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No Reason To Go On


Maylissa

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Forget anything I've ever said before now. It's been days 34 since my feline daughter left me and I've just seen I have nothing and no one left for me now. Nothing that I've hoped was a sign from her so far has been definitive enough to convince me 100% that it was her. Now I have nothing but guilt left, for what I might have still done that might have saved her, for taking away the life of my last baby when maybe she didn't want to go, when she might have still lived, and continued to love me. I think I may have broken her heart by having her body killed, and now she's afraid of me, doesn't love me anymore, and won't come around me. Only my H has clearly heard her and dreamed a nice dream of her. For me, nothing as certain...nothing that couldn't have been just coincidence. Nothing like what her brother sent me directly and so often. This has been slowly killing me inside for all of these last 34 days.

Then last night, in the throes of my despair, guilt, fear, anguish and doubt, my H laughed at my pain, thinking I was being ridiculous. When I got angry about his laughter, he still kept grinning, then became patronizing, trying to get me to stop. When I got angrier still at this reaction and at 'kicking me when I was already so far down', he walked away and left me to continue crying on the couch. I never went to bed, didn't wash up or change...there was no point. This morning, he left for work w/o even bothering to see if I was around ( I'd moved somewhere else ). He's done with his grief and has left me all alone in mine, a grief I will never get over. Though he'd agreed that we ( read "I" ) may have indeed made a grave mistake with her, he himself has no remorse, no guilt, no pain over it. It's all mine to carry, all alone.

This is why I needed my girl, My Love. Without her, I have none. No one who ever truly loved me in this world is left. I've been abandoned, by my H and even by my girl. I have no strength left to do for myself and now no reason to anyway. No one ever helps me w/o my having to suggest, ask or strongly plead, finally, in anger ( only my girl did this, willingly, of her own accord ), so there's no point in being here. I'm obviously not worth the effort or the compassion. My girl needed me, but no one else did, and now she's gone. The point of my existence has just vanished. I can't take any more pain....fighting my whole life to share some love and diminish the pain, and now there's just nothing worth fighting for.

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My dear Maylissa,

I would not presume to attempt to talk you out of your guilt (or anything else you may be feeling, for that matter), but I do want to talk to you about the guilt you are feeling right now. Like many other reactions in grief, guilt is a feeling. A feeling is neither right or wrong, good or bad, and it is not always rational and accurate, either.

In my work with bereaved animal lovers, I’ve noticed that (in general) there are two kinds of guilt: justified guilt and unjustified guilt. In this world there are lots of things people do to animals about which they ought to feel guilty: animal cruelty and neglect, for example. In a case such as yours, however, when you did everything humanly possible to give your baby the best care you could possibly deliver, the guilt you’re feeling now is what I would consider to be unjustified. Because you are such a good and decent person, however, you feel guilty nonetheless. (Did you ever notice that it is only the good people who feel guilty about such things?)

I want to suggest that, just because you feel guilty about whatever you did or failed to do for Nissa, it does not mean that you are, in fact, guilty as charged. And if you were “on trial” for whatever “crime” you think you’ve committed against your baby, ask yourself this: Would there be enough evidence to convict you? If you were on trial for Nissa's wrongful death, and every person who participates in this Loss of a Pet Forum sat in a jury box, what do you think their verdict would be at the end of your trial?

You see, Maylissa, even if your husband and every single person here tells you that you are not guilty, even if Nissa herself appeared to tell you that you are not guilty, even if God Himself and all the angels and saints shouted out in unison that you are not guilty and you are forgiven for whatever sins you think you have committed against her, it still would not be enough to erase the guilt you are carrying around with you. Why? Because the one person from whom you need forgiveness is you, Maylissa – and there is not a person on this earth who can do that for you. The simple truth is that you have to find some way to forgive yourself for being unable to save Nissa from dying.

I have a theory about guilt which I’ve often shared with people in my pet loss support group. It goes like this: Your guilt will diminish only when and to the extent that you feel as if you’ve punished yourself enough for what you did or failed to do. You know the statue that sits outside the Supreme Court building – the one of the woman wearing a blindfold and holding a balance scale? If you were to put all your guilt on one side of that scale, and all the punishment you need to feel on the other side, the scale will not come into balance until the weight of the punishment equals the weight of the guilt. I think that right now you are in the punishment phase of guilt, and you won’t get your balance back until and unless you believe that you’ve been punished enough.

Such punishment takes all sorts of creative forms, including self-flagellation. (Think of those cultures where people march in the streets, beating themselves with reeds or chains until their flesh is bleeding.) I see you punishing yourself now, by pushing away the very ones who do love you and want to “be there” for you, including your husband and all the people on this site who care about you so very much. Because the rest of us are only human, too, Maylissa, we cannot possibly “be there” for you in exactly the way you may want us to be. Besides, none of us can give you what you really want, which is to have Nissa back here with you. So in a sense, your husband and the rest of us are doomed to failure. You say yourself that “No one ever helps me w/o my having to suggest, ask or strongly plead, finally, in anger ( only my girl did this, willingly, of her own accord).”

You say you “have no reason to go on,” you’re “obviously not worth the effort or the compassion,” and you’ve lost the very point of your existence. But we’re still here, Maylissa. We haven’t gone anywhere. We still value and need your presence here with us, no matter how much anger and guilt you bring with you and no matter how awful you make yourself out to be. We’ve all felt our own anger and guilt at one time or another, so it does not frighten us when we see it in someone else. Just be here with us, however you need to be at the time, and let us be here with you, and let it be enough.

If you’re not feeling up to helping or reaching out to others right now, that’s okay. We can wait. We have faith in you, and we know you have all the strength and determination you need to get through this. It’s okay to be exactly where you are in your grief process – there is no pressure here for you to be anywhere other than where you are. Let this be the time to let others reach out to you, to fight for you, to care for you. Try to take what is offered with an open heart – and that is our acceptance of you exactly as you are, without judgment or reproach.

