'Difficult without him:' Waukesha floral shop owner died of COVID-19 after battling flu-like symptoms

WAUKESHA -- The Possi family runs a Waukesha floral shop on Moreland Boulevard. They were planning on selling it and preparing for a new chapter in life. That was before the coronavirus took a life.

Larisa Possi's world was forever changed after losing her husband, James Possi, to COVID-19 complications.

Larisa and James Possi

"He was a hardworking man, a caring man," she said. "It is so difficult without him, and so sad."

Best Floral

Larisa is originally from Russia. She was living the American dream with her husband of 14 years -- running Best Floral in Waukesha as a team. James began experiencing severe flu-like symptoms in late March.

"He had a high temperature every day. He said they found liquid in his lungs," said Larisa. "They said it was a death from coronavirus."

He tested positive for COVID-19 and went to a Waukesha hospital. The 68-year-old's condition took a turn, and he died in the hospital on April 3.

"He didn't say goodbye. I didn't think I'd see him last time," said Larisa.

Fighting back tears in quarantine, she has been uplifted by friends, family and strangers -- feeling loved after losing the love of her life. A fund for funeral expenses has raised thousands of dollars.

"I didn't know so many people love me. Yesterday, I got so many messages and it was a surprise," Larisa said. "Just care about each other. Don't go anywhere. Stay home."

Larisa said James had high blood pressure.

She also said Wednesday, April 8 she has a cough herself, but is physically feeling OK. She plans to continue to run the flower shop in her husband's honor.