This happened for me for a long time and I couldn't have the pills.
It would affect me greatly to see him at places like mediation, or to see our names with a "v" when I first had to read the D papers. Hearing his voice used to do it, but doesn't now.
One of the first things that ever helped me through that time was appealing to my senses. Smell, sound or temperature oftentimes was able to break through the pain in my head and heart when nothing else would.
When the grief came for me I would do things like mix temperatures, like a hot bath or shower with a cold drink and then tell myself about it.
Or favorite soap or candles I would light a few at a time and tell myself about the smell, like describing it. Sometimes the thoughts or senses would break through the pain.
I also turned to puzzles on paper, crosswords, suduko and so on because I had a lot of rapid thought I couldn't control that brought the tears.
I've also gone to my car and done some things with the radio and vibrations that helped bring me into reality bits at a time.
There is some more of this type of strategy, and some easy meditation, if you feel like "hearing" more of it.
I remember that I had online classes and one started the very first morning I woke up and he was gone. It really helped give me an anchor and so did reading about personalities, for when I found some things that matched his, I could take some of the pressure off of me and realize less failures were mine.
ETA that breathing through your belly is not easy when the chest pain comes, but does get rid of it. I lived with chronic anxiety and this was an exercise told by several different types of doctors or counselors.
And yes, one strategy that helps me stand up now in the face of this is the thinking that his seeing me down would be like he "won" and I simply will not let that happen. Every time I come away from interaction without showing emotion is a victory for me and I hold that dearly, closely, so that when the next bouts come, I can remember...if I did it once, surely it can be done again.
Peace to you on this journey.Ashland 13
The times, they are'a changin'! -Bob Dylan