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Chele

So Sadie has Cancer

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On August 6, we found out that our sweet Sadie baby has Lymphoma. I feel like i am already grieving, thinking about how we just lost my father in law to cancer less than 2 months ago, one of the cats whose illness mirrored my FIL's, and how Sadie's brother will deal with her death. It's so overwhelming. My husband has gone through this before with other dogs that he's had, but this is my first time dealing with the loss of a dog. I had a cat who I adored for 18 years, and I still think of her every day. But I am older now, my life is different now and I know this is going to be waaaaay worse. I am actually more upset for her brother than anything. How will I comfort him?

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I'm so sorry, Chele ~ for the recent loss of your father-in-law and for the impending loss of your sweet Sadie baby. You are wise to be preparing yourself ahead of time, and I want to point you to a couple of articles that I hope you will find useful. Note that links to additional readings are included at the base of each: 

Anticipating the Death of A Cherished Pet

Supporting Your Grieving Pet

See also: 
Anticipatory Grief and Mourning

Anticipatory Grief and Mourning: Suggested Resources

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Chele,

I will never forget what anticipatory grief feels like -- in a word, awful. 18 years and still thinking about your adored cat. Yes, I share that, too. Not a day goes by where I don't think of, and always miss, both my own cherished furkids, and all the others I also came to love after.

But you asked, how will you comfort Sadie's brother in his own grief? Aside from all the resources Marty supplied, what I did for my furgirl when we lost her brother, was multifaceted. For one basic aid, I made sure she was given flower essences for her grief for a few months, as well as taking the same for myself, since we all mirror our states of mind/emotions with each other. I would also suggest you begin giving the Animal Relief Formula to Sadie right now, too. See FES (below; you can order them online) for some of the best flower essences for animals & humans alike. You can also check out some of their related ones & use more than one formula (or single essences) if required. For animals, mix 2 drops from the stock bottle (of each blend or single essence you've chosen, but see their guidelines on how many to use/not use at once), to a 1-2 oz bottle of purified water, and administer 4 drops, 4x/day, or just add the 4 (premixed) drops to their water bowl (if they're drinking on their own a few times/day):

http://www.fesflowers.com/product-info/formulas/animal-relief-formula/

The post-trauma stabilizer is another one well worth considering:

http://www.fesflowers.com/product-info/formulas/flourish-formulas/post-trauma-stabilizer/

In general, talk to Sadie's brother about what is to come (animals DO like to be prepared, just like us!) & how you will be there for him to support him, and that you will help each other in your shared grief. Try to ensure he gets to see Sadie's body after she has passed so she isn't just suddenly "not there." Tell him what happened to her, including your ideas, if any, on where her soul then resides. (that said, if she surprises either of you with an after-death communication of whatever sort, you may want to take her brother's lead on that 😉)  If his appetite is reduced (as my girl's was, leading to anorexia for awhile), tempt him with some favourite but healthy foods, or a few small treats, without overdoing it for too long, though. Mainly, allow yourselves to comfort each other moment by moment, day by day. Do try as best you can, to do at least some favourite or new activities together, even if only for a few minutes at a time most days. And if he should seem really "off," make sure he sees a vet to rule out any possible illness. And as much as you can muster it, feel and put out gratitude for his still being there with you, even through your own pain. Make it a team effort, and honestly, treat him as if he's another human who is grieving, so on an equal level, and treated with as much compassion as you would anyone else in pain. 

There are levels, and there are levels, and if you open to even the possibility of a deeper, richer level, the relationship you share with each other could undergo the most beautiful and amazing transformation, all because you're grieving together. 

From my own experience, my own furgirl reacted intensely to her beloved brother's passing, and immediately became physically ill as a result, and I was forced to "hop to!" in all manner of caregiving, when I was least up to it, and also then forced into fearing her passing as well! But it was all a huge blessing in disguise. And I'll tell you what really turned her around about 3 months later. I had been studying "A Course In Miracles" for quite awhile prior to his illness, then death, and one day, although she had had no interest in doing anything, she suddenly dragged me to one of our favourite spots outside our yard where we all used to play together. Soon thereafter, I utilized an epiphany that had suddenly come upon me as I stood there watching over her laying in the tall grass so despondently. This voice said to me, "you must (actively, consciously) CHOOSE Life for her!" And so I did, mentally and emotionally. At that turning point, she began to "come into her own" as a lone furchild (which she actually came to love!), and became more like her old self, but even more so. 💖

I empathize with what you're going through right now, and I'm impressed as well as grateful that you're that concerned about how your boy might end up feeling, too. Sweethearts like you make the world a better place. 💞💓

 

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7 hours ago, MartyT said:

I'm so sorry, Chele ~ for the recent loss of your father-in-law and for the impending loss of your sweet Sadie baby. You are wise to be preparing yourself ahead of time, and I want to point you to a couple of articles that I hope you will find useful. Note that links to additional readings are included at the base of each: 

Anticipating the Death of A Cherished Pet

Supporting Your Grieving Pet

See also: 
Anticipatory Grief and Mourning

Anticipatory Grief and Mourning: Suggested Resources

Thank you so much for your kind words and the articles. I will read every bit and pass them on to my family. Also,I am grateful for this platform to be able to speak to others.

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4 hours ago, Maylissa said:

Chele,

I will never forget what anticipatory grief feels like -- in a word, awful. 18 years and still thinking about your adored cat. Yes, I share that, too. Not a day goes by where I don't think of, and always miss, both my own cherished furkids, and all the others I also came to love after.