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Maylissa,

I have been in so mcuh pain to post much here.because of the loss of my dulcinea. i feel the same way as you.. that i ______ my dog. I can't even write or say the word K___. I hope youknow what i mean. I have been asking and praying for a sign too. I talk out loud to her and kiss her picture constantly. I pet her fur I had vet cut and kiss it. If i didn't have my other two dogs i would go to be with her in heaven. I can't wait to see her again. but from what i have read of your posts you did everything humanly possible for your baby. There is nothing more you could have done. I am punishing myself also. My husband keeps saying you cna't do this, you have to think of her not suffering any more. and i know that makes sense, but i feel i have to punish myself. I have lost so much weight by not eating. I don't want to enjoy anything with out my dulcinea. i think we truly have to deal with this by ourselves. but one thing i do know is that there are so many animals out there that NEED us. my babies are all rescues. My precious dulcinea was a special needs dog that i rescued when she was older. and she had the best life with us. I have been spending some time at my vets with animals in need because i am so needy right now and i think we can help each other. I know i am not talking about adopting another ANY time soon, but just knowing that we could give some animal out there who is MORE desperate than we are is what keeps me going. Think of how you feel right now and imagine an animal out there who feels just as needy because they are abandoned, noone loves them and they are alone and afraid. Just think what someday you could offer one of these animals when you are ready. You have to think of them. Just know, we need to go on even though this is the most physically painful, gut wrenching time ever.

Dulci's mom

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Oh, Maylissa,

I wept for you as I read your post. There is nothing I can add to what Marty has said. But I am definitely one of those people who care very much for you and who constantly remembers how you were able to reach out to me in my hour of need in spite of your own pain. I cannot imagine anyone doing anything more for Nissa than you have done. But I can well imagine people doing so much less. I am so sorry that you feel abandoned by your husband now when you need him the most. I understand that feeling only too well. You are a person with such a deep capapcity for love. My hope for you (and for some lucky animal) is that sometime down the line, you will feel ready to take another animal into your heart and into your home. I know now is not the time, but I just wanted to put that out to you because I so respect all the love and care and devotion you gave Nissa for all her life.

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Maylissa,

You are an asset to this on-line family, I know that between a wife and a pet there are a whole lot of differences, but there are a lot of similarities as well. There are a lot of days that I feel like there isn't a reason to go on, but I know that there is. God has left me here to do a job for Him. One of which is to raise my son. What else does he have for me I don't know other than to be here and to be able to offer some glimmer of hope to those that see none right now. God has a plan for you as well, and part of that is to be here on this site and help others go through what you are going through. To share your pain so others know that they aren't alone. To offer heart felt sympathy to those that are hurting from the loss of their fur-babies. You have had a lot of insight and ideas that have helped a lot of people here.

Maylissa, I wish I could come there and give you a big hug. I wish I could say one thing that would take all of the hurt and guilt away from you. Take your time, I know what is like, some days I don't have the energy to come here and post or reply because I feel like I don't have anything to offer, and that is ok. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, I hope that God will give you some peace tonight. One day you will have the dreams you are looking for, it has been 6 months and I haven't had one from Karen, while her neice did. I know it will be just a matter of time. If there is one thing I have learned from life it is this: You never find something until you stop looking for it. I didn't find Karen until I gave up and stopped looking and it was then that she came into my life. Stop looking for the dream from Nissa, and they will come, just give it some time.

A great big hug for you.

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Maylissa,

I have not been posting on the site for very long, maybe a little less than a week, but when I read your post today, I was so sad for you. It is so hard to lose a pet, a friend, a constant companion...I wish there was something I could say or do to make it all better for you, but I know there is nothing. Just know that there are ALOT of people here who truly care. I found that out very quickly. This site has done wonders for me, and I know that when the time comes, you too will feel the love and compassion from the rest of us.

Take care, and write soon, if you can. If there's one thing I've learned from everyone, it's to let it out...just say what's in your mind...eventually, the pain will be more tolerable.

Sincerely,

Kim

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Maylissa my heart aches for you! I too have felt the despair you're experiencing of the loss of a beloved pet. Though nothing can take the pain away, or ever replace the one you've lost, here is a link to a piece I wrote of my own experience after losing one of my beloved and special pets and the tale of my eventual road to recovery and the growth of my ability to love another pet.

Though it is about the love of a dog and breed specific, I hope it provides some glimpse of hope for you no matter how faint.

Howdy and me, a new beginning

If this helps even a little, here is another link to just one of Howdys and my adventures over the many years we shared together. It might even help to allow a small smile to peek through your tears.

Howdy's tale

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Maylissa

Your girl would not want you to feel like this. you did nothing wrong and she does not blame you. the only person that does that is you. why?? you loved her, feed her, cared for her, gave her a home, why should you feel guilty. all animals should have that kind of love.

I know how you feel i lost my wonderful friend Spanky (my dog) on 9/22 i know that a part of him died that day just like a part of me died when my mom died in july. i can't change that but i know that i have alot of love inside of me and there will be another furry friend that may need my love. i know my spanky would want that. today i brought his ashes home and cried to think that is all i have. i had to remenber that i have so much more all the love he gave me will never leave me. i know that you and i will one day cross that rainbow bridge and see them again. pls don't beat yourself up take all that energy and give it to another aniaml that nonone will love. i know that i would want to be yours. lori

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Hi everyone. Yes, I'm still 'hanging in' there, but not doing very well inside, though you'd never know from the outside, cuz I'm pushing myself in some ways.

