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Holiday Plans And Pains


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I've already been obsessing over the upcoming holidays...those things that come too fast, especially when we're grieving. I've already made some plans and have ordered more of those personalized glass ornaments in both Nissa's and Sabin's memory. On the way are one of the "In Memory Of" ones, with both of their names inscribed on it, plus a new glass ornament that holds a picture, with whatever you want it to say underneath ~ for mine, "Our Beloved Kidlets". I already have a single one for Nissa, the same as the one I have for Sabin. We're both so tired that we don't even want to dig out our tree-top for use, so will probably just go and buy either a lit topiary or a small table-top tree so I'll have something to hang these on, along with our glass angel ornaments and some of Nissa's toys. I'm still in search of 2 cat-angel ornaments that actually look like Nissa and Sabin, but so far no such luck.

I'll also be repeating the candle-lighting ceremony that Dusky supplied to us last year, as it was so touching...except now I need another candle for our newest loss.

We've also booked a fancy room in a new 'designer' hotel in the nearby city for a few days, and plan on having a couple we're friends with join us for one evening for dinner out and some post-dinner R&R back in our room. All we're planning on doing is relaxing, watching TV, swimming Swedish-style (the pool is outdoors but fully heated, so will have to hoof it across the cold and maybe snowy deck!), summer vacation planning, some fine dining out, and jacuzzi-ing in our room, plus maybe availing ourselves of some in-room spa treatments or massage. It's about all I've got to look forward to, yet am also still dreading it because this is something we've never been able to do for ourselves before, as I'd never leave our kidlets at home alone, nor did we have anyone we could trust to sit for them. So WHY we can now do this is of course going to be bothering me no end and it's going to feel really alien...just as it did when we went away soon after Nissa's departure. But back then, I was more numb and in shock, so didn't feel the full brunt of it during that trip. We'll be going after Christmas, as I'm quite sure I'll be far too upset on the official days to go anywhere. Plus, I don't want to hear nothing but carols playing everywhere during those days, whereas afterwards, they abruptly stop playing them, thank goodness. I'm already running down aisles in stores, trying desperately to get away from the music that's already begun in earnest and WAY too early!

My H wants us to attend the company Christmas party this year, so I've agreed to that, as maybe it will be okay, and if not, we and one of his collegues and her husband will leave and go elsewhere. This may even mean a one-night stay at the hotel where it's being held, as they give discounts on rooms if desired. Since this will be earlier than our other booking, it'll give me a chance to do sort of a test run on how this will work out later.

We'll also be inviting these same friends over for just a fondue night, rather than me having to make a 'real' dinner, and that's fine with them, too, as she lost her dad last year, so Christmas is hard on her, too. We, the grieving, have to stick together, she and I say. Way less pressure that way!

I want us to work on getting our slide and video show started for Nissa's Life Celebration on her one-year anniversary next summer, plus work on her official tribute if I haven't done it by then. And watch some more of our home videos on her as well as listen to our recordings of her yakking, which I'd recorded over a few years. Part of this will also get re-recorded onto another 'talking' Christmas ornament I just bought, which will also hold a picture of her. I'm already sad, though, that I can't do one for my Sabin, as I'd never thought to record his voice before he left us...dammit!

I'd also like to get out and get more exercise in some fashion.

I've asked my H to ask a few of those who knew Nissa to write something about her, send it to us on paper, so I can then read these 'tributes' that will go in my stocking, on Christmas morning...or whenever I feel I can handle it.

There'll be no baking, as little cooking as possible, no cards, no watching anything Christmassy, no going out to look at the lights, no gift buying for me; others can do as they wish. I'll mainly be trying to just keep breathing...and purging as much of the anguish out as I can stand. It'll be mainly time for ME, in whatever ways I need it to be. I'm terrified, yet relieved to know we can and will do things how and as I need them. But mostly terrified of this first and desolate Christmas, the first in 19 years w/o either of my babies with me. I already break down every time I even think of it, so can't even imagine how horrid I'll feel when the time actually gets here. I can't even think of making any of our traditional holiday dinners, as even those memories are linked to eating them on the couch, with my girl on my lap with her heated pillows. It makes me sick to my stomach to think I won't see any furchild clawing at presents, gnawing on ribbons, investigating all the wrapping supplies until I take some long moments to choose a safe item as a treat to play interactively with them. All the loving memories are going to come flooding back, I know, and it seems impossible to think I'll really survive that onslaught.

