I walked through the glass doors of my office. I went straight into the kitchen to put my yogurt in the refrigerator. I looked down at my hand and it wasn’t there. I carry a red Lululemon bag with my yogurt, granola bar, and and a few other things that I bring to eat at work every day. It was not hanging off my arm like it usually was.
I thought I had it with me but I must have left it in my car. I ran down the three flights of stairs and out into the freezing cold and looked inside my car. It wasn’t there either. I jumped into the driver’s seat and drove the five minute commute back to my house. I need food during the day or I don’t function well.
I ran into my house and there it was on my kitchen counter – my red bag. I totally thought I had taken it.
I know what you’re thinking – we all do that. We misplace our keys, look for our phones while they are in our hands, and sunglasses that are on our heads. I’m not unusual.
For me it is not just those typical things.
My boyfriend tells me that we have spoken about something that I just cannot remember. My boss asks if I had taken care of something 24 hours earlier, and I have to think for a minute whether I did or not (thankfully I write everything down). Friends call me and I don’t remember to call back. I have a very hard time multi-tasking.
No, I don’t think I have some dreaded disease (I will not allow my mind to wander like that).
What I do think I have is memory loss due to grief. I have read articles on it and they all say the same thing. It is very common. Going through a tragedy and grieving can affect your short term memory. They say it can last up to a few years.
In the beginning, I did not know that this was typical. My brain did not seem to be working the way it used to, and that was scary. I didn’t understand it. But I knew that I had so much on my mind that it was difficult to keep it all straight.
I am past the five year mark, and no longer in the grieving stage. My memory has come back to some extent over the last few years, but I am still quite forgetful. Those who know me best will say that I have always been a little scattered (don’t think I don’t know that you say it behind my back :)-) . I admit that they are partially correct. But during those first few years I couldn’t keep anything straight. Right now I still think my memory is worse than it was before Howie died.
It is comforting to know that I am not alone. That others have felt this, and still feel it. I wanted to share my experience in the hopes of bringing comfort to someone else who may be feeling this. You are not going crazy. It happens to many of us.
If the worst thing is having to drive back home for my yogurt – I’ll take it.