Anxiety in Grief

Understanding Grief / Understanding Grief : Eleanor Haley


Think of something that scares you. Perhaps it’s the thought of giving a speech in front of a crowd, taking a test, asking your crush out on a date, or jumping out of an airplane. Even if you’re mostly fearless, everyone’s got something.

Now think about the thoughts and sensations you typically experience right before doing this thing that scares you; this is your fear and anxiety at work. Maybe your stomach starts doing cartwheels, your heart begins to race, or your breathing becomes rapid.  Perhaps your thoughts start running through all the worst potential outcomes and you think to yourself…

“There’s still time. I could still run from this situation.” 

I know you know what I’m talking about. Even the bravest people feel fear and anxiety, they just know how to navigate the experience more exquisitely than most.

Are you still with me? Okay good, now take a second and think backwards to a time when you experienced the thoughts and sensations of fear and anxiety in your grief. Maybe this isn’t one particularly traumatic moment, but a prolonged period of time when you experienced ongoing apprehension and worry, upon worry, upon worry.

Using a personal example, I remember feeling panic-like anxiety when my father told me of my mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis, and then the slow hum of persistent anxiety in the weeks and months afterwards as my family frantically searched for treatments and clinical trials. For one year I held my breath and prepared for the worst, knowing that my mother’s death was not a possibility but a probability.

People experience anxiety after the death of a loved one for a number of reasons and, you guessed it, we’d like to discuss a few of them here today.

After the death of a loved one, you may experience anxiety because…

…you are trying to avoid unpleasant thoughts, memories, and emotions.

I want to start by discussing avoidance because the act of avoidance is involved in perpetuating all of the scenarios to follow. When we talk about avoidance in grief we are usually referring to experiential avoidance. As we noted in a previous article about avoidance…

“Experiential avoidance is an attempt to block out, reduce or change unpleasant thoughts, emotions or bodily sensations.  These are internal experiences that are perceived to be painful or threatening and might include fears of losing control, being embarrassed, or physical harm and thoughts and feelings including shame, guilt, hopelessness, meaninglessness, separation, isolation, etc.  Now please note I say “perceive to be painful or threatening,” these judgements are often subjective and what is perceived as threatening to one may seem totally irrational to another.”

Although grief is always unpleasant and uncomfortable, for some there are aspects that actually seem threatening and these perceptions can lead to attempts to control or avoid frightening feelings and reactions. Although avoidance can be useful in certain scenarios, for many it can become a harmful cycle that persists to the detriment of personal healing.

Many mistakenly think that if they make efforts to avoid their feelings for long enough these unpleasant emotions will be kept at bay or fade away, when in actuality deliberate attempts to suppress certain thoughts often make them more likely to surface. Avoidance is a large factor in the development and maintenance of anxiety.

…it’s a learned response.

There may be elements of your loved one’s death that, in the moment, you perceived as traumatic and terrifying. (We’ve written on traumatic grief before, you can find that article here) One of the quickest routes to acquiring fear and anxiety towards an object or situation is through a direct, negative experience.

When something traumatic happens the thoughts, emotions and sensations experienced in that moment can become paired with objects and situations associated with the event. Psychologists call this phenomena, Classical Conditioning.

Here’s an example, a parent’s phone rings at 5am and the person on the other end tells them that their son unexpectedly died in a car accident the night before (I’m sorry if this example hits too close to home).  Before this moment a phone ringing in the morning might not have given the parent a second thought, but now every time the phone rings before 8am the parent feels a temporary surge of panic.

Many people can pinpoint at least one thing that, since their loss, makes them feel anxious in ways it never did before.

…you fear grief emotion

The relationship you have with your emotions is complicated and nuanced. People begin learning about emotion from a very early age through learning and observation. Beliefs about emotion can be impacted by many factors, but some common influences include…

  • Adult role models (what they told us and how they handled emotions themselves)
  • Cultural and societal messages and norms
  • Religion
  • Television, books, and movies
  • Personal experience

The death of a loved can evoke such new and distressing emotions that they test or change your existing relationship with emotion.

After a death mourners often feel as though they are going crazy.  If a person interprets their symptoms as dangerous, threatening, or indicative of a larger mental or physical problem, they are more likely to fear their reactions. Those who fear grief responses and grief related emotions (i.e. fear of emotion and anxiety themselves), will likely experience increased feelings of anxiety in a world where emotion is unpredictable and easily triggered.

Those who are fearful of their reactions may also engage in maladaptive and persistent avoidance of triggers or reminders of the death or of their loved one, which can prevent the mourner from learning to cope with their thoughts, emotions, and memories, and contribute to the development of ongoing anxiety.

…you aren’t confident in your ability to cope

A person may also experience anxiety if they have little confidence in their ability to cope with their emotions, either because they feel their coping skills aren’t sufficient enough or because they feel that they can’t control their emotions. As noted by Abramowitz, Deacon, and Whiteside (2012),

“Clinically anxious patients typically underestimate their capacity to control or cope with perceived threats, as well as their fear reaction to such threats.”

Although only some people will experience anxiety that would be considered “clinically anxious”, it’s normal to feel anxious about experiencing new emotions, grief triggers, and painful memories.

…you now know bad things can happen.

Prior to your loved one’s death you may have assumed that the world was a good and benevolent place where things happened for a reason. You may have also subconsciously believed that bad things wouldn’t happen to you.  When something bad did happen your assumptions about the world became shattered. Depending on your understanding of what happened to you and your loved one, you may now hold new beliefs or engage in modes of thinking that contribute to feelings of anxiety such as probability overestimation, cost overestimation, and intolerance of uncertainty.

Probability overestimation: You may overestimate the likelihood of bad things happening.  Perhaps you overestimate the likelihood of the event that led to your loved ones death occurring, like cancer, accidents, or violence.  Or perhaps your loved one’s death led to the belief that bad things can happen to anyone at any time and now you feel that disaster is likely to strike at any moment.

Cost overestimation: Cost overestimation occurs when someone believes that the consequences of something happening will be worse than they truly are.  For example, you may worry that if you encounter a grief trigger in public you will become emotional and lose control in front of everyone and that this will be a mortifying experience. Because you believe that the pain of experiencing this event is so excruciating, you may feel anxiety over the possibility of it happening and engage in avoidance to prevent it.  However, by never allowing yourself to experience the event, you are never able to learn that (1) the cost isn’t as high as you assumed and (2) you are capable of coping with the experience.

Intolerance of uncertainty: Some people have a very hard time dealing with even the remote possibility of something bad happening. Even if the odds of an event occurring are very low, the uncertainty of whether or not it will happen is enough to cause intense anxiety and distress.

Many of you have learned first hand that worst case, low probability, scenarios can happen, so it may be futile for anyone to tell you to take comfort in the likelihood that these things won’t happen. As someone who has experienced the unlikely, the task for you becomes learning to live in an unpredictable world that you can’t control.

…you don’t want to find yourself caught of guard.

There an interesting theory put forth by Michelle Newman and Sandra Llera (2011) to explain worry and avoidance in Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) called the Contrast-Avoidance Model. Newman and Llera (2011) theorize that people with GAD, “…use worry as a coping strategy because they prefer to feel chronically distressed in order to prepare for the worst outcome, rather than to experience a shift from a positive or euthymic state to a negative emotion.”

Newman and Llera (2011) point out, that worry preceding a negative event provides protection from experiencing a drastic increase in negative emotions when the event happens. This makes sense if you think about it because our society promotes worry all the time. We say things like, “brace yourself,” and “don’t let your guard down,” which translates to, “don’t let something bad happen when you least expect it.” 

…you are experiencing an anxiety disorder, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders. Logically, many people who already struggle with anxiety will experience grief.  For others, the death of a loved one may lead to new and unfamiliar struggles with anxiety.

While it’s normal to experience a sense of fear and apprehension during times of hardship and high stress, if you feel that you are experiencing excessive worry and panic in the absence of an actual threat and for a prolonged period of time then you might want to speak to a mental health professional.  Your situation is unique and the best way to truly understand your anxiety related experiences is to speak to a trained mental health professional in a one-on-one capacity.  That said, here are some articles that you may find helpful.

Grief After Traumatic Loss

Grief and Psychological Disorder

The Role of the Acute Stress Response in Grief

Types of Therapy

Subscribe to receive posts straight to your email inbox

Let’s be grief friends.

We post a new article to What’s Your Grief about once a week. Subscribe to stay up to date on all our posts.