Just as every parent in the western world always says, and we who know our furbabies as our children also say...what's Christmas without the kids? IPB Image So despite trying to take good care of myself over holidays, this is going to be too hard to even fathom.IPB Image

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

I am sorry to hear of how you are dreading the holidays, but I do understand. It does sound like you have some good plans, and I hope that you will be able to go through with them, and get some joy and contentment out of them. Firsts are always so hard. Tuesday would have been my mom's 85th birthday. It is hard to believe that was the second birthday without her already.

We are going to the beach for Thanksgiving-the same beach we have gone to for the last several years. Tawny loved going there, so I do wonder how I'll do there. But I did better at the lake than I expected to do, and I think that was even harder. This will only be Sweet Pea's second RV trip, and the first to the beach. So I can at least look forward to her having fun. But we had also planned for our MIL to join us on Thanksgiving Day, as she did last year, so again a mixed holiday. My sister-in-law and her dog will still join us.

We will also take an RV trip up the coast (of CA) during the Christmas break. One of the reasons that we orginally got small dogs is because I wanted them to be able to join us on our RV trips. I've seen lots of RVers with much bigger dogs, but these are the right size for us! I remember last New Year's Eve (we were also away) thinking that this will be my first New Year without my parents. Now I will be entering my second year soon. It is tough. But I think having friends around you and having plans will help.

It also sounds like you have some good ideas for memoralizing you dear Nissa. That is something I still want to do, but also don't feel ready for yet. But I am sure with time. I still have a ton of pictures of my parents that I want to put into an photo album, but I also haven't done that yet!

Take care.

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Hi Serl,

Yes, I remember how especially difficult it was for my Mum's second BD, too, and for my second BD w/o her, but luckily by my third, I actually felt okay about it. (I'd posted here with that better news, though no one was able to share in my relief over that) I usually find 'seconds' are not much better than the 'firsts'. This year proves to be even worse, not only because I've got Nissa's new loss to deal with, but because she's gone, I'll also have to tack on my kids' birthday to the list. When Nissa was still here, at least I could still celebrate her BD and wish Sabin a Happy BD, too. Now it will just be a totally empty day. This winter stretch is a terrible one for me. There's Christmas holiday time, then NY's Eve & Day (when Sabin first went into Emerg. with his first collapse), then Jan.2 for my Mum's anniversary, then Feb.2 for Sabin's anniversary, now the kids' BD in late Jan. and finally end of Feb. for my bro's anniversary. I really believe Nissa did me the biggest favour (bless her fuzzy heart!) by not also leaving in the winter, and also not leaving too early in the summer, our favourite time of year. Anyway, it's going to be a really long, emotional haul....hence my NEED to make some at least halfway fun plans here and there. On NY's Day we'll also probably be going to a potluck party at a friend's house for awhile. I'd declined her invitation to join them on Christmas Day, too, as I know I won't be in any shape for that. And I'm going at LEAST as much for the visit with their one and their son's two cats, as with visiting with the people! If it were at all possible, and not taken as rude, I'd just as soon be allowed to find a nice, warm, quiet spot and lay down with a cat or two for a few hours, and let the others party amongst themselves!

I'm glad to hear that you've made some plans ahead of time, too. I think this really can be such a help with our grief, as we have something more stable and expected to fall back on, still allowing when possible for some changes in details of those plans. And yes, while we're building up a store of new memories as we carry on, such times often become nothing more than bittersweet forevermore, as more and more of our loved ones leave us behind.

I actually have even MORE memorialization plans than these...but as with you, it's taking and will take me, a long time to set them in motion or finish them. Heck, I haven't even quite finished the one piece that was left to do for Sabin's shadowbox! I became too busy in taking care of Nissa...and now I'll have to do hers as well. It even took us over a year or more to have these boxes custom-built, so I didn't even start Sabin's until much later, when I was also a bit more in control of my emotions. I do feel guilty, however, that I haven't even begun Nissa's tribute yet. I just never seem to be up to digging that deep yet...and I know it's going to be so incredibly hard to try and encapsulate everything she meant to me and all the years of memories, into one, tiny page. (I plan on framing both hers and Sabin's, plus a list of each of their nicknames to match, so it can't be THAT long) In fact, there are many projects that got put on hold in the last few years, what with loss after loss, so I only got so far on each of them before having to lay them aside again. I probably have at least 5 years' worth left, knowing how slow I go! So I really admire those who can get such things accomplished in just the first few weeks and months after a loss...but I don't know how in the world they manage it! I've always wanted to take up scrapbooking, too, as it can be so beautiful a way to memorialize someone's life, but though I have more time for that now, I don't have the energy or inclination yet.

