Will i ever have a full night's sleep again?


In reply to Lonely

Dear Sheila My life is just the same as yours. I am 71 and lost my husband 3 months ago to cancer. He was my everything since I was 17 years old and our whole lives were with each other. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything but my son and daughter think I can just go out and "make a new life". I just want the old life and my husband back. It's tearing me apart. This morning I saw a counsellor but I just couldn't stop crying. What is the point? It's like purgatory. Love Jacqi

Dear Jacqi,

I am so terribly sorry for your loss, I really am, and I wish I could take the pain away but I can't, I can't even take the pain away from myself. After four years without my husband it is now just an existence, getting through each day as it comes. I plan nothing and just do what I feel like doing on that particular day.

If I have to go out I do, but not for the sake of it. I have never done anything I did not want to do, despite so many people telling me to join this and join that. Sometimes I think they told me to do these things so they could forget about me because I have found other things to concentrate on, but they were wrong.

When my husband died, I lost my future and he lost his future so now all I have is the past memories and they keep me going.

We have two son's who are just the same as your children. I have been ill since last Wednesday, and had my head down the toilet all night and thought I would have to call for an ambulance but the sickness passed but I am still not well. I have not had a phone call from one of our sons for three weeks, just a text asking how I am. I spoke to our other son 8 days ago and he also sent me a text asking how I am.

You will get sick of putting on a brave face, sick of smiling until your face aches and sick of hearing about what your children and friends are doing with their lives as if nothing has happened. They don't realise we have lost our whole reason for living, they think we can be with someone for most of our lives and then when they die forget about them, we can't, we won't and never will.

One of these days, if they are lucky enough to have found or find the person they will love forever, then they will know what true heartbreak is when they lose them, but to be honest I doubt it, because nowadays everything seems to be throwaway. Our son's both got divorced shortly after their dad died, one has remarried and now has a baby son, the other has a girlfriend but all they think about is the material side of things. Their houses are not homes, they are show houses. In four years I can honestly say I have only been to their houses about five times. Never invited for Sunday dinner or tea, they are the eating out kind of people as they don't want their show houses messing up.

I am honestly better off on my own.

It is like a living hell that you live every single day, but you do learn to live with it simply because there is no option but to live with it.

I made a list out of the jobs that needed to be done and did them when I felt like it and ticked them off, otherwise they would not have got done.

One of these days it will all be over and we will once again be with our husband's and that is the only thing that matters.


Sheila xx

Half past two in the morning as I write this.

I’m informed that I’m getting by on adrenalin which the body naturally produces as a reaction to stress, bereavement being the most potent cause of stress.
If I remember correctly, the chemical effects of adrenalin on the body are intended by nature to assist us in “fight or flight” but if we don’t do these things the chemicals are cumulatively harmful.
Maybe best to seek some help in sleeping then.
Tomorrow then.
Or the day after . . .

In reply to Edwin

Hello Edwin. Yes, I was informed I was managing on adrenaline too. Some 15 months later, can I still be getting by on adrenaline? I used to be a great sleeper, always needing my 8 hours but not any more. I wake, I toss and turn and then get up to make cuppa and read. I'm not exhausted the next day so my body must be running on something. I've also been told that I'll crash at some point but I've spoken to others in our situation and years later they still don't sleep well. Some nights I only get around 3 hours sleep but I've never considered getting help. Maybe if I was exhausted all the time then I might. It must all be part of our grieving - the price we pay for love...

Hello Kate, yes you are correct, it is over four years now for me and I still can't get a good night's sleep, I toss and turn but I must be getting as much as I need as I am not tired when I wake up in the morning. I am sometimes downstairs at 2 am having a hot drink and watching a film, then I go back to bed.

I just think it is our minds racing, I have some weird dreams but some are wonderful especially one where I meet my Peter off the bus when he was 18 years old, and I run to him and he run's to me and he put's his arms around me and kisses me.

I always wake up afterwards, but remember it as clear as anything. It is funny that my dreams of him are always when we were young.

I have never taken tablets either.