I'm so thankful for all the replies I've gotten in this thread, to try and help me out - so grateful to all of you who took the time to stand next to me in my need. :wub: I've just not had any energy left to respond in the last few days...days from hell in many ways. If you don't mind, I'd like to update you all, so you know where I am right now.

After that last upsetting incident, things got worse. In one day alone, I had 3 different ocurrances that shook me up even more. One, I got a call from a drugstore where I used to order some homeopathics from, telling me my last order was still sitting there waiting. I was horrified, not even remembering what order this could be! It was a few remedies I'd supposed to have gotten to keep on hand for possible future use, all for trying to stop Nissa's urinary bleeding. What was horrible was that they'd come in just the day before we were going to euthanize her, and I don't even remember telling my H that it was pointless now to go and pick them up!! I had a total meltdown after this call and after calling my H about it, realizing that, for some now-unknown reason, I'd never even tried these other remedies that might have helped stopped her bleeding!!!! I have NO idea what in the world I'd been THINKING! I've since made a final appt with her homeo. vet to find out if HE'D also forgotten about these ones, OR if he'd thought it was too late anyway for them to work. The fact that we still had one day left to try them, though, is just shattering me inside.....because I'd obviously given up, in my bid to 'accept' her death....I gave up on trying to save my girl...something I never thought I'd do. I feel like I betrayed not only her, but myself as well, and it's eating me up alive. I've also got a call into our local vet, to try to lay to rest my guilts for not insisting on speaking with her before the final day, too....just to make sure she was aware of all that had transpired in her absence and to check if there'd been ANYTHING else SHE might have suggested that I didn't know about.

Two, as if that wasn't bad enough, I got a call from the last aunt in my family whom I still spoke to. So I had to tell her what happened. I was nervous about it, as she's the one who also seemed surprised about my continuing grief over my Mother....only 3 months after she'd died. Well....with Nissa's passing, she was even WORSE! Called it "crazy" to feel the way I do about an "animal!", among other insensitive comments. While I stuck up for my right to feel the way I do, and for the honour of my little girl's memory, I ended up wanting to send this aunt a website I'd found on "Myths About Petloss" ....basically, to shut her up for good! She hurt me deeply and I'm furious at her lack of compassion! Now I don't really ever want to talk to her again, but haven't sent this webpage, either. I don't know WHAT to do about her....

...and thirdly, and this was the worst of the bunch....my H said he'd call me later in the day, but didn't. To address what he'd done the other day, he'd made the generous offer of flying or driving to another city &/or Province every 2 wks. if we couldn't find a pet loss grief counselor here. So I thought he was just stuck in traffic coming home. But I still hadn't heard from him by mid-evening, and then started to totally panic! I called one friend, who tried to help me just keep breathing while she stayed on the phone with me until he hopefully would come home. His cellphone was also turned off. She asked if I could phone his workplace ( the switchboard ) to see if anyone had seen him, and when. So I did that, and they were in the middle of trying to help me when he finally arrived home.....drunk! And hostile towards me....as if I'D done something wrong! So not only had he been driving drunk ( that ALONE was fuel for the fire! ), but I was now his target! And more importantly, he's broken the trust I had in him, so especially important during a time like this....a time he was now scoffing at and trying to make me believe that was part of his problem!! He's been hating his new job ( what he claims is the main reason for what he did ) and then having to deal with my grief/guilt ( he's DONE, for the most part, with his, remember )on top of that when he comes home. So he just snapped, went out for drinks with someone at work, to talk ABOUT work, and consciously decided NOT to call me, as he knew I'd be upset! Hey, no kidding!!! We talked for quite awhile about it all, and while it eventually ended okay that night.....as I say, my trust in him to be there for me is broken. My girlfriend and her husband were absolutely shocked at what he'd done....thank goodness for ME, as I feel even MORE desperate now to be understood and cared about!...and so am I. I really tried to be understanding of his problems, but I'm still hanging on by only a thread. Again, THIS is why I relied on that great love from my girl....huge,steady, true, unfailing. Now I don't even feel free to grieve as openly in my own HOME! It's not like his work-world is going to improve anytime soon, and although I came up with a possibly-viable alternative for his dilemma, it will also likely mean he'd end up spending even more time away from home, to make it work for him. He's totally averse to counseling now, even simply work counseling, which his company provides for, never mind for couples. So I feel trapped, in total despair, and w/o the freedom to voice my concerns right now. I can't bear this. My grief is going more underground again, and although I THINK Nissa sent me more cats this wknd. ( in our yard ), 3 of them grey or greyish ( she was solid grey )....I still haven't even had a visitation dream, or anything else, to know she's still by my side 24/7...which just makes this all the worse for me. My H had also actually looked up carbon monoxide poisoning on the web recently...as an 'option' for me &/or him, when I was feeling suicidal one fine day. Holy crow! What does THAT say?!?! I can't deal with even my own grief...now THIS, too?!?!

I'm now reading Allison Dubois' "We Are Their Heaven", and also bought Kim Sheridan's "Animals and the Afterlife" ( she's another well-known communicator ), to try and help myself to see, or elicit, more signs. It's all I've got left now, and I still want to just NOT wake up one morning. When it rains, it pours, and I'm completely sick of it, and sick to my stomach about the way it works like this.

Today, I'm just hoping to hear from our local vet, to be followed by our distance vet tomorrow. I know what you say, Marty, about guilt, is true...but I still need to hear at least some assurances from a medical perspective, before I can try to lay my guilt to rest. If I'd gotten more powerful signs from Nissa, I wouldn't even be worrying about this the way I am, as I'd know w/o a doubt that even IF I'd missed anything, she'd forgiven me for any omissions &/or for what feels like having given up on her.

