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


In reply to Ginny65

Hello. I understand exactly how you feel. It's been almost 17 months since I lost my wonderful husband and I still don't sleep. Also I feel so envious when I see couples and families out enjoying life almost to the extent of begrudging them their happiness. It's not their happiness so much as their togetherness. It does help to have something or someone else to focus on and my sister is just recovering from bowel cancer so I've been kept busy with her and her appointments. That must sound awful but it has given me something else to think about although I would rather my sister hadn't been poorly at all. But all through that my husband has been right here with me, I carry him around on my shoulder - strangely always my right shoulder. He never leaves me. If only he was here in the flesh...
I will never stop mourning him. I long for him so much and like you I cry. The tears come out of nowhere - one minute I'm fine and then suddenly...
And so the sleepless nights continue...
Much love and understanding xx

Hi, I lost my husband just over a month ago. He died unexpectedly in his sleep and I ammasl finding it so difficult to carry on without him. I am just desperate to have him back.
Lack of sleep is a real issue although I have always been a bad sleeper. Did have sleeping pills for a few weeks that knocked me out so couldn't think which was great, but now doctor says I shouldn't take them anymore apart from occasionally - really struggling with sleep. I don't sleep for more than 2 hrs at a time and so anxious all night. It's almost like I am afraid to sleep in case I dream or upset myself even more. Any ideas to help with sleep will be great

In reply to Diane P

Hello Diane. I am so so sorry for your loss. My husband too died very suddenly in the middle of the night. A fit and healthy man with no prior warning. That was almost 17 months ago and still I don't sleep. The strange thing is that I'm not tired. I just go with the flow and don't fight it - I get up and make a hot drink and read. I find that's better than tossing and turning.

Everything is still so raw for you. Of course you want your husband back and I want mine back too. I wish I could say something to help ease your pain but the truth is nothing can do that. Please find some comfort in knowing you're not alone, we on this site are suffering too and know how painful and agonising this time is. My heart goes out to you. Sending love and hugs xx

Dear Diane,

I am so very sorry for what you are going through and I wish I could make it easier for you, but nothing will do that.

My husband died four years ago and I had been his 24/7 carer for the last three years of his life and I still toss and turn every single night, sometimes getting up to make a hot drink and then going back to bed.

We were never apart, never, ever slept alone unless I was in hospital having our sons or Peter was in hospital. We slept together in the same bed, oxygen tanks and all, right up until the evening he was rushed into hospital where he died the following afternoon.

I have come to the conclusion that many of us can't sleep because we were used to having our husbands/wives sleeping at the side of us or even in a hospital bed, and now they are gone, the house is so empty and quiet. Even when our grandchildren stayed over I still tossed and turned so it was not just that the house was empty, it was because my husband wasn't there sleeping next to me or near by.

I am not afraid of being alone in the house as I have turned it into Fort Knox, it is the stillness of it, every little creak and I am awake, my mind whirring around all the time. I dream such a lot, and when I dream of Peter it is always when we were young and always in Black and White. I must wake up two or three times in the night then I can't get back to sleep.

As I am a retired woman of 75, I don't fight it because I am at home, and I know I can sleep in the following morning, funnily enough I never feel the urge to sleep in the afternoon so whatever sleep I am getting is sufficient for me.

I have never taken sleeping tablets because as long as I am not tired the following day, whatever sleep I am getting must be enough.

Please take care.


Sheila x

Yes, I'm like you Sheila, I'm never tired either, so obviously getting enough sleep. Someone said to me in the first few months after my loss that my body must have been running on adrenaline but surely not still. I've tried going to bed early and going to bed very late but it really doesn't appear to make any difference. I've never taken any sleeping tablets either, nor will I ever. I really think the thing is not to fight against it. Sleep when you can if that's possible. I go out to work so can't sleep during the day even if I wanted to, but truth is I don't want to, nor do I fall asleep in the chair during the evening.

I don't really dream (or I don't remember them if I do) but I would love to dream about my husband. You see, as I've said before on this site, I can't see his face. I try so hard but it just doesn't come. I can visualise my husband sat in chair with his leg cocked, newspaper resting on it but no face...

