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Widow Brain
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022 3:57 PM
Joined: 12/21/2018
Posts: 1432

Last week-ish I posted:

I am experiencing some minor physical symptoms that I am attributing to the grief. For example, headaches, forgetfulness, scattered thoughts, even chest pain. Although I attribute the symptoms to my grief, I will see my doctor Friday for the opinion of a medical professional. See the original post at


I saw the doctor on Friday as scheduled. He probed in detail regarding the chest pain. Based on my responses, neither of us is worried about heart problems. The doctor explained the forgetfulness and scattered thoughts are likely because my husband is always on my mind and I am processing my grief. Because my mind is so focused on DH, everything else is getting less brain energy, hence the scattered thinking. He did not call it widow brain, but my symptoms seem to be common after the death of a loved one.

Although widow brain doesn't seem to be a medical term, it is a real thing.

Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022 4:02 PM
Joined: 12/27/2017
Posts: 458

LT, I have this too...  Today, for example, I sat down to write some thank you notes.  I got two done.  I have the attention span of a gnat.  The week DH died, I had a scratchy throat and my chest hurt too; I took a Covid test but it was "Widow Brain".
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022 6:37 PM
Joined: 6/27/2019
Posts: 67

Widower brain exists as well. I was glad to see that it exists, because I was afraid that I was coming down with dementia after DW passed away. I became more than usually absent-minded and struggled to remember words. Anyway, it's getting better, or I think it is.
Quilting brings calm
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022 6:41 PM
Joined: 10/16/2020
Posts: 1110

I have heard that widows/ widowers should not make major life decisions( retiring. Selling the house, etc) for  at least six months after they lose their spouse.  I’ve always thought it’s because you don’t think clearly for several months.  So I think you can look forward to clearer thinking over the winter.
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2022 6:48 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 6071

Lady, I'm glad they found nothing wrong physically. I don't know what it's like losing a spouse, but I'm sure it takes time to be living again.
Posted: Friday, May 20, 2022 7:53 PM
Joined: 7/9/2020
Posts: 63

The recommendation to avoid making major decisions or changes for at least six months is a good one. When my father died, my mother quit her job, sold their home, took social security, moved to another city with one of my siblings and made a big”investment” in their new business, all within a few months. It was a disaster, financially and emotionally.