Grief impacts our brains

Grief can impact our ability to concentrate, make decisions, find things, or think clearly.

You may have heard of “baby brain,” where new parents experience memory lapses and absent-mindedness during early parenthood. Cognitive effects of grief are sometimes referred to as “grief brain” or “grief fog.” Grief can impact our ability to concentrate and make decisions. It can be difficult to think clearly and remember things. Items might be misplaced more often. Names forgotten. Tasks undone.

Be gentle and patient. Whether you are grieving or supporting someone who is grieving, understand that cognitive effects are normal in grief.

Headshot of Megan Devine

“If you think of the mind as having 100 circuits of energy, grief takes up 99 of those. Grief is like your brain turning this information over and over and over and trying to find a place where it fits. It’s not going to fit, but your mind is trying to make it so. It’s trying to make this story work out in a way that is acceptable. How do you make this death acceptable? You can’t, but your brain's working on it, which means that you have one unit of energy left for everything else."

Megan Devine, Psychotherapist and author of It's OK that You’re Not OK