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5 Months Later- It Just Got Worse

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My husband died in his sleep 5 months ago and I thought I was doing ok, but just this week I feel like I've slid back so far. I have a high-pressure, high-stress job that has gotten more taxing, and today I sat in my office crying, and have been so anxious and ineffective. I can't help but wonder if anyone else has backslid to this extent? Is this normal?

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First let me welcome you to this forum, I hope you will continue to come here. It's been a lifesaver to so many of us!

I am so sorry you lost your husband. It's undoubtedly the hardest thing you'll ever be called upon to do in life...to get through this grief journey. It doesn't stay the same throughout the grief journey, it's ever evolving and changing, and it won't always be this intensely painful, but right now it's really tough. I've heard it said that the six month mark (or thereabouts) is the toughest because it takes a while for reality to sink in, and "support" is gone and people seem to think we should be over it. We are never "over it". I think it jars the brain so that we can't function or think the same as we used to. I couldn't read books for years (still not back to it like I used to) and I couldn't watch t.v. It was hard to do my job, which was also high stress and I was called upon to be "perfect". I loved my job and the people there, but going back to work just two weeks after my husband unexpectedly died was really, really tough.

Yes, I had times I cried at work. A few months after he died, the business closed up and I found myself out of work. Being the only one to make the house payment and no money put me under tremendous stress.

Is there any way you could look for a less stressful job? Something that would make it easier on you?

Don't forget to stay in touch with your doctor during this time. I hope you're seeing a grief counselor. They are trained to help us through the maze of grief. Also a grief support group might be of help so you can know you are not alone and what you are experiencing is indeed normal.

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KayC, thank you for responding. Our HR dept actually told me she recommends I take a medical leave to deal with my grief, and followed that by telling me that my job is not protected by FMLA (been there less than a year) so I'm not sure if I lost my job today? But it is clear that I need to take some time anyway. My husband left me in kind of a financial mess, and I went back to work 2 weeks later as well. I see a grief counselor, but the grief+long commute+ stressful job has definitely taken its toll. It is so strange- it feels like a scab was pulled off and there was no healing underneath. My grief counselor actually had recommended an online support group, and I am glad I found this one.

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I'm glad you found this site too. My husband died of a heart attack almost ten years ago, he was barely 51, totally a shock! I've been here ever since. It's hard for me to believe someone could be so callous as to tell you your job isn't protected. Seriously?! Is it because you haven't been there long enough or because there aren't 50 employees? Sometimes there's a state law that's similar that might step in, you might want to contact your local BOLI.

I was left in a financial mess too, I refinanced my house to pay my husband's medical/hospital/ambulance bills because the hospital was hounding me in a threatening way with high interest I couldn't afford. Years later I found out I wasn't legally responsible for his bills since I hadn't signed for them! Every state is different, I wish I'd checked into it. I'll be paying on the house until I'm 80 and it's not worth it (mobile home on property).

I retired 1 1/2 years ago because I lost my job (100 mile round trip commute) and I didn't want to go through unemployment again at this age.

I hope you've read some of the other threads here, you'll know you aren't alone, also there's a lot of helpful links. There's also a one year course you can sign up for here, Marty does a wonderful job of caring for her flock here.

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I didn't know about the course- I will look into that- and wow, KayC,your circumstances are so similar to mine! I didn't have the medical bills, since my husband passed quickly and unexpectedly, but he did leave me with a significant amount of debt and a condo with more on the mortgage than it's worth. My commute is (was?) close to that as well, and I would spend 3-5 hours per day commuting, then at the office, on call weekends and evenings.

I wish I could retire, but am only 45, so I have a way to go. I am going to take a few days before I try to start figuring out what's next though.

An unexpected blessing tonight- I wound up with a house full of people who love me that I didn't even ask to come over. They all said they felt I needed them. So weird but wow... I needed that!

I am going to check out a bunch of the other threads. I'm so grateful to have found a place where I can "talk" and "listen" to people walking this awful path!

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I was 52 when my husband died. We never expected it...I went away one weekend a year to my sisters reunion and this was that weekend. I left Friday morning and he had a heart attack right after. He wouldn't let the doctor notify me. A friend called me Fri. night and told me but my sister wouldn't bring me back until Sunday. It was the worst weekend of my life! I called George and he said not to come, he'd be in testing all day Saturday. I talked to him Sat. night and he sounded down that I hadn't come. We got there Sun., there were other people in the room, then they moved him to ICU and when they let me in his room he was asleep. He woke up having a heart attack, I ran and got them and they threw me off the ward and locked the door behind them. When they came for me, he was gone. I never got to have a last conversation.

I'm upside down on my place as well. The recession hit us all hard, plus my IRA took a nosedive from which it never recovered.

Looking for work in my 50s surprised me that no one seemed to want someone "older", and they require college degrees to do what I do (Office Mgr & Bkpr) now. I've worked in offices since I was 16 and have excellent referrals but I guess it all counts for naught. I had two different trucks hit me in the last four months of my working, the last being the night before my layoff. I decided to hang it up then and there. I'd been laid off for a year once before and applied for 350 jobs with no job offer, I didn't want to go through it again and I was tired of the pressure, and felt if I didn't get off the road I wouldn't live to retire. I've never regretted it!

Is the condo in both your names? If it's just in his you could let it go back to the bank without it hurting your credit, but if it's in both your names, you'd have to pay the difference or pay income taxes on it. Crazy laws we have! They somehow think if we don't have $ to make our house payment we should be able to pay income taxes on it all at once?!

I hope you figure something out so you can have a less stressful job in a more understanding environment. I'm glad you have so many people surrounding you with their love. 45 seems so young to lose your husband...I felt 52 was too young to lose mine! I'm 62 now. This isn't the life I ordered, but it's what I've got. This has been a good place to learn how to do it...learning to take care of myself, balance, peace, I've gotten used to living alone by now, but I still miss George, will always miss him.

I hope you find peace and comfort here!

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