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My 31 year old husband passed away Oct 22 of an acute heart attack. I woke in the middle of the night to what i thought was him snoring, he was gurgling and not responsive. I called 911 and had to give him mouth to mouth. They said at the hospital that he never had a heart beat even at the house. the ME said he had significant heart disease and that his arteries were that of a 60-70 year old. We were together for 8 years, married for 4. It is all just sinking in now. The past 3 days have been miserable. Crying and just so depressed. Compounding issues, i've been sick for a week now. Just got put on antibiotics.

My parents and sister live about 230 miles away. I've been going back and forth. I'm currently at my house with my 2 dogs. I cant believe how much I have to do. I wish there was a central place I could notify and they could take care of notifying everyone that needs to be notified. It is so time consuming and confusing. I feel like I keep getting the run around. Things that should be simple, like removing his name from the car title so I can sell it is taking so much time. Because there's still a loan I have to get an official letter from the lien holder before I can go to the DMV. I never imagined I'd be doing all this at 29 years old.

I get upset when people try to tell me they know exactly how I feel. This one woman, a family friend, implied that, and while yes, she lost her husband, he had pancreatic cancer so they had time to plan and determine what his wants were. I had to make the decisions on burial, etc. This was not something we ever discussed.

2 of his brothers live close by and are trying to help out with as much as they can. it's the little things now, like the light bulb at the top of the stairs that's out. i'm a clutz and dont like to get on a ladder...this was his job. carrying the laundry baskets to the basement, taking the trash out.

i'm just really sad and depressed right now. I'm planning on going back to work after Thanksgiving. it will be hard, but i think getting in a routine again will be good. my work has been very understanding. i know when i have my moments or days they will understand. i just miss him so much.

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Summerbelle - I am so very sorry of the loss of your husband. It's a shock to your system, and your very being. Coming here to post was a very good thing - there are wonderful people here who can help you understand, even a little bit. My advice right now is not to let things overwhelm you, it's too easy to let that happen. Aside from the basics, nothing has to be done immediately. The most important thing for you to do is to take of you. Try to sleep as much as you can, drink a lot of water, eat, and let yourself grieve. I know it sounds impossible, but just think of getting through the next moment. Again, I am so so sorry - please come back and let us know how you are doing. Peace to you, Marsha

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Summerbelle,

I want to welcome you to this site. You have found a very caring supportive group of people here.

You are so young to have to be going through this, I am so sorry. I waited all my life to find my soulmate, and found him in George...we were together 6 1/2 years (first as friends), but only got to be married 3 years and 8 months. Sometimes when you didn't get a long life together, you feel gypped. Yes, it would be nice if there were someone to call on to handle all of the details following a death, or at least someone to tell you what to do, I often felt like that myself, it seems overwhelming. Even things like having to change a high up light bulb. I STILL feel that way, even 3 1/2 years later, so you are not alone in that. My husband had just had his 51st birthday and looked like the picture of health, wasn't overweight, and he had his heart attack. I think genetics plays a huge part in it.

I am glad his brothers are there for you...could you get one of them to change the light bulb? Don't be afraid to call on them, it may make them feel better, like they're tangibly doing something for their brother. Some men have a hard time putting their feelings into words, preferring instead to "fix something" as a constructive way of contributing.

Please keep coming back here and voicing yourself, it helps, it really does.

Love,

KayC

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I'm just trying to take it day by day. My parents want me to move back home, but I've been on my own for 10 years now. I know they mean well, but my mom gets in my business, who am I talking to, who am I texting, etc. She's been riding me to get the thank you cards out. I will do it, but it will take some time. I keep transporting everything back and forth. I am just not ready to read all the cards, etc...Vince's work was kind enough to set up a Memorial Fund in his memory for me. His salary is what paid our mortgage. They are paying his salary out thru the rest of the year and I believe allowing other employees to donate their extra PTO time for some additional money for me.

The other brother is coming in from across the country the weekend before Thanksgiving. He told me to get a list together of things for him to do. The outpouring of support from all of our friends and family has been wonderful. I have a cousin who lost her husband to a heart attack in June. He was about 10 years older than Vince. they have 2 year old twins. She told me to call her any time. I havent yet, but I am sure there will be phone calls in the future. I've always been so independent and it's really hard for me to ask for support and help.

I have a 2 year old niece who is asking questions. My sister and her live with my parents as well so she keeps me going. I have Vince's wedding band on a necklace I wear all the time. She gives it hugs and kisses. She insists that 'Uncle Ince' cant hear her in heaven and we keep telling her he can so she says goo night to him every night and tells him she loves him. My sister calls her my mini-me. We have the same stubborn/independent personality! :) Vince loved her so so much. He had her tell me over the summer that he would make a good daddy. so we were working on that but didnt happen.

Thanks for the replies.

