A widow whose husband died after she banished him to the sofa has found love again two months later with his brother, it has been reported.
Ashley Murrell, 33, had a row with her husband Mikey, 36, a carpet cleaner, about his long working hours after he returned home late from a 16-hour shift.
The mother-of-three told him to sleep on the sofa after the argument, but when she woke up the next morning, she discovered that he was dead.
Mrs Murrell, a beauty therapist from Wellington, Somerset, said a post-mortem examination ruled he had choked in his sleep but that the cause was ‘inconclusive’.
She later learned that he had been working extra hours to earn enough money to take her to Prague for their wedding anniversary on July 3.
It has now been reported that Mrs Murrell is in a relationship with Mikey’s brother, Chris, after they became close following her husband’s death.
‘Chris and Ashley have been through so much but they have really been there for each other,’ a friend told The Sun.
‘It’s strange how from something so awful, something good can happen. They are really happy together.
‘They’ve had so much hate and negativity because of their relationship but them being together doesn’t change how Ashley felt about Mikey.
‘Chris has been a huge support for Ashley and he’s great with the kids. It’s funny how these things work out.’
Mrs Murrell shared a picture of her and Chris on social media in which they are surrounded by pink hearts. He commented with three red hearts below the post.
Mrs Murrell has changed her Facebook status to indicate she is in a relationship with Chris, who posted a Facebook tribute to Mikey in the form of a photo of the word ‘BRO’ tattooed on his knuckles.
Paying tribute to her husband, Mrs Murrell said: ‘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.
‘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.
‘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.’
Describing what happened the next morning after she woke up, she said: ‘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.
‘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”.’
‘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 on to 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.
‘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.’
She added: ‘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 were married in 2010, after which Mr Murrell adopted Ashley’s daughter Morgan, 14, and the couple had twins Mikey Junior and Lisa in 2013.
After injuring his back lifting weights and discovering he was suffering from spinal arthritis in 2014, Mr Murrell’s dedication to work started to take its toll.
‘After his injury Mikey never properly healed,’ said Mrs Murrell.
‘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.
‘I knew something like this was going to happen, I knew he was doing too much but you can never prepare yourself for this.
‘Explaining it to the kids has been one of the hardest parts. 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.’