When exactly is U.S. Thanksgiving this year anyway? We've had ours already, in Oct., up here. I've always been so glad that Cdn. Thanksgiving is earlier in the fall as that gives you more of a break before Christmas stuff starts taking over. And how are you doing now with you MIL's death?

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Why does it always seem as if so many painful events are clustered so close together? I am still feeling exhausted, and managed to catch my cold again, or maybe it is a sinus infection or just bad allergies. I'm not sure. I just know I feel lousy physically, which always makes me feel worse emotionally as well.

On the way back from the store today, I saw something that reminded my of Tawny, and the all the tears and pain started anew. These are the times when I really wonder if "it" will every be over or I'll ever really feel okay again. And the at other times, I do feel okay, so I don't know. All these devasting losses, and Tawny's continues to be the most difficult to get over.

I don't really have much else to say today, guess the cold or the whatever is taking it out of me. But I do hope you are doing okay or at least still hanging in there-what else can we do?

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  • 3 weeks later...


So I see (on the other thread to Fern) that your Thanksgiving trip was mixed, emotion-wise, and I guess what's good about that is only whatever parts were good about it. So often, once we know we can expect much of the sorrow to exacerbate with these triggers, the only thing left to help us through IS this previous knowledge. Then, once we're feeling the sorrow, at least a tiny part of the blow is softened, because we had some forewarning this would likely happen. It doesn't take the gut-wrenching pain away, but our own internal 'witness' inside ourselves can, at the same time as we're actively feeling the pain, watch us grieving yet remind us that this is all part of the process and not to be expecting too much out of ourselves just yet. We can also look upon this as our compassionate inner Witness, there to pat our backs and keep us at least half 'sane' when we feel otherwise.

I'm trying my very best NOT to pick up any 'bugs' this winter, cuz yes, it really does make one feel so much worse. My H just got a cold and I immediately started my regimen of herbals and immune boosters to try and ward off the same thing. I hope it works as well as usual, but with grief compounding things, it may not be enough. We suddenly have a whole whack of events to attend each wknd. up 'til Chistmas (and then our trip afterwards), and we'd like to go to each, as a nice distraction one day out of each lonely week, so I don't want anything to spoil those plans for both of us.

I'm glad, too, that you've also got holiday plans. Geez....beaches and RVing!! That sounds just wonderful to me, stuck here in a totally frozen winter environment! :P But I guess that when we're still so sad, the best we can realistically hope for is that holidays might be mixed with a few okay or even good moments. IPB Image I feel so sorry for ALL of us who are in mourning....

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Hi Maylissa,

I had a really busy busy week at work. Finally have a chance to answer this post. Yes, being forewarned is helpful. And loss, both expected and unexpected is an inevitable part of life, unfortunately.

We are planning another RVing trip for the Christmas break. Maybe given your winter weather I shouldn't tell you-LOL!-but we plan on going again to the beach-this time up north of us-Pismo Beach and Morrow Bay. And we will also be in San Diego for New Year's Eve.

I'm glad to see that you have plans for your upcoming holidays. I hope your regime will help you stay healthy, although I definitely agree that stress can make that even more difficult. I hope you will be able to enjoy all that you have plans. I agree that keeping busy is a good distraction.

Sweet Pea goes into be fixed in January and I am hoping that all will go well. Yes, I know it normally does, but ever since what happened to Tawny, I do not trust anything any more.

Anyway take care. Hope you are doing okay.

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Hey, Serl,

Well, everything's changed, almost overnight. I DID get sick, in the sense that something 'attacked' one eye and it was totally watery and sore for days ~ used some homeopathic eyedrops and it's almost completely gone now. Yeah. I also did some TAT energetic treatment with my therapist and although the emotional load hasn't cut down really, for the first time in months my sore arm and hand are feeling quite a bit better...hope it holds.

