My husband and best friend passed away 4 1/2 months ago. I am not handling it very well. I cannot sleep at night. My doctor has given me anti-depressants and sleeping pills. He changed my sleeping pill and I still cannot sleep. I cannot sleep in my bedroom at all. I have been sleeping in the recliner in my living room since he was hospitalized in October. Can someone tell me what the secret is to be able to sleep? My doctor feels that I just need to get used to being without my husband and I know that he is right. The problem is I am not dealing well without him. My children and friends are great but it doesn't replace my husband. We were married 46 years in October. I try to be active during the day so that I would be able to sleep but it just doesn't work. I am hoping that someone can tell me how to get through this.

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You know this sounds crazy ,but I don't generally have any problem sleeping.I,like Tom,can't sleep on Ernie's side of the bed.I have noticed that I have started to dream again,something that hasn't happened since he died.In fact if I sit down to watch tv at night ,I'll doze off.So I don't lay in bed crying,if I have trouble,I'll read.Have you thought of having a journal of some kind.I'll enter my thoughts on the guest book at I feel like talking to him.I have my 92 yr.old mother living with me.She's healthy but suffers from anxiety.Trying to keep her calm is a full time job.Could you sleep in a different bed in the house?Maybe It's the fact that you can't sleep in the bed you shared with him.Best Wishes,Kathy
Tom, Thank you very much for your help. I can barely bring myself to go into our bedroom. I go in to get clothes and check messages on the answering machine. I know I need to get over this but there are so many, many memories in that room. I don't know whether I should remember things or whether it would be easier to just block the last 48 years from my life. We had a very good marriage and it is so hard to just put today in front of those years. I need to go on and I understand that totally, it just is not easy for me to do. Thanks again, Tom. I really appreciate your input.
Hi Kathy, Thank you so much for your thoughts. Kathy, I find it so hard to even go into our bedroom to get clothes and water the plants. My husband was in the hospital for 5 weeks before he passed and for the last four weeks he was completely sedated and I don't know if he even knew that we were there. Even though some of the doctors were not very hopeful, there were some that would give me just a little bit of encouragement. Naturally, I held on to what I wanted to believe and was not prepared for the phone call telling me that his heart rate was dropping very quickly and was down to 34 at that point. We do not live but maybe 15 minutes from the hospital but couldn't make it there on time. We were scheduled to meet with his doctors at 9:30 that morning to discuss stopping the treatments. I don't know that I could have told them to stop. My husband didn't make me go through the agony of that. Some days I am okay but when it comes to sleeping, I just have a real problem. All my life sleeping was never an issue. When my first daughter was born, I slept right through the labor and woke up as they were taking me to the delivery room. I sleep in a recliner in the living room. I have only the one bedroom on the first floor and I have never slept in the bedrooms upstairs and I think I would be uncomfortable with going up there.

Again, Kathy, I want to thank you and I am sorry that I have been rambling.
Hi Lois, Thank you very much for your reply. I have tried the otc sleep aids, Ambien, and now I think it's Restoril that the doctor gave me yesterday. I took that last night and I have not slept a wink. I feel tired in the evening but when it comes to falling asleep, it is very hard. If I do fall asleep at around midnight or so, I am awake by 3:30 a.m. and then have the rest of the night. My doctor feels that I will just need to get comfortable with being without my husband but he has given me an anti-depressant and the sleeping pills.

I have read many books on grieving and what to expect and how to handle each stage. Some of the books have been better than others but reading and actually living through this are not even in the same ball park. I think this website is about the most helpful and comforting place for me to go. It makes me feel a little better getting input from others who are dealing with the same problems.

I get out of the house every day if I possibly can. We have had some really nasty weather which makes it impossible. I also have a very close friend who lost her husband 11 years ago and is still grieving. She is always available for me to talk to and usually calls me late in the evening if she is having a bad night or just to keep me company.

As I told Kathy, I never in my life had a problem sleeping even to the point where I slept during labor for my first daughter and pretty much through most of it on the second. My husband always told me that a bomb could go off in the bed and I could sleep right through. I guess that is why I am so upset with my sleeping problem now.

