Please help....

by Julie

I lost my husband a week ago to a massive heart attack. We have been together over 25 years and we have no children, just pets. We ran a business together but he ran the technical side and I did the customer service. I'm freaking out because I'm so overwhelmed with what I now am responsible for and figuring out how to do it all myself.

The day he passed away I was on the phone with clients, business as usual because I didn't want to cause mass panic to my clients. After a week of getting some sort of stability in the company I'm feeling panicky and can't sleep. I don't like to take any type of medication so am trying to deal with all of this with homeopathics and calming teas. I feel like I'm on the edge of a giant panic attack.

Has anyone else been through this? Can any one help or give advice?

I've lost over 10 pounds this week. I eat a little but my stomach is so upset I'm really not hungry. If I do eat I'm running to the bathroom with diarrhea.

I'm starting to feel like the walls are closing in.

Please help.


Comments for Please help....

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Feb 09, 2011
I'm right there with you
by: Lisa

Hi Julie, my husband died 1-26-11. We were married 20+ years, no kids, two dogs and a bird. I know exactly how you are feeling - one minute you feel certain you are strong enough to tackle the next piece of paperwork, and then....chest tightens, a sense of anxiety...but what? The worst has already happened so what is this feeling?

I think it's the sense of having so much to take care of and still feeling bewildered by this new world. You are not alone, you have kindred souls to help you find your way.

Deep breath yes, we will continue on - different people but we will continue.

Feb 09, 2011
So Sorry
by: Gail G.

Hello Julie:

So sorry for your loss. I can sort of relate to what is happening to you. I was with my lifemate 25 years and he died in his sleep. I woke up on Valentines Day and he was dead. That was the worse fear of mine because he was sick and well, long story short I was devastated. I too couldn't eat without either crying and feeling the guilt. This is all a part to grieve. You will go through a number of things but please seek help cause you will need it. I said I wouldn't need any help too but I had to or I was going to have a breakdown so my doctor put me on Zoloft and what a relief I have been on it 8 years now.

So please seek help and so glad you have pets they are such great medicine. Good luck and hope I can be of some help.

God Bless
Gail G.

Feb 09, 2011
hope this helps a little
by: lee ann

I hope this helps you. I lost my husband 3 weeks ago he had a massive heart attack 6 years ago and left him in a nursing home. I felt at the time it happened my whole world was coming down around me. I did the same as you no eating or sleeping. What I did was stopped and took time to breathe and let myself cry and held all of his stuff and cried some more until I thought there was no more tears. You must stop and let yourself grief. Your business will be fine and the people that use your business will understand for I have found that most people out there have lost someone they care for deeply and no there is a grieving process if you do not slow down everything that you and your husband worked will fall. Please take time to breathe and love him and in the end you and your business will survive.

Feb 08, 2011
take time
by: Brenda

Dearest Julie,
My name is Brenda. First of all, I have not gone through this type of loss. However, I have been a nurse for 28 yrs and have sat by the side of many, many people over the years, holding their hand as they have passed away and then stayed in contact with family afterwards. I have endured loss in my own life but not that of a spouse.
My heart grieves for you just hearing your story. I am concerned for YOU most of all right now because you have not allowed yourself any "down" time. You are trying to keep the business running and acting like everything is the same, but is is NOT. Your client base will probably be amazingly supportive to you in your time of need...if they only knew. You have no children so your business contacts may be where you find the help most needed right now. I know you want to remain professional and that is noble. But there are times in life when it is OK to let down a bit. You never know who is out there in your business world...there may be a client who is going through the very same thing or has gone through this and they will be able to give you the support you desperately need.
Is there anyone who can carry on the business for a week or so so you can take some time away? If not, can you just close it down for a few days? I think people would be more understanding of your need to close down for a few days than they would be of you carrying on as if nothing has changed.
Do you have a sister, brother, mother?? Someone who can give you support right now? A church? Pastor? There are grief support groups in most cities offered through Hospice or a Mental Health agency.
The panic attacks you are experiencing is your body's way of dealing with the huge intake of stress, grief and anxiety. It is a coping mechanism. The best way to deal with them is to deal with what is CAUSING them...and you already know what that is: grief & anxiety without an outlet.
As hard as it is right now, you must take care of yourself. Find a grief counselor. Face it head on. You are worth preserving and caring for and that is what your husband would want.
Pets are a great source of comfort. Spend time with them. Go for walks. Pray. Find comfort in knowing you are loved and Someone understands your pain.
Take a deep breath...cry as much as you need to...sleep when to someone...take more deep breaths, cry more, sleep more, talk more. Hug your pets. And again, TRY to take time away from work!!
I will keep you in my prayers.

Feb 08, 2011
One step one breath at a time...


I am so sorry for your loss but so glad that you found this site. Please take some time off now that things have settled. First off all the feelings that you have are "Normal" We have all felt them in the beginning so you will learn our motto one breath one step at a time. Please read what to expect and remember that no one follows the same path in grieving. It is so personal and individual. Yet coming here is the best thing that you could have done. It is like a life raft while trying to navigate the turbulent waters of grief. Please come here often and I do recommend the book "back to life" as pictured on the right. It will help you have an idea what to expect and how to begin the grieving process.

