Because of the intensity or unpredictable nature of your grief, you may find it hard to get your thoughts in order and may even wonder if you are losing your mind. However, grief often affects the ability to think clearly for a time.

Many people find they become confused and forgetful, and even getting a simple task done seems like a big hurdle. You may feel very indecisive, or you might make rash decisions.

If you can, it is best to put off any major decisions for a few months after a bereavement until you can think more clearly.

Tips for managing jumbled thoughts

  • Try not to make any significant changes for a while and take your time with decisions that do need to be made. People may hurry you to sort out clothes and personal items, or decide where you will live long-term. Don’t be rushed – you are already having to adjust to a huge change.
  • Ask a family member or friend to help you sort out paperwork. If you have school-age children, a fellow parent could help you keep up with school activities. Writing lists can also help you keep track of things.
  • If you are working, talk to your employer about how much time off you need or negotiate a temporary reduction of hours. Ask them to ensure that your job will be there for you – this will give you peace of mind.
  • Keep a journal. Putting your thoughts on paper can help you process the experience.

This information was last reviewed in April 2017
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