My lovely husband George died on the 29 November 2018. He had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma just under 6 weeks earlier, but subsequently died of a blood clot which I am finding it really hard to deal with. I am beginning to feel really anxious and panicky, especially about not seeing my lovely George again. I cry all of the time and do not want to be away from home for too long as I get really agitated and need to be back near George (his ashes are in our bedroom). Is this normal behaviour after 4 weeks? I am meant to be going to a pantomime on Sunday. The theatre is about 14 miles from my home and I am really dreading it. The last time I went to the theatre George was with me - how do I cope with all of this?

There’s nothing abnormal about panic attacks and anxiety after such a Traumatic event. Most of us have probably suffered in similar ways over the weeks and months.
Nothing in my life had prepared me for how I would feel and like most people I doubted my ability to cope.
I’ve pushed myself to do a variety of things and I’m going to a pantomime on Monday with six grandchildren. My wife used to go and now they insist I go. Last week I went to my first ever Nativity concert. It makes it harder knowing how much my wife would enjoy what I am able to do.
I like to get home and my wife’s ashes are on the sideboard surrounded by her guard of honour, a photo of each grandchild.
I can’t tell you how to cope as I’m not sure how to. I have coped quite well when I’m with family or friends but it can very very challenging. I often try and think it through and pre-empt all the things that will affect me. Sometimes it doesn’t quite work out and a little arrow finds a gap in my armour. Hopefully I’m sitting at the time. If we look back at what we have coped with to date then maybe we can take strength from that. My wife had to cope with a lot for four years and that can inspire me and give me strength and I have to keep telling myself that.

I could never have imagined in a million years that I would feel like this, but then again I never imagined losing George either. Even after spending lots of time with him in the funeral home, the funeral and getting his ashes back, I cannot believe he as a person will not be coming home. He was so full of life until the last few weeks of his life. I went into work today just for a short period of time, and I am going to work from home for the majority of the time until at least the spring because I cannot bear the thought of coming home to a dark, empty house. I think my grown up kids are finding it hard to cope with how I am feeling, and definitely don’t understand why I need to be near to home. I guess it is still early days. My daughter says I have always been impatient, and that it is going to be a long and slow process - that is the one thing we can agree on because I don’t think I will ever get over losing my lovely man.

God, yes, Debra, completely normal. Our deepest attachment has been brutally torn away; it is completely normal to be anxious and panicky. After 4 weeks, you say - early days yet, and whatever helps you feel closer to George is fine. It’;s been two years for me, and Ken’s ashes are going nowhere. I am so sorry. Debra, I needed an anti-anxiety med so that I could function at least somewhat, and it did help. Not everybody feels the need to go down that path, but it’s okay if you do. Also, I have no intention of pushing a belief system on you, but just let me say I believe it is highly probable that you and your George will be reunited again.

Lots of support for this gruesomely hard time.

Louise xo

Hi Louise, thank you for your lovely reply. I truly believe George and I will be reunited, and I feel him with me all the time. I have got some anti-anxiety meds the doctor gave me to help me get through George’s funeral, maybe I need to take them on a regular basis for now. George’s ashes will stay with me until it is my time to go and then the kids can scatter us together. I miss him so much it all seem so unreal. He is my everything.

Thank you for understanding xx