Related Blog Posts

Related Blog Posts

See More

65 Comments on "Anxiety in Grief"

Click here to leave a Comment
  1. Sp  October 12, 2020 at 10:34 am Reply

    I am 40 years old. I was single until the age of 38. I was asked by a friend or someone who I thought was a friend for a lend of some money. A substantial amount. He had spent it on gambling. I agreed to bail him out. He dropped me at the shop, I withdrew the cash and he dropped me home. I had also fixed up phones and sold him a few. I’d done a fair few favours for him. I said to him, to my eternal regret, can you do me any favour for once. He said like what? I don’t know, could you set up a meeting with a friend of your partner? Like a blind date? He came back to me a few days later and gave me the girls’number. We talked and arranged to meet. So we met and we went for a long walk with two of my dogs. We talked and we really seemed to hit it off. We kissed and went our separate ways. I thought nothing of it really. That evening, she texted me and said that she would like to meet the next day. We did and we went for a long walk in town. We were then together for a bit after and things seemed like they were moving forward quite quickly. The following Monday, she came out to my place. I felt uneasy. Something didn’t feel right. I just had a sixth sense about it. I wanted to stop. She got emotional and I felt bad. I said that we would give it a go. I met her several times over the next few weeks and I still had a feeling that something was awry. Again, I asked to end it. She again became very emotional, she said that she felt she had found her soulmate. She said that she wanted to be with me for the next thirty to forty years. I said okay I’m sorry. The next day I bought an item of jewelry and gave it to her when we met up. She was thrilled. I told her I was a virgin. I told her I has serious confidence issues. She said that we would work through everything together. I felt calm around her. I felt happy and I was like a different person. My mother said that she could see the difference in me. We were together from January until July 2019. I got really attached to her. We regularly went for walks, to the cinema, hotels (which was a bad idea) . I obviously lost my virginity. We would talk for hours everyday after work. We would often go to each other’s house. One thing is that she loved watching soaps and she would ask that I stay quiet while she was watching them. I found that strange. In the last month or so of the relationship, I know things were not going so well. She said that she was ill, the doctor had found a lump on her chest and I wasn’t seeing her. The last time I was at her house, she got a message on her phone. She quickly put her phone away and went red. I asked was that a friend from work, she said yeah, yeah. Being honest, I knew something was going wrong. End of July, I was supposed to go around to her place, I was watching a match with a friend. I texted to say that I would be late. I got home and called her and I said are you still happy in this relationship? She said no. Honestly I’m not. The spark has gone. When we first got together, she said that we always have to be honest with one another. I was happy with that and it’s how I always have been. I tried to text to get an explanation as to what happened. She refused to respond. I have a feeling that she got back with an ex or met a new fellow. That’s fine but don’t ask that we always be honest if you don’t want to be honest. She seemed like a really good and decent person. I have not spoken to her since the start of August 2019. It hit me hard. I sent her an insulting text which I should not have in September. I then got messages on facebook from an anonymous person saying that I was never to contact her again. She told us all you were a virgin, she never loved you and never wanted to be with you. She said that you were a failure in the sack and some other horrible things. It’s like this was a different person. She seemed so nice most of the time and she really seemed to care. She just turned on me. I texted her and said whatever about me and you. I know it’s over but tell your disgusting friends to stop contacting me or I’m going to the guards. I got a call then from her mother threatening to break my legs and the next day from the guards. I said to the guards, I know she doesn’t want to speak to me. I’m just wanting to be left in peace. So a relationship that seemed so great ended terribly. I see her face every day. I can’t stop myself from thinking about her from time to time. I feel intimidated about going out. I know she has told people a lot of terrible stuff about me. I never felt this close to anyone in my life. I feel like I was just a pawn. She never really cared. She used to ring me in a panic if I was late arriving at her house. She said that she loved the bones of me. In the message I got from her anonymous friend whose name I later found out, he said I would just turn up at her house when I please and she didn’t want that. This never happened. She said that I begged her for sex. This didn’t happen either. Before getting involved in this relationship, I was a happy go lucky guy. I wasn’t really too bothered about being single and I didn’t feel depressed. I don’t know what she did this for. It’s like I’m left feeling that I have done something terribly wrong but I don’t think that I did. The friend that set us up no longer contacts me. She never does and never will again. I just want to end my life. I feel worthless. I hate myself. I feel inferior. It’s like she wanted to hurt me as much as she possibly could. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m smoking about twenty cigarettes a day. I feel really unhealthy. I am at home during covid-19 working from home. I remember the moments she spoke to me so nicely and the nice things she would say, the long conversations we would have and the funny episodes we had together. I just don’t understand how she felt like what she did was fair or justified. I often think does she feel guilty. But honestly I know she doesn’t give a damn. It’s like everything between us was just an act. Like the message said, she never loved you and never wanted to be with you. It’s as if she’s embarrassed to have dated a guy who was a virgin and wants to forget it ever happened and just push everything onto me. I try and stop thinking about it but truthfully I miss her. I don’t think that I have ever been so close to anyone, male or female. I don’t see any way forward for me. I don’t see a way out. I feel like the only way is to get out of the county or country I live in. I’m worried about going out to town. I stay away from places she or her friends or family may be. If I didn’t wake up tomorrow, it feels like it would be a blessing.

    • IsabelleS  October 12, 2020 at 10:50 am Reply

      Hi, I am so very sorry that you are going through this. This situation sounds so difficult. It is only understandable that you would feel conflicting emotions right now… I completely understand why you are simultaneously angry and missing her. I am glad you recognize what you are going through for what it is: as grief. Sometimes it is difficult for people to recognize non-death losses as grief, but you are doing a great job of labeling your emotions and experiences. I promise you that there is a way forward… There is hope for you. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, or even if you just need someone to talk with, please call the National Suicide Helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website where you can do a live online chat https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ All the best to you.

      • Sp  October 12, 2020 at 11:12 am

        Thanks for the reply. I don’t know what to do. I don’t really want to die I think but I don’t want to feel like this. It’s over a year and it’s still there. It’s like I just want to be brainwashed. I have always been nervous about relationships. In college and work, I had female friends and it wasn’t an issue. I always got on okay with girls but up to this point, a relationship was not really possible. I was just too shy and although there were brief sort of relationships, nothing serious. I know it’s not normal to have a relationship for the first time that late in life. But it is what it is. I just really wish it wasn’t her. I’m constantly asking myself questions that I will never know an answer for. She never gave me any closure. That’s all I wanted. She was never unpleasant to my face. Only when she was no longer talking to me to other people. It’s like she was looking for a way out of the embarrassing situation of dating a 38 year old virgin by completely bagging me. Making me look like a terrible person and I’m not. I am a polite and reasonably intelligent guy but I’m quiet and fairly introverted. I don’t stand up for myself and have always let people walk all over me. That’s part of the problem I think. I’m working in a dead end job as well despite having good qualifications because I don’t think I deserve anything else. I gave that guy the money because I was the type of person that figured people would only be interested in me if I could help them out or do favours for them. I have nothing else to offer. My lack of confidence and self belief is so debilitating. I never really leave my house. I don’t go outside my comfort zone. I have always believed that I might be agoraphobic. I don’t mind spending time with one or two people but hate being in big groups. I just don’t know really. At least posting this on here and getting it off my chest has helped in some small way. Thanks again.

      • IsabelleS  October 14, 2020 at 12:50 pm

        I am glad posting brought you some relief, even if it was only in a small way. I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I am certain you will find your way through this situation. It might be helpful for you to speak with a therapist trained in grief, which you can find here: https://grief.com/grief-counselor-directory/. All the best to you.

