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Struggling to cope with the sudden loss


slw60

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On Wednesday, my seven year old shepherd went outside to the bathroom and collapsed. After sitting for hours in the waiting room of the emergency vet, I was pulled into a room and told that my sweet boy, who had been perfectly healthy his entire life and was acting completely normal until his collapse, had a tumor on his heart that had caused pericardial effusion... he was dying, and there was nothing to be done for him at that point as he was already in kidney and heart failure. I was in total shock. They brought him to me and he weakly took a few steps towards me before falling. I cradled his head in my lap as he looked up at me, his eyes wide and full of worry, until the drugs caused him to lose consciousness and eventually take his last breath. He was here, and in the blink of an eye, he wasn't. I had no time to process what was happening... we went from a perfectly normal day, to him dying in my arms. My dog, who was practically my shadow, is gone. 14 months ago, I lost my other beloved dog to bone cancer, and in no way was expecting to have to go through this again so soon. I'm struggling to cope with this but I'm having a very hard time. The fact he died on the cold floor of a place he wasn't familiar with, looking so scared, is tearing me to pieces. I feel like even though I was there with him, I was so stunned and overwhelmed with grief that i didn't even say a real goodbye. He deserved so much more than this.

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slw60,

You are in shock and it will take time to process your loss.  As difficult as that was, your beloved pet last moment was that saw your face and felt your hands cradling his head.  That is a precious gift to give him.

I experienced a similar process with our collie, dog, Brandee. Six years ago.  I had to make the decision because she was in such pain from stomach bloat. I held her head petted her and looked deeply into her eyes and I know she was comforted.  It was so tough to do.  My wife didn't even have an opportunity to say goodbye.  You can still say a memorial goodbye.  My wife took a picture of her,  enlarged it and I still have it on our desk.  I miss her deeply.  It is difficult to deal with loss especially in such a short period of time.  There are resources that are available in our forum that can help you to deal with the grief.   I am sure others will be along soon to share them with you.  - Shalom

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I'm so very sorry to learn of the sudden, unexpected death of your beloved companion, my dear. I agree completely with what George has said to you; those last moments with your dog were a most precious gift to him, and I hope you will take comfort in knowing that. Since you lost your other beloved dog to bone cancer just over a year ago, you already know that whatever grief you're feeling now is a true measure of the love you have for both of them. Please allow yourself to mourn ~ and know that we are with you in your pain. You are among kindred spirits here.

If at some point you care to do some reading and you feel able to concentrate enough to do so, you'll find a list of useful and relevant articles here: Pet Loss 

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slw60,

I am so sorry.  Saying goodbye to our furry companion is one of the hardest things we have to go through.  That yours was only seven and you got no heads up, no warning whatsoever, makes it all the harder. You were cradling your dog, that's all he knew, all he needed to know, not what building he was in, not what was going on outside those doors, he was with you and that's what mattered.  You had no choice but to end his suffering and let him go peaceably.  

Now you are left with this pain, a pain that is not unfamiliar to you. We have no choice but to be one with our grief, to sit with it, and make our way through it.  All of us wish you some peace and comfort, I know how hard this is.

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