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Hi fellow pet lovers.I’m new to this forum so here goes.Two weeks to the day since my best friend,companion + soulmate passed over the rainbow aged 9 + half but he was my first + only dog + the grief is so unbearable I just cannot go on with life without him knowing I’ll never hold,cuddle + kiss him ever again.I’ve hardly slept,my appetite has gone + I can feel my health in just two weeks has deteriorated to such an extent that I’m having suicidal thoughts even though I know that this outcome is not the way out of my daily misery but my life is now so empty + I cannot contemplate getting another dog as I do not want to go through this pain ever again.I just want to go sleep + not wake up.Sorry for the rant.

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I am so sorry for all you are going through, the incredible pain, I know it well.  I also know that to not have experienced this love would be the real sadness, not the pain of a broken heart due to loss.  I have lost 23 dogs and cats in my lifetime (I'm older).  My last dog, Arlie, was my soulmate in a dog.  He was perfect for me. I adored him, I could gaze at him for hours!  He was so beautiful!  He was the smartest dog I've ever owned.  And goofy, fun!  He'd make up games to play with me!  He loved teasing, he had a great sense of humor!  His communication was amazing!  He did Husky talk and had different tonal language for different things.  We understood each other.  Losing him was like having my heart ripped out of me.  My world went from vivid color to that of black and white.  So I know what you are talking about.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, it's understandable with intense grief, but PLEASE seek grief counseling!  I've lost my sweet husband, my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, sister, friends, nearly two year old niece, three year old nephew, 23 dogs & cats, I am well acquainted with grief.  The two hardest for me were my husband and Arlie.  It forever leaves us changed but it won't be the same for you ten years from now as it is today.  It's been 8 1/2 months for me.  I still have his coat hanging on my chair and there it will stay.  I hold it when I need to feel him close to me again.  I still love and miss him and cry but my tears are not as frequent as they were.  But that does not mean I love him any less!  It means my body is adjusting little by little, as it's meant to.  It's important to give yourself time to reach that point.  

I knew another dog would never replace Arlie in my heart and life, and it would not.  My son brought me a puppy before Christmas.  He has wormed his way into my heart.  There were times, I'll admit, I felt almost guilty for loving another dog but I assured Arlie that Kodie was not taking his spot, no one ever would.  We have enough love inside of us to handle one more.  Our love source stretches to handle it.  I don't know what I'd do right now under this lockdown if not for Kodie.  He keeps me busy all day long!  I have to watch him so he doesn't chew the carpet or a cord, play with him, he's very active!  I take him on walks, he's kept my sanity.  For a while I thought I'd never find a dog for myself as I had a couple of bad adoption attempts and the rescues were not as they should have been.  But this little guy was conceived when Arlie died, and born on my birthday, and there's no doubt I was meant to be his mom.  He persevered through my brokenness and I couldn't help but love him.

I look out on my back yard where Arlie lays, Skye on one side, Kitty on the other.  Sometimes I go down and talk to his grave and bawl for him!  I still miss him, I always will.  He will always be my soulmate in a dog, my perfect dog and I am grateful for every moment I got to have him here on earth.  I wish they lived longer lives, it wasn't long enough.  But I'm glad he went before me for I would hate for him to go through this grief and wonder where his mommy was.  

Give yourself the gift of time, of appreciating what IS good in life not only looking back at what was.  We are bound to look back, our memories are what we have and can hold right now, but we don't want to miss any good in life either, we need whatever we can find.  

Wanting to sleep and not wake up is a denial form, it takes much time to absorb and process this change, it's huge.  Even if you don't feel like eating, try drinking a healthy smoothie.  You need the nutrition to give yourself you best possible chance.  What would you tell a best friend going through this?  Tell yourself that.  Be your own best friend!
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2011/10/finding-support-for-pet-loss.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/p/pet-loss-articles.html
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/animal-attachment/201703/my-pet-died-and-i-cant-stop-crying
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2014/05/pet-loss-is-it-different-kind-of-grief.html
http://www.griefhealing.com/pet-loss-counseling.htm
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2015/06/pet-loss-do-pets-go-to-heaven.html

Finally, I want to leave you with an article I wrote following the loss of my husband of the things I'd found helpful.  Much of it can apply in loss of your dog as well.  Please take note of the suicide hotline and don't be afraid to use it, that's what they're there for.  I hope you can take something away with you today (such as taking one day at a time or even one minute) and something else on down the road.

