My life changed radically when my husband died 12/30/23.

Discussion in 'Loss of Spouse' started by Stewhele, Feb 2, 2024.

  1. Stewhele

    Stewhele New Member

    I had to be admitted in the hospital when I leaned from the doctor that my precious did not make it. God took him an hour. For my husband, I was thankful to God. He did not suffer like so many do.

    Now I am left on my own… I have never been alone. He was my rock. I continue to have panic attacks since his death. My diagnosis from 5 days in the hospital was Broken Heart Syndrome…a heart event but no blockages but I worry I could have a real attack from all this anxiety from losing my husband and my heart concerns.

    Has anyone ever experienced panic attacks after your loss? What did you do to get over this hurdle?
  2. Calilove

    Calilove Member

    Hi, I lost my wife of 18 years. On December 10th of 2023, apparently suicide I still don’t believe that she intended for it to go fully thru with it, she left soo many sings that she was planning her days to come and getting the kids Christmas list together. But it did happened are MY grief is kind of like yours, I get those attacks feels like my head is going to explode my heart hurts my breathing slows, hard to breathe and uncomfortable crying non stop. They last me from a day and a half to 3 days, it’s hard to even leave my room when it happens, I have been paying attention to the pain, when it start to come and it doesn’t get better but it gives me the knowledge I need to help myself. To know what to do, is hard cuz nothing will stop it or take it away, but at least you can cope a lil better. For me talking to ppl helps or coming here and doing just this, helps tremendously. It is my second day in my room. But I feel like I can make it back to the world sometime today, it feels like it’s going away, I also pay attention to how far apart they come, mine come like clockwork every 18 to 20 days apart, just the attacks. The grief lives with me now, every day. The attacks are what is scary at first I didn’t know what was going on, I felt like I was dying of grief and I started doing research on grief brokenhearted syndrome has not been proven, but it is real. The Symptoms of depression and brokenhearted are similar. The pain is still unbelievable. Reach out and talk, that is the best advice I have. It helps me most of the time. And stay busy with your mind, and I check my emails regularly so if you need some to talk to or someone to just listen to you, I’m here. I have lost soo many friends in record time, only ppl that have gone thru or are going thru our grief will be able to understand. No two griefs are the same we all have our own grief that hits us differently, but we can understand each others grief and pain. and I’m sorry for your loss, I can’t promise you that everything will be okay, but I do know that we will get thru it. With a lil bit of help.
  3. MICHAEL2023

    MICHAEL2023 Well-Known Member

    My condolences to both of you for your losses. Please know that you are not alone. There's a whole lot of us that are in pain and grief as well. My grief journey so far has taught me to be kinder to people, because surely, many of them are going through grief as well.

    Bless your hearts.

    ~ Michael
  4. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    Cal and Michael, can I ask what part of Calif are you both from? I'm in Northern Calif.

    My name is Karen. I lost my husband of 4O years to cancer. From what you both are experiencing I can testify a broken heart is very bad on your body. I was having dizziness attacks that became worse over a years time. My cardiologist told me grief puts stress on ones heart muscle. Turns out I had blockage and now wearing a pacemaker. I have never had heart problems. So, my advice to you both is beware of what's happening, get help.
    Me I didn't care if I lived or died, ate sugar and carbs, lost 20 lbs, drank every day. I never thought l was in so much stress and shock that would damage my heart. Well, it did.
    So, to let you know profound grief is a killer. Take care of yourselves, you are worth it. Karen

    QUOTE="MICHAEL2023, post: 35490, member: 31271"]My condolences to both of you for your losses. Please know that you are not alone. There's a whole lot of us that are in pain and grief as well. My grief journey so far has taught me to be kinder to people, because surely, many of them are going through grief as well.

    Bless your hearts.

    ~ Michael[/QUOTE]
  5. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    My post is to Stewhele also as well as anyone who is experiencing profound physical stress from severe grief. It's been three years for me and the grief has soften. Time does help that. But, I'm still wondering what is my purpose now. I just wake up and say good morning to my husband, help me get through my day. That helps. Thanks for reading and keep the faith you will be ok. Karen
  6. MICHAEL2023

    MICHAEL2023 Well-Known Member

    I'm in Fresno
  7. Calilove

    Calilove Member

    I’m in Oceanside
  8. cjpines

    cjpines Well-Known Member

    I’m in Oceanside[/QUOTE]
    Thank you. I'm between Sacramento and Tahoe in Sierra foothills. It's not very often the last 3 years I've been on this site, that anyone here lives in Calif. Most are in the mid to East Coast.
  9. Calilove

    Calilove Member

    Does the pain from your grief subsides dramatically with time? The dizzyness and fading of vision is the the part that is telling my brain to turn all that to anger. Or maybe it’s the whole process. These attacks are coming more often and I feel like it’s turning me bitter and wanting to push every single person in my life away.
    cjpines and MICHAEL2023 like this.
  10. MICHAEL2023

    MICHAEL2023 Well-Known Member

    I have a long history of panic attacks. I have treated them successfully with medication right up until the day Ed died, they immediately returned with a force I didn't recognize. My old version of panic attacks centered around my fear and breathing, increased heart rate, etc. After Ed died they were more like a car that kept running back and forth over my abdomen every five minutes or so, awful. I can hardly eat anything at the moment. Sadly, the only remedy was to add a new med and increase an old one. I absolutely could not function right now without medication. The plan is to get off the meds, but not quite yet.