    • AK  October 18, 2020 at 6:18 pm Reply

      Dear Sp. I am so sorry for you having gone through this bad experience. I feel like posting a comment (I normally don’t comment) hoping that it might help.
      I would suggest for you to read about narcissism and check out some of the many videos on YouTube about narcissists and narcissistic behaviour. (People like Richard Grannon, doctor Ramani, Lisa Romano, Ross Rosenberg, just to mention a few of the many, are having good videos out there with lots of information and help on the subject.) You may or may not have run into a narcissist, and she might even be a malignant one, from what you’re describing (a person can be in the “mild” end of the scale with “just” a few trades, or have a more severe and even fully developed personality disorder – and there are different forms, such as covert and overt narcissism etc.). In any case it might be helpful for you to educate yourself about how damaging that can be psychologically and emotionally, and how difficult it often is to get over a narcissist. You will also know that you are not alone, and that what happened is not your fault. This seemingly was done by a troubled and disturbed human being, who doesn’t know any better than to lie, manipulate and abuse. If that’s the case, it wasn’t personal, it wasn’t about you, it was about her – it’s a pattern, a personality trade. A sociopath could also act in this way (or a psychopath), though I don’t know much about this specific personality disorder (you can check out the different disorders for yourself). You know your own story and what you went through, and by seeking information and educating yourself you will be able to put the pieces together, solve the puzzle and heal better.
      Hopefully this lesson will teach you something valuable about yourself and why you attracted this, knowing in your heart that you deserve better. I am very sorry for your grief and wish you the best of luck on your journey in life. Find the gold inside yourself, find your inner confidence, get back up on the horse and know that YOU are worthy. The world is a mirror. Whatever you feel on the inside will be reflected on the outside. There are many decent behaving and loving women out there. Love yourself, stand by yourself and attract one of THEM. I might here suggest checking out authors like Louise L. Hay ” You Can Heal Your Life”, Eckhart Tolle “The Power Of Now” etc., and there are also lots of both guided and music healing meditations on YouTube, which could be soothing and helpful. Eating healthy, exercising and spending time in nature helps energizing both body and spirit. Nature is working wonders for the spirit. There are also networks with people supporting each other that you can join.
      We are all going through different challenges in life. All of us. You are definitely not alone. It can be ever so tough and feel so devastating, horrible and heartbreaking. But we learn from it, we grow and we expand. I agree with this nice article that it’s very important to allow all the emotions to come up and really feel them, shine light upon it all, look into everything, feel it (as hard as it feels) in order to be able to really release it. Furthermore it’s important to give yourself a voice (as you’ve done now), speak about it (even into the mirror), write about it, dance or paint it out, or pound some pillows, even press your head into a pillow (just to spare the neighbours) and screem into it, like a roaring lion, coming all the way from your abdomen – express yourself. Release the energy, free yourself.
      In addition be very kind, gentle and loving to yourself. Stand by yourself and forgive yourself. A part of you wanted to give this woman a chance, even though your intuition was warning you by giving you a bad feeling about it. That’s only human – a manipulating person offering love can be very persuading, as you now know. The question is what can you learn from this experience? How can it help you in discovering and knowing yourself? What can it teach you? In which way can it help you finding tools to build upon inner growth, self-confidence, a strong sense of inner self, with a core feeling of being worthy to a degree that even your radiance repels toxic people and helps you attract good and healthy relations? How might it even be useful for you and add to your personal expansion?
      How early or late you start having sex in life, if ever, doesn’t define you, or anybody else. This is just a part of a personal experience. We all have our reasons for whatever we are doing or not doing. Other people might have opinions about you, but that doesn’t define you – or any of us for that matter. You are not your story. You are you – the creator of your story – and you can create everything you want from now on. (You can find great tools for consciously doing that on the internet – and even backed up with scientific explanations from quantum physicists, if you want to persuade your mind – eventually check out people like Joe Dispanza and Gregg Braden etc.). Personally I believe that everything is possible. You are more powerful than you think.
      I hope this helps. After all we are all in this together, and we’re here to help each other. These are just suggestions meant to inspire and support. Some might be known to you already, and some might even be useful to you. Either way your words touched my heart. I really feel you here, and I got the urge to pass on some inspiration, wishing you all the best.
      Greetings from a fellow human being, a woman, in Denmark :).

  2. Abakes  May 4, 2020 at 1:42 pm Reply

    I lost my dad on January 25th, 2020. He had COPD for many years, and of course, we all knew that COPD is fatal but… you never know how the cards will really play. I am an only child. As a teenager, it was a very strained relationship, but after I moved out in early adulthood, we found our groove. We loved each other, but we could both be a bit stubborn. We learned to let go of things when we could feel an argument brewing. He had me late in life, so we were also from very different generations. But he became my confidant over time. We emailed a lot. Neither of us were big phone people, but I have hundreds of emails from him. Usually nothing big, just an article or a quick thought that we wanted to share. We talked about work a lot, and had very similar mentalities. He would give me advice on finances, house stuff, how to fix this or that. Over the years, as his health declined, my mom and I (who have always had a great relationship) mostly talked about dad. How he was doing, how SHE was doing with it, how best to balance work with his appointments, etc.. He went into the hospital again on January 7th 2020 and rapidly declined. The anxiety he had at the end was gut-wrenching to watch. He finally asked/agreed for hospice care on January 22, and he was gone by the 25th. I showed up on the 24th with my husband to work out a schedule, who was going to cook, who was going to do groceries, who could come relieve my mom for a few hours here and there. But when I arrived he was in the active stages of dying, agonal breathing, no longer responsive to outside stimuli, some agitation. I took over his medications for that last night. I didn’t want it to be the last thing my mom remembered with him. She had already done so much for so long. And it isn’t, instead she remembers them sharing a couple of sips of coffee on the morning of the 24th, before he lost consciousness. But my final memories are massaging morphine into his cheeks and gums and softening his dry tongue and lips with moist towels.
    I knew that it would hurt, but what I never would have expected is the anxiety I feel regarding my mother. Even just talking to her gets me anxious. We’ve always had a great relationship but I feel completely disconnected from her now that my dad has passed. And I know that she is mourning too, but I feel like I have no emotional runway to lend to her, I am tapped. Which gives me more anxiety, because I feel like I failed as a daughter to my dad, and now to my mom.
    Grief is cruel, it makes no sense, and has no patience. I hope that someday I feel comfort in talking to her again instead of all this anxiety.

    3
  3. Chindu  April 8, 2020 at 5:40 am Reply

    I have no idea why i am reading this blog. My mom is dying in front of me day by day with hypo pharyngeal cancer two weeks ago we finished radiation and were happy she was able to taste food and just planing on how to spend time in our new house and buying stuff online . But all of a sudden doctor said there is nothing we can do her lungs are not healing no antibiotics are working on her we can’t find veins in her body . Put back the tube and bam it’s the last stage .
    I don’t know how to deal with this emotion . I am laughing I am crying I am banging my head in the wall but putting a string pretence in front of my mom my life my best friend y God . I don’t know how to accepts this hard reality. I just don’t want to believe it’s the end but deep down I can see it happening . I am loosing it . Though I pretend to be tough outside my hearts breaking into million pieces and it feels like someone’s stamping on it . I have no one to support me everything around is In Lockdown . No one to come visit her . No idea what to do next . I am just going crazy and I know I am falling into depression.

    1
    • Shree  April 13, 2020 at 3:41 pm Reply

      Recently I lost my own sister . We were two sisters now no more . Just because of doctors negligence I lost my sister in front of my own eye , she was only 30 . Feeling such a helpless in this country where doctor takes patients like material .. now at any cost I can’t get my sister back and can’t realise how to overcome .

    • Diana  September 1, 2020 at 1:29 am Reply

      I feel your pain. My dad had prostate and bone cancer and out of nowhere his blood sugar dropped. Once he was in the hospital we were told his lungs were filled with liquid and he was extremely anemic. He spent a whole week in the hospital and it was the worse week of our lives. My dad passed and we never got to bring him home. Yes we knew he had cancer and was in treatment, but we did not know he was going to go so suddenly. I am now in constant panic and anxiety. I am seeing a therapist and getting acupuncture. It seems to help so far.

      1
  4. zaza  March 26, 2020 at 6:50 pm Reply

    Hi so I don’t know where to start but I lost my dad to a heart attack in 2017 and it shattered everything in me, it “broke” my family and it took me nearly 2 years to fully recover from it.. And to be honest my grief journey was so messed up because i had to deal with my mom’s sickness.. in 24 months she spent 13 months in hospital and it was a lot to deal with when you’re 21.
    So I took care of her, actually me and my brother did. It felt as she became the child and we were the parents. But still I loved her and gave her all of me. It was probably very unhealthy because I kind of put my grieving on hold to give her all my attention and love.
    My mom passed away on January 23rd. How the hell am I supposed to deal with being an orphan at 22? I don’t know how the fuck to deal with life and especially the future. I get anxiety all the time thinking about life, and I’m just so incredibly sad you know. That I had to lose my Dad and then my Mom like wow really??????? why so young? why me ?
    I just wish i could have one last moment with them so that they could comfort me a little.
    And this anxiety and this grief oh my god that’s the hardest thing i had to deal with in my whole life ever and it hurts so bad because I just don’t get how this pain is ever gonna fade. And how am I supposed to deal with life?

    • Torie  April 8, 2020 at 1:53 am Reply

      I am 25 and I lost both of my parents too. Your story is so similar to mine and honestly it’s nice to know I’m not alone. The way you are feeling is how I felt and feel about life. especially with us being so young it’s extra tough and it’s not a normal occurrence.
      I lost my father to a heart attack at 17 on September 6th 2012. 21 days before my 18th birthday. He was an alcoholic for years and I came home one night and he was dead. Please know I loved my father so much he was a genius carpenter and a wonderful husband to my mom and an awesome dad when I was little. I found him, I brought him back, 3 days later I had to make the decision to take him off life support. I was there when he passed and it was right after I told him to watch over me and my sister and mom and the family, I told him to go be with his mom and brother and that we will meet again someday, that I loved him very much and that I understood why he had to go.
      My mom passed away March 30th 2016. I was 23. It’s was unexpected again and she had breast cancer but that wasn’t how she died, she died from a heart attack. I still regret never seeing her especially after all those times she asked me to come to Maryland. The day I was going to, I swear I was! Was the day she died, I was smoking a cig and burned the top of my Jeep and I looked down and I saw my cross I had lost and I just thought of my mom, I’m not sure why, I just did. I called her back because I dodged her call the day before because I was at the bar with my friend Lundy. She left me a voicemail, and she said goodbye, if you knew her she never said goodbye she always said “see you later.” So I thought that was odd. Songs on the radio started playing that reminded me of her. I went to the store and came back like any other day. I was singing and making videos and then I got a knock on the door. It was my only and older sister Leah, it’s like I knew before she even said anything.
      “Mom died Torie she’s gone. “ But for some reason when you hear things like that it’s hits you and you don’t believe it.
      I wanted to contact you because you are not alone. This world is cruel sometimes but there is a reason for all of it , even if it doesn’t feel like there should be. Your parents are always with you, because They are forever a part of you. I know you feel like your not ready to live this life without them, but you are! I promise! You have everything you need to be successful and they are constantly looking out for you. Trust me I know! they saved me when I got hit by a drunk driver but anyway, I wanted you to know that Your email has reached me and I completely know what you are going through, or at least I can relate on a deeper level than most who haven’t lost their parents in their young 20’s. If you ever want to talk, email, or just blog, I’m here, because I understand. No one will ever replace them but don’t let this keep you from loving anyone new! This happens because you fear you will lose them! At least that was how it was for me, but everyone handles grief differently. I want you to know, you’re not alone! Keep their memory alive no matter what and make sure it’s not all the bad but mostly good times! I never thought I would love again and my sister felt like she would never find love. Our mom was the same and our dads were different. But both of ours dads died. Let’s just say our mom had bad luck with men. But she made us the two luckiest girls in the world, because right after she passed away, I found my boyfriend of 3 years now and 2 days after I found mine my sister found hers , in the same beach town I might add! and we both now live separately but together with our boyfriends and hopefully our husbands one day but maybe just boyfriends for life, lol who knows! I’m the happiest now than I’ve ever been and I truly believe it’s because of my parents! Always let it out even when you think people won’t get it! Cry and be sad but know they want the best for you because your parents love you and they are with you right now!