Emotionally, though, I'm a wreck. The grief has been impossible this week, made all the worse by our first Christmas party on the wknd., where the hosts had 2 neglected dogs and horrible attitudes towards them and their deficient 'care'. My H and I ended up giving the husband 'friendly' but assertive heck just before we were leaving and made some suggestions for their better health and well-being. The rest of the guests were no better, with even the females making horrid comments about "bagging a dear" should one wander into these people's yard (they live in a very wooded area outside of the city); one woman's cats, who remained nameless the entire evening (!?), one of whom has kidney disease and is "all skin and bones", but who is receiving NO special care whatsoever and only eats a few tsps./day.....ugh!!!! It just went on and on, with every single person I talked to speaking so disrespectfully and cruelly about animals...even AFTER I'd already talked a little bit about our loss (foolishly, before I knew what kind of crowd this was!). So it was obvious I would receive no sympathy from these heartless types and hearing the story of one of these dog's formerly horribly abusive life only made matters worse, especially when I discovered the present neglect he's still being subjected to. They also have a newer puppy...whom no one really seems to want anyway..and yet the husband wants to get ANOTHER puppy, too! For what reason, we can't fathom, as he does virtually nothing with the one they just got! They're not allowed in the house more than once/week (only in the basement, with the kids), so we only got to visit with them for a couple of very brief moments. It's even worse than that, but you get the picture. The marked contrast between these people and me was incredible.

It's put us off any social engagements now, though, and we're seriously reconsidering attending his company party next wknd. We'll see. I got a call this morning from someone else at his company, as he'd just put up my poster of this grey guy and although this woman wasn't herself looking for another cat, she wanted advise on getting a stray cat in her own neighbourhood into her house, to rescue him/her from the cold. (it's warmed up some here for now, btw, but it's only a matter of time! ;) ...) It's too bad, although she'll be keeping this grey guy in mind if she doesn't manage to bring in this other one, as she sounds like JUST the kind of person I'd like this guy to go to. One of her friends here even has the last cat out of the 70 that were shipped up here to Alberta for adoption, from the New Orleans floods last year. So I learned there's at least ONE nice, animal-friendly person at my H's workplace, but unfortunately, she's not attending the party! Dang! I just can't subject myself to any more of this animal-unfriendliness right now, so I'm very leary of setting myself up for more disaster should we go.

My H and I also had an argument last night about his lacklustre (at that moment, anyway) response to my growing grief in this season, where he ended up blurting out that he'd BEEN sympathetic for all of the 6 months since Nissa's been gone!!...when it's only been just over 3 months!!!! So not only has he not even been like most of us and kept track of the time she's been gone (and of course, Nissa was his feline daughter, too!), but he hasn't even been listening to me every single week when I never fail to mention, in the course of conversation, how long it HAS been!! His 'reason'?....he had "other" things to worry about...to me, that says, 'better' and 'more important', than our girl, and me. And the fact that he already feels like he's exhausted by having to show sympathy for me, after ONLY 3 MONTHS, and especially since he knows, intellectually, how long it actually takes to grieve, AND that during these first 3 months I've been more numb and NOT crying anywhere near as much as I am now....well, now that I REALLY need him to lean on........he's given me a pretty clear indication that I can't rely on him to be there for me...and right before this stupid holiday time, no less!! To learn that one's own husband doesn't even understand how impossible it is to grieve the loss of one's furchild....I don't know WHAT to think now! But I know my heart is even more broken than it was a day ago. And I say again, for the millionth time...is it any wonder I love ANIMALS so much???? THEY don't hurt you like this!!! This same day, I'd also just put up the trio of miniature trees we bought to hang our memorial ornaments and Nissa's toys on, plus listened to our accumulated voice recordings of Nissa and us...a sampling from our last 6 years together. It was an extremely emotional day for me...but I just HAD to hear her voice again...it's been so QUIET around here w/o her Little Loudyness. (I'd also bought one of those recordable ornaments and need to decide which 15 seconds of her to put on it)

