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Rainereed

Guilt and regret

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On Sunday we made the gut wrenching decisions to put our beloved French bulldog to sleep. I am left with feeling such strong waves of guilt and regret. I was a business owner and now a stay at home mom so he was by my side everyday, he was only just shy of 8 years old. Over the last year he has had neurological issues he had paralysis of the right side of his face he couldn’t blink his eye, he was treated for middle and innermost ear infections but medicines didn’t work and he strained to open his mouth on the one side all the way. But he was the happiest go with the flow dog, who just wanted to be with us, and playing and rolling in the grass, he still had joy. Come Friday I noticed he wet the bed which is extremely unlike him, Saturday he could barely stand up without falling over, and when trying to walk he’d be lopsided. Sunday he again peed on the blanket he was sleeping on throwing up and unable to stand, we brought him to the ER and ended up saying goodbye after discussing if there were other options. Doctor thinks it as likely he had a mass or tumor, putting him through the ringer of tests, scans, meds, no surgery didn’t seem fair, but now i wish more than anything I did. During  everything I kept second guessing myself and just wish more than anything I scooped him off the table and brought him home. He was too young, he was outside rolling in the grass days prior, it all happened too fast. I’m left with such an emptiness and guilt that I should have done more or tried harder. It’s only been a few days and I miss him terribly. I don’t really know what I need from posting this I’m just really struggling. 

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I'm so sorry for your loss, my dear. Clearly your beloved fur baby was seriously ill, and you did all you could to take good care of him. I don't think we can get through this momentous decision without some measure of guilt and regret, and I hope you will come to realize that you did indeed do the right thing here. I invite you to read this (including the related articles listed at the base): Guilt in The Wake of The Euthanasia Decision ♥️

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I am so sorry, I know the pain all too well and I want you to know that your second guessing yourself is common in grief.  You can be assured, however, that you gave him the best life you could and did the kindest thing for him...the wanting to hope against hope to keep them is for ourselves and not for them.  I hope in time you can see that your selfless love freed him from suffering...unfortunately that's when ours really begins.  

I lost my Arlie 6 1/2 months ago, it's the hardest decision I've ever made (cancer) and yet I know it was the right decision.  I do remember thinking, though, the next day, "if I hadn't had him put to sleep, he could still be here today."  Yes, but at what price?  At HIS price!  It was time.  He was stoic and tried his best for me but no one can fight inoperable, spread cancer.

I hope you'll read the article Marty posted, it's a good one that fits what you're experiencing right now.  (((hugs)))

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Thank you so much for the kind words and words of reassurance, I knew one day I was going to have to say goodbye and that it was going to be hard but man this is rough. I read that link you sent thank you so much I like the idea of writing a letter to him to try and get everything out and ask for forgiveness. I appreciate you both taking the time to give words of comfort. 

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I talk to Arlie also, by his grave but sometimes in the house or on my walks (which I used to take with him).

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My three year old keeps asking where he is and that she wants to play with him and it’s like a punch to the gut every time. She is too young to understand we keep telling her he’s playing in heaven. 

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Helping them understand that death here is not the end of the person/pet helps them understand continuance somewhere else we can't be just yet.  There are some wonderful children's books on death at Amazon.

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2011/11/using-childrens-books-to-help-with.html  (see link inside article)

 

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I was looking back on our security camera in our house the night before he passed, in the bottom left corner he is laying on the blanket, he always slept in bed with us but because he was so unsteady we didn’t want him jumping off the bed and potentially hurting himself so we made him a little comfy pallet on then the floor.(I ended up bringing him in the bed to snuggle him) but motion was detected around 11pm it could be dust or a bug but I like to believe its something sprinkling down on him, touched by an angel, maybe his soul leaving early so he didn’t have to experience how terrible the following morning was going to be. It’s brought me some comfort seeing this, and maybe it will for you that there are angels looking over all our fur babies. 

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:wub:  Wow!  Thank you for sharing that with us!

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It's hard to help children with grief, I think, because it's hard to know what they are thinking. I have added an LCSW license in Alaska to my repertoire and am counseling over the internet with students on the Bering Strait of Alaska. These kids have been through so much, sometimes it's hard to know what to think or say to help them. I sure hope I can help them, because they have been through so much and had so much loss.

One of my students is nine and in the third grade. I saw him last Friday and he as full of plans for his beloved bunny rabbits - his two pets - and how he planned to build them a hutch in the summer so that they could enjoy the outdoors but be protected. Wednesday he told me, "My bunny rabbits died." I was asking him what happened and kind of imagining something really terrible, but what he said was in a way, worse. He said that he thought they had died from not enough water because he noticed that their water bottle had run dry. He feels responsible for his pets' death, and it is heartbreaking. He said he figured he would never again have a pet like that again. Maybe a hermit crab, he said. There is nothing like a fluffy fur baby. I think it's really unrealistic to give a nine-year-old sole responsibility for any pet because they are children. Good for them to do the tasks, but someone should be looking over their shoulder, I think.

I was working on doing origami foxes with some of the students that day, but the book also had a rabbit design. He said he would really like to learn how to fold a bunny rabbit because it might help him feel a little better. We had a little trouble because it's harder than the fox, and the rabbits didn't come out right. I promised that by Friday I would have figured it out and we would fold bunny rabbits. I emailed his teacher the directions so that he and I could both study the directions and be successful with our bunny rabbits tomorrow. They are looking good, but helping a child with this kind of thing when I can reach my hand out to assist is a new challenge.

Here you can see Lena reviewing them. I introduce her as "my assistant". She is now a virtual therapy cat and comes onscreen to say hello and have a bite of chicken or shrimp. I'm not sure if it helps to have a therapy cat online, but they have a counselor who's online, and they seem to really love seeing her. You can also see my online setup on the other picture. One of my students is on the Autism Spectrum and very concrete. He is convinced that I must be in China, due to the screen. I keep explaining about how I am in Arizona and kind of near the Grand Canyon, but he's not sure about that.

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I think it's just wonderful that you are supporting these children with your considerable skills, dear Laura! Good for you!

Not sure if it will help you, but you'll find a number of articles about kids and grief listed here: Children, Teens & Grief  ♥️

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