    The grief does change over time, it's true, but it will always live with us; in many ways.


    ~ Michael
    Chris M 2000 and cjpines like this.
  11. Sweetcole

    Sweetcole Well-Known Member

    Hey how are you doing? I'm sorry for your loss and the fact that you had to be put in the hospital. Have things been better for you? I use to have panic attacks. They had my chest hurting so bad. I use to take medication for them. I haven't dealt with them in a while. I still feel the soreness in my chest every now and then. I pray you continue to get stronger.
    Patti 67 and MICHAEL2023 like this.
  12. esk1007

    esk1007 Member

    Hello, This is a club I never wanted to belong to; but here we are. I'm sorry you are now having to deal with the panic as well. My husband of 45 years died a little less than six months ago. It's a true wilderness. The most difficult thing at this point is trying to re-define myself without the familiar context of a life-long partner. I find it comforting NOT to "forget" and "move forward". Rather, I find it comforting to think that just as we were connected when he was in his body, we can also be connected now that he is "out of his body". I just have to make it my business to try and understand what that means. You are not alone; this life was never meant to be more than a brief stay; we are all connected in this way.
    Patti 67, Jeffry, MICHAEL2023 and 2 others like this.
  13. Rose69

    Rose69 Well-Known Member

    Hello 1007,first of all I am sorry for your loss, we can all empathize with you here, you will find much comfort sharing with us. I suddenly, unexpectedly lost my fit, healthy and active husband at only 57yrs of age due to a heart attack , after 25 yrs of marriage, and I still can't belive it's true. You describe well how you gain comfort from the fact that you are still "connected" even though your beloved is "out of his body", this is exactly how I manage to go on.
    Sending you strength.
  14. Sparky1966

    Sparky1966 Member

    My condolences to all of you on your losses. I lost my wife of 34 years on 12/30/2023 to a pulmonary embolism and a heart attack. Since then, I have experienced occasional panic attacks. However, I have been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks all of my life. Luckily, I can recognize the symptoms and have found that deep breathing techniques and meditation help immensely. I have also found that if you need assistance in starting this, there are many guided meditations on YouTube that help me immensely.
    Patti 67 and Rose69 like this.
  15. esk1007

    esk1007 Member

    Since my husband's death six months ago I have been crying constantly. I have even wondered how is it possible to have this--apparently--inexhaustible amount of fluid. (I am not, normally, easily brought to tears). A few nights ago I experienced a dizzy spell with some slight nausea (?maybe panic?). This is very different for me, and it frightened me. And so I resolved to stop this constant crying. When I did that, I felt something like a disloyalty. I felt I was moving away from my promise to him that he would always "be in my heart". I know how irrational this is. I know he would never want me to live this way. But, I see that my tears work to make me feel "emotionally" connected to him.
  16. Jeffry

    Jeffry Well-Known Member

    esk: You have experienced probably the greatest loss of your life and are understandably struggling to come to terms with that loss. I am troubled by what seems to be the direction that you are potentially imposing upon yourself. You talk of needing to "re-define" yourself, but then immediately reverse yourself when you say how much it comforts you NOT to forget and how comforting it would be to be connected when he is "out of his body". You further express a fear of disloyalty if your tears subside and fear of moving away from your promise that he would always "be in my heart".

    Frankly, you don't sound like someone who is ready to re-define herself. You were together with him for 45 years while he was "in his body", and his spiritual presence will remain with you while he is "out of his body". Be careful of taking actions too soon to re-define yourself, whatever that means. Give considerable thought to what 45 years have meant to you. Don't follow too soon what sounds to me like advice from "well-meaning" others if you are not ready. I am 78 and lost my wife six years ago after many years together, much like your situation. My decision to remain devoted to her and even strengthen the memories and love that we will share forever has meant everything to me. All the times that we used the word "forever" with each other have never needed to be "re-defined". She always was and still is "forever in my heart". When I take my last breath, I will not have to fear explaining myself when I see her again.
  17. esk1007

    esk1007 Member

    Thank you, Jeffry. I very much appreciate your thoughts and your response. Who I grew to be, how I learned to love--everything--happened within a context. That context was my relationship with my (living) husband. It was a perfect fit. We were very close. Now that context is gone, and so everything I have "grown around" or "accommodated to" is gone as well. It's a sense of incompleteness, of not belonging. I took care of my husband during the last years of his life. He was completely dependent on me. I have this irrational belief that I could have done more to keep him alive and healthy. I feel very responsible--for everything. I feel I abandoned him by allowing him to die. I believe he thought I could have saved him. I believe he thought I could have corrected things--like I corrected everything else. I can't tolerate that in the end, I was impotent and unable to save him. Moving away from the grief feels like added abandonment. Even while I think this, I know it is irrational. But reason seems to have nothing to do with how strong these feelings are.
  18. Rose69

