Insomnia: Grief’s Life-Threatening Nightmare

When my wife died, a dangerous lack of sleep became my new constant companion. Doctors informed me this is a common side effect of loss.

Joel Eisenberg
6 min readJun 8, 2024

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Photo by Greta Bartolini; Unsplash

Introduction

My late wife, Lorie, used to ride me — and rightfully so — for not visiting doctors on a regular basis. “You’ll be turning 60,” she would repeatedly state in the last year of her life, echoing words I had heard throughout our marriage in reference to other upcoming age-related milestones. “I need for you to stay healthy.”

She would then typically correct herself: “ I need for us to stay healthy.”

For a bit of context, I will share Lorie visited doctors regularly. From her primary care physician to her cardiologist, gynecologist and endocrinologist, my wife was certainly diligent with her health.

She would pass away of complications arising from the rupture of an undetected brain aneurysm that caused a fatal hemorrhagic stroke.

Her brain, ironically, being the only part of her body that was not routinely checked. It rarely is with most people, in fact, unless one is experiencing possibly related symptoms and/or is referred to by another medical professional.

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Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.