A woman has urged couples never to go to bed angry after she banished her husband to the sofa after a row – and found him dead the next day.
Mum-of-three Ashley Murray, 33, said she had a heated row with Mikey, 36, because of his long shifts at work. When the argument wasn’t resolved before bed, she told him to sleep on the sofa.
She later discovered that her husband – who worked as a carpet cleaner – had been working extra hours so he could save for a trip to Prague together for their anniversary.
Mrs Murray, from Wellington in Somerset, said: “He would work 16-hour shifts, seven days a week just so he could save up enough to take us all to Disney every year. He was so worn out but he would do anything just to see us smile.
“But the hours he was working were just getting too much. He was so exhausted all the time and he was running himself into the ground and his health was going downhill fast.
“When he came home that night he was a mess, I have never seen him so exhausted. I couldn’t stand seeing him like that and I got angry. I was sick of it.
“I had a go at him and told him to sleep on the sofa which was stupid because I really just wanted him around more.”
When she woke and went to check on him the next day, she said she immediately knew something was wrong.
He was lying in the same position, and his face was “all discoloured” and grey.
“I walked over and touched him but he was cold and I jumped back and ran out the room. I started screaming ‘your dad’s dead’ to my 14-year-old and ran into the street screaming ‘Mikey’s dead’.”
She then blacked out and had to be carried back into the house by neighbours – adding that it felt “so surreal”.
“I felt so guilty. I was so angry with myself for making him sleep on the sofa. I still find it so hard to think that my last words to him were out of anger.
“When I found out he’d been saving to take us on an anniversary holiday it was awful – heartbreaking doesn’t begin to cover it.
“Losing Mikey has changed my entire perspective on life. Life is too short to go to bed angry and not to spend every moment you can with your family.”
The couple met in 2007 and married in 2010. Mr Murrell adopted Ashley’s 14-year-old daughter, and they had twins together in 2013.
A post-mortem found that he’d choked in his sleep, but the cause was inconclusive.
Mrs Murrell blames a back injury from weight lifting for his decline.
“After his injury Mikey never properly healed. Even when he was at his worst he would push himself with work and any time he had off he’d be doing everything with the kids.”
In her eulogy at her husband’s funeral on June 8, Mrs Murrell said, “Go kiss your loved ones and tell them you care. Let them know you love them as they may not always be there.”