Feb 08, 2011
by: Eunice

I know some of how you're feeling, we had no children living at home, just a cat when my husband passed just this past November. suddenly, I'm alone in this big house basically by myself in a different state than where my family and friends live, I had confusing thoughts about whether to sell out and move or just stay here. This was "our" house and we had a lot of good memories in just 6 years. While I'm not familiar with running a business, I do well to keep tract of trying to stay on task in my house. For several weeks, I was physically unable to do anything, couldn't sleep, was tired all the time. While my husband's family basically went on with their life like nothing happened even though they lost their son and father. I got a notice in the mail about hospice counceling and started going to it, the first meeting was really rough, but there you can show all your feelings without worry about someone putting you down. I have also found that since I bought a notebook to make a "journal" and started writing in it about how my day was, how much I loved and missed him and how I was feeling, and that alone started making it easier to help me sleep. You have to take time for yourself, and work your way through grief. I just read a book of Finding your way through the wilderness of grief, which I found to be helpful.

Just remember to take it 1 day, 1 step, 1 breath.
My prayers go out to you, and you're not alone.

Feb 08, 2011
please help
by: jules

Julie - you have come to the right place, don't be hard on yourself- you need time to grieve - you need time to come to terms with what has happened to you, you need time to understand that you will never be the same person again.

Grief is like an illness - it takes hold of every part of your being - physically, mentally and spiritually. It might help you to find a grief counsellor, and talk to them, come on this site at any time of the day or night (if you are in the US -we here in Australia have daytime when you have night) so there is always someone there - sometimes you mightn't get answers straight away - but they will come.

Read what others on this site - especially under lost spouse or partner section - have to say, join the "grief club", be selfish, take the time you need to, the only person you have to be strong for is you.

Take comfort from this site, and the wonderful people on it - we know what you are going through, and we care -
every day - one step, one breath
take care

Feb 07, 2011
Please help
by: M Mack


I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It has only been one week and you need some time to grieve. This first step is different for everyone and you may not be READY to jump into work with both feet. Is there someone you can trust and depend on to keep things going for you temporarily? I was fortunate to have partners when my sweetheart passed away. Even so........there was no way I could function so soon after his death. You need support, time to meet your grief, time to be alone with yourself, confide in someone that knows more of your circumstances. Whatever you do you must go through the process, one breath, one step at a time. Please come here as often as you need to. So many of us suffer and return here for support. I have had terrible days, even weeks of anxiety.....sometimes so bad I couldn't even function to leave my house or get dressed. I know your business is necessary to pay the bills but without you, there is no business. Please get some help with work and take the time you need for your own sake. You have my prayers and I hope you continue to write. Believe me it's been my therapy for six months. God bless and hang in there one breath at a time.

Feb 07, 2011
by: Judith

Julie, first I'm sorry for your loss. Now Take a deep breath and calm yourself. What you are feeling is normal and you may want to consider taking a small amount of sedative to take the edge off for a small amount of time. Is their someone whom you can trust to take over for a little while to help you get your thoughts together and to grieve for your loss? It's really important that you be allowed to do this. Or tell your clients you need to take some time off to deal with this if you can.

I pray for your road to recovery in finding peace and acceptance.

My loss happened 5 months ago.

Feb 07, 2011
Me Too!!
by: TrishJ

Hi Julie~I live in the burbs of Chicago. I lost my husband 9 weeks ago. He was waiting on a heart transplant list through the University of Chicago~but his poor tired body just gave out. Although we knew how ill he was there was always that hope for transplant. I too am struggling. It's only been one week for you. Your entire system is in a state of shock. I think back to that first month (just 6 weeks ago) and I know my body was going on autopilot. I got a prescription for 15 Xanax from my doctor. I haven't used any since but I needed those to get me to sleep at night that first month. I only took 1/2 (2.5 mgs) but tried to go without for several nights. Your mind starts playing tricks on you (and the grief is almost unbearable as it is). I told my sister, "This is how they brain wash people. They get people who are at the lowest point of their lives then deprive them of sleep until they submit to their crazy ideas." You have to get some sleep. Your body will not work if you aren't getting the proper rest at night and your mind certainly won't work. I lost 18 pounds those first 6 weeks. I couldn't eat anything. I was getting furious with my friends and family who were trying to push food in my face. I was really a mess. You aren't in any position to concentrate on a business right now. I know you probably feel like you have to keep going but I think your clients would understand. It will be 10 weeks for me this coming Friday. I have just offered my services to a friend who is opening a new business but that will be on my terms (when I'm having a good day~when I'm available~I'm still having more bad days than good ones).

It's a scary time, financially, physically, mentally. I have to give up my home because I can't afford it on my own. I have to keep up my health though for the rest of my family.
Be good to yourself and try to take some time for you. You are grieving. It's almost like trying to bail water from a sinking boat with a teaspoon. You just can't do it alone. You will end up breaking down completely. This grief doesn't go away. It's a bumpy roller coaster ride that you can't avoid. Surround yourself with people who love you and understand. Yea......I've tried the teas too, Valerian Root, all that stuff. It really doesn't work. Alcohol makes it worse. Give your doctor a call and get just a very small amount of some mild sedative. You will be surprised to see how good you feel after a nights sleep. Hugs and God's blessings to you. We're all here for you.

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