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thoughts on early grief "fog"?

Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2014

I'm new to this site and to my loss; my husband of 30+ years died on Sept 7 after being diagnosed with stage 4 larynx cancer on Aug 1. He'd been progressively hoarse and short of breath for a few months...we were unprepared for his advanced diagnosis and rapid 5 week decline. We decided to forego disfiguring surgery and radiation; instead we acknowledged his end was near, had hospice care at home for 2 weeks before his death. As anyone who is on this site can likely relate to, it was a devastatingly emotional, brave, loving, gut-wrenching, powerful transition for both of us. 

I'm very sad and I know I'm early in my grief. I feel many of the experiences others share here....loneliness, wanting solitude, going thru the motions at work and with well-meaning friends, sleep and appetite loss, triggers of tears several times a day, fearful of all the sudden responsibility (home management, finances) and crushingly missing my best friend......

Yet I don't experience a fog that others talk about. My thinking is quite clear. I haven't made any goofy decisions, missed any bills, screwed up at work.  Maybe others can share their experience with the fog of early grief to help me understand.....am I so fogged up I can't see or feel it?

many thanks - joey


grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

I didn't make any goofy decisions either, but there were times when I just wasn't fully present. On my first Christmas Eve I scraped my car on the corner of my garage. I just wasn't as focused as I should have been on driving. I think it was the emotions of the day. I have fibromyalgia and have dealt with what they call fibro fog for years. Grief just added to that I think. I also have some blanks in my memories from the early days. I think I just zoned out at the dinner after my husband's memorial service, too. I wouldn't worry about the fog if you haven't experienced it. We each find our own way to grieve. Maybe your's doesn't include foggy times. I was able to function, pay bills, etc. Many have commented on how well I coped with my husband's 6 year battle and death. The fog usually happened at home when I was alone. After the Christmas Eve accident, I made a point of being more focused when I drove. I'd learned that from the fibro fog but hadn't applied it to my grief fog. One of the many things I miss now was when my husband would look at me and say, "A little foggy today, dear?" He could almost always tell when I was a little SOL (sorry, out to lunch). Take care, Fay. 

Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2014

Thanks for your thoughts. Not being fully present describes it better....I kinda feel that not being fully present is a good thing, a protective mechanism from the massive force of acute grief.

Posts: 3
Joined: Aug 2013

I'm in that place, I wouldn't call it a fog either.  I may when this time becomes hind sight, I don't know.  I also would have told you just after my love died that I was not in shock, but I can now see I was.  Actually, I still am.  The knowledge of cancer in our lives was 8 months.  We did the sugery, chemo & radiation.  He was told he would have 8 months if he did nothing, turned out it was 8 months with all our efforts.  Now, I feel mostly empty.  I'm functioning, I suppose.  I am in a 13 week grief group program which is helping me be more aware.  my intellect tells me this is good, go through this ... My emotions think it's a racket devised by the tissue mKing companies.  Here nor there, each of us grieve & it is a personal process.  




Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2014

Peace_,    I'm truly sorry for your loss especially after supporting your loved one thru the oncology care, and it offering you no extended time together.

"Blah" is a descriptive moniker....it describes me many days.  Peace_Hope_Love is a place I'm heading.  Thanks for your perspective on fog.

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