  5. Micaela Micaela  February 11, 2020 at 9:59 pm Reply

    It’s been over 6 months since my grandmother passed away, yet I still can’t stop myself from crying all the time- when I try to talk about her, smell her scent, go into her room, or when a fond memory is sparked… I just can’t hold the tears back or find that comfort everyone else does in knowing she’s in a “better” place. What if she’s not? What if all of the years she devoted to Christ, prayer, church, and tithings were all for nothing? What if there is no heaven and I never see her again? What if she’s not with my grandfather and her daughter? I am 41 now and have experienced many losses, my other grandparents, an aunt and uncle, a best friend, but I was able to go through the stages of grieving and pick myself up. This is very different. I just feel stuck in the depression stage and it’s starting to affect my performance at work. Not to mention all of the pressure of helping my father cope with this, the funeral, the will, credit cards, etc. I have this constant fear of losing him now as well. It’s horrible. I’m figuring out that the loss of my grandmother, was the loss of being “known” by anyone in my family. I was sexually abused several times at my babysitters house when I was 6 years old and never told anyone, not even my grandmother. However, she seemed to be the only one in my family to recognize it. In my late twenties, I remember her asking me if I was sexually abused because she always had that feeling, especially when my teenage rebellion arose, along with my teen pregnancy. I don’t know why, but I denied it and brushed it off. To this day, I can’t tell anyone, especially not my parents. They were too consumed with the aftermath of divorce and custody to notice my behavior or the fact that I hated going to that sitters house after school or wondered why I was experiencing vaginal itching all the time. (They thought it was a reaction to bubble bath soap.) If I tell them now, they will feel guilty and responsible. My father has enough heart problems as it is; it would kill him to think he failed as a parent. Anyway, the one person that understood the root of my not so perfect behaviors growing up without me having to tell her, is gone now. I feel so alone now and would give anything for more time with her. I am a smart, successful woman now, but inside I feel like that 6 year old child again and not sure what to do with this. A therapist would only ask me what I think I should do when I am honestly going in circles. Has anyone else experienced these types of emotions after losing someone, reverting to your childhood and taking you back to dark places that have been laying dormant for so long?

  6. Cindy  February 6, 2020 at 12:42 am Reply

    I lost my Mom 8/11/19. This was a “she fell and broke her hip then the dominos started” and 3 months watching her die. This is my third major trauma, my first being the death of my husband after 2 months of dying after a bad ATV accident and the last being abused by a nasty Narcissistic Psychopath. My mom’s death put me into a different category I believe. I have started avoiding places and things. I went to the ER when I couldn’t calm a panic attack, feeling like I was going to die of a heart attack just the other day. My anxiety is escalating and I have grief and complex PTSD flying at me giving me more than I can handle alone. The truth is that I could have a heart condition. The symptoms are the same. But they said I was fine in the ER. Now I will get a check up and rule out illness and start to learn to live again. I am 60’s, alone and retired. I have set up volunteering with dogs and have told my friends I need them to “invite” me. The bottom line is everyone is busy with their lives. What I want to say is I am thankful and grateful but I need to ask for some help right now and it’s ok. My panic comes on when I feel dizzy and shouldn’t. Then it goes to “my heart is bleeding out”. These started in my 20’s and I think it came from my first death, my beloved Grandpa who died when I was 16 from a “I don’t feel good. I’m gonna lay down” and gone! death. Maybe. But I am going to do everything I can to learn to relax and face my fears and grief. It feels good just to type this. Blessings to everyone who is struggling. I loved this article.

  7. Angie  January 30, 2020 at 6:04 am Reply

    My dad died a month ago. He was diabetic and a smoker. He had cancer in 2013 and beat it, he later in early 2019 got an infection in his foot from being barefoot in a gym shower. He lost his toes and had gone through an extensive antibiotic treatment to beat the infection and he did just a week before he passed. He was happy and cheerful that he was able to walk again and that he was ready to dance and go travelling like we had planned for the future. He would always say “life is so short, we never known when we’re going to go.” And it’s true. I had spent every single day with him while he was healing from the infection and the day before he passed I was planning for a Christmas party I was having the next day and I told him off for leaving food crumbs on some stuff for the party, and he kind of gave me a dirty look because he didn’t feel good, and if felt bad right away. He went to use the washroom and when he came out he went upstairs to his room to sleep, I told him “hey daddy you’re going to leave now?” And he said “Yeah, I’m just really tired.” The next day I was getting ready for my party and I walked into his room because he was going to give me a ride to the store to get some extra things for the party I was throwing, he was laying on the floor snoring. I didn’t know how to react, this was odd. I just ran to get my mom and I thought “oh he’s just sleeping”, when she came up and she moved him he wouldn’t respond. He just kept snoring, I called for my younger brother to come and help and he did and we kept calling my dads name telling him to wake up but he wouldn’t. I called an ambulance and was calm on the phone but in complete shock as to what was happening. When the paramedics came they did all sorts of tests to see if he would respond, he didn’t so they took him to the hospital. I called my older brother to come to our house (he’s moved out) and he came with his wife and daughter and they drove us right behind the ambulance. The whole time we were talking about how he ate sugar when he wasn’t supposed to, he was probably in a diabetic coma, how he wouldn’t stop smoking. A half an hour later after arriving in the hospital we were talking about how we would take more care of him as soon as he got out. We got called in by the doctor and he had a frown on his face “I’m sorry but he’s not gonna make it, he’s had an aneurysm and the bleeding has gotten to his brain stem there’s nothing we can do it’s too damaged, he won’t wake up.” It felt like our world ended there and then. I didn’t cry in that moment even though I had anxious and sleepless nights in the past thinking about how I would react, “I’d probably scream and shout, I’d probably even kill myself!” I didn’t. My dad was on life support so his family that came all the way from abroad could say goodbye. I had to deal with their denial over and over again (my dad had 8 siblings) “Bro wake up!”. I wanted to scream at them “HE CAN’T” but they had just started to grieve, so I kept to myself. He was unplugged that night. Until I got home and saw all the decorations for a “stupid party” I stared bawling, “how could this happen he had just beat this infection, how could god just take my best friend, my happiness away like this?” I threw all the decorations into the garbage I couldn’t handle looking at them or the house, I felt anxious and like I couldn’t breath. My mom, my younger brother and myself went to sleep together that night, they snore. I panicked. I couldn’t go into my parents room for days, I felt as though I would find my dad laying there again. The family doctor did research on what happened to him and told us that he had a congenital vein disorder and he got a blood clot and his brain filled with blood and went to his brain stem, and that this could have happened to him when he was younger or it could of happened when he was older, but it happened to him a few days after he had been cleared from a battle with an infection, and it had nothing to do with it and it had nothing to do with diabetes, smoking, cancer either. Now I’ve accepted his death, but still I feel anxiety every time I’m forced to think about what happened and how it happened. My world is not the same.

  8. ankita  January 5, 2020 at 1:23 am Reply

    My father died a month back. he was a tall, healthy and handsome person. couple years back by chance we got to know he is suffering from CKD Chronicle Kidney Disease. it was a shock for us because he never had any medical problems in his life and he looks very healthy. Somehow we accepted and planned for kidney transplant my mother was a good match. we were planning in between he had 2minor heart attack. doctor treated heart attack with medicine.. 4-5 months passed his kidney transplant date was near and one day all of sudden he got brain stroke. we got lucky that we reached hospital on time. he recovered from this within a month. again he looks healthy. looking at him no one can say that he was so unwell. Kidney transplant delayed by 3 months. last year he had a successful kidney transplant. he was so well he gained his diet. he started being happy. everything was soo good. his nephrologist said he has stone in gallbladder so lets get it removed before it infect him. again one more operation.. again my father was healthy but he started complaining that he is feeling pain around stomach. we always took him to regular checkup. one day i was out of country and i got call from my mother that my father has one pimple that has become so big that doctor wants to operate asap. i was shocked how?? just a week back i was with him and he was all good. I thought no problem he always had things all of sudden let’s not overreact. after last operation he never able to stand. few days later operation he developed multiple infection. after so many test we gotta know he has cancer terminal stage. 8th nov we gotta know he has metastatic lung cancer and on 30th nov my father left us. My father had great faith in me.. in his last days i was with him all the time. whenever i go somewhere he use to call me and say don’t go anywhere just stand infront of me, be here only.
    i dont know how but during his last days i have developed claustrophobia. I am a very strong woman emotionally but i dont know why am i not able to cope.