You'd said "(Did you ever notice that it is only the good people who feel guilty about such things?)"Yes, indeed, I've noticed that, for many years. And yet, my H does NOT ever feel guilty about anything to do with our kidlets....and that's something that bothers and worries me endlessly. It also cause me to end up feeling like I have to shoulder all this guilt by myself, although I'm not sure what's worse...hearing his agreement with me, or disagreeing with me! This is the thing that he was finding it too hard to handle at home....he no longer knows WHAT will help me feel better, or handle the grief better...so he's scared to say ANYTHING to me anymore. I ended up telling him at times like that, maybe it's best to just tell me we'll both get through it somehow, together.

To answer your hypothetical question:

"Would there be enough evidence to convict you? If you were on trial for Nissa's wrongful death, and every person who participates in this Loss of a Pet Forum sat in a jury box, what do you think their verdict would be at the end of your trial?"....oh, I'm pretty certain folks here would say, "If YOU think YOU'VE failed to do something....then we're ALL lost!" <_< But you're right....no one can convince me but myself....been there, done that, over Sabin's loss. BUT, it took alot of resources and others 'takes' on it, along with a telling communication, to finally allow it to sink in and take hold! This road might be REALLY long....

I'm really grateful for this comment from you:

"We’ve all felt our own anger and guilt at one time or another, so it does not frighten us when we see it in someone else."...especially about the anger. It's rare to find anyone who's really okay with anger, either from within or from others....so I truly appreciate the 'permission' to talk about it here and know no one will abandon me because I have some! You, and everyone else, always help me feel so accepted...and acceptable to life...and I hope everyone knows how powerful a thing that is, for me, for all of us.

Dulci's mom, there was one thing especially that you said: "Think of how you feel right now and imagine an animal out there who feels just as needy because they are abandoned, no one loves them and they are alone and afraid."I KNOW this will be on my mind, as there's NO ONE I feel worse for than the poor animals who suffer...it's just the way I've always been. This is a debate I knew I'd have within myself and I can't say for sure what I'll eventually do about it ( part of the problem is my H not wanting any more, BECAUSE I suffer so over their health and death )...but the exact way you put it will be sticking with me...because I wouldn't wish these feelings on anyone, much less an innocent fur-person! { { { Likewise for you, Lori ~ what you said, " i know that i would want to be yours."...that was VERY sweet of you! } I've been an animal advocate for a long, long time, so am more than aware of all the abandoned millions that people toss out like yesterday's garbage( and too many other heinous things I won't mention here )...if I don't get any more myself, I'll still be trying my best to change whatever I can on their behalf, and hopefully help thousands of them at a time. I'm also so very sorry you, too, have had your own major loss. Sorry I never got around to chatting to you on your thread....you know why now, though.

Serl, thank you SO much for worrying about me! ;)....and for your respect. Yah, I know I've done alot for our girl, but it's always good to hear it from others who also were committed to their own babies.

Steve, I'm glad you shared your dreamlessness about Karen with me...yes, one would think that if you can't even hear from your WIFE, yet others around you do.....??? Even though I can surely empathize with you about this (!!), it's always helpful to know that you're not the only one having to deal with the same thing. You might be right...alot of people have been telling me to "relax" about it...and I do know that our loved ones prefer to surprise us with their visits - just don't know WHY. Yet I also have experienced signs when in the depths of despair, too....so it seems there's no real rhyme or reason to it, that I can figure out anyway. It's not like I'm CLOSED to it all, by any means....so I don't get it. Maybe I know too much about it for my own good, but even that doesn't make sense.

All I know is that somehow I HAVE to get through this....not even as much for me, but for all the animals in this Universe...from our personally-cherished ones, to ALL the rest. It's who I am...it's why I became a vegetarian, too ( except, shamefully (inside), when I'm grieving, and I 'cheat' because I stop caring about anything much except my anguish for awhile ). To me, there is nothing greater than extending my love to animals, as I respect them so and they provided me with the best relationships of my life. So somehow, I must go on, on their behalf...and to continue the lifepath that my own 2 budgies, the wildlife I've encountered, and of course my 2 incredible furbabies did their very best to solidify for me. It's their path as much as it is mine. ( last night I found myself outside trying to help a woman find her cat who's been missing since July 20...I just HAD to call her to see if the one in who'd passed through our yard was maybe hers - sadly, he wasn't ) But in the meantime, I have to be 'merely' human, and endure this hellish ride. Thank you all for helping to sustain me during this dark night of the soul. I can't do it without you! I don't know what will come now, but I'm so glad I can still come here, no matter what kind of crap I'm going through. And I just snorted in disgust, as my son, Sabin, used to do.

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

I can not even imagine the guilt and pain you must be going through right now but know that Your feline daughter know you loved her and did everything you could for her... She is happy now and would want that for you... I know with my own dog that I had to give away to my brother I feel very guilty because I think she must feel I do not love her anymore... I live day by day thinking that I will receive a call telling me she is gone and I have the biggest guilt trip going now that I maybe should have not got her in the first place than I would not being hurting her now.... Take care and I will definitely keep you in my prayers as well as your feline daughter God Bless You Shelley

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Maylissa, I'm so sorry you're suffering so much at this time. I can relate to you completely on the subject of guilt.

When I had to euthanize my beloved dog Tori due to a final diagnosis of an always fatal disease, I suffered the same agonies, even though I of all people should have known better.

I'll have to give you a little background so you will understand that it's rare that anyone can escape the feelings of guilt. At the time of Tori's lingering illness and eventual death I was working for one of the best vets in the area and had actually been doing some pet loss grief counseling in the clinic. I had been quite successful in helping other pet owners through their decision making process and afterwards, but in Tori's case I was numb and unable to think rationally.

Through experience and in my heart I knew that everything possible had been done for Tori. I also knew deep inside that keeping him alive one moment longer would have crossed the threshold from loving owner to possible animal abuse, yet I couldn't bring myself to give up and let go. My vet had consulted by phone and fax with vets all across the country including the best teaching hospitals and they all held out absolutely no hope for Tori.