But you asked, how will you comfort Sadie's brother in his own grief? Aside from all the resources Marty supplied, what I did for my furgirl when we lost her brother, was multifaceted. For one basic aid, I made sure she was given flower essences for her grief for a few months, as well as taking the same for myself, since we all mirror our states of mind/emotions with each other. I would also suggest you begin giving the Animal Relief Formula to Sadie right now, too. See FES (below; you can order them online) for some of the best flower essences for animals & humans alike. You can also check out some of their related ones & use more than one formula (or single essences) if required. For animals, mix 2 drops from the stock bottle (of each blend or single essence you've chosen, but see their guidelines on how many to use/not use at once), to a 1-2 oz bottle of purified water, and administer 4 drops, 4x/day, or just add the 4 (premixed) drops to their water bowl (if they're drinking on their own a few times/day):

http://www.fesflowers.com/product-info/formulas/animal-relief-formula/

The post-trauma stabilizer is another one well worth considering:

http://www.fesflowers.com/product-info/formulas/flourish-formulas/post-trauma-stabilizer/

In general, talk to Sadie's brother about what is to come (animals DO like to be prepared, just like us!) & how you will be there for him to support him, and that you will help each other in your shared grief. Try to ensure he gets to see Sadie's body after she has passed so she isn't just suddenly "not there." Tell him what happened to her, including your ideas, if any, on where her soul then resides. (that said, if she surprises either of you with an after-death communication of whatever sort, you may want to take her brother's lead on that 😉)  If his appetite is reduced (as my girl's was, leading to anorexia for awhile), tempt him with some favourite but healthy foods, or a few small treats, without overdoing it for too long, though. Mainly, allow yourselves to comfort each other moment by moment, day by day. Do try as best you can, to do at least some favourite or new activities together, even if only for a few minutes at a time most days. And if he should seem really "off," make sure he sees a vet to rule out any possible illness. And as much as you can muster it, feel and put out gratitude for his still being there with you, even through your own pain. Make it a team effort, and honestly, treat him as if he's another human who is grieving, so on an equal level, and treated with as much compassion as you would anyone else in pain. 

There are levels, and there are levels, and if you open to even the possibility of a deeper, richer level, the relationship you share with each other could undergo the most beautiful and amazing transformation, all because you're grieving together. 

From my own experience, my own furgirl reacted intensely to her beloved brother's passing, and immediately became physically ill as a result, and I was forced to "hop to!" in all manner of caregiving, when I was least up to it, and also then forced into fearing her passing as well! But it was all a huge blessing in disguise. And I'll tell you what really turned her around about 3 months later. I had been studying "A Course In Miracles" for quite awhile prior to his illness, then death, and one day, although she had had no interest in doing anything, she suddenly dragged me to one of our favourite spots outside our yard where we all used to play together. Soon thereafter, I utilized an epiphany that had suddenly come upon me as I stood there watching over her laying in the tall grass so despondently. This voice said to me, "you must (actively, consciously) CHOOSE Life for her!" And so I did, mentally and emotionally. At that turning point, she began to "come into her own" as a lone furchild (which she actually came to love!), and became more like her old self, but even more so. 💖

I empathize with what you're going through right now, and I'm impressed as well as grateful that you're that concerned about how your boy might end up feeling, too. Sweethearts like you make the world a better place. 💞💓

 

Thank you, Maylissa. I think I read your note about 6 times and I’ll keep reading it to soak it all up. 

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Chele,

When my husband died, our cat Tigger waited around for two months for him to come back, and when he didn't, he took one long look at me, as if committing me to memory, turned tail, and left, never to be seen again.  Our dog, Lucky, who was highly trained and obedient, acted out.  I was puzzled by her behavior, and it actually took my daughter to point it out to me, that she was grieving.  I was so lost in my own immense grief, I hadn't even considered how she might be feeling!  From that point on, I made sure to give her extra love and attention to try to help her through it.  

You are very perceptive to consider your other dog and how this might affect him.

I am very sorry for all you are going through, the death of a beloved dog is very hard hitting, one of the hardest losses we can go through, because they are in our everyday lives, we have habits and rituals with them, and just their absence calls deep attention to the fact that they are gone.  I have a dog that is my dear companion, I think I'm closer to him than any animal I've ever had, he's like my soul mate in a dog, and when he goes, I know it's going to hit very very hard...and he's 10 1/2 now.  His breed, Siberian Husky, lives to 10-12 and Golden Retriever, lives to 9, so I know our time together is getting shorter.  My cat is 23 and she is on borrowed time.  She's doing amazing for her age, but I don't think a day passes that I don't know how lucky I am to have her with me still.  I've dealt with this by trying to make the most of each day I have with them, lots of walks, treats, belly rubs.  I try not to dwell on the length of time left, but instead focus on the day I have with them, today.  It's like it's in the back of my mind but I try to keep it to back burner, you know?

I have memorial stones in my yard for the pets I've lost as found here: https://www.personalcreations.com/personalized-pet-memorials-psephds?REF=PCRSRCHgoog_Sympathy&+Memorial+-+Desktop+-+Exact_pet+head+stones_e_c=&cvosrc=PPC.google.pet+head+stones&matchtype=e&PRID=pcrsrch25ypad
but there's many things we can do to honor and remember our pets.  My sister sent me a rose bush, for instance, when my Fluffy died, so in planting that, every time I saw it, I thought of my Fluffy.

You're in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this.  Come here any time and post, it helps to express yourself and know you're heard and we're here with you.  I'm going through it now with my sister, it may be some time yet before I lose her but I'm seeing her steady decline and knowing our lives won't ever be the same again, very tough to get used to.

 

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