So, as can be expected, when humans fail where my kidlets never did (in caring and love), I couldn't FEEL more alone and unloved as I do right now! And I couldn't miss my girl MORE! This just makes the pain of her absence all the more acute and telling. My H resents the love I shared with our kidlets, which I knew before, but neither is he helping to rebuild OUR relationship together, by holding onto that resentment. He simply refuses to try and understand how motherhood is. It was Nissa who would stay up with me while I cried my eyes out after Sabin left. Now no one stays up with me while I cry my eyes out for HER. I've been feeling like I just want to die, naturally but quickly somehow, rather than keep feeling the excruciating pain of having lost a relationship that will never be repeated in this lifetime...and one that it looks like can't be even approximated by my human partner. What I'm to do with this, and the feelings of abandonment it brings up, I don't have a clue...and I'm too exhausted by everything to do it without his full and willing cooperation anyway. So so much for my 'plans'....I've been blind-sided and they've all just been unceremoniously tossed in the garbage heap. The future is looking more than bleak and my hope for healing is in that same garbage heap as my plans.

Edited by Maylissa
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Oh, dear Maylissa,

I feel so sad as I read your post and see how much pain that you are still in. I am so sorry that you went to a party that only made you feel worse not better. I truly do NOT understand people who get animals and then abuse them or neglect them. No one is holding a gun to their head. I just do not get it, esp when animals really expect/need so little from us and give us so so much in return. I too would be angered by that. But that you were filled with a room with those kind of people still seems unbelievable to me. I have been lucky because I have had others who do understand my grief and even if they do not understand the intensity of it, they have been supportive and never have put me down.

I know how much harder this is on you because you are not getting the support you need from your husband. I did have that too, but I was finally able to realize that he was saying things to try to help me although it didn't. But I also realized that he had his own needs too-one of which was to NOT continue to have a wife who was moping around and not wanting to do anything. I'm not saying that either of us were right, just that is how it is/was. I very much resented him, but that only made things worse. For me, I did have my therapist and a few friends I could turn to. I guess that is what I am trying to say to you. Unfortunately you will NOT get what you need from your H, but I still think that you do need him. You started therapy, are you still going? Are there others (besides here) that you can turn to? I hope that you can find what you need from someone.

Yes, animals give us the unconditional love that we cannot or do not get from humans-human relationships are just too complicated. I don't know what else to say and I am sorry that you are sick to boot, which always makes me more depressed. Sounds like you have/had what I had-my eye was watering so badly, it was SO SO Painful, and filled with puss. Okay that is all for now. Please take care and respond when you can-and don't give up!!

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THANK you, Serl, for your understanding words. It makes me feel better having an 'ally' during this dreadful time! And no, I don't really have anyone else close by, except for my therapist (but with only that short HOUR's time to talk!), who would really be understanding &/or helpful.

In fact, just last night, one of my not-very-empathetic friends sent me this Christmas story involving a life-saving miracle for a child at Christmas! I was incensed at her total disregard and insensitivity at thinking such a specific story on a miracle that saved another's life would HELP me...and emailed her back, telling her how UNhelpful it was to me, when MY girl DIED and was NOT saved by any miracles or prayers!!! I haven't heard a word from her so far, so am still quite angry at her for subjecting me to even more pain when she knows how poorly I've been doing. THIS is the kind of thing I always seem to get from others...who just don't want to accept my natural grief as what it is. Then I end up not only still grief-filled, but angry on top of it all! PUHHHH!!! I could just SPIT!

What you said about your own relationship strains...

But I also realized that he had his own needs too-one of which was to NOT continue to have a wife who was moping around and not wanting to do anything.
,rings at least partially true for me, too...except it's not like I haven't been doing things even though I'm grieving, and in fact, almost all of our plans, both big and little, came from MY brain, not my H's. He has very little imagination, so it's usually up to me to devise things to do for fun, relaxation and enjoyment. Like yours, though, he's just tired of seeing me in pain. BUT, it's not like I ordered up all my losses in the last 6 years...but I've had to deal with them all the same and I DON'T like getting 'blamed' for circumstances beyond my control! So a little more understanding on his part would be really nice! :glare:

On the plus-side...he came home yesterday evening with a pre-Christmas present for me...the book "A Decembered Grief...Living With Loss While Others Are Celebrating" by Harold Ivan Smith....so I guess he felt badly about his behaviour the night before. Unfortunately, although I'm halfway through it already (it's small), I'm not finding it terribly helpful, especially since it has a real religious slant that I find rather annoying. But, my H's thought still counts!