  9. Beth  January 1, 2020 at 10:46 pm Reply

    I’m a 17 year old girl. I lost my dad in November of 2018 to a three week battle with lung cancer. I was 16 years old. My dad was my best friend, we did everything together. We really had this special bond. Throughout my childhood I had massive anxiety and I feared losing him. Every time he’d come home even five minutes late he’d find me in tears. His death still doesn’t feel fair to me. He never smoked a day in his life, it was an extremely rare form of cancer that was misdiagnosed as pneumonia. I remember getting a text in math class from him, in his usual cheerful demeanor, that he wanted to talk when he got home. I started panicking, because I knew exactly what that meant. I’m still so mad at myself for the way I reacted when he told me. I just screamed how much of a nightmare we were in, and he told me to hug him and I didn’t want to. I was just in total panic mode. I regret it all the time. His actual death was immensely traumatic to me as well because the palliative care service was not really prepared, because he went so quickly. I just remember him gasping over and over. I really don’t want to go too much into it. Tonight I discovered this page because I’m feeling particularly anxious. I’m in a serious relationship right now with a person whom I love very much, and I can’t stop thinking about losing him or preparing for his death. I also get extremely frightened when I see other people pass out or have panic attacks. I get agitated when my mom talks about him because i’ve never been that emotionally close with my mother so I tend to avoid all talk of emotion with her, and I feel awful for doing that because I would love to be close with her emotionally but I just seem to push that away. I try to be as comforting as I can but I can never seem to actually talk to her about it. I’m not scared of my own death, and I’m not very afraid of my mothers because from a young age she’s taught me that she’ll be ready to go when she goes, and that I should absolutely not worry because she’s with God and she’s happy. So I’m really not worried about that, I’m scared of being left behind down here when everyone I love is in heaven. I have good days and bad days, today is particularly bad for me. Writing this was helpful in processing my emotions.

    • Lesley McClintock  January 24, 2020 at 12:03 am Reply

      Hi. I read your post. I can totally relate to what you wrote 100 %. I lost my dad to brain cancer at 18. It was not as sudden as your loss, but 9 months is still pretty sudden. One summer dad was five and calling me on my birthday. By the next summer he was dead due to a very aggressive brain tumor. I have a great deal of anxiety about losing people now, esp after losing my dad. Sometimes I wonder about myself, or maybe you too, if we knew something early on. Were we anxious about people being hurt, sick, being late, etc… because on some level we had a premonition about our dads. I don’t know. All I know is I can totally relate to your sense of panic, anxiety, and fear of being left alone. I wish we could all form one big huge support group!!! My heart goes out to you. I can tell you love deeply. In our caring for others we often feel great anxiety due to fear of loss.

    • Iris  February 12, 2020 at 5:16 am Reply

      Ugh, Beth! I so feel for you. I also lost my dad to lung cancer and our stories are really quite similar. I had just turned 17 when he passed and I was holding his hand when he crossed over. My parents divorced when I was young and my mom has struggled with alcoholism and other things for a long time, so we aren’t close; though I wish we could be. My dad was my best friend as well and the cheerful demeanor you mentioned reminded me so much of him. It will be 10 years this October and I’m starting to really notice the impact that my avoidance has had on my healing. When my dad died, I felt like I had to be the strong one for everyone else in my family, so I pushed my feelings as far away as I could and told myself and everyone else that I was fine because I knew he was now in a better place. I never let myself feel sad for my loss and I’m having a hard time confronting the feelings now, since it’s been so long.
      Over the last few years I’ve developed a more intense anxiety than I’ve ever had before and it’s morphed into hypochondria and a terrible fear that my husband (we’ve been married a year and dating for seven) will die and I’ll be all alone. Most nights I lay awake, listening, to make sure he’s breathing.
      I find myself pushing people away when really what I desire is to be seen and comforted. I guess I do it as a way to protect myself from ever feeling that devastated by a loss again. That’s not really how it works though. It’s really hard and painful to lose someone so dear to you, but just know that it’s okay to feel lost and sad and there’s no time limit when it comes to grieving. Take all the time you need💛

  10. Charmaine  November 21, 2019 at 10:13 am Reply

    I don’t even know where to start. Every now and again I struggle with this anxiety feeling, I am nauseous, my heart is racing therefore I cannot sit still or focus on anything. Sometimes I want climb out of my skin as it feel I am suffocating inside.
    If I get in my car to get away from walls – I am no sooner out the shopping malls or just driving around with no purpose I have to come back home. If feel as if someone have died and I cannot cope with it – Yet nobody died. How – why – what do I do.

  11. Lena  November 9, 2019 at 6:01 pm Reply

    I don’t think I’ve seen an article that explained so well the thoughts after the death of a loved one . I was somewhat axnious and panicky person before, but still held an idealistic view of the world. Until I discovered on friends facebook wall that that our friend, to me my best friend had died. Hours later I discover he commited suicide. This was three years ago and the anxiety has struck hard and so has depression. View of the world is forever changed and I find it hard to adjust to a world without him, but I make do every do

  12. Louise  October 25, 2019 at 3:27 pm Reply

    There are different reasons for anxiety during grieving; mainly, fearing what lies ahead post loved one. Perhaps bills are piling up.

  13. Joan  October 2, 2019 at 3:01 am Reply

    A year ago, August, I was flying home for one of my “usual” visits with my family. The day before I was to leave, my elderly Mom had a fall and broke her shoulder. I was expecting my visit would be centered around cooking and caring for her and was prepared to extend my stay a little longer if needed. I spent the first day there at the hospital with Mom as she was in too much pain for them to consider sending her home. She was complaining of terrible stomach pain and wouldn’t eat and so I advocated for some tests which were to be done the next day. I kissed her goodnight, left her sleeping more comfortably and two hours later we got the call to say that her heart had stopped. She was almost 90 years old. And while it would never have felt “long enough” this was an uncomplicated grief. I had my Mom for much longer than most. She was in her right mind until the very end. We expect our parents to die before us. This was not a complicated grief. But I got on the plane to fly home with no idea that I would be burying my mother before I came home. And now, about a week or two before I’m scheduled to fly home to visit my family I start to experience shortness of breath, a sick stomach and a feeling of dread and anxiety. At times it is almost paralyzing. And I am always knocked sideways by it because I think, overall, I have managed the loss of my mom very well. I think that it must be a learned response. But how does one unlearn it?

  14. Laura  October 1, 2019 at 8:39 pm Reply

    My dad died in 2001 after a long struggle with cancer. A year or so after his death, I started having anxiety about my own health. I had an overwhelming feeling that I was going to die. It was such a strong feeling that I would look at myself in the mirror every morning and say “good-bye” because I was certain I would not live through the day. Unfortunately, during that time, I was diagnosed with cancer. Luckily, my cancer was treatable. Fast forward to now. My mom died in March from cancer. In the last few weeks, my health anxiety has been creeeping back in and now I have odd tingling and pain in my underarm. I am convinced that I again have cancer. I want to talk myself out of this belief but my anxiety brain reminds me that the last time I felt high anxiety like this, I really did turn out to have cancer.

  15. Donna M Garey  June 11, 2019 at 10:22 am Reply

    One of my nephews whom I helped raise died suddenly and unexpectedly last year form an enlarged heart. He never knew about it and neither did we. He was a grown man but like one of my children. Ever since his passing, I have extreme anxiety that I am going to die like that. Plus, my mom passed unexpectedly two years before that. They both died alone. I can’t sleep anymore. I already have anxiety and depression but I feel like I am drowning.

  16. jerome Tinsley  May 2, 2019 at 11:19 pm Reply

    Hey I think this was somthing i need to look into, I lost my wife almost 18 yrs ago in a wreck and was deeply traumatized by what i saw just after the accident when i was rushed to a local ER,, I somehow found the door open into the area where they were working to save her. I wont go into detail but to say i was thrown into a state of panic that still haunts me 17 years later,, I was home and this was supposed to be a simple store hop to get items for a simple grillout with some friends who came by,, ironic how i cant remember so many things but every minute of that evening is clear as day. she insisted that i stay with our guest while she went to get bread i believe it was,, 1hr later her mother comes to tell me of the accident,, The first thing i was told was she hit a sign,, that turned out to be a billboard steel post structure at roughly 80 or 90,,,,, the amount of damage to our 4 wheel drive hunting truck was unbelievable,,,and it changed me so drastically that it took many years to start over,, i perfected the homeless veteran image of that one you would cross the street to ::not smell 🙁 My present issue is every time a loved one leaves or doesnt come home as expected i experience worst case scenario fears, ie a complex or PTSD im not sure but it causes family members to think one just is controlling . even after all this time i havent overcome that worst fear (to me) It isnt something i plan but my family dont quite understand and find it agravating if i ask them to call or text if they get held up its ridiculous how this has effected my life and very hard to explain to anyone who hasent been through such a event.