Tara

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Tara, dear ~ I'm so sorry to learn of the sudden, unexpected death of your beloved husband. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss, and know that we welcome you here with open arms and caring hearts.

You said two things that I want to address.

The first is that your parents are urging you to move "back home" with them. As you say, you know they mean well, and I'm sure it would make your folks feel better if you did as they ask ~ but when you're in the freshest throes of grief, it's important for you to do what makes YOU feel better ~ and right now you might not even know what, if anything, will help you to feel better! You've barely begun this grief journey, and no one else can tell you how to do it. This is for you to discover for yourself. There is no right or wrong way to travel this path, and there is no timetable for it, either. If making decisions is unavoidable (e.g., for financial reasons), get the best advice you can find. And until you're emotionally able to make decisions you won't regret later, try making ones that are reversible ~ for example, you might try visiting with your parents for a week or two before deciding to move in (or not).

Second, you said your mom's "been riding me to get the thank you cards out." You might appreciate some of the comments on this topic that appear in this thread: I Don't Know How to Deal with This. I'd like to suggest to you that, if ever there is a time when you’re entitled to ignore the rules of etiquette, or a time when immediate thanks is neither expected nor required, it is when you are in mourning. It is perfectly acceptable to express your gratitude for gifts of flowers, donations and other acts of kindness later, when other affairs are in order and when you may feel more up to the task. It is also quite appropriate to delegate this task to those family members and friends who are willing and able to do it on your behalf. Maybe this would be a good project for your mother.

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Summerbelle,

I do understand the hassels that we must go through when our loved ones pass away unexpectedly. My wife passed away 2 1/2 years ago just as we were arriving at Wlat Disney World from the airport. She also had a heart attack from hardining of the artries. The changing of names and utilities and so on and so forth is a major pain in the ***. It was almost 2 years before I changed a lot of that. I refinanced my house this year and had to go through a bunch then as well since there wasn't a will. Things will get better as time moves on, however some rough times are still ahead. We will all be here for you during those times and there will always be someone to respond to your posts. Take care.

Love always

Derek

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Marty, I LOVE your response! Guess that's why you're in the business! :P Yes, let her MOTHER make out the thank yous!

Everyone handles grief differently. I felt overwhelmed and everything I had to do was hard. My friend throws herself into everything and doesn't give herself a minute to think. Neither is right or wrong, just our own ways of dealing with it.

I'm sure I read the cards I got when they were received, but I was in shock and nothing sunk in back then, it was a year later when I went back and reread them and was surprised, I hadn't remembered this person sent one or that one said that. It's important to give yourself time to deal with this as you see fit and listen to what your heart is telling you is right.

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Tara,it hasn't even been a month. Give yourself time to breathe as well as grieve.

If you're worried about the thank you's , what we did was make up a list on Microsoft excel ( if you have a computer). We made a list of those it didn't make any differnce who wrote the thank you, one for each of my daughters for the people they wanted to thank personally and then one for me.

We put the name, address and what they gave. Then we could put it in order, if there were things for memorials. We also used this to make address labels so we didn't have to hand write all of them and this really helped too. I didn't send out any until I had them all done, that way people couldn't compare notes and be upset because they hadn't gotten one. It took quite a while but just writing one or two everytime I sat down finally got me through them.

I can understand why you don't want to move back with your parents but if a night there would comfort you, do it. I know when I have people around it really helps because the evenings are so long and lonely. Maybe you could just go for a meal or have them over.

How wonderful of his employer to keep paying him and for the others to donate their time. You must have wonderful friends - call on them.

Pamper yourself once in a while. If you can't afford a beauty shop just ask someone else to shampoo your hair or rub your head. That can be so relaxing.

You have a lot of "bumpy" roads to go down yet and your going to hit a lot of "first" holidays quickly. Just take them at your own speed and if you need time to yourself, take it.

Good luck and keep coming back

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Hi Summberbelle,

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. I lost my husband on April 27. He was only 34. I was only 33. He went to bed and never woke up the next morning. There was nothing wrong with my husband. He just never woke up. I feel alot of the same things you do. We never really discussed funerals or anything like that because we both thought that we would be together forever. We stared dating when I was 13, he was 14. We had our first child, Miranda, when we were 20. We married in 1998, we would've celebrated our 10 yr anniversary this past September. We had our second child, Lil Eric, when were 30. Now at 33, all of the sudden he's gone! I am so mad! I am still in shock most of the time. I still don't think of any of this is real! I went back to work in July. For me, it is good for me to be at work. It keeps me busy. When I am at home, all I do is cry. I've tried counselors but they didn't work for me. This website does help me though. The people here are very comforting. I will never say I know how you feel because even though I am going through the same thing you are, we each have our feelings and ways of dealing with everything. I will not say time will heal, like so many others do because I don't believe it. I have lost my best friend. My life is over now also. I am only waiting for the day for me to be with him again. Nothing is the same anymore. Nothing will ever be the same anymore. I am here to raise my 2 kids. That is my job. All, I can tell you is that just one second at a time. Most people say take one day at a time. I can't even get to that yet. Thats why I said one second at a time. Do what you want. Don't worry about what other people want or expect of you. Do want you want, mourn your husband the way you want to. I won't say remember the memories either. I'm sure that time will come but I haven't gotten there yet. I have too much sadness and anger right now. If there is anything that I can do, please let me know. I am here for you.

