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I Can't Seem to Shake the Flashbacks


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My yellow lab, who would have been 2 years old next week, was hit by a car. I had gotten off of work and picked him up from puppy day camp. On the way home, he was hanging his head out the window with a huge smile on his face just like he did every day. I had to hit my brakes faster than usual due to a car stopping short in front of me. Murphy got scared and his reaction was to jump out my window. The second he hit the ground, a car was right there. They didn't even have 1 second to try and swerve or hit their brakes. Neither of them meant for this to happen.

I literally pulled into someone's front yard and ran to Murphy. As I got close, I saw him pull his left arm towards him and he yelped. I can still hear that yelp today, 3 weeks and 1 day later. I hugged him and he was not blinking. I checked for a pulse and was relieved to find one, but he was not moving. I started giving him CPR and yelling at cars to call 911. The driver of the car got out and kept saying "he's okay, he's okay." No, Murphy wasn't okay. I stopped CPR and hugged him, and I felt his body relax and fade away. I knew I lost him at that moment.

A police officer showed up and as he was walking towards me he said on his radio "it's just a dog." I began screaming at him to help me to where he said "ma'am, there's nothing I can do," not even coming near Murphy. 3 people who stopped helped pick him up and get him in my car, yelling at me to get to a vet. As I pulled away, my brother called that he was right behind me. I pulled over and he jumped in, sitting in the back seat with Murphy. I drove the shoulder in rush-hour traffic down 2 highways to get to an emergency vet. I was pulled over but kept going. As I got to the vet and the techs ran out to my car, they confirmed what I knew was true but did not want to hear- Murphy did not have a pulse.

I went inside and felt numb. I couldn't cry. I felt like I was going to throw up. This couldn't be real. 3 weeks and 1 day later, it still doesn't feel real.

Murphy did not deserve for this to happen. He didn't mean for it to happen. I have a tremendous amount of guilt and "what if's." If I left work 1 minute earlier, this wouldn't have happened. If I drove 2mph slower, Murphy would still be here. If I had the window up half way, my best friend would still be with me. I can't help but think that this was my fault. I have not been able to go 1 day without crying. This is 100% the worst thing I have ever witnessed and experienced in my life. I can't seem to shake the flashbacks and replaying every second of those 10 minutes in my head. I would not wish this pain on anyone.

I spent the first 5 days in bed, not talking to anyone, not eating, not living. The next 3 days back to work were just filled with tears as everyone approached me with their "I'm sorry" hugs. Exactly 1 week after I lost Murphy, my Dad convinced me to go to therapy. I already have anxiety, and now it is tripled. The anxiety, depression, guilt, sadness, anger.. it's too much for me to cope with. I have never believed in therapy, but I knew I needed guidance. I have now been 3 times.

Last weekend was the first time I drove other than to and from work. I drove to my boyfriend's 30 minutes away and had a breakdown the second I got there. I am truly scared driving. I stood outside for about 10 minutes to get myself together before I could go inside and see his dog. I was surprisingly happy to see her. The next day, I drove my car home. It was the first time I drove my car since I lost Murphy. I did not cry, but when I got home I had a raging headache and was very nauseous. Every time I get in or out of my car, I can't help but look at that back window and see Murphy's face.

Last Sunday I went out with friends for the first time. I had to walk away twice to cry, but overall I did have fun, and I laughed. If someone asked me am I doing okay, I would say no, I'm not okay. I'm broken. I'm traumatized. But when I really sit and think, I am doing better than I was the day after 'it' happened. I take steps every day to be happy again. I am trying. Sometimes I need to be left alone, and sometimes I need to cry, but deep down I know I am trying.

I have been told by many people, including my therapist, to write down my thoughts and feelings. Being an English and writing major I thought this would be easy, but I could not bring myself to do it. Not until I read OptionB and joined this website.

I would appreciate any words of wisdom that anyone has to offer.

Here is my handsome, beloved Murphy:


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Good for you, my dear. You are taking all the healthy steps that will bring you through this horrific loss. I'm so sorry that this happened to your beloved Murphy, and to you. You are among kindred spirits here, and we all know from our own experiences how very much this hurts. 

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Your beloved Murphy is so sweet.  I am so sorry that this accident happened.  I cannot imagine how devastated you must be!  Thanks for sharing the picture.  Those of us who have lost a precious pet take one day a time.  I have learned to accept the tears when they come.  :wub: 

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I am so sorry about your loss.  My dog is the most important thing in the world to me so I can only imagine how you're feeling.  I've lost many dogs and cats over my lifetime and it is never easy.

We do our best to take care of them but unfortunately accidents happen.  We ask ourselves all the "if onlys" in an effort to rewrite the outcome.  It's part of grief.  I do hope you'll find comfort in these articles.



Also, here's some ideas of ways to help your grief:55 Strategies for Coping with Grief.docx

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