    Rose69 Well-Known Member

    @esk1007, these words you have written could have been written by me. I don't know how many times these thoughts have been going through my mind since that fateful day in Nov 2020,when my husband, my children's dad, was suddenly taken away from us. I relate to everything you say, sharing on this forum for the past two years has helped me so much, understanding that these are common thoughts and feelings when grieving a soulmate who was a part of you (still is), leaving us feeling like an empty shell, without its fruit, living in a world where time seems to have stopped, but is moving on for everyone else. I feel I'm living a "Fake" life, in an unreal dimension, it's so difficult to describe. I still cry out for him, asking where he is, I know he's in my soul, I just can't see him physically. It's a different way of living my life with him, this is how I see it, this is what gives me strength to go on. I still cry everyday, any little trigger will have me in tears, even just something trivial like loading my shopping bags at the supermarket on my own, instead of doing it together or cooking something he would have loved, driving along a particular road we would go together, the list is endless. Of course, we don't need triggers, it's a 24 hour trigger (at times there are "extreme triggers") , my C is constantly in my thoughts whatever I'm doing, hence the first thought when I wake up is him and the last one at night at bedtime (when I manage to get some sleep).
  19. dendi

    dendi New Member

    I am new here, but I feel I am in the right place when I read your stories. My sincere condolences for your losses.

    I lost my wife of 47 years on December 30, 2023. My story is one of extreme happiness turning to the opposite of sadness when, five years ago, she had a massive brain hemorrhage that left her paralyzed and unable to eat or speak. That year, I went through a yearlong period of despair and mourning for the life we both lost. Then, I realized that all we had to do was redefine the meaning of "being there" and we set out to create a new life where we could continue to be together and experience some joy. Her mental capacity and cognitive function were unaffected, and we focus finding new communication methods. Life was tough, and I became the sole caregiver starting in the Pandemic years. Our grown son moved back into town with his new wife, and we were able to witness the birth of our grandson, along with experiencing many other significant events in her life. I rationalized that I would not be able to live with myself if I did not take care of her and decided that the preceding 45 years were more significant, in balance than the present.

    Having grieved for my previous life, I thought I was through with this sorrow, but I was so wrong. The day before Christmas, she contracted a respiratory virus that put her in the hospital. Sadly, she was not able to fight the disease and passed a week later. The pain and shock I felt were so much more intense than what I had already experienced. Her loss has shaken everything that defines me. My only solace is that she is no longer suffering from the ravages of her painful bodily existence and that I had that time to be with her to share our love for each other and precious time to reflect on how lucky we felt about it.

    People ask me how I am doing and if I am taking care of myself. I tell them that I am getting better but not doing so well. I try to start my day by listening to our music and crying to feel like I did when we cried with sadness or laughter together. It makes me feel like she is and will always be with me. After that, I feel ready to take care of myself and be there for my family who still need me. I don't know how long I will continue to do this but it seems to help me take it day by day. Maybe, at some point, I won't need this routine.

    I am trying not to give in to grief but rather work with it and enjoy it for what it, after all, is for me. A new definition of life and of "being there".

    My heart goes out to all of you, I wish you the courage to continue to love and live.
    Jeffry, Patti 67, MICHAEL2023 and 3 others like this.
  20. Countess Joy

    Countess Joy Well-Known Member

    The physical energy your grief currently requires of you will diminish over time. It won't use as much of your life force to get through the day (minute, hour, breath) It won't weigh as heavily on your soul. Longing becomes less foreign. You'll become familiar with your own grief journey.
    You can't get it wrong, it's not a straight line, don't let anyone tell you you're grieving wrong.
    And I'd like to add that anger is perfectly normal in grief. This whole death thing's fucked up. It's isolating in a way no one can understand. It's not that others aren't there, it's that Kenn's isn't here. It's the Kenn sized whole in my day, in my bed, in my heart... but he's returning in my laugh, in the delight of bulbs emerging in a cold damp garden. I miss him more in Spring, I think. Although Autumn's full of reminders as well. Summer fruit and playing his horn on New Year's eve. He's everywhere and nowhere. Bittersweet.

    Be gentle with yourselves, grief warriors. It's a dizzying world out there. What an interesting time we're grieving in.