Dear Annie: Anxiety after loss –

Dear Annie: My husband passed away in April after suffering for many years from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. I was his caregiver for over a year, along with hospice. It was very hard on me. Since he passed, I have been lost, depressed and have a lot of anxiety.

I don’t have much of a support system because my family members have all passed away. I stay at home, grieving terribly. I have suffered from depression for many years. Now the depression and anxiety feel overwhelming. I have been unable to get my meds right, which is very difficult to say the least.

I want to get a job so I can get out of the house and have contact with people, but I stress terribly about looking for a job every time I even think about it. I have a lot of insecurities, and I have had trouble with the interview questions on those occasions when I reached out.

I just want to get back to a somewhat normal life. My husband was always there for me when I went through difficult times, and now he’s not, of course. I never had anxiety like this, and it’s getting worse. In the past, it was just nervousness. Any suggestions? — Grieving Widow

Dear Grieving Widow: I am so sorry for your loss. You have every right to feel sad and anxious. You just lost your partner and best friend. Speaking harshly to yourself about your insecurities is not going to help. Instead, praise yourself for what an amazing wife you were to your husband. Getting your medications right and having the right therapist to support you during this difficult transitional time of life is very important. Take each day one at a time.

Once you get the proper treatment for your anxiety and depression, you can join a grief support group, where you will start to feel better. In time, there is a good chance that you will find a job that will help you “get back to a somewhat normal life.” But we must learn to walk before we can run.

Dear Annie: Our grandson is getting married at a resort that only allows 40 guests. His wife has decided they need to invite friends instead of family. However, her family members are included.

We are his only living grandparents, so our feelings are hurt. We are not estranged from him; we see him occasionally.

We have not even received an announcement. My husband doesn’t think we should even send a gift. I don’t know how to handle this. — Hurt Grandmother

Dear Hurt Grandmother: The bride is practicing a double standard by keeping your grandson’s family away. That is not a recipe for a happy life. You have every right to feel hurt. At the end of the day, it is her decision. Whether you send a gift is up to you. If you feel moved to and there is something you want your grandson to have on his wedding day, then, by all means, don’t be petty, and send him the gift.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to


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