Ashley Murrell found her beloved husband Mikey dead on the sofa the morning after they'd had a huge argument
The age-old saying "don't go to sleep on an argument" is one that many couples religiously stick to.
But one devastated mum-of-three from Somerset is urging couples to adhere to the old wives' tale and to make sure they kiss and make up before going to bed whilst in a fight with their partner.
Ashley Murrell, from Wellington, banished her husband Mikey to sleep on the sofa after they had a massive row about how much he was working.
The next day, she woke up to find her beloved husband dead.
Mikey, who was just 36, had been working 16-hour shifts as a carpet cleaner to make ends meet for the family.
The couple, who met in 2007 and married in 2010, got into a massive argument just before bedtime on 16 May this year as Ashley was concerned that he was running himself into the ground.
The row ended with Ashley, a beauty therapist, banishing Mikey to sleep on the sofa whilst she went upstairs to their bed.
Ashley and Mikey had been together for 10 years (Credit: Caters News Agency)
She said: "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 had 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."
Tragically, when she woke up the next morning, she found Mikey's body on the sofa "exactly where she left him".
Ashley, who referred to Mikey as "her king", described the next morning: "When I came out of the bedroom and saw him the next morning I knew something was wrong straight away. He was lying exactly where I left him and his face was all discoloured – he looked grey."
She broke down at the sight of her husband's body, screaming "He's dead" over and over to her 14-year-old daughter Morgan before running out of the house and passing out from overwhelming grief.
Ashley, who gave birth to the couple's twins Mikey Jr and Lisa in 2013, explained what happened next: "I blacked out and had to be carried back into the house by neighbours. It felt so surreal, I couldn't process it. I didn't feel like he was dead, I felt like he had left me.
"When the ambulance came and they confirmed he was dead I collapsed onto the floor and I was sick. Nothing made sense. 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."
What was even worse was the moment that Ashley found out that Mikey, who adopted her teenage daughter Morgan from a previous relationship, had been working extra hours to save up to take Ashley on a lavish holiday to Prague.
She said: "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.
"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.
"He absolutely loved his family. He wanted his kids to have all the things in life that he didn't and he worked so hard to make that happen.
"Mikey was so caring, if he walked into a room and saw someone unhappy he would be the first person there trying to cheer them up."
A post-mortem examination found that Mikey choked in his sleep but the cause behind it was "inconclusive".
Mikey was a loving father to Morgan, 14, Ashley's daughter from a previous relationship, and their twins Lisa and Mikey Jr (Credit: Caters News Agency)
Ashley found explaining Mikey's death to their children the hardest part of the whole situation, admitting that she didn't tell them initially as it was too hard.
She said: "I didn't at first but they kept asking when daddy was coming home. Now my little boy always asks if we can visit daddy in heaven - it's really hard.
"He was such a good dad right from the start with our eldest and he was brilliant when the twins came along, doing night feeds and nappy changes and still working ridiculous hours.
"I had never felt the way I did about Mikey with anyone else. I will always love him. All I know is that my feelings for him will never go away. He was too amazing to even describe him in words."
Ashley read a eulogy at Mikey's funeral, pleading with other couples to make sure they never go to sleep on an argument.
It read: "Go kiss your loved ones and tell them you care. Let them know you love them as they may not always be there. Say goodnight at bedtime and always kiss goodbye because one day, you never know, they may grow wings and fly.
"Live everyday as if it's your last and let go of bad things in the past. Our lives are too short and they go fast. If I could say something it would be this, life is hard but loving you was bliss. It's not been easy but my heart is yours, it will always be.
"Thank you for everything my lover, my dear. I will try not to live my life in fear. I will see you again, I will smell your skin. I will be your queen and you my king."
UPDATE: In a shocking twist, it has transpired that Ashley is now dating Mikey's brother Chris!
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