Since I can't sleep anyway, I have been trying to get the house cleaned for Easter. I cleaned my bedroom today and put new sheets and a new quilt on the bed and I am hoping that I am going to be able to sleep in there.

Lois, again, thank you and I hope to hear from you again.
hi connie i to lost my husb,nov 09 to cancer he was sick 10 months. like you i have 2 wonderful daughters and family on both sides who are very supportive,but like you said they dont replace my husb,we were married 24 years and he was my best friend my everything,i will always put our girls first they are 16 and 19 but i sure didnt think i would have to finish raising them without my husb. sometime i just dont know how i am going to do this without him,the future just makes me sad,we had so many plans,in the yard,vacations, not much to look forward to. as for sleep try benedryl i think it really works.from everything i have read it just takes time,i say i wish i would get better meaning this horrible pain would go away but they say you will always have pain you will just be able to cope better as time goes on. hope you have a better night soon. stephanie
Hi Connie
I am sorry for your loss. I lost my husband August 9, 2009 from a heart attack. I think a very common thread amongst us is the inability to sleep. I don't know why this just is. Last night I went to bed at 10:30 because I had been up since 5:30 am. I had worked outside in our yard all afternoon and was really tired. Well guess what, now I have been up since 2:45 am. It seems as though all I can get is 4 or 5 hours of sleep and then I am wide awake. I am able to sleep in our bedroom though. I also did what Lois did. I changed the room. I painted, put in new flooring and rearranged the room, it felt weird the first few nights but now I am used to it. I felt guilty thinking I should have done this when Larry was here, but we can't let that get in our way. We must make progress, we must grow as a person. You will decide when you are ready for the change. Do it in your own time and at your own pace.
Take care Yvonne
I'll be honest with you. My fiance` passed Oct 26th and the only way I can sleep is with Xanex. My problem with sleeping was my mind would not shutting off. It kept going over the plane crash, could I have stopped it? Our would haves, could, haves, should have, etc. Xanex helps me so much. It's 1 mg I take and without it, I wouldn't get any sleep. It shut my brain off. I have to say too, I have a spiritual counselor who helps keep me with God and it helps so much. I was told so many times that God needed me as much as he needed my Malcolm so I have given myself to God as much as I can. I have my moments for I know how hard it is not to have Malcolm by my side for I slept on his side of the bed and in his shirts for t he first 3 months and then I re-arranged our bedroom, put a picture of him on my side and began sleeping on my side again. I make a point to talk to him twice a day about my day and then say goodnight to him. I ask him and God every night for a good night sleep, come to me in my dreams and fill my heart as if he was here. Try to re-arrange your home, your bedroom and every room you can. It clearly has helped me, maybe it can help you. GOD IS MY SALVATION AND I KNOW HE HAS GOTTEN ME AS FAR AS I AM. My heart still feels empty and I still miss Malcolms touch, his kisses, his laughter and his spirit. I miss his friends that were in our lives and I miss my life. I'm a cowgirl who misses her cowboy and I know he his telling me to "cowgirl up" and get back on that horse. Be happy and get after life again. I have a handful of text messages on my phone and I re-read all of them but the one that sticks the hardest with me is one that says "need to keep you happy". He would not want to see me sad like this so even though I can't do it for myself right now I do it for him just as I did so much for him when he was here. Do what you know your husband would want you to do. Do it for him.
My heart breaks for all of us and this website helps me to know I'm not alone. Neither are you.