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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There is nothing I can add to your response, dear Kay, as you speak with the wisdom that comes from personal experience. I too was heartbroken when I lost my beloved Beringer ~ and all the other animal companions I've loved and lost over the years (I'm older too 😉). I found some comfort in the following, and I hope it brings some of that to you as well, Coco's dad:

 

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Oh Marty, I love you!  Thank you for sharing this.  Although I have to admit, it got me bawling.  I miss my Arlie.

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Thank you for your replies.Very much appreciated.My original post should have read two weeks ago I lost him not two days but the grief is just as bad 16 days later than it was when he passed on.People all around me are being so kind trying to to get me to be positive so for that I’m forever grateful.I’ve just bought a book that some of you may be familiar with by Kate McGahan titled Only Gone From Your Sight which I’m hoping will be helpful in my grieving process.The vet has not even rang back as of yet regarding his ashes so what this will do to me doesn’t bear thinking about as I cannot comprehend my beloved boy will be in a wooden urn when just two weeks ago I was holding,cuddling + giving him plenty of kisses.Even writing this is making me cry like a baby but I’m trying so hard to convince myself it was the right decision to put him to sleep but the guilt I have is on my mind every and all day did I do the right thing.I do sincerely hope he forgives me especially for his last 3 months of suffering but that can be down to my selfishness of wanting him not leave me so again I hope he forgives me if I let him suffer.As you say I’m taking each day as it comes and praying my tears and dark thought will ease.Thank you all.Love xx

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I know of no animal lover who has not been left with guilt in the wake of the euthanasia decision, my friend. Still, I believe it to be a selfless one, made out of love ~ and one in which you exchange your companion's suffering for your own. Your dog is suffering no longer ~ and now it is you who are suffering with the pain of grief. I'm so sorry . . .

I invite you to read this: Euthanasia: The Merciful Release

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Marty covered it all...I truly believe we take on their suffering when we let them go to the other side...exchanging their physical pain for our heart's anguish at missing them.  Knowing this I hope brings you some peace as your baby is at peace and no longer suffering.

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Just been to collect the ashes from the vets and to say it was traumatic is an understatement😢I just cannot comprehend my boy is now in a wooden box and is gone forever.I would give anything just to have him back in my arms but I know this will only be in my dreams and I don’t think my body can take much more of the stress of losing him as I now have a hospital regarding my health as his passing has made me realise of my own immortality which has led to me not sleeping and eating.I just want to see that light at the end of the tunnel but at the moment it is very dark.I miss my baby so much😢A57DE8E9-91CA-4519-A6EB-0096B31B78BD.thumb.jpeg.a60c70b2ae6f30a753ef71bce692c045.jpeg

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I am so sorry, he does have a sweet face.  I had a black lab, my first dog, also another when I was in my twenties.  I hope you can work on your health and getting it under control.  It might help to see a grief counselor that does pet loss.

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@Coco Forever  In addition to the above articles we've given you, since you mentioned in the other thread the feelings of guilt you had, I want to leave these articles with you.  It helps to reread them until it begins to sink in.
http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml
http://www.griefhealing.com/article-loss-and-the-burden-of-guilt.htm

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Thanks for all your advice and articles as they have been helpful in my grieving process.I have cried everyday for nearly a month and it doesn’t help when I’m out walking on my own when other dog walkers stop to ask me where is Coco😢I know they only mean well but I can barely make the first sentence before I start blubbering but most of them have gone through dog loss and even their caring words have meant so much.I’m not a believer in the afterlife but my would I love  for that to be true so I can be with my boy when I go..Thanks again🙏🏻

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A lot of people don't believe and I get that....try to keep an open mind for the possibility, it gives us hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.  Consider watching videos of the galaxies beyond...it expands our minds to possibilities and helps us realize we're all part of something bigger than our own little world, I find it comforting.  Sending you thoughts of comfort and peace.

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