He also left the final decision about going to his company Christmas party up to me. I tried my best to draw out of him his own opinions and feelings, but he was as torn as I was, so I finally decided that the whole thing wasn't worth all the effort of dressing up, going through the stress of wondering how it would be and what kinds of people I might get 'stuck' with, and said I'd rather just stay home. My H no longer cared, either, about disappointing his co-worker who'd wanted us to attend. (he'd just better not change his mind later and blame ME!) We still have another smaller party to go to in 2 wks. anyway, and at least I'll know a few of the people there (plus the hosts), so know more what to expect, and it won't be as boisterous and loud. Plus, they have 2 cats and a dog, who are taken care of better than the last folks' animals...and live IN THE HOUSE WITH THEM, so I may even get some rubbie-time with them. They're also already aware of our loss of Nissa and how we thought of her, so I won't be as edgy about getting awful comments, or silence.

I've also just received the last of my ordered personalized glass ornaments; this one "In Loving Memory of Nissa and Sabin, 2006 / 2000", so I will now decorate the mini-trees we bought for this year. I also bought another ornament that has an angel holding a plaque that says "I am with you because you remember me." It chokes me right up everytime I look at it, but it also makes me feel a smidge better, as if Nissa's reminding me of this. I finally also had a dream about her this morning, which felt more like a real visit, but will start another thread for this later, as it deserves to stand on its own.

I also got the first Christmas 'card' in the mail this morning, from one of those aunts of mine who didn't and wouldn't understand my grief. She made absolutely NO mention of our challenge this season, nor mentioned Nissa's name. Good thing I'm not bothering with cards this year, or I'd have to decide whether to cross her off the list or not! ^_^ She'd also moved and didn't include even a phone #, so I'm under no 'obligation' to call, either...good, too.

You're very fortunate to have supportive people overall, despite the few glitches, as from the very few times I felt that way, I do know it helps a LOT to feel like others are stepping in to sort of 'fill the hole' that is left from a loved one's passing, as best they can.

Strange that we both had pretty much the same eye problem! I looked up Conjunctivitis/Pink-Eye in Louise Hay's "Heal Your Body" and she had this to say about it's origins:

"Anger and frustration. Not wanting to see. Anger and frustration at what you are looking at in life."

And the corresponding affirmations to change it are:

"I see with eyes of love. There is a harmonious solution and I accept it now." and "I release the need to be right. I am at peace. I love and approve of myself."

Interesting, eh?...but I don't think I stand much chance, just yet, to believe in these affirmations for myself! ;) <- hence, the squinty-eyed look!

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

I am so sorry to hear that you are mostly surrounded by unsupportive people. Truthfully, I still do not understand why your so called "friends" cannot be more understanding or emphathetic, even if they don't accept or cannot relate to your depth of pain here. As I read what you said, I again thought of one good friend in particular, Liz. She has freely admitted to me on more than one occasion that she is not a particular animal person. When I told her about Tawny and my depth of grief being more intense than for my parents, she was truly surprised and could not relate. However, I NEVER felt put down by her. We have always been honest with each other and I truly appreciated when she sent me a sympathy card for Tawny's loss. When I thanked her, she said even if it was difficult for her to relate to my pain, she clearly heard how much pain I was in and felt the card was the least that she could do.

On this board, we see others who suffer the loss of their furbabies deeply. But the truth is there are many more people out there who simply feel that their animal is a pet, are saddened by their loss, but do not feel like they lost a member of their family.

For both of us, having to endure so much loss over such a short period of time only makes this time of year that much more difficult. I am glad that your husband bought you that book, even if it is proving not to be that helpful. He IS reaching out to you, which is the important thing.

I have found that since losing Tawny, I do not trust much of anything anymore-at least of those I love being around for the long term. And I worry even more now-if that is possible-LOL! This morning, Tanner did not eat his breakfast right away, although he usually gulps it up right away. So I got worried-and yes, scared! Then I checked his fur at the neck to see if he seemed deyhadrated, as the vet had shown me to do for Tawny. I checked it several times, and he seemed just fine, if I did it right, but still I worry. He did eat all his food just a bit later, but still I continue to be worried. Ah, Maylissa, this worry is going to kill me yet.

The pain of all our loss is more than enough, without having to contend with this constant fear.