Yet it finally came down to the point that my vet, my friend (as well as my boss) finally had to tell me sternly through her own tears that the only humane thing to do was to let him go and put an end to his suffering. This is not a common occurrence for vets as they usually present all the facts and leave the final decision up to the owner.

In spite of everything I knew, I still wrestled with guilt in the months after Tori's death. One moment the guilt was for prolonging his suffering and the next it was for making the choice to end his suffering.

There is no doubt that once you talk to the vets; you will be reassured that you made the right choice for Nissa! In time the doubts will diminish and you will be able to remember more of the happy times and less of the days of agony while struggling with the final decision. You will never forget Nissa, but you will have happier memories of better days with her.

Hang in there, there are other animals out there that will be needing the love you have to give!

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Shelley,

Thanks for your warm thoughts. I don't know exactly what the circumstances are with you and your brother, but I was just thinking....why don't you save yourself some guilt and just go and see your dog now, while you have the chance? I know if Nissa were still here, I'd be spending even more time with her than I did before, so she'd be able to see, feel and know how much I love her.

Tori,

Thanks for that 'insider's' perspective. I know that no matter which decision we make about this, guilt surfaces, at least for a time. I know another vet tech who euthanized for all the right reasons, and even 2 years after the fact, she still suffers guilt, though she should 'know better', too. So I know it's as common as it is.

I don't know if it's just me, but I feel like this is different, because trying these remedies wouldn't have been invasive whatsoever, and I could have just added them into either of the ones we were already using for pain issues....so it couldn't have hurt at ALL to try them, and Nissa wouldn't have even known the difference ( they're tasteless ). At least then I'd know whether they would have worked or not. They also won't harm anything; if they're not the right ones, they just don't do anything. It would have been so simple a matter. I still have NO recollection of having said what I apparently did, so I can't even go back and remember what my then-reasoning was....or if I even used any reasoning! I still say that, given her condition, if nothing had changed for the better w/i a few hours ( if homeo remedies are the right ones, you will see improvement w/i a short time ), I still would have euthanized her....it's just that I don't know ( yet ) whether anything would likely have changed. Plus, her local vet simply wasn't here when Nissa's condition deteriorated, so I've never known whether there was anything else, from her perspective, that we could have done, as I never got the chance to talk to her before Nissa left. After 13 yrs with her clinic here, and probably about $10,000 from our pockets, she never even had the moral decency to CALL us, either beforehand, or afterwards. I have many anger issues with that vet, and except for this one last chat, we are very glad we'll no longer have to deal with her or her clinic! ( she was technically very good, but not very good with her human clients )

I never heard from this local vet yesterday. I got a call from a friend who was trying to help, so she could have called when my line was busy. On the other hand, she's well-known for not calling people back in a timely fashion, if at all, too. So now I'll have to book a phone appt with her. I talk to our distance vet today, though. I already know what stance he'll be taking, and he knows which one I'll be taking ( we know each other quite well ), so we'll see what he comes up with, as he doesn't yet know exactly what my new concern involves. When I'd booked with him, he'd already started telling me he thinks all I need to be doing now is learning to let it go, whatever it is...we chuckled together, both knowing, with me, it's not going to be as easy as all that.

You're VERY fortunate you at least have all that around-the-country expertise to fall back on when reviewing your decision. If I had that, I don't think I'd feel this guilty. I'd already gotten quite used to having to compromise about Nissa's conditions, trading stressful and invasive procedures off against her age, temperament and realistic outcomes.....but THIS, this was such a simple, little thing we could have done. If it hadn't worked, so be it. But the anger and SHAME I now have against/for myself ( and maybe our one vet, if HE'D simply forgotten about these other remedies....we'll soon see ) for making what I think was such a STUPID decision.....that's what I can't live with now. How much self-flagellation this will take, even I don't know....maybe a lifetime's worth.

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

I'm glad to see that you are okay, or at least hanging in there. My heart wept for you as I read your post. You are definitely having more than your share to deal with.

I understand your sorrow at hearing about that medication after Nissa's death. And of course, you would wonder, and only you will know when enough is enough. I think that we have all been through those "if onlys" and even knowing they are useless, after the fact, doesn't help. Yesterday I was cleaning my "clutter desk," and found some vet bills for Tawny. And the tears came instantly and hard. So I had to shed all those bills immediately. I keep thinking I am over the worst, and then something like that happens.

I am so sorry for your aunt's reponse, and can understand how hurt and disappointed you must feel. I grew up with a mom just like that. She was always telling me that I was too sensitive, and would always tell me to stop crying, that I was crying for no reason. She would never validate my feelings so I truly do know how devasting that is.

And not having your hubby's support-unfortunately, I relate to that too. That is the worst. And for him to feel he had to get drunk and then not even call you, is unforgivable in my opinion. You need each other, but for whatever reason, you seem to be working at cross purposes now.

Yes, animals can give us that unconditional love that we so long for, but rarely can get from our human companions. I am now trying to accept my DH for what he can and can not give me. I am also disappointed in him and felt resentful when he basically told me that enough was enough-I'd done enough "moping" and time to move on. But I really want to get past that feeling because I love him and I need him. I knew when I married him that he had difficulty with these kind of emotions. Resenting him now is only hurting myself and my marriage. That is why I come here and also go to therapy for the support I need. We all can give only what we are able to give.

I hope that the vets can help you relieve your guilt.

Today I am taking Tanner to the vet for his 2 year "well doggie check" and for his shots. I have also decided to have the vet check his kidney functions. I am so afraid that he may have something wrong too (cuz it might have been heriditary), although he seems okay. But I have finally been convinced that it is best to check to make sure. Talk to you later.

