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THE ABSENT-MINDED GRIEVER: DISTRACTED AFTER LOSS RACHEL WECKBACHER Before I lost my son, I was a fairly competent person. I have never met a person that has suffered through the grieving process and come out unchanged. Some grievers find themselves unable to listen to certain songs. Many grievers are forced to battle depression or PTSD. Some grievers cannot bear to be alone. And some grievers, like myself, find themselves completely distracted and unable to focus. I have driven home and not remembered the drive. I have arrived at the store only to completely forget why I drove there in the first place. I have forgotten words, names, and dates. My sister said to me last night, “Hey. Listen to me! And really listen, not ‘Rachel’ listen.” I have forgotten appointments and plans. I have arrived late more times than I care to remember. In a moment of stress, I actually backed quite slowly into a car that I would swear hadn’t been there a moment before. Most recently, I stood in the store desperately wracking my brain in an attempt to remember what I needed for my sister’s bridal shower. It wasn’t just one thing I couldn’t remember. My mind was blank. Losing a pregnancy gives you so much to think about. And losing a second trimester pregnancy after years of infertility gives you some very serious and specific questions. And most difficult to answer, of course, is “How do I live without my baby?” These questions swirl throughout my brain all day, every day. The questions have no real answers, and so they have no resolution. Who cares what that word is that I can’t remember or why I came to the grocery store? When my heart and mind are weighed down by grief and loss, and tough decisions, it’s awfully hard to focus on the mundane. Since I lost my son, it feels like I’m just bumbling my way through life, trying not to bump into anyone. I’ve become the Absent-Minded Griever. It seems to me that it would be easier if those of us who are grieving came with a warning label. “Hi! I’m Rachel. I’ve lost two babies in the last six months so I can’t even remember my middle name. My mind is a million miles away. Please be patient with me.” What would yours say?

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