Marta, Thank you so much for your note. I do understand completely how you feel. It is so difficult to accept the fact that such an important part of your life is gone. I am still at the stage where I get very angry with him for leaving me and with God for taking him. I know it is wrong but I need to work through it. It is not easy getting ready for the Easter holiday without him. Nothing is the same and nothing really matters.
I am fortunate that I have three beautiful daughters and five gorgeous grandchildren that make sure that I am okay. I also have a very dear friend who lost her husband 11 years ago. She is still grieving and also understands what we are going through. We were very close friends with Millie and Leif and she is always there for me day or night. I can call her any time and she will be there for me. I hope that you can find someone that you can rely on to be there for you.
This website, though, is one of the best resources I have found. I have read about 15 books on grieving and some were very good but I find this site to be a real help. You know you are not alone in your grieving. There are so many more of us out there. I sincerely hope that you can find the strength to get yourself through this time. I still have the birthdays and Father's Day and our grandchildren's birthdays. I hope that God gives me the strength to get by.
Hi Steph, Thanks so much for your note. I also lost my husband on November 9th. He was hospitalized for five weeks before passing. Although, I knew he was very sick, I believed that he would recover. My husband had a massive heart attack in 1984 and went into cardiac arrest 3 times. He did very well for years after that. Ten years ago, he had a heart transplant and was home from the hospital in 10 days. Two years ago he got pneumonia and was very, very sick. He came through that fine but never really bounced back to what he had been. His breathing was a problem. Also the meds he needed to fight rejection, destroyed his kidneys. He could have gotten around that by having dialysis but he developed an infection which went into his blood stream. All the antibiotics and antifungals they gave him just could not fight the infection. I believed until the very end that he would get well. Although, he passed on Nov. 9th, he had been completely sedated for more than 4 weeks before that so I was never able to really talk to him. The nurses would tell me that he could hear and understand what we were saying but would not remember anything afterwards.

Steph, thank God for your children and family. That is so important in your recovery. I am hoping that after I get through all the 1st's that maybe it will be easier. I did promise my children that I would make an honest effort to get back to sleeping in bed and I will but I just am not sure if I can do it right now.

I wish you the very best and with all the very nice people on this website, I think we will all be okay.
Hi Lois, I promised my children that I would make an effort to sleep in bed and I will try. My sons-in-law will come and change the room around for me when I am ready. I think you are probably right that I need to just do it and get it over with. The effort put into avoiding it can be harder than facing the problem.
I am going to try very hard. Maybe I will be able to sleep in bed better than I am doing in the recliner. Thanks so much for your advice. I really appreciate all the help I have gotten.
Hi Yvonne,
Thanks so much for your note. I am planning on changing the furniture around in the bedroom. Just make it a little different. I have promised my children that I will try to get back to sleeping in the bedroom. I am sure that they are right that I will sleep better in bed rather than in the recliner. I know what you are saying about only getting a few hours sleep if I can get any sleep. I am so physically and emotionally exhausted and yet I cannot get a full nights sleep. Last night I was so tired because I had not slept at all the night before. At 9:00 p.m. I could not keep my eyes opened any longer. At 1:00 a.m. I was wide awake and have been cleaning and polishing cabinets and whatever just to keep busy. Even my dog looks at me like I am crazy. If she could talk, she would tell me to go to bed so that she can sleep. I have always been a very good sleeper and this is so not typical of me to be awake like this. It just seems like ok I got through Christmas and the New Year and then comes Valentine's Day and now Easter. Then it is my birthday and then Father's Day and then his birthday and then we go right back into Thanksgiving again and start all over. It doesn't seem to break for me.
Hopefully, things will get better for us all soon. Thanks again for your note.
I've been taking over the counter pills to help me sleep. It helps somewhat, but I seem to hear little noises at night thinking he's coming home from work and then I come to the realization that he's not.
I can't really afford to go see a phyciatrist, but family and friends have helped.
A friend of mine recommended I read "George Anderson's" books. I've never really heard of him, but she explain it might really help. So I did, and all I can say I feel so much better. I was married to Shawn over 20 years and he was my best friend. We married young, he passed away at age 37, but he lived life to the fullest. I miss him everyday but with George's help I know he's safe and watching over us. That's all I ever wanted for him. I just want him to be happy, he suffered from a heart condition all his life. Even though I wish he could be here with me now, I'm glad he is not suffering anymore.
If you have any questions, I would love to talk to you.


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