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Well, I've just spoken to our homeopathic vet today, regarding the guilt I'm carrying about the last 2 remedies we could have tried, to possibly stop Nissa's bleeding before it was too late...the ones we never picked up...the ones I'd apparently given up on trying ( tho I don't remember at ALL having said this, I was so messed up ). This vet is nothing if not honest, as he's always been and I've always appreciated this over all the years of her care. I consider him a very smart man, a very compassionate person and so dedicated to helping his patients and their people. But here's the bad part:

He couldn't reassure me, one way or the other, that they wouldn't have either helped, or not. That's his honesty speaking again. He said for all he knows ( because he can't possibly really know ), she could have gotten up and "done a jig" if we'd tried them, or they could have even made matters worse for her in some way.....there's just absolutely no way of knowing now. His focus was on me making a conscious choice ( not TRYING, but just DOING it ) to give up the guilt, because it's so counter-productive, unhelpful, harmful to myself, serves no purpose whatsoever, is pointless, etc. While I know what he says it true, and good advise ( I've read lots about guilt in the last few years ), that's all I've got to work with now, and I don't know how in the world I'm going to do it. I just have to live with the fact that I may have made a huge, final mistake.....because I'm only human. He said I'm just looking for something to make myself feel like I'm not good enough ~ that it's one of my patterns, and needs to be overcome cuz it's killing me. He suggested that my guilt is what's keeping me from just pure grieving....hence all the frozen grief. He suggested a counselor, too, among other more esoteric things I might try, but we've not found one yet who deals with pet loss here, which would be preferable. So now I'm stuck with this, unless our local vet can offer anything else ( appt with her tomorrow ) to alleviate my concerns.

This time, there's no telling myself that I can at least learn from this mistake and swear I'll never repeat it......cuz we HAVE no more kidlets to care for, or not make mistakes with. Add to this the fact that I swore to myself after Sabin's death that I'd not only never make the mistake again of NOT euthanising if it was needed, but that I'd try my very best to not leave anything ELSE to chance with Nissa, either, expressly in order to not have to have anything to feel guilty ABOUT, with her! So I lived up to my first promise, but failed miserably, on just one stupid point, on my second promise.........and now it can never be undone. All I can do now is apologize to my precious girl for being a stupid human, as I've done for anything I ever did or didn't do before.....and hope like hell that she's okay with that. Sure, I can tell myself that her time was coming to an end soon anyway, that even if they had stopped the bleeding she may not have lived much longer regardless......but is that enough to get past the guilt, ultimately? All I hear right now inside my head is that I SCREWED UP, in the life of my daughter, at another time when it really counted to not screw up, and that that just as equally might have cost her her very life here. And how do I deal with THAT? I don't know if ANYONE can offer any more suggestions, but I feel like I'm going to drown in this guilt, self-imposed or not. Too many mysteries for this logical, yet overly- sensitive mind of mine to handle and the feelings are just freezing up again, in fear of the pain.

And Serl,

I'm so sorry you, too, aren't getting the kind of support you need from your DH ( and please forgive my ignorance, but I can't seem to figure out what the "D" represents! I just know I'm gonna make myself look stupid for this one.... ^_^ ), but I'm glad you at least have a counselor to go to. I'm still working on finding one again.

My Mum, too, used to call me a "frustrated kitten", with something akin to disgust in her voice, when I'd be feeling something intensely ( often anger, at her insensitivity!...drove me crazy! ), so I know where you're coming from. It requires a long time, if not lifetime, of work to get past those kinds of comments from one's own parents. I wouldn't mind at least being able to tone down my sensitivity meter, although I wouldn't want to throw it right out, either, as I think it's something to be proud of as well. If there were more people who were sensitive, this world would be a better place!

I'm also glad to hear you're taking a more proactive approach with Tanner's health....although we sensitive types have to be somewhat careful about creating too much worry for ourselves, too. It can be a hard act to balance, for sure.

And Shelley,

Glad that you're going to see your dog. Our Thanksgiving ( also here in Canada, you know ) will be spent just trying to fill up our time, away from this house as much as possible.....just more running from the pain until I feel the need to come back home again and try to feel Nissa's spirit.

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Hi Maylissa,

The "D" in DH stands for "dear," which is ironic considering how I feel right now, but also why I purposedly used it! The vet appt for Tanner wasn't as good as I hoped, but not terrible either. Basically his BTU(I believe that is what he called it?) was 37, and he (the vet) prefers it under 30. But another number indicating dehydration was also elevated, and he believes that the 2 numbers are related causing the first number to be up a bit. He (vet)says it's premature to do anything else now, but he recommends rechecking numbers again in a month, and if it is still elevated, then more kidney function tests will be indicated. Basically I'm doing okay, although NOT thrilled, of course. But this vet is the exact opposite of the last one, having a fantastic bedside manner. He is very caring and calming, while also being honest. So I will take his advice, and try to stay as calm as possible! Very hard for me!

As for being sensitive, I am very sensitive, which like you I believe can be a good thing most of the time, but in times like this, it can be very tough! Honestly at these moments, I wouldn't mind being a bit more like my DH!

I'm so sorry that your first vet could not take away your guilt, and also sorry you don't have a pet loss counselor in your area. I understand why you would prefer to go to that kind, but my therapist is also not a pet loss counselor either, although she does work with grief counseling in general, and is also an animal lover. She has already come up with a few insights that have helped me. I want to share one with you now. Whether or not it will help, of course, only you can know. But I have also had my own share of grief over euthanizing Tawny, and wondering if I did so too soon. Yesterday, I told my therapist again I feel so bad because it was so unfair that she died so young, so unfair to me and to her also. Her take on this is that is was UNFAIR to me, not UNFAIR to Tawny. That sTawny was fine, and was ready for death, and that as you already know, animals do not fear death like we do. She said that I was projecting my own fears of death and dying onto Tawny, and that is what I need to stop doing. Anyway, I don't know if I made it real clear to you-what she said or what she meant, but hopefully you understand the basics. I think what I am also trying to say to you is that you did NOT FAIL Nissa, that she didn't think like her, and that if you failed anyone,it is more that you failed yourself, because you weren't able to keep her in our life any longer. Does that make sense?