  17. Gillian Hewitt  April 5, 2019 at 10:44 am Reply

    Hello to everyone who is struggling with loss of a loved one. I posted in November, 2018 about my own struggle with loss. Five months on from that post, I have made progress, and have actually started to find joy in life again. I was so very fortunate to find a wonderful counselor who I truly believe is an earth angel….I do yoga, meditation and I go to Church as often as I can. I am still on a high dose of anti depressants, but live with this as the combination of everything has helped me to find a path to follow. I doubt I will ever be the person I was…but I am in a better place, and would urge everyone out there struggling to reach out….I am mentoring a lovely young woman from my Church who was a junior doctor working in the NHS until the day she suffered a massive bleed in her brain on her way to work…life turns on a sixpence. She is literally a walking miracle, and being with her and helping her each week to take another step in life has been such a wonderful thing for me…even on days when I am wobbling with emotion and just want to sit and sob for my lost loved ones, being there for her has been my salvation. So please everyone out there, please hang in and reach out for help. There are groups that meet to talk about loss, I am fortunate that I could pay for my counseling, I know a lot of people can’t, but please take the first step, yoga and meditation are very beneficial to those struggling with grief, above all, share your fears with someone….you will be surprised how much this helps…God bless to all x

  18. stefanie  February 26, 2019 at 4:49 pm Reply

    I lost my 21year old son on Oct 25 2014, he was our only child. The world tilted one way that day and I tilted another and I will not be right side up again I don’t think. Now I am in the middle of divorcing his father. My world was all about Ty and Chris, they are gone now.. Chris will be soon and Oct 25th I have experienced a daily nightmare. I saw my child laying on the pavement with a sheet covering him. I saw the fire fighters spray his blood off the pavement. I saw his brains splattered all over the back windshield of his car. I feel very bad for those that have lost so many in such a short amount of time and for those that lost their mom but nothing and I mean nothing can compare to losing your child. I talked to Ty literally 30 min before the accident and it was a bright beautiful day until I got that call.. then the day turned black and hasn’t changed since then. I feel like im coming out of my skin half the time. I have severe anxiety, depression, hopelessness beyond what a human can take in. I feel like he was a dream I had, I don’t recognize myself or my life anymore. I live in a fog that never lifts. I take Xanax for panic attacks, Zoloft for depression and blood pressure medicine and nothing touches what I experience every single minute of every day. I don’t remember my old life, I cant wrap my mind around this enormous loss. I know that I will never truly live again until I die. I am terrified of life, I very rarely like once or twice a week leave the house and when my husband is gone I don’t know how I will even survive it. He is my safe place but at the same time this tragedy has taken its toll on us. The scripture, Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick, is real. My heart is sick to the point my internal organs ache.

    • Karen Selby  May 13, 2019 at 7:49 pm Reply

      I am in tears reading this I am so sorry for your loss I am sure he is in a better place than this awful world x I am convinced life is an endurance test and the best people are taken early to avoid their pain x I am sure your wonderful son is looking down and praying for you x you will meet again x

    • Tracee  October 1, 2020 at 9:21 pm Reply

      I so relate. I lost my daughter In end of 2009 to accidental drug overdose. Before she past day after day I had fear of getting that call. Her addiction only lasted 2 years before that she did not even drink. She was my best friend. The doctors were giving her meds after a car accident that she should have not been taking together. The combination killed her. But trauma started before she past. I found out about her passing In a grocery store then running through the store and then the parking lot screaming (god a cant do this) was the worst pain until I got to where she was. I crawled on the ground hugging the door just to feel her somehow before her spirit was gone even though It was gone already. I use to follow girls In cars that looked like her just to try and see them. It was sick. All these years later I have fear of driving scared of getting In the car. Difficulty walking In parking lots (where I feel like Im going to fall back until I get near another car, walking Into stores. I stopped talking to other people I love I guess fear of loosing them. My daughter left behind at that time a three month old daughter now 11 and a boy that was five now almost 17 I raise along with my son almost 16. I have to work and I have extreme fear when I pull back In my driveway worried something happened while I was gone. The fear never goes away. I have fear of them going anywhere without me. Im a believer In god I’m doing meditation, breathing exercises time In my room alone. I also take zoloft and just started counciling. Im always scared I will get a call from my other older daughter so I can barely talk to her or my other grandkids. I stop talking to my sister because she Is sick and Im scared that call will come. My best friend was my only support and I love her so much but stopped talking to her because she Is Ill. Again scared to get that call. I wont watch TV because It upsets me. I pass many post on FB because I start to feel panic looking at some of their post. I don’t go to places I use to love very often because I find that Im freaked and have to prepare before going. I wont let others get to close because I tend to feel their pain even neighbors when I hear them fighting I get very upset. Living like this Is sick. I thought with time this would go away.but at times Its getting worse. I hate It. Prayers to all of you that we find a healing.

  19. Denise smith  February 22, 2019 at 3:14 pm Reply

    Wow 😮 I read a lot of the comments …& everything that everyone is saying about panic attacks ,anxiety & depression are all true ..YOU ARE NOT GOING CRAZY …..our bodies are all different each one plays a different roll but basically it’s all comes down to the same thing , death , fear of losing again , not wanting to be in a crowd ,embarrassment of having a panic attack when your afraid to go out …and more there’s a lot to mention …bottom line WE ARE NOT ALONE ….there are millions & millions of people around us,the guy next door ,the cashier at the grocery store …just to name a few that are going through exactly what we are but of course we don’t know that because we don’t know them….I will brief you know alittle bit about me …I am 56 years old …I had only one nephew the love ❤️ of my life …we were 3 sister & no brothers …so when he came into this world you coukd only imagine the joy that day we had …until about 7 years ago our world got shattered he was diagnosed with 2 bad kidneys I though my life was over right then & there …but ok the dialysis started which was hell for him …I’m sure some of you could relate …but after 7 years the disease took over his body which he could not fight any more …he passed away….( I say he got his golden wings ) because it’s hard for me to say any other word but that …I haven’t been the same since he got his golden wings …but keep this in mind I’ve had depression & anxiety since I was in my teens & I am 56 …I have been we’re most of you all are today …hospitals ,Drs, physiologist , Nero specialists & the list goes on & on …but I haven’t had panic attacks since my nephew & trust me there’s a difference some people would beg to differ …but in my opinion there is …explanation …anxiety you feel it coming on but there’s time to take a pill and get relaxed ASAP but a panic attack is exactly what it is a panic attack it comes on so fast ,strong, & hard & out of the blue there is no time to take a pill you just have to be lucky enough that it just may kick in as fast as it can ….I find myself alone a lot not wanting to get up out of bed ,or sometimes just the opposite having ocd ….like I said we are all different BUT in reality we are the same …just different people with the same problem ….and sleep 💤 what’s sleep I know ,I know …your gonna feel & say the same thing when I go to put my head on the pillow at night my mind ( our minds )are going a mile a minute …again we are all the same ….please before I end this conversation I want to repeat myself one more time WE ARE NOT ALONE ….we are in this together …oh & one more thing yes we are going to find people that don’t understand what we are going through & look at us like we’re crazy 😜 ….but they must thank GOD that they are BLESSED that they don’t have to put up a daily struggle like we do ….idk how but we will get through this some how …if anyone needs to talk here is my fb name sorry no photo my name is Denise Smith just leave me a message & I promise I will get back to you ….may God Bless all of us …..🙏❤️💕💔

  20. c  January 29, 2019 at 10:20 am Reply

    Thank you for a very insightful article, I see I’m not alone either. I believe any traumatic experience, death, illness etc. Has a tendency to burst the “happily ever after” bubble. Life seems to become more menacing.

  21. Elaine  January 27, 2019 at 1:32 pm Reply

    I lost my mum in 2011, I am still getting over it or trying to, a short illness with cancer, my husband gets me through bad days. For how long I don’t know, you see, he’s just been diagnosed with dementia…he’s 60 this year but doesnt look it..he is the love of my life….32 years we have had, 3 good kids and 1 lovely grandaughter. I feel like I’m grieving for him now? The life he’s being robbed of, his excellent brain not functioning, it seems such a cruel way for him to go…that hurts the most because he knows what’s coming. To see the pain of loss in his eyes is heart breaking…..

  22. Ann  January 16, 2019 at 2:55 am Reply

    Hi lost my mom August 22.2018
    Been have anxiety 4 months now, first i was loosing hair then feeling fear of being alone, its really sucks sometimes its really hard to breath like having a heart attack, been to a doctor 2x diagnosis is just the same, i have all laboratory done come out negative., doctor prescribe me inderal take as needed only, until now i am still feeling the shortness of breath, but its a little bit better than before… i manage to not to feel like scared or fear, but sometime i notice i get so stress listening or hearing a thumping sound, or vacuums
    I know its weird but really i dont want to hear it scared me for what ever reason… anyway I hope and pray we all get over it..

