other place – online or IRL. The September session is open now and we’ve got room for you. Follow this link to join us, and pass it on.