Can a Widow Have Broken Heart Syndrome?
Am I 100% sure that he had a heart attack? No tests were done to verify it, but there doesn't seem to be many other reasons why we would have spent a nice day together, gone to bed laughing, only to find him gone a few hours later when I got up to use the bathroom.
Needless to say the weeks since have been excruciatingly painful for me. I am physically and emotionally drained. My heart has felt literally broken at times, and I feel like I'm carrying around a heavy weight. I never would have imagined that grief could be so painful.
Can the stress from the loss of a loved one literally cause heart issues? Yes, but generally, they are temporary. It is a condition called broken heart syndrome. Mayo Clinic explains that the shock of the loss disrupts the normal functioning of the heart for a period of time. You can read more about it at the above link, or in more detail at the American Heart Association website.
I was already on a Beta Blocker, a medication for high blood pressure, so have a feeling it protected me somewhat from this, but it was interesting to find that such a condition existed. My daughter's friend told her to have me take a baby aspirin each day for a while. That is what a doctor had her mother do. I had some around the house, so for a while took one every other day, but will not make it a regular thing until talking to my doctor at my next appointment.
So I have the long journey of grief ahead of me. Though things are working out financially etc., I wish I had been more prepared mentally and spiritually for loss. Few of us want to take time to prepare our minds for such a possibility, and because I wasn't prepared, I was caught completely off guard, even though I knew this was a possibility with his health condition. It is all so surreal to me, though slowly, I am processing, crying, crying, and crying some more, as I learn to accept this new reality. My entire life has changed, almost every aspect of it was touched by my now-absent husband, and I feel it acutely. If you have a loving spouse, love him/her deeply in return. You would be amazed at all the "I wish I hads" I've had to deal with since my husband's passing. Regrets are a natural part of grief, so I try to keep them in perspective. I am glad we had a happy last day together and the last sound I heard from him was his laughter. I will miss him deeply until we meet again.
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