    • Dee  January 16, 2019 at 9:21 pm Reply

      Hi Ann .. I never had anxiety before and Ive recently been dealing with it too. It is so weird ! I had freakouts on the train whenever it went underground.. so trust me your vacuum issue isnt weird. We cant control what triggers us I guess. I was struggling with that for a few months – the first few weeks were terrible so I understand your struggle! I would suggest to continue to push through it… sometimes we have to feel the fear but do it anyway. Separate our mind from our thoughts. Im here if you need to talk xoxo.

  23. V  January 13, 2019 at 9:50 pm Reply

    I lost my mom August 21, 2018, 3 days after her 75th birthday. In 2003, I was still in college when she got into a car accident and sustained minor injuries. I dropped out of school and moved back home to “take care” of her because I couldn’t stand the thought that she had nobody to tend to her when she got into the accident and what if something like that happened again?! My father had passed away in 1997 and I have other siblings, mind you, but they all have their own families and I was the only one who was still single and had no “responsibilities”. Since then, I have been with my mother at our family home, ran errands for her, cooked for her, took care of her, and learned from her…my routine revolved around her. Siblings came and went, but I stayed, partly because everyone else had settled with their own homes and families; and also, the older she got, the more particular my mom became with her choice of a “caretaker” (me). She had a heart failure the day after her birthday and held on for a couple more days, saying her goodbyes to her children, siblings, and loved ones. She didn’t say “goodbye” to me, which I think is fine with me. She knew I loved her and I know she loved me. The last time she spoke to me, she was giving me instructions on what she wanted to wear for burial (the last dress my father bought her) and instructions on her most prized possessions (some to her siblings and I was to “hold on” to the rest on behalf of my siblings). Oh gosh, I rarely cry and I’m keeping myself from tearing up now because I am at work. I learned later that with every sibling of mine, cousin, close friend, even my fiance…she asked them to look out for me and thanked my fiance for taking care of me. My siblings asked my fiance and I to stay at our family home and not move out, at least for the next year because it is where she and I lived and they did not want it abandoned.

    I came to this site because I now find myself avoiding large groups of people, especially if there are strangers or my mother’s relatives. I get goosebumps when I see or even think about an event I need to go to and I think of the crowd and my stomach turns. I sometimes stop in the middle of an aisle in the grocery store because I’ll get a wave of slight dizziness and my stomach feels like I’m going up and down an elevator (is that anxiety?). I have become obsessed with organization and our kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom are the most organized/clean as they’ve ever been. My mom’s room is untouched, her bed, and all the areas where she would hang out, I’ve left as is (it’s a cultural thing) though I do launder her beddings and do the usual cleaning. My office space is clean, my desk drawers organized and I’ve spent a lot of money just buying organizational items. Keep in mind that I was never a neat freak nor was I a slob…I routinely cleaned before but it’s on another level now. And I smile, go to work, the stores, and when people I know ask how I am, I say, “I’m okay, yes, I miss her and I’m fine…I’m fortunate to have spent a lot of time with her. My siblings might need more comfort, though, especially the ones who lived too far to see my mom on a regular basis. Please worry about those two. I’m okay.” but then there are times when I get angry and bitter at my siblings when they say they are very sad and I wish I could just scream at them and say, “You do not have to walk past her bedroom, her things, her favorite chair, her picture on the home altar every day!! Your whole routine did not change!! Yes, you’re sad but so am I!”. What is wrong with me? Why am I such a bad person now, to think that and to be so selfish to even “compare” our grief? It’s an endless internal battle with me.

    I’m so sorry for the “essay”. It’s like I couldn’t stop once I started typing. I don’t expect anyone to read this far. I guess I just needed to put this down somewhere.

    • Mie Ann  January 16, 2019 at 2:37 am Reply

      Hi, I take care of my mom for almost 2months running around different hospitals , trying to get her a great medical attention, money wasnt a problem at all as long she alive,but then the last hospital (4rth) told us to bring her back home and give her what she wants,(time clicking) doctors really wasn’t frank about she only have few days left, she died 3 days right after we came out the hospital, mind you i have 7 siblings, all really wasnt thr for me, i was a loner , my dad was thr for me but he wasnt any help i have to take care of him to for the whole 2months basically i take care both of them… to my story short 2 weeks after my moms burial i start of having fear scared of being alone,… then been feeling like having a heart attack , went to emergency done all the test came all negative, but still i was having difficulty on breathing, emergency doctor dont wanna give me any medicine because all the test are negative ( basically they thinking i am going crazy) no one understand me, they told me to go back home, then after i tired to calm my self having a hard time breathing, i went back to hospital find a doctor who can give me med. To calm down. Finally someone understand me and explain what i am going thru, he check my hair, he notice i was loosing hair, he said i am suffering from anxiety, so he prescribe med. It works but its really sucks its still their i am not getting better,, doctor told me to exercise i did that, but non of it works still dealing with until now… it really hard still have that feeling of diffulty of breathing but not like before it was hard almost like painting,… anyway i suggest to get a professional help,
      I have a docs appointment again, it help a little but better than never.

  24. Angela Webster  January 7, 2019 at 7:08 am Reply

    I’ve taken care of my stepmom for the last 9 years she had a stroke and became paralyzed in 09 my dad couldn’t take care of her so she moved in with me and my 2 girls in 2013 my fiance and father of my oldest daughter wrecked a car bf behind me and passed suddenly it was so hard we had been together since 4th grade almost 26 years exactly 30 days to the day later my nanny passed from diabetes complications it really hurt she was my best friend my stepmom got me through this I now have 3 amazing girls 3 months ago I went into my stepmom room to bring her breakfast and wake her and she passed away in her sleep its killing me I feel so guilty for not being there it was sudden maybe I did something wrong or could have prevented her death she was so amazing I tried CPR I moved her to a blanket on the floor and kept trying spray it didn’t work the ambulance tried for 45 minutes we couldn’t save her my heart is broken they left her there until 9pm it was 9am when we found her and when I went to her room to cover her and cut the air up until the funeral home got there she did not look the same its was so scary I can’t get these images of finding her lifeless or finding her looking that way out my head I get this sharp pain in my chest and I feel like I can’t breathe so I go to my happy yet not so happy place in my head and block it out I’ve blocked for 3 months now I’m so angry and bitter I don’t know who I am anymore I don’t want to live but have to for my girls I’m crazy depressed I cry all day I hide the tears and pain for my girls please someone help I’m going crazy awebster205@gmail.com is my email thanks for reading

  25. Walt  January 4, 2019 at 4:42 pm Reply

    I have recently lost my Mom from Frontal Temporal Dementia (FTD) she was 60 years old. This didnt happen suddenly it showed its ugly head in August of 2013 and she recently passed Oct 9 2018. I am active military and her only child with a wife and a 8 year old boy. No one back home would help take care of her so I moved in with us out of state so at least she would be near folks who love her. After almost two years we had to put her in a home which was better for her but added extreme financial hardship for my family and I. The next following two years I tried to come home and see her as much as I could. In the end it nearly or may still cost me my marriage. After she passed I have had extreme anxiety and a deep pain in my chest that nearly never goes away and I try to help it exercise ( hardly have the energy) talking to people and even beer only works temporarily. It was a long drawn out excruciating preocess. To add to that I have extreme guilt and regret because I couldnt see her more.

  26. Colleen  January 1, 2019 at 12:56 pm Reply

    My Mom passed away suddenly 7 months ago and I miss her dearly. We spoke all day every day. I am battling with my sudden loss. I keep myself busy with my 2 daughters whom my Mom loved dearly. She was able to meet her second grandbaby and bond with her weeks before she passed and I am ever grateful to Lord for this. It was a very short visit but my mom bonded with her grandbaby and that day was her best day of her year!! The extreme sudden lost (within 14 hrs) shook me so that I am battling with anxiety daily now. I thought I could deal with it myself and over these past 7 months I thought I was on the right track but I know now I am not. I am anxious everyday waiting for something bad to happen. Trying to control every situation I possibly can. Monitoring everyone’s coming and goings and mostly hubbies. Why aren’t you home yet and don’t drink too much and just waiting for something bad to happen. I need to deal with this now as I just want to feel my normal self again, like I was before Mom passed! Feeling anxious all the time is getting on my nerves and I’m tired of feeling this way when I have no reason to! Anyone else out there with some issues? How do you deal with feeling anxious all the time? Wish my family stayed closer!

    • Tina Broderick  January 2, 2019 at 7:09 pm Reply

      I really sympathise with you, I lost my mum very suddenly in January, she was my best friend and we spoke to each other everyday.
      Every day is a constant battle with anxiety and panic attacks.
      Then 3 months ago I also lost my father, the pain is unbearable. I feel every waking hour I live in fear of a panic attack.

