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Memorial Day and My Kitty


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Memorial Day has been a very special day for Brian and I since 2000. 

On Memorial Day in 2000 we were doing to normal thing. We were still in the early years of our marriage and I was still recovering from back surgery the year before. We had cooked out and had watermelon. Brian had mowed the front yard (an acre). We got our showers and got ready for bed. 

He started having chest pain and I all but carried him to the truck. After several days in our little hospital we finally had a doctor that understood what was wrong with Brian. He had a massive dissection of the aorta. From the time this doctor came in to the time he was on a helicopter was minutes. When he got to the heart hospital in Dallas they took him to surgery. When I finally got to Dallas the first thing the nurse told me when I asked how he is doing was that I would be going home a widow. Turns out he was already leaking from the aneurysm. He was in surgery for 11 hours and then had to have another surgery because a clot developed in the pericardium  

He had a hard time recovering from the intubation. They had brown out one of his lungs. With Marfans the scoliosis is so severe one lung can be much smaller. He fought pneumonia for almost 2 years. 

So we celebrated Memorial Day as not only a day for veterans but also another year that we beat the odds.  

It was a very hard day for me  when I started getting upset I went and got the stuff to cook out  I have not used a grill for 21 years  I made burgers, chicken poppers, sausages, and vegetables.  I over cooked the burgers a bit but I wanted to do this for myself.

The hits keep coming.

I took my 15 year old cat to the vet yesterday. I had noticed a knot on her belly right before I lost Brian. The vet was hopeful it was a fatty tumor. It turns out my baby has cancer. She has lost 4 pounds since that appointment and a new tumor has come up. 

She has literally been with me laying on me since brian died. She has always pined for me when I would leave the house or be busy walking around. She follows until I sit down so she can be in my lap or on my chest. I'm the only mother she has ever known. She was abandoned while her umbilical cord was still wet. I barely kept her alive the first 2 weeks. 

I know it sounds crazy but I don't know if I can survive her death after losing Brian. She is laying on my chest as I type this. If she doesn't pick up some weight her time left is weeks. If she gains weight she has a less grim outlook. She is more than a pet to me. She is one of my children. When people ask me how many kids I have I answer 3. A girl, a boy, and my cat. 

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I am so sorry. Not much more to say except I feel your pain. Our daughter's (who died in a car accident in 2004) dog crossed over the Rainbow Bridge a week ago. She was 17 years old. Another loss. Hard to know how to go on. Gentle hugs and tears coming your way.

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Nightwinds,

It is amazing to me how similar our stories are.  My Michael had Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, which is the ugly cousin of Marfan's.  Surprisingly, it wasn't the LDS that took him, when we were always in constant worry that it would.  We too endured numerous emergency trips to the hospital, all of which were a life or death situation.  Michael suffered so many aneurysms and dissections that I lost count.  I think you will understand this...Knowing he had LDS, I've always known in the back of my mind that I'd end up a widow, but with each major surgery that he had to repair something, the more I felt he was beating the disease and it wasn't going to kill him! Read our story in my first few posts.  I think you will see lots of similarities.  He was/is my best friend and my whole world collapsed when I lost him.  Slowly, I'm picking myself up off the floor.  

I just lost Michael on March 3rd to sepsis, not related to anything LDS.  These past couple months have been...well...I'm not exactly sure.  I have found myself being struck down with sobbing fits one minute, then perfectly fine and functional the next. Friends and family have been wonderful by checking in with me and keeping me busy.  Still, in the dark, long hours of the night, I find my bed cold and lonely.  I miss my love.  I don't cry as often as I did before, but I still have my moments.  I let them come as they may.  

The best we all can do is just keep on going.  Live for them, since they can't do it anymore.  Michael always felt like he was holding me back from doing things because of his physical limitations.  I know that he now wants me to do everything I couldn't do before and I know he's smiling down on me while I'm doing them.  In fact, he's right there with me!  I know it seems like things will never get better, but I truly believe that in time, the pain will soften and we will smile more.