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Hey, Serl,

I can always count on you to try to comfort me when these stupid things happen....thanks so much!

I know JUST what you mean by the constant worry...lived with it for all of those 6.5 years since Sabin passed and Nissa was also diagnosed with the kidney troubles. I wish I could tell you that it went away over time, but to be truthful, it only subsided at times, and usually with great, determined effort on my part! <_< However, I never stopped my quest to learn as much as I possibly could stuff in my brain (and with memory loss from losses, no easy feat!) about all sorts of health issues and healthcare for her, and was able that way to put at least some things to rest for the most part. Knowing was much better than NOT knowing about such things...and thank God I had at least one great vet to ask a million questions of...plus reading, reading and more reading. And in the end, I think it was all very much worth the angst I suffered DURING that research. However, my vet had to constantly remind me to "quit worrying so much!" :lol: And when I did manage it, even if only for a day or an afternoon, or whatever...it was well worth the effort of trying to live in the MOMENT alone...and made for much more, and many more joy-filled times with my Nis'. So all I can say is, try your best and keep trying when you are up to trying. ;)

But I gotta admit, too...that's the ONE thing that's an actual relief in Nissa's absence...no more worrying about her health, about the daily stuff, and meds that she and I hated, etc. If she were to return, but in the same state as her final week, say...I'd actually not be so happy, even though she'd be here again. It was torture having to pester her so often, knowing she already wasn't feeling so well. I miss the better days more, the more fun-filled ones, where I knew she felt more energy and stamina...not that I would trade ANY of the time we spent together for anything...

If it helps, and I hope it will, since I was actually measuring Nissa's food and water consumption for all of those years, it did become apparent sometimes that what was more helpful was to look at her OVERALL consumption in a month, say, rather than each individual meal. In retrospect now, she ate well, overall, for her weight and everything, right up until her final 2 days....and that's more than I ever expected to happen! (whereas Sabin's appetite was really bad for about a week before he died) So all that worrying and fretting all those years????....I can now say I should have quit wasting so much energy overall on 'smaller' things. Noting a possible pattern/symptom is different than fretting every day. Animals naturally, just like us, don't always eat the same portions every day, or every meal, so maybe track your own eating patterns for a few days, and see if that eases your fears any. You could also weigh Tanner monthly...a reasonable approach to both alleviating fears AND keeping proper track of any possible trend. Again, in this area, Nissa only really started losing tiny bits of weight in the last few months, and it was a very slow decline, probably proportionately smaller than humans who are over 100 yrs. old do!

Sigh....I know how hard it all is, obviously, but I hope my own experiences can somehow help you relax just a teeny bit. Maybe some good old-fashioned, boisterous playtime with Tanner will not only help you both 'up' those endorphins, but give him an even BIGGER appetite...for one meal's worth anyway! :D

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Hi Maylissa,

Thank you for your understanding. And I agree with so much of what you have said-esp about worrying. I worry more intensely at same times than at other times, but it is also only with GREAT effort that I can cut down on my worrisome nature. I have even worked with that in therapy, but it involves a lot of self-talk and sometimes, it is just too much effort honestly.

Tanner has seemed just fine from that morning on-eating all his food up right away, so I did worry way too soon. I can't really use his weight as a measure though cuz he is slightly overweight, so I have been cutting down just a bit on his food-actually for quite a while now, which is usually why he gulps it right down. But he is actually looking better weight wise, and really looks and acts fine in all other ways too. It is just so tough after what I went through with Tawny, and not knowing if it was genetic or something else. Then I have noticed that Sweet Pea hasn't been gulping down her food quite as quickly either, but this time I was able to keep it at just concern, not worry-a major accomplishment for me. And like my DH pointed out, she may be out of a growing spurt and not need quite as much food.

I can only imagine how tough all those years with worry over Nissa must have been, and I do understand what you are saying about at least having the relief of not having to see her so sick and in pain and the wondering. That was Tawny's last few days, and we watched her eating and drinking less and less-me trying to force her to eat something, anything-and then some of the other symptoms she exhibited at the end. As I write this tears are covering my eyes, so enough on that.

I know that animals, particulary dogs, don't live as long as humans, but I just hope/pray for a normal healthy doggie life span for my precious Sweet Pea and Tanner.

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