Okay enough for now!

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Serl,

It sounds like your vet's got it right, if I read it right. Since I know you're worried, how 'bout if I just give you my own vet's explanation, which is in his own book, so you can understand it better:

"The main blood values associated with the kidneys are the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine. BUN is a breakdown product of protein digestion and is primarily eliminated by the kidneys. If kidney function is reduced, the level of BUN increases rather rapidly. Creatinine is a by-product of muscle energy use in the body and is also excreted by the kidneys. The creatinine blood level also increases in kidney disease, but it does so more slowly than the BUN. Creatinine is thus a more stable indicator of kidney function. Normal values for any blood component vary with the lab. that performs the testing, but normal BUN is about 10-25 mg/dl in dogs....Normal creatinine levels are about 1-2 mg/dl." ( these are American lab. levels )"...Testing should be done when the animal is well hydrated, as dehydration can falsely elevate these values." It sounds like your vet is taking a reasoned and reasonable approach so far, but you might watch to see why Tanner might be getting dehydrated in the first place. If he's eating nothing but dry food, I would suggest making the switch to wet food ( and home-made or bought RAW food is best ), as dry food is the worst choice for those with kidney imbalances....again, prevention is always best, and getting enough water ( thru drinking and food ) is also key.

It might even be an option to consider ordering my vet's book online, if it's still around, as he has much more to say than this about kidney problems, all worth reading. ( if you want to, PM me I'll give you the name of it ) Tanner may not even have this problem and may just have been too dry, as your vet said, but if you should, Heaven forbid, find out differently, the more you know about it, the better, so as to get a jump on this disease before it worsens. After all, we prolonged Nissa's life for 6.5 years after initial diagnosis when it wasn't that bad at all, but most cats I hear about who get it don't live anywhere near that long, mainly, I believe, because it's not managed as well as it can be. People just aren't aware of all the things that can help, or are closed to trying some of them. But I KNOW they can help alot.

Thanks for the explanation of the "D"...funny, that's the only thing that came to mind when I first read it, yet I really thought I couldn't be right!

Re: your counselor's thoughts...yah, I know....they don't usually fear death the way we do, and regardless of whether we could have saved her or not, I DO know we removed her suffering. I was just thinking that she hadn't wanted to leave me, either, so would have preferred to have been saved so she could stay....but only if she'd been relatively free of pain, of course, and able to return to the state she was in before getting so bad. The only other thing I can think of that would possibly help is if I can get myself to believe that if she had really been meant to survive this, either something would have been provided to us in order for that to happen, &/or I simply wouldn't have given up on getting those other remedies to try....there would have been Divine Guidance provided on all levels, on our behalf. Other than that, I don't know what else I can tell myself. The only thing I'm really able to hang onto and believe wholeheartedly right now is the fact that I KNOW I did a really good job as a Mom, overall, and if not for me, Nissa would have never survived nearly as long, and with such sturdiness and happiness, w/o me.

I know that I, too, might be able to find an animal-loving grief counselor, but HOW to do that, I don't know. They always say that word-of-mouth is best, and I just don't have that. The last one I had, although she was an animal lover and didn't discount my relationship with our kids, also at times really didn't seem to 'get it' about certain aspects, which then didn't help me with my problem. Even my H noticed this in some of her responses, so it wasn't just me. I may be able to do phone sessions with one in another Province, but I doubt if that's anywhere near as good as in person.

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Thanks, Maylissa, for all the info. I knew you'd be the one to go to for kidney problems. I'm not sure why Tanner was dehydrated either, although I took him early in the morning, so maybe he hadn't had much water yet. He does eat dry food, so that is something to consider, switching to wet. I may pm you later for the book you recommended. Keeping Nissa alive for 6 1/2 years is truly amazing. Right now, like I said, I am just trying not to overreact or get too upset!

It is tough finding a good counselor, and I understand your dilemma. I actually first starting seeing my therapist last summer when my mom died. I originally called someone else that I used to go to, but she know longer works here, so she refered me to the one I work with now. Without word of mouth, it is hard to know. Perhaps you could speak with a few by phone to see if you have any connection.

I can understand feeling that Nissa did not want to leave you, I felt that about Tawny too. But at some point, if the pain was too great, as you suggested, letting them go so they don't suffer anymore is a great gift. When my father was dying, and there was nothing left to do and we refused extradionary measures, which only would have prolonged the inevitable, I wished then that euthanization of humans was an option. He had pnuemonia, so he basically drowned in his own fluids, but at least he was unconscious, and I made them promise they'd give him morphine if he needed it. Once I said goodby to him, he died a few hours later instead of lingering up to 2 more days. I guess I'm trying to say that at some point, we do have to let go as hard as it is, and decide that enough is enough and believe that we have done the best, most unselfish thing for the one that we love.