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I have 3 furbabies myself.  We lost our 17yo cat a couple years ago, who was the "main kitty".  I thought that was the hardest day, until I lost Michael.  You are in my prayers for healing and comfort.  

Just keep breathing...you are not alone! 

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I'm sorry that Memorial Day was difficult for you this year Nightwinds.  I can definitely understand the meaning the day had for you.   ? Hugs to you.  The loss of a great spouse is hard.  I never imagined it would be as it is.  

Your cat child is mourning his loss too. ? My husband passed on a Tuesday and his cat followed him later in the week.  She was elderly he was not.  It slammed me back hard when I had to say goodbye to her after many good years and great memories.  She loved to swing on the lawn swing with him and ride on the hood of the tractor.  The last photo he took was a picture of his shadow on the barn wall.  He was leaning on a fence rail and right by his arm was the shadow of Katie Cat.  A strange but ultimately beautiful photo.  In 2016 I had to say goodbye to two horses ? and some of our unnamed barn cats.  It was a very difficult year.  So much loss from death...  I hope for your cat to rally and have some great days to come. 

Autum 2 my heart goes out to you as well ?   Our pets are such a huge part of our lives ?.

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I had to put Brian's 20 year old cat down a week after he passed. The cat had dementia and would walk around the house crying for Brian all night. I felt terrible but I could not handle the added stress of a confused mourning cat. My friends and family said now brian has his cat.

It's strange that we have had all these cats through the years and Brian and I had "our" kitty. 

I have 2 other cats but they were our cats. We love them but they didn't gravitate to us the way our kitties do. 

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5 hours ago, Mike's Girl said:

Nightwinds,

It is amazing to me how similar our stories are.  My Michael had Loeys-Dietz Syndrome, which is the ugly cousin of Marfan's.  Surprisingly, it wasn't the LDS that took him, when we were always in constant worry that it would.  We too endured numerous emergency trips to the hospital, all of which were a life or death situation.  Michael suffered so many aneurysms and dissections that I lost count.  I think you will understand this...Knowing he had LDS, I've always known in the back of my mind that I'd end up a widow, but with each major surgery that he had to repair something, the more I felt he was beating the disease and it wasn't going to kill him! Read our story in my first few posts.  I think you will see lots of similarities.  He was/is my best friend and my whole world collapsed when I lost him.  Slowly, I'm picking myself up off the floor.  

I just lost Michael on March 3rd to sepsis, not related to anything LDS.  These past couple months have been...well...I'm not exactly sure.  I have found myself being struck down with sobbing fits one minute, then perfectly fine and functional the next. Friends and family have been wonderful by checking in with me and keeping me busy.  Still, in the dark, long hours of the night, I find my bed cold and lonely.  I miss my love.  I don't cry as often as I did before, but I still have my moments.  I let them come as they may.  

The best we all can do is just keep on going.  Live for them, since they can't do it anymore.  Michael always felt like he was holding me back from doing things because of his physical limitations.  I know that he now wants me to do everything I couldn't do before and I know he's smiling down on me while I'm doing them.  In fact, he's right there with me!  I know it seems like things will never get better, but I truly believe that in time, the pain will soften and we will smile more.

I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I have 3 furbabies myself.  We lost our 17yo cat a couple years ago, who was the "main kitty".  I thought that was the hardest day, until I lost Michael.  You are in my prayers for healing and comfort.  

Just keep breathing...you are not alone! 

I am so sorry. My hubby died of sepsis...not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner...that was WHY he died. Walked into ED and died 17 hours later. Many people are not aware of sepsis. For whatever period of time I have left is to educate people about sepsis. It is dangerous and deadly and happens for many different reasons including UTI, kidney stones, pneumonia, Cdiff, childbirth, surgeries and that so called simple scratch. Sorry for my rant. I just had to mention it hoping I just might  help someone else. Anytime there is even a question of overwhelming illness and you go to an ED, ask could it be sepsis?!

