Is this my brain processing my partner's death?

Hi everyone.

Just wondering if anyone has experienced the same as me: as I start to fall asleep, I am suddenly startled by a vivid memory of my partner. The memory is often linked to the time of his illness. I am then wide awake, so I watch an episode of a series to try to distract myself before trying again to sleep. This may happen a couple of times each night before I eventually fall asleep.

It is 11 weeks since my partner died – just three months after being diagnosed with brain cancer. I ‘accept’ that he is dead but I am still in shock, so I am wondering if my thoughts at night are my own brain trying to process what has happened.

Can anyone make sense of this?

Sending hugs to everyone on this dreadful grief journey that we didn’t ask to go on…



I’m sure someone will be along to offer share their thoughts, but I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this with us. Keep reaching out,


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Hi @KMS1
Yes i do this a lot. I also jolt awake as if im falling. Problem with me is i dont always fall back to sleep.
I think its normal.
Big hugs Xx

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Thank you @MandyC15
That’s reassuring, although I’m sorry you experience it too as it does really startle me!
Thanks again xx

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Yes I used to. But don’t think so now after 18 months


Thank you @Blake

I find it unsettling because it catches me as I try to fall asleep. I think I would find it comforting if I had a proper dream about him - as long as it was a nice dream!


@KMS1 I think this is normal and part of your brain trying to process your loss. I am 7 months in and this still happens, although I listen to meditation videos on YouTube to try and get back to sleep, which I do but I don’t feel fully rested like I used to…



Thank you @PJ64
I might try meditation instead of watching a series. It might help calm me. Hope your sleep improves to the point you do feel fully rested. I am finding it hard not getting enough good quality sleep.

Good to know, @Enorac - it might then pass with time.