Jenn

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Dear Tara,

I am also very sorry for the loss of your husband. Many of the things you wrote rang familiar for me. I had the same lightbulb issue and tried dragging the ladder in and fixing it myself. I couldn't do it without standing on the very top and with a tiny entryway and a split level, it was too daunting. People want to help but don't know how. I called my tall nephew in. He drove 30 miles to change my bulb. I found that keeping a running list going helps when people ask. Your independence will help you greatly, but don't be afraid to ask for help. It can be hard, but it is nice to have the things taken care of. I also had problems with cancelling credit cards and changing titles. I did find out that credit card companies will stop adding additional charges once you call them. If you can wait until the fog lifts, it is easier to tackle things a little at a time. Again, the list helps. I still have things from 18 months ago that I have yet to do. I left them on the original list, so when I get down on myself for not getting things done, I can see all that I did do and it keeps it in perspective.

I think delegating your mom to do thank yous is a great idea. She's probably worried about all the stress you are under and doesn't know how to help. I had help from Bob's daughter. If left to myself, I couldn't have done it.

Getting sick at this stage must be really normal also. It's a combination of lack of proper nutrition, lack of sleep and anguish. Do what you can to take care of yourself. You are in my prayers and we will help you get through this.

Kath

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Dear Summerbelle:

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. It is just about 5 months since my husband Alex passed. He also had a heart attack, but after the heart attack he was hospitalized for 5 months. This is still really new for you. Everything right now is very overwhelming added on to the grieving. Take one thing at a time and don't try to do too much at one time.

As far as the car title. What you have to do is go online to your state's Department of Motor Vehicle and look for a form to transfer your husband title to your name. I think you have to send them the death certificate. It will take about a month to receive it back. I had to do that in NYC. If the car insurance is in his name only, you will also have to present the death certificate to have his name removed and put into your name.

I know it sounds cold to talk about this kind of stuff, but do it slow and be patient or else you will get sick.

I hope you keep posting on this site. There are really wonderful people here. We are all going through the same thing.

Love and God Bless,

Jeanne

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I think every state is different. I had survivorship on most of our titles, with both our names listed, and had no problem with those. On one, however, the dealership made a mistake when they turned the title in and did not check survivorship. I had to fill out a special form and have it notarized about being the only surviving beneficiary...his children had been adopted out or I wouldn't have been able to get our car into my name without it going into probate. Usually you can find what you need on the DMV site, but it might be easiest to hold the 45 minutes and talk to an agent about the specifics in your state. Yes, 45 minutes, nuts, huh?! :blush:

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Tara, I'm so sorry this loss has happened to you. It's great that you have supportive family and friends to help you, and now that you've found this site, you'll find additional support and comfort too. My husband died unexpectedly too; a year ago yesterday, he had the heart attack he died from four days later.

About moving back with your parents: your words indicate you'd rather stay independent, so do what feels right. But maybe consider staying with them overnight or spending most of the day with them if the aloneness becomes too much to handle. My mother died before my husband, but when my first marriage broke up she insisted that I come over for dinner every day after work. At first I went just to please her, but then I began looking forward to it because I knew I'd have someone to talk to and share my day with instead of going home to an empty house.

I know you must feel overwhelmed by all the paperwork and arrangements that follow when your spouse dies, because I was. Some of these things are more urgent than others, but take as long as you need to get them done and tackle only what you feel up to at any given time. It might take weeks, months, or a year or more before you can finish every task, but that's OK; they will get done. Don't be afraid to ask yourself, from time to time, "Do I feel I can deal with this right now?" If the answer's "No," don't hesitate to step back, then return to whatever it is later. Your inner voice knows when you are or aren't ready.

Like Kath suggests, make a list of everything you have to take care of, then go back through the list and break it down into items that are "must do immediately," "important, but not urgent," and "can do anytime." The list helps in several ways: it helps you remember what needs to be done (so nothing falls through the cracks), helps you identify tasks you can delegate to a friend or relative who wants to pitch in, and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you start to check off completed tasks.

Above all, take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Get as much rest as possible and even if you're not hungry, be sure to eat regularly. Exercise helps too; even if you don't do workouts, just going for a walk has benefits. And as much as you can, limit or avoid contact with people who upset or depress you; you don't need extra stress now.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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