Much love xx

Thanks for your kind words. I was still in shock for about the first 3 weeks so it only over the last couple of weeks that I have felt worse.
I am trying to keep off the sleeping pills partly because it frightened my daughter who is 18 and still at school last week when she came into my bedroom and I was in a hypnotic state from the pills - she thought I was having a stroke and panicked (she saw her dad dead and helped do CPR so it's very raw for her too)
Maybe I just need to follow your advice and not fight not sleeping - it's just that I want a rest from thinking and worrying
Take care

In reply to Lonely

Thanks for your note sorry to hear about the loss of your husband too.
I think you are right - ian and I had been married for 28 years and were never apart except for occasional work trips - I am used to sleeping with him. Also as he died in our bed I don't think that helps either
Take care

After four years, there is no chance I am running on adrenaline either, I honestly think it is because we have lost our husbands/wives and our systems are all to pot.

We were together for most of our lives and only little more than kids when we first met,
so there is not a chance I will ever get used to being without him even if I live to be 100 years old, because I will still have been with him 20 years longer than I have without him..

I accept Peter is no longer with me and I do know I have to move on alone, but that does not make it any easier, in fact, it makes it harder because this is it for the rest of my life, I don't know how long I have left on this earth, but what I do know is, I will never stop wanting him back or stop loving him.

I never think of Peter now when he was ill. I always think of him when we were young, I can see us both as clearly as anything, whatever memory pops into my head it is when we were young.

Have you tried visualising your husband when you were both young, perhaps when you try and think of him sitting in the chair with his newspaper is towards the end when your husband died and you are blocking it from your mind.

Our minds can go crazy with it all.


Sheila xx

Dear Crazy Kate . I have not dreamed of my husband once since he went 16 weeks ago . I couldn’t remember what he sounded like so had to get my daughter to find me a video clip on her mobile phone of him shouting to one of the dogs to come back he was playing with in the garden . I thought I was being ridiculous been as I’ve known him for 42 years but I think it’s the shock numbing my senses . When I think of him I have a hard job conjuring up a full length picture of him in my mind dressed and ready for work or going out but I have no problem remembering him in the flesh because he had the cardiac arrest within minutes of getting out of our bed to get his clothes to have breakfast to go to work . I remember his back because I had been cuddled up to him before he got up that morning . His arms , his face , his hair , his profile , his eyes , everything about him but not his voice or how he looked dressed . I don’t know if this is a comfort or a curse because it just makes me want him back even more and it is torture to know that I will never be cuddled up to him again . I feel like a part of me has gone missing . It’s a horrible feeling . It’s hard to do every day stuff carrying this yearning for him around with me too but trying to avoid the pain of the grief by fighting it is definitely not working either . I came across an interesting word yesterday. It is saudade . It is Portuguese for having sad and happy feelings all at once . Sadness from missing someone or something loved and happiness for having experienced the love . It was explained as a sort of melancholy love that lingers , a love that lunges forward in anticipation but with nothing to meet it . This is the love I must be feeling for my husband , endlessly reaching out for him and knowing I can never have him . A longing for someone you know will never return . It is not an angry feeling but a very melancholy one and nothing like I have ever experienced before . It is going to take a long time for me to get used to this new me with all these new feelings triggered by his sudden loss . I think I need to stop fighting my feelings and try to welcome them otherwise I will never find peace in my head again . I think I will look up that Rumi poem about welcoming feelings . Perhaps that will help . Sorry for my weird ramblings but my head is scrambled trying to come to terms with what has happened and how I am going to live with the aftermath of it for the rest of my life . Sending much love to you and everyone else on this forum this Monday morning . Romy xxxxx

Hi Diane, No, I don't think it does. My last memory of my husband was when he slowly slipped away in my arms the minute he died. It was like he fell asleep and it was so peaceful and I was so grateful for the quiet end to his life. After the nurses shooed me out of the cubicle, I didn't go back to see him again as I didn't want to remember him after they had seen to him and I also asked for a closed coffin as Peter was a very proud man, he never wanted any of his friends to visit him and see the man he had become through his illness so I knew he would never want people looking at him after he had died.

I wanted people to remember him as the man he used to be, tall, handsome and smart.

Whenever I looked at him I got butterflies in my tummy and now when I look at a photo of him when he was a fit and healthy man, I still get butterflies.

You also take care.


Sheila x