  27. Linda-Ann Martins  December 26, 2018 at 2:20 pm Reply

    I lost my mother very unexpectedly on 14 November 2018. I hide my tears and feelings in front of my sisters and family but I’m really struggling. She was only 63 years old and I’m 32. I don’t have children yet but I’m very happily married. I feel like I lost half of my heart and struggle to do simple daily tasks. I struggle with severe anxiety and panic attacks.

    • Whitney  February 23, 2019 at 12:31 am Reply

      Reading your comment brought me to tears. Know you are not alone. I lost my mother very unexpectedly on Nov. 16. She was just 62 and me 33. How you describe half of your heart missing, it is exactly that feeling. But, not that the half simply disappeared. It feels like the half was ripped out. Confide in your family. Chances are, they are feeling grief in their own ways as well.

  28. Ammy  December 24, 2018 at 8:39 am Reply

    I lost my Dad on 20/12/2018 to cardiac arrest 8 days to my wedding.. Today I almost drugged myself to death but was stopped..
    I’m afraid of losing anyone.. My husband means the world to me.. Each time he’s away I’m terrified, anxious and scared..

    I feel I’m losing my mind..

    • Courtney  January 3, 2019 at 6:55 pm Reply

      I so now how you are feeling. I lost my dad to sudden cardiac 3 months ago and my wedding is in Feb. I only came across this page because I couldn’t get hold of my fiancé and needed to google to see if I felt normal. Like you I also think the worst, just had a breakdown at work all because he didn’t answer my phone call or call back from 2 hours ago. I really hope you are getting better, Ive heard that one day the memories of our lost loved ones make us feel happy and smile instead of sad and alone like they do now.

    • Karen Selby  May 13, 2019 at 8:00 pm Reply

      Oh god I know what you’re going through I have severe anxiety and fear of losing my husband or daughter I am ruining any pleasure in the here and now and am worried I am manifesting my fears onto my daughter xxx hope you feel better soon much love 💖 I

  29. James  December 22, 2018 at 5:07 pm Reply

    I lost my mom to ovarian cancer when I was 23. It’s been almost 10 years and I still have trouble dealing with it, most especially in the winter months and around the holidays. Most of my issues with anxiety and depression are the fear of becoming terminally ill or someone close to me becoming terminally ill. The fear is so palpable at times that I convince myself with certainty that I have something. Even though I love my family dearly, sometimes I find it hard to be around them because I am afraid of losing them as well. It is possible that my seasonal fear stems from my mom being diagnosed just before Christmas and dying just a couple months later. I’ve haven’t been able to navigate the the holiday in a way that is healthy ever since and I usually feel much better when the season is over. My heart goes out to anyone with similar experiences and feelings. God bless you guys.

    • K  November 16, 2019 at 5:02 am Reply

      James, I can see this was last year, but as we are approaching the holidays again I just wanted to see how you are holding up? I lost my mum a few weeks ago suddenly and it is hell.

  30. Anon  December 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm Reply

    I lost my mum about 2 years ago to sudden adulatory cardiac arrest which means she had a sudden heart attack at work, when I was 13 and ever since then I just feel like I always the worst is going to happen I have often minor panic attacks about my sister and dad dying and I don’t know what I can do to help it.

  31. Gillian Hewitt  November 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm Reply

    My heart goes out to all of you….lost a much loved brother in 2015, and my much loved younger brother in 2018 with a heart attack…since 2014 I have been losing my sister to dementia….the sudden death of my youngest brother has literally broken me…I spend each day in a state of panic and anxiety about losing my husband….life, at present is hell, I pray to find some help for this somewhere, and hope you all do too xxxx

    • Diana  November 25, 2018 at 1:36 am Reply

      Hi Gillian, I am sorry youre in pain. I have lost everyone the last couple years and it was so hard on me I decided to retire and go to England for several months to get away from the pain. 4 days after I left my closest friend in the world, and my main support system died suddenly. Its been a year and I am in so much pain. Only had a few friends left and they dont understand. So I am alone. Intellectually I tell myself that someday I will feel ok again. But that is honestly hard to imagine. Antidepressants for my sadness and anxiety have helped a lot. As has my friends cat who I now have custody of. It is a small part of him. I never knew my life could change so much. I am with you and hope you can find small things to make your days easier. Diana x

  32. Becca Ramirez  November 12, 2018 at 11:44 pm Reply

    I lost my Grandmother just a few months ago.. She was 98. Even though I saw it coming, I couldn’t brace myself in time. Then, one year ago this February, my best friend died suddenly and tragically in an accident. Last summer just a couple of months after he died, my uncle died of a drug overdose. The re-occurring deaths frighten me so and now I find it difficult to go into public without being plagued with sadness. I’m scared if I go back to work I’ll start crying out of nowhere! It’s haunting me and now I’m so worried something else might happen. The fear is beginning to take control of my body and I feel energy coursing through my veins. I don’t know what to make of it. I’m constantly praying and trying to have hope.

    – Becca

  33. Jamil Ahmad  November 5, 2018 at 6:52 am Reply

    I lost two sister in law in 8 months then I am suffering from severe grief stress and anxiety for last 2 months what i do?

  34. Lisa  November 4, 2018 at 1:47 am Reply

    I have suffered from anxiety all my life since age 8. I have lost my best friend in 2016 and her husband died within 24 hours of her. Then in 2017 I lost two more dear friends. Now I have lost my beloved husband too and I am grieving everyone and terrified that it will shortly be me. By shortly I mean any second now. My husband died of a stroke and I learned life turns on a dime.

  35. Traci  November 2, 2018 at 6:04 pm Reply

    I lost my aunt in June of 17…my friend a year ago last week…my only sister in Jan. of 2018…my sisters father in law the day before her funeral…my brother in law 2 months to the day of my sister, my father this Sept. AND my cousin this week. I think I’m ok…then I’m not.

    • Peter  December 26, 2018 at 8:53 pm Reply

      Wow, you seem like a strong person. I would like to talk with you if it’s okay.

  36. Abhinav  October 30, 2018 at 2:17 pm Reply

    I losst my father at 14 then 10 moths later my brother 1 year elder to me and recently some 48 days ago I lost my mom. I am 18 now and only have my dister. But I geyt bad thoughts like something will happen to me then I divert myselg but the next bad thought which immediatly strikes me is that something worst happening with my sister. It never happened with me before.
    Some examples of my bad thoughts are:-
    1. If I travel through bus or train I get thoughts of accident happening.
    2. Some untreatable disease happening.

  37. Anon  September 20, 2018 at 7:43 am Reply

    I lost my dad 22 years ago very suddenly and unexpectedly when I was 28 since then I have become very anxious .
    My mum is 78 and has heart problems ,every time she has a hospital appointment I fear the worst . My mum is a very needy person and wether she does it purposely or not plays on my emotions .
    I resent her for this as she knows how anxious I am .
    Her answer to this is ..if I can’t talk to my own daughter how I feel who can I talk to ,which makes me feel bad
    Her conversations are manly about when she has gone …meaning when she’s died .

    • Courtney  January 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm Reply

      I’m 28 and just lost my dad unexpectedly. I know how you feel about the communication thing with your mum. But you don’t need to tell her everything. My dad and I were very similar and my mum and brother are similar so I know that neither of them are going to see my point of view or how I approach things. they are really good at practical things and getting things done which is when I need them most, but emotional spiritual things I save for those who get me in that way. You just need to pick out the things your mother can relate to you on and talk about those.

  38. Alina  July 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm Reply

    It might be useful to add a section on social anxiety. As a 20-something who recently lost her mum, I find myself in the strange position of not wanting to be alone and seeking out company for support and distraction, while at the same time feeling a lot of anxiety when it comes to handling social encounters. I was and probably still am a fairly outgoing person, but nowadays it’s hard for me to draw much pleasure from encounters which are surface level (i.e. acquantainces, recent friends) because I can’t talk about what happened with my mum, and if I am honest about how I feel I think my general state of cinicism and mysery will not make me an attractive-fun person that people will want to spend more time with. This sort of vicious circle means I generally spend lots of time stressing out before going out and cancelling most of the time
    I have close friends luckily, and they’ll always be there…but it does feel like I’ve lost the whole ability of light social interaction.

  39. gloria  September 18, 2016 at 6:39 pm Reply

    The phone ringing befor 8:00am… vacations in Colorado (my former favorite place), my mothers house…all triggers. Thank you for another great, eye-opening/ I am not alone, article!

  40. Greta  September 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm Reply

    Iam one with a large amount of anxiety. And brought on by the deaths of family member, its a struggle each day and i myself am not the same person. Ive change my hidden life style and i dont cry any more i cant, there are no tears, iam full of anger and God and i are not on speaking terms.

  41. yvonne  September 14, 2016 at 6:06 pm Reply

    Thank you! I lost my mom 10 months ago and it still hurts like hell. I didn’t feel this much pain when I lost my dad 43 yrs ago. It’s like my heart is missing! There are days all I do is cry, I miss her so much. I am thankful to my husband who is my rock and my fur babies. The coming holidays will be very lonely .

  42. June Richmond  September 14, 2016 at 3:36 pm Reply

    Enjoyed the article

Leave a Comment

YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. Required fields are marked *