Last night was bad for me. Although, really, most every night is bad. But being St Pat's day brought up a lot of memories. Gary and I usually both worked on the "drinking" holidays, so we would find time to talk frequently through the night and we would make it special one way or another. He was good at making holidays special.
Anyway, last night I couldn't sleep at all. I probably actually slept about three hours. So remembering and missing Gary, I finally fell asleep. A short time later - an hour maybe, I woke up feeling like I was being watched and had the creepiest was awful. I was so felt like Gary was involved, but not being himself. I was paralyzed with fear and loathing. I could sense something near me, I felt the need (like a little kid) to keep my eyes shut tightly and pretend to be asleep. I also felt like this thing was wanting to take my dogs from me. I've never had that kind of nightmare before that I can remember and I still feel shaken by it. I think of Gary all of the time, but always with tenderness and love. This hit me hard and out of the blue and frankly, I'm still a little rattled by it. It was so very real and I was fully awake through much of it. Any thoughts?

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I really don't know how to respond, but feel I have to. I think what you were experiencing was really a panic attack, like your whole world is over and everything dear has been taken from you. It is an awful feeling and I am so sorry that you had to go through that. I too have trouble sleeping. I think that many of us do. I asked a friend of ours who had lost his wife 12 years before ( she passed 1 week before their 1st anniversary ) when I would be able to sleep again. He looked at me and answered I don't know it hasn't happened for me yet. I have had some dreams of Larry that upset me, like the one where he comes in the house and says to me that he is cold and to turn up the heat then he goes to the computer room, and I bring him an extra shirt to put on and I say to him "Where have you been? We buried you on August 14." With that I woke up and cried for the rest of the day.
I lost my husband Larry on August 9, 2009. It has been a long lonely journey, but I feel I am progressing slowly. This site has really helped me. Here I am able to talk about Larry and nobody changes the subject. I can tell you all that I am having a really crappy day. Today, I was listening to the CD that we played at his funeral. Sure I cried at some of the songs, but I also chuckled when Nickelback's Rock Star came on. He used to sing along to that song and always made me laugh doing it. My Larry a rock star...yeah right LOL. So there is light at the end of the tunnel. Take everything minute by minute and day by day.
I hope you are feeling better and the fear has passed. I know that you are having a bad day and I wish I could give you a big hug in person. Here is a cyber hug ((((Colleen))))
Take care Yvonne
Lois you are so wise

Lois Taitague said:
That sounds like a truly horrible experience. I hope it doesn't make it more difficult for you to trust going to sleep tonight.

Have you have a nightmare like this before? My grand daughter (and my son many years ago) suffers from night terrors, even now at 21. What you experienced sounds similar. Night terrors happen during deep non-REM sleep. Unlike nightmares (which occur during REM sleep) it is not technically a dream, but more like a sudden reaction of fear that happens during the transition from one sleep phase to another. Shawna says that at times it actually feels like someone is sitting on her chest and won't let her up, and sometimes she feels like she is floating in the air but it is always accompanied by a sense of danger and fear. It can be extremely scary. She has trained herself to realize even when it is happening that it's not real. I hope you don't have any more of them. Please view Gary's involvement as being only because he was on your mind at the same time. Losing him is bad enough without having to be afraid of dreaming about him. (For further reference
Hi Colleen, I am so sorry, that must have been horrible.
I just lost my beloved husband Dennis Paul on 1-14-10.
Please email me at, so we can talk.
Thank you everyone for your input. It helps me to get some insight into it all. I am currently without medical insurance or I would probably run to the dr for a sleeping pill...oh well...I've never been one to sleep very much anyway. Lois, your info is helpful and I'm going to look into it further. Tom, I like your suggestion - I've always felt that my dogs were my "security blanket", they sleep in the room with me. And of course one of the frightening aspects of the nightmare/terror/panic attack was that the "something" wanted to take my dogs. I swear I could feel that black claw on my skin...terrifying. I've never had an experience like that before. Your idea appeals to me.
I think that it must be my stress/worry/over-imagination and general sadness over losing Gary. Yvonne, I've had the "where have you been?" dream a couple of times already, too. Each time I woke up I realized I had gotten Gary's remains cremated and there was no way for him to find his way back to me.
This might sound odd to some, but yesterday was the first time I had changed the bedding since Gary died (Feb 22nd). Yes I would usually change it weekly, but it was one of the few things that was the same in this house since his death. As I said we had just moved into this house by 9 days when he passed, so I have very few memories of his presence here. Furniture wasn't placed properly yet, no art or pictures on the walls yet. But I had a closer feeling with the sheets and blankets that were on the bed. I've wondered all day if that was part of it.
I also have two things that are going to take me out of my comfort zone tonight and tomorrow and I made those appts yesterday. Tonight is the first night of Bereavement Group counseling, and tomorrow I have to see a lawyer about Gary's affairs. Which means I have to leave the house and be somewhere at certain times. It's a big step for me to have to be somewhere new, and I'm nervous about both of them. The mind can be fragile.
Thank you for listening.
Colleen, what happened to you is commonly called "night terrors". There is a technical name for this event but it escapes me. I suffered from this condition as a child up until my early adulthood. You feel a "terror/fear" that is truly paralyzing physically and emotionally. I will not go into how my situation was remedied since it did not involve the death/loss of a loved one but I know exactly what you experienced and it is temporarily debilitating. I cannot begin to imagine having this situation occur on the heels of losing a spouse. My husband died from injuries received in an accident and coping with his loss has been a daily struggle for me. If you continue to have these "night terrors", please talk with your doctor or seek professional therapy. I know that sounds like a "cop-out" but I also realize the feelings you have when this event happens and there is a reason, possibly unknown to your conscious mind, this occured....they're beyond scarey and with your loss you need all the help possible just in coping with your grief, much less any added stress from this situation.


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