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Hello again. I was on here a 2 months ago, talking about the recent death of my Father. 2 weeks ago, I had a heart attack (which was incredibly surprising, given that I'd played tennis six times that week). Then, last week, my favorite cousin died suddenly from kidney disease. Bad things might come in threes, but this is ridiculous!!!

The hardest thing is grasping what I'm feeling, when and why. I thought the heart attack symptoms were grief and now It seems that grief might be another heart attack. While I'm on all the right medications, in therapy (both mental and physical) and trying to take care of myself--this is extremely difficult. I keep telling myself that fully experiencing the pain will make me a deeper person. Any other suggestions?

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Dear Johann,

First of all, I hope that you are feeling better after your heart attack. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin’s sudden death. It does not surprise me that you are feeling this way with Father’s Day only two days away. Special remembrance days always seem to bring up the sadness of our losses. Your Father’s death is very recent and I’m sure you are thinking about that. With the diagnosis of your heart attack, you no doubt placed your focus on your own health and not the recent death of your Father. I don’t have any suggestions other than to allow all feelings you are experiencing to happen. Several months after the death of my beloved Jim (married for forty years) I was dx with heart failure. I had always been very healthy so this shook me. My grief counselor was the one who said that my health issue would be my focus for a while and later I’d get back to the mourning of my Jim. It has taken several years but that seemed to be true. I think that what you say about “fully experiencing the pain” of your grief is true. So often those who are grieving try to push it away because it is so uncomfortable. When you are ready you might read some of the suggestions in the Grief and Loss section of our main page on this forum. Being knowledgeable about what "normal" is in grief helps us to not feel so "abnormal" and if it is right for you meditating helps to keep us calm. 

Anne

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I'm sorry to hear you had a heart attack!  Physical symptoms are common when we're grieving, it's tough to get through.  I see you're in therapy but is it with a qualified grief specialist?  I'm glad you're taking care of yourself, it gives us the best possible chance to make it through this optimally.    I don't have much to add to what Anne has already put, she's been through so much and has been such a great example to us here.

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Thank you both for your kind insights! It seems that we all go through such trying times, at some point in our lives. Losing my Dad, Brother and now cousin has already encouraged a change in values. External things, like social image, cars, houses, looks--have become unimportant. Tragic that we have to lose relationships to learn that they're most important. Now it seems key to remember the connection to our loved ones, while experiencing things to their fullest--so we know when such connections are possible with others...

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