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Well, I'm happy to report there's been somewhat of a shift in my thinking regarding the guilt....and ironically, part of it actually came from talking to our local vet ( the one we'd had more trouble with than the other ) yesterday. I checked with her to find out whether she thought there had been anything else we might have tested for ( non-invasively ) that may have explained, and therefore been able to be treat Nissa's bleeding at the end. No, she didn't believe so. I also asked about some of the other seeming inconsistencies in our distance vet's theory about what was happening inside her, and found out they were still most likely valid theories. She'd read nothing in any vet literature that would have disputed any of it. She also was able to rule out other things I'd wondered about. And, most importantly, regarding those last remedies....she pointed out something I hadn't thought seriously enough about ~ that, had I tried each of them, or even all of them together if that had been safe to do, we would have also been faced with the possibility of having to wait a minimum of 24-48 hours anyway, to see if they were starting to work as hoped. This, of course, would have meant keeping our girl in the state she was in, or even having it worsen, for even longer.( the same last-ditch kind of effort we'd tried with Sabin ) So I realized right in that instant that this would have been even WORSE a decision to have to make than the one we'd made, as that would have meant me having to break my FIRST promise to her and myself, as well as the second promise. ( the first being not to allow her to suffer the way her brother did; the second being to do everything I knew about to help her so I wouldn't HAVE any regrets to feel guilty about later ) There is no way I could have 'won' on this. Had I not given up on those remedies when I did....it's almost as if THAT is what had been meant to happen, for MY benefit as well as possibly hers. All of a sudden, this whole dilemma has started to feel rather spiritual, as if everything happened for the greatest good for BOTH of us.

I now feel MUCH less guilty about this omission on my part. The only way this scenario could have played out better was if I'd given them and she'd improved very rapidly, which may not have been the case. Our previous experience with all of her remedies over the years shows me that this only happened sometimes, with certain remedies only...and of course there were also fewer conditions that required healing back then. So although it doesn't solve everything entirely, it went a long way toward helping me believe that she was just beyond any further physical healing, and it was just the time for her to go. This vet, too, was honest, yet came up with a more detailed perspective which ended up helping quite a bit, so thank God I went ahead and checked it out with her, too! And I'm actually surprised that our other vet didn't think about this aspect, so again, thank God I checked with both! I also got a possible lead from her for a private counselor, so that was also nice, even if it doesn't work out. I'm also setting up a free phone consult with another counselor who's willing ( and has before with other clients ) to work over the phone with me, if we have a good rapport and I can't find anyone locally - she's trained in bereavement, has done hospice work also, as well as taking a special interest in pet loss.

So I now feel like I'm already starting, or REstarting the purer, UNself-abusive mode of "I just can't believe she's not here anymore" part of grieving....still scared, but it IS a step forward.

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M.

I am so happy that you have finally found some peace....

I think the vet was right.... you did the right thing and she didn't have to go through any suffering...

I have faith that you will find the right counsellor to help you with your grief.... it may not be the first person you talk to but you will know when the right person does come along...

Please remember, you did all you could for your baby.... she was so lucky to have you....

I am always here if you need to talk

Take care,

loads of hugs, you will be in my thoughts and prayers

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Hi Maylissa,

I am so glad that the last vet that you spoke to was finally able to put you horrible guilt to rest. I also am glad to hear that you have a few leads on counselors that may be of help to you.

The road of grieving and healing is never easy, as you too well know, but at least if you can release that oppressive guilt, and then just focus on the grief and the eventual healing.

I'll write more later, but I wanted to let you know that I am happy that you are now on another plane of the grieving process.

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Hi All,

I just wanted to let you know, firstly, how very much I've been appreciating your support for me during this 'unreal' time. As everyone here says, this really is like a family-away-from-family, and you are all angels-on-earth, to boot!

Secondly, after slamming my head into one brick wall after another, I think I may have finally found someone who sounds like a good counselor...and she's LOCAL. I had spoken with one in BC (the Province next door to us) and REALLY liked her, but she suggested that ideally it would be best for me if I could find one locally and just use her as a 'crutch' until I did. She was also well-aware of the big lack of animal-friendly counseling in our Western Provinces particularly (cuz they're more farming oriented), so I'm very lucky I've found someone here. We'd still have the option of flying out for me to see the one in BC every couple of wks. if we wanted, but with energy so low, I know it would be easier if I could just drive somewhere much closer. So the one I found in the city next to us sounds pretty good, too, as she works out of the same space as another animal-focused art therapy counselor who I'd met 6.5 yrs ago thru our local pet loss group. (I'd use her, but I'm not interested in just sitting and drawing pictures and the like....although I wish I could visit with her German Shepherd who helps facilitate her work!) So this one, at least, acknowledges how important animal loss can be to some people, and as a bonus, she also utilizes some forms of energy work in her practise as well (something I always appreciate!), so I'm hoping I might also be able to address, at the same time, some of my physical health issues as well, and all w/o having to go to my GP and argue about not wanting to take drugs. So if I can arrange things to fit, I'll have someone to go to as of next week.....phew!

I still think I'm in avoidance mode this last little while and have 'traded' one guilt for another now. With the easing of the other guilts, now I've started to feel guilty for still not wanting to sit down and really ALLOW the pain in. Gad...I just don't let myself 'win' sometimes! Last night some of it came out, as we'd been out, visiting with some folks from my H's previous job, and 3 of them actually ASKED about how I was doing with Nissa's passing! I had to hold it together until we got home (not too easy) and then let some of it out. But I was still blown away by the fact that anyone even asked and that they were actually showing some sympathy! I honestly think that Nissa is working behind the scenes to touch people's hearts, cuz this kind of thing has never happened to me before, even with my Mum's and brother's deaths. So bless her fuzzy, big heart, and their's, for 'listening'! And thanks to everyone here, for doing the same!

I also just wrote out the story of the way we and our 2 kids first met, on another board, and found that to be pretty therapeutic, especially at the end of my story where I recounted all the biggest lessons both Sabin and Nissa taught me over the courses of their lives. Yet it also made me miss them BOTH even more, as the things they've taught me are so HUGE and important....I owe them almost everything, for all the good they consciously and lovingly brought me. And there's the pain...I can't wait to see them again, to hold them, to cover them in mom-kisses, to love them, and to keep paying them back for everything they've given me and are probably giving me still.IPB Image

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