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Hearing all of this loss, it is so sad.  Constant change, none of it seeming good.  Nightwinds, I am sorry for what you are going through with your cat.  I remember losing George's cat (he looked at me deliberately and then set off on his own, never to be seen again) Tigger two months after George died.  Apparently he'd hung around to see if George would be back, and when he didn't, he committed me to memory and then left.  I got another cat on my birthday, Chappy, and later he died, a cougar got him.  I used to sleep with Chappy every night.  A year after George died, I lost King George, my cat who was 19, to cancer.  I remember crying out at some point to God, "Can't you leave me anything!!"  My heart was broken.  I lost Lucky a couple years later, my Whippet.  Last year I lost Miss Mocha, I'd had her since a few months after George died, she slept with me every night, I miss her still.

Losing our pets is very very hard, and on top of losing our husband, that's really rough as they have been there consoling us through our grief.  I hope yours starts to gain weight and it gives you more time together.

Your story about Memorial Day's meaning to you was very special, it was a day to celebrate, for sure.  

I am listening to birds singing, it's 5 am, it's still fairly dark, a reminder that the world goes on even when we can't understand it.  In the beginning it didn't seem right but now that brings me comfort.

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On 5/31/2017 at 8:59 PM, Autumn2 said:

I am so sorry. My hubby died of sepsis...not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner...that was WHY he died. Walked into ED and died 17 hours later. Many people are not aware of sepsis. For whatever period of time I have left is to educate people about sepsis. It is dangerous and deadly and happens for many different reasons including UTI, kidney stones, pneumonia, Cdiff, childbirth, surgeries and that so called simple scratch. Sorry for my rant. I just had to mention it hoping I just might  help someone else. Anytime there is even a question of overwhelming illness and you go to an ED, ask could it be sepsis?!

I was a laboratory technologist for years and worked with blood bank, hematology, chemistry , and microbiology. I always hated to hear a blood culture go off because I knew someone was gravely ill.

blessings to you. 

I feel so out of control and so unbalanced in my life. It's so strange to go from being content with my life and happy in my life even with the medical problems Brian and I faced to being alone and trying to figure out how the world works as a widow. I don't think there are many words I dislike more than widow.  Maybe the term baby daddy is running a close second. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/31/2017 at 3:41 PM, Mike's Girl said:

I think you will understand this...Knowing he had LDS, I've always known in the back of my mind that I'd end up a widow, but with each major surgery that he had to repair something, the more I felt he was beating the disease and it wasn't going to kill him

 

I totally understand what you mean. I have always known how Brian would die. I accepted it and my only regret is not letting him know even more that he has been my world all these years. 

The night we went to the hospital I asked him "Is it time?"  He said yes it is.  I really felt like we would spend months with him recovering but he would get though this one also.  I knew when I read the radiology report that he was going to die.  I couldn't accept it but I knew.

In August he was hit by lightening. We were in the burn unit and when he come home I bandaged his legs and chest every day for about 6 weeks. We got even closer after that. I thought I was watching him die after he got hit by lightening. It was so bad. He was smoking out of his chest and legs. He couldn't talk and required rescue breaths. I think the lightening actually did kill him. It just took 6 months. I feel like it weakened what was already weak. I don't know how he survived it but I'm thankful!

It doesn't really matter what the cause. He is gone and I'm so alone. 

His (and now my) best friend is telling me how much better I am handling things than he expected. He thought I was going to be a suicide watch for months. My entire family thought I would take my life.  I did pray for death for weeks.  I am trying to take one day at a time. I can't see the future right now but I can make it through today. 

I work myself until I can't move. It's probably not the best way to handle the grief but I don't feel comfortable in my own skin anymore 

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Good news with my kitty. She is eating and she has gained a little weight. I'm feeding her every couple of hours. I would be so lost without her company. She really is one of my children. 

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Nightwinds,

You are doing the best you can, what more can we do?  I think he knows what he meant to you, how could he not?  One day at a time, I'm still having to live that way.

I'm so glad your kitty is eating and gaining weight!  That is good news to be celebrated!

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