Grief Turns You Stupid

I’m rarely at a loss for words even though I enjoy comfortable silences with people close to me. I can talk about most anything and I enjoy talking. I love hearing people’s thoughts on most everything and sharing my own opinions – on sports, politics, religion, and good movies. All of that stopped about a year ago.

A year ago this month, Bryan was finishing up the pre-testing to try and get on the kidney transplant list, we had gotten our marriage license, were planning for the wedding that next month, and trying desperately to live our lives as normally as possible. We were going to the Memphis Tigers football games, visiting with friends and family, and he was working. We were living our lives, but the strain of it occasionally snuck in.

Stress slowly eats your brain like some type of freaky, internal zombie. It also wears you out. I didn’t realize just how much until the first night I came home from the hospital after Bryan died. I crashed and slept solidly the entire night and most of the next morning.

Grief gladly ate the brain leftovers. I used to be able to multi-task with the best of them. I juggled multiple jobs and was able to keep up with everything. These days? I’m showered and deodorized. Some days that’s about all you’re getting out of me. Most people don’t realize they’re getting about half of me on any given day, though. That’s the funny thing about grief. It’s a silent enemy, gleefully tricking everyone into thinking things are back to normal. But they’re not. I vacillate between wanting to discuss politics to not giving a rat’s ass about it. Sports? I love watching the games, but I can no longer keep up with the players or the stats. I joke around at work, I teach my night class, I talk and laugh with my friends, but my brain is fuzzy. I wear out more easily than I used to. I prefer to just listen to people talk because I’m not always capable of carrying on a regular conversation.

The nice part about all of this is that it’s just temporary. I will get my brain back. I will be able to carry on a conversation without feeling worn slap out five minutes into it. I will be able to discuss sports and talk about things intelligently. I will be able to do the things I love to do. But for now, please give me a hug and don’t take it personally if I don’t talk much. Know that while it may not seem like it, I truly enjoy your company.

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