Sheila xx

In reply to Lonely

Hello Sheila. It helps to know what others are experiencing. I hope you continue having wonderful dreams of your husband. It's kind of weird that they feature a young version of him isn't it? When I visualise my husband in my mind it's always in his younger days. I'd forgotten how handsome he was! The strangest thing is that I can't visualise his face as he was before he died. I see him sat on the sofa reading the paper placed across his legs but when I travel up to his face, it's not there, nothing. This happened when I lost my mum too so it doesn't bother me too much as I know it will come. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this? Perhaps it's something for a new conversation...much love Sheila. Xx

Dear Kate,

You have hit the nail on the head really, when I think about Peter it is always about when we were young, my tall, handsome boyfriend, in his dark suit, white shirt, slim tie and Chelsea boots, he looked just like a boy in a band from the early 60's, the Searchers, Beatles etc.

I never see him as an older man unless I put my mind to it. I too can see him sitting on the sofa with his laptop on his knee, I can only see his face when I really think about it, but I can see him as clear as a bell as a young man.

I wish I had a time machine I would be back in the 60's to the night we met in an instant, I would want to do it all over again and not miss a second.

I think it is because we want to be young again and go back to where it all started, be that young, carefree couple with all their lives in front of them, it hurt's to be old because I don't feel old, I still feel I am 21 years old, playing our 60's music. I wear my wireless headphones when working in the garden, blasting out 60's music. I have been known to jive around with my sweeping brush to Buddy Holly's, Oh Boy on a good day, other days I sit in my garden swing and cry. After four years the tears still easily come.

What do we expect really, when your whole reason for living has gone, you cannot spend most of your life with someone, then be expected to 'move on', it is impossible.

Thank you once again,


Sheila xx

Hello Sheila,
What a lovely reply. I think you're absolutely right about wanting to be young again. I didn't meet my husband until I was 32 and he was 36, and he always said that his biggest regret was that we hadn't met when we were much younger. I only knew him for 6 weeks before we moved in together in his house, and only 3 months before we were married. Yet we were very happy for 28 years, even though lots of people who knew us said that it would never last as we were chalk and cheese. And now he is gone, and I am bereft. Jayne xx

Dear Jayne,

Like ourselves, it was love at first sight, Peter was 18 when we met and I saw him head and shoulders across the dance floor, I said to my sister, he's the one and grabbed her hand and dragged her across the dance floor. We danced near him and his friend but they never asked us to dance, so I bent down to pick up my handbag, you danced around your bags in the 60's, and when I stood up, he was standing in front of me asking me if I wanted to dance and the rest is history. The music that was playing at the time was 'Then he kissed me', The Crystals, the first verse is :- Well he walked up to me and he asked me if I wanted to dance. I have put that song on my list for my funeral.

Peter and I were also chalk and cheese, he was the sensible one, a real gentleman right from the start, he had been brought up by his mum as his dad died when he was about 6 and a few weeks after meeting him his mum dad of cancer and it was just us and my family became his family. Because he was only 18, we courted for two years then got married when he was 21. His mum owned her own home so it became Peter's when she died so we sold it and bought our own little brand new bungalow, fully furnished with all brand new things. We had a totally magical life together.

We will never, ever get over this. It is unbearable living without them.

Our eldest son has just rung me to check on how I am and to tell me they are sticking an Enter at your Peril sign on my front door as he, our granddaughter and his girlfriend are all ill and they are blaming me.

I have told them all to keep away from my until further notice, I just was to get better.

Lots of love

Sheila xx

Hello Sheila,
No, I don't think I ever will get over this. My husband died at the end of February, and I have only slept in bed for 1 night since then. I just sleep on the sofa with my dogs around me for company. I have even bought a new bed, but I just can't steel myself to sleep there at the moment. I have been seeing a therapist for about 10 weeks, and she has helped me a lot. Sometimes my days are not too bad. I've joined groups, made new friends, just as I promised Stewart I would do. But some days are hell, and I just sit and cry. Take today, I've been to a really nice group in my local church called Living with Loss. Widows of various ages, plus one dog! It was jolly and very welcoming, and I really enjoyed it, but I came home and felt so very sad. I used to be an avid reader, but since Stewart died, I can't seem to settle to it let alone watch the (rather rubbishy) tv. Love Jayne xxx