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Grief Healing Discussion Groups


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    Resting Waters Aquamation, Seattle, WA (USA)

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    Seattle, WA

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  1. I still think about my cat every day and feel a little sad and sick, nearly four months later. Got a new washer/dryer unit, with the dryer up on top - much more difficult for a cat to get into. Why didn't I do this years ago? Wish I'd thought about how to make my home as close to zero accident when it comes to pet and human life. The old dryer is still here; I see it every day until I figure out what to do with it.
  2. Real love also means you recognize your pet is suffering, going downhill, or having many more bad days than good. It took me a long time and several cats to get to the point where I could understand that the only reason I was keeping them alive was for me and my inability to let them go. Good advice I've seen in other forums is, "better one week too early than a day too late." One of my cats, Lucy, taught me that. She had kidney disease and for over two years her health was a rollercoaster. Finally she was at the point where she wasn't eating, hiding out in her cubby in the bedroom for about 5 days. I decided that *this* was probably it and made the appointment with her vet. Left for work, then came back in the afternoon to take her. But as soon as I opened the front door, there she was, laying in the living room. She'd probably gotten up, made her way out and died not long after I left. Her position looked like she had been in pain, and unfortunately rigor mortis had set in. For years I carried that last image of her, along with the guilt of not being brave enough to let her go before it got bad. Don't make the same mistake.
  3. Another one of my cats passed away last week, although this time it was expected. What else is going to happen this year? I dread thinking about it.
  4. Speaking with the grief counselor helped a lot. I'd recommend it to anyone who is hurting. Normally there are several free options available at the shelters around here, there are pet loss groups who used to meet weekly before the pandemic. But also being able to blurt out, cry, lay all the emotions out on the table privately was good. She let me talk at length about my cat, his personality and our life together. I felt able to honor him despite what happened. She said what she's seen in her practice is, the pet's death is usually not the only thing going on. Often it's another event layered on top of other emotional events or situations. She herself related the long-ago story of her letting her cat out and it getting fatally hit by a car. She said, what I must try to do is first, be a friend to myself. As a good friend, what support would I offer or say? Learn to interact with myself this way, and often. The other important thing she said was, my goal should be the guilt turns into regret. Eventually. With work. Today I opened up the package with the little medallion I'd ordered for my cat's box of ashes. It has his picture. I affixed it to the box, and took the opportunity to add my letter and another keepsake to the box that already includes his collar and certificate of cremation. I am sad all over again. I don't know how these feelings of utter sadness and wishing things were different ever change into regret.
  5. I'm so sorry. As if the loss of pets wasn't enough, we have to deal with this awful pandemic. I hope Suki will be able to come home soon.
  6. LittleDogMacy, how are you doing? Your experience sounded traumatic and swift. So many thoughts about regret. Interestingly, a pet grief counselor told me this week that turning guilt into regret is a positive step. I hope you've recovered and been able to make peace with the passing of your sweet Macy.
  7. I tell you what I learned along the way. I had a cat who was diabetic, had CKD, also treated for hyperthyroidism. She had been abandoned at an apartment complex and I took her in. She was probably already a senior but I wasn't sure. After I'd had her about 5 years, I got the chance to go on an island vacation for 3 weeks, all paid. I was a little worried because my cat had been peeing on the bed and needed insulin twice a day, but I found a pet sitter to care for her. Had a great time. About 3 weeks after getting back, she started losing weight rapidly and threw up dark red, grainy vomit. Where she used to love having her belly rubbed and being close to me, she would move away when I touched her stomach and started hiding under the bed. That was the beginning of the end. She would spend more time in intensive care than at home. And then, 4 months after my vacation, the attending vet at the specialty hospital called and said, "You really need to get here now and let her go." I could tell he was a little angry, thinking I'd kept her alive for far too long. The back story of course, is that the internist had been feeding me false hope day after day until I got that call. I drove as fast as I could to say goodbye. My takeaway? Had I known my kitty was only going to live for a few more months, I never would've gone on vacation. I felt robbed of the three weeks I could've had with my sweet girl. I'm still learning and trying not to do regrettable things, obviously not very successfully since I'm here in this forum.
  8. Have you seen any of the kittens since? I know this is a late reply but can you put extra hay or insulation in your shelters just in case?
  9. How are you doing? Will having Suki back bring you peace? She was so beautiful inside and out and I am so sorry for your loss.
  10. My heart goes out to you on the loss of your sweet Cookie. If guinea pigs are still considered rodents, then I can sympathize completely. When I was about 11, I had a pet rat named Mousey. He was so smart! He'd come when we called his name, even when outside in our yard, and would gently nibble on us and was so playful and inquisitive. Mousey didn't live a long time but we treasured the time we had with him. I think you're experiencing the should've could've guilt that always comes with the loss of pet due to illness. As MartyT said, you're not a veterinarian, or clairvoyant. But you did give Cookie a wonderful life. And now she's taught you something you can use for the rest of your life with your companion animals. A grief counselor gave me some good advice recently. When you're ready, try seeing yourself as a friend. What support or advice would that friend say to you? Have the conversation as often as you need. If you find it hard to forgive yourself, work towards turning your guilt into regret. Little by little. It will take some time, and everyone's grief has its own timeline. I'm working through this process myself.
  11. Did you find out what happened to her?
  12. When our beloved pets are in such pain, with no promise of resolution, the answer is clear. Releasing their poor bodies is the kindest thing we can do. We can't let our loved ones suffer. I'm so sorry on the loss of your precious boy.
  13. Yesterday I dreamed my cat came back from the dead. He was in the same position as when I retrieved him and lay him gently on the counter, I kept stroking his head and then he moved and stretched as if he had been taking a nap. I was so happy. In the dream I was thinking to myself, I'm so glad I didn't take him to the crematory yet. Then I woke up. Still not sleeping and eating much. My life is different, hollow. I know I can't change anything but don't see any way around feeling 100% responsible anyway. I killed my child. Will be speaking with a pet grief counselor tomorrow.
  14. KayC, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend or disrespect anyone or anything said here. I came to this forum basically to confess what actually happened and try to come to terms with what I did. My partner and friend are the only people who know. With others I've been silent about the details because I have so much shame, guilt and self-hatred. What I want is something I can't have, to turn back time.
  15. Knowing this has happened to so many other people doesn't make me feel better.
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