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This is the only place I feel safe sharing topics like this, with others, who are more likely to understand-

I am a bit of an "Over thinker" meaning I ruminate-I have always been that way to a point. But now it's more extreme - since my wife died I find myself thinking the worst. If I don't hear from my daughter, a close friend, or family member my head starts going in all kind of crazy scenarios. This usually occurs if I contact them and don't hear back within in a few hours. Once they contact me...I'm good,my anxiety dissipates immediately.

But if I don't hear from someone in a timely manner, particularly someone very close, I seriously think about getting in the car and driving the 100 miles to make sure they are OK or getting on a plane.

I know its not rational thinking, but what I know and how I process are two different things. My daughter says it all makes sense, due to two painful losses but I want to know if anyone else out there experiences this or if I'm simply ready for the squirrel cage.

Thank you

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Hi Soulmate,

it is absolutely normal what you are feeling. I have the same issues, and know of many, many other widows that go through the same anxiety and irrational fears. I don't have any advice on how to cope with it though. Just part of the package of widowhood I guess. 

Soulmate, I truly believe that anxiety manifests itself in many ways. I don’t find that odd or crazy. This might go away or lessen with time but it wouldn’t hurt to try and distract yourself a little, as hard as that sounds. We all worry to some degree but I think the way we react should be rational. People do forget to call, plans sometimes change, phones batteries go, people get stuck in traffic, flights are delayed— things happen and naturally we become concerned. Remind yourself of these things if you can. 

Anxiety is hard to deal with because it is often out of our control when it pops up!  I remember having difficulty talking to others, especially in a group setting. I would feel like hyperventilating— a very unpleasant feeling. It did go away with time. I believe yours will too. Grief is hard to deal with as it seems to attack us from so many angles!  It also seems you have an understanding and caring daughter and I think her response is very wise. Be patient with yourself, peace does find us.

Heck, yes.

I lost my mother in October, 2016 and my husband in November.  Both had lived good, long lives and chose palliative care when diagnosed with cancer that was unlikely to benefit from aggressive treatment.

A month later I had my regular checkup and freaked out when they told me my white blood cell count and my neutrophils were low. My husband Ron died of acute myeloid leukemia and I'd been charting some of his key blood components (hey, I'm a retired actuary) and those were two that had gone haywire.  The doctor wasn't excited, but I was.  I talked to a friend who used to be a chiropractor.  I talked to my sister, an obstetrician.  I consulted Dr. Google.  One site used boundaries established by the Mayo Clinic and according to them my neutrophils were at the low end of normal.  That was a year ago- I've had nothing worse than a bad cold.  In September I completed a 35-mile charity bike ride on Labor Day and a week later rode 71 miles of the Katy Trail over 4 days.  I'm pretty sure I don't have leukemia.  At the time, though, it felt like my world was falling apart.

Crisis 2:  my DIL had her second baby 2 weeks after Ron died and developed a superficial thrombosis.  I got all worried about what would happen if my beloved son were to lose the love of his life and have to take care of two motherless little girls... My DIL went to her doctor, they gave her something she had to inject daily for a few weeks, she's no longer using BC pills because of the clot risk, and they'll be able to use preventative measures if she has a third baby (which they want eventually).  I'm still going to worry if/when she gets pregnant again.

So... very much about me, but my long-winded way of saying you're not alone.  Try and turn the realization that life is finite into something positive.  That led me to make a visit to my siblings and widowed father in SC in July- I usually went just at Christmas. I'm planning to go again this July, having just come back from the Christmas trip.

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