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Six Months Since Tawny Died


avsqr_dancer

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I cannot believe that it has been 6 months, but I passed that dubious "anniversary" on Friday. It was a tough weekend. I still miss Tawny a lot, and especially at times like these, it is still very painful. I continue to worry about if she is alright and getting and giving all the love she deserves wherever she is now. I have begun the book by Kim Sheridan, Animals and the Afterlife. It is a very interesting book. Although I admit I am a skeptic, she has some very convincing evidence and I hope by the end of the book, I can at least believe that Tawny is a good place,happy, healthy, and at peace, and can gain comfort from that. I must admit that I am already starting to rethink some of my dreams and seeing them in a different way. I have only had one dream about Tawny that I can remember, but I have had many dreams about my parents since they died a year and a half ago. Anyway I am grateful for those of you on this board, who truly understand the depths of feelings we have for beloved pets.

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Serl,

I know I'm very late in replying to your post about Tawny's 6th month anniversary and I apologize. It's just been a very rough time for me of late, as you know.

I'm glad you're in the midst of reading Kim's book (her 2nd one goes to the publisher soon, and will include the story of my early impressions of her first book, apparently), as I'm pretty sure it will help, at least in recognizing all the different ways our beloveds can try to reach us and comfort us. I'd love to tell you that even with my extensive list of ADC's from Sabin, and a few now from Nissa (which I haven't written about here yet), that the worry about them simply vanishes, but in mine and some others' cases, it hasn't worked quite that way. I've had many moments of feeling both discouraged, worried and comforted, all at the same time, even with signs...and this is normal, too. Feelings can and do overlap, especially while mourning. In other words, I can still worry about Nissa in between any signs I might get from her....once a Mom, always a Mom, ya know? It's one thing to get even a clear indication from them that they're still alive and around you, but that doesn't necessarily preclude us continuing to wonder if they're really FINE or not...not unless the particular sign, in whatever manner, lets us know that in and of itself.

Six months is both quite awhile, yet not that long, if you know what I mean. These milestones are most often soooooo hard to handle, as I'm sure you know. I'm facing 2-in-a-row myself, as of today. It's Sabin's and Nissa's Birthday today....Jan.20, and they would have both been 20 today, had they lived. This is, of course, the first time I've not had Nissa here to celebrate with, as I also grieved for and remembered her brother over the course of the day. It doesn't feel real. And in 3 days it will also be Nissa's 5th month anniversary as well. I'm not looking forward to that, either.

I don't even know what else to say, as I'm in such a painful place myself again. "We'll get through this," sounds of so little help, even if it's true. While I DO believe Tawny, Nissa and Sabin and all other furry souls are on a plane w/o the same trial and tribulations as those here, and free of these cumbersome, troublesome and high-maintenance bodies, it's still falls to us to miss them like heck and not (yet?) be able to check in on them at will....and that's just HARD.

I do hope your feelings have eased up since that special date and that you will very soon receive more evidence of Tawny's presence around you still. Be well, my friend and I'll be thinking of you even if I'm not writing as much right now.

Luv, Maylissa

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Hi Maylissa,

You don't need to apologize for not writing sooner. I'm just glad to "see" you again, even if you are mostly "lurking?"

I'm doing better. But like you said, 6 months is both a long time, and not nearly enough time at all. Sweet Pea also got spayed this week, and is doing just fine, but I was probably worrying about that last weekend too. I'm sorry that things just do not seem to be getting any easier for you. Was it yesterday you had to face your kids birthday? I hope you somehow got through that very difficult day.

What are ADCs? Maybe I haven't gotten to that part of Kim's book yet. How exciting that your early musings on her book will be included in her next book. What will that book be entitled? I understand what your are saying about still wondering how they are really doing no matter what. And the pain and missing of their physical prescence continues.

Anyway, I hope that you will continue to come to this board, even if not as often, and when you do, let me know that you are at least "hanging in there!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, Serl! I forgot about replying to this one again! Ooops!

I hope Sweet Pea is still doing fine now. I know, just as in human life, this operation is harder on the females than on the males! I'll bet you're glad that's over and done with! I'm sure it was adding to the anxiety of your anniversary.

Yes, Sabin and Nissa's B-Day was Jan.20 (the Sat.) and it was very tough. I lit 20 tealights outside on Sabin's grave (for the both of them, but Nissa's not there yet) and 'made' my H join in singing Happy Birthday to them. I'd wanted to find some chocolate mice to use as 'cake' for them, but couldn't find any locally.

Then on Jan.23 it was Nissa's 5th month anniversary, and that was even harder. I cried almost all day. It seems to be getting harder the longer I'm w/o her....not easier.

I don't know yet what Kim's next book will be called. I imagine I'll have to be signing a release form soon (for my comments) so might find out then. I see you now know what ADC's are.

This Friday (Feb.2) will be Sabin's 7th Year Anniversary, too. (then at the end of Feb., my brother's 3rd) It's been, and is still being, a really long and sad haul. Only my little girl's anniversary is in the summer. I was so upset this last while, over Nissa, that I even missed my Mum's 3rd anniversary on Jan.2...took me 2 days to realize it had come and gone! ...which was just fine, thank you...I couldn't have handled any more sorrow anyway. But I'm already dreading the spring...when we'll have to be burying my darling girl beside her brother. I haven't even decided upon many details for her burial service....and don't really want to have to.

Edited by Maylissa
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That's okay, Maylissa, I know you continue to try to work through your own grief. I understand what you say about it sometimes seeming to get harder instead of easier. That is how I have been feeling lately. I just cannot seem to let go and let be. Those wonderful words of wisdom (?) from whomever! And I feel in a defiant mood lately, although if asked, I'd be hard pressed to answer how or why.

I'm sorry you had to deal with the 7th yr anniversary of Sabin lately. So long and yet not long at all, it seems, doesn't it?

I'm kind of responding to all of your posts here, as you see. BTW-Sweet Pea is continuing to do just fine. When they did blood tests before her surgery, all her bloodwork was normal, including her kidney fuction. That was nice to hear, but of course, I keep thinking "for now, that is." I think what continues to be so hard for me besides the pain and missing of the loss itself, is all the loss of any sort of peace in my life, waiting/dreading for the next "shoe to drop," so to speak. Between Tawny's unexpected death and the unexpected death of my brother-in-law, I continue vainlessly to seek peace and relief that just don't seem to come my way. Maybe I expect too much given the circumstances. I know that I have spoken of this before, but it just seems to constantly be there, gnaw at me, whether or not it is in the foreground or the backround.

As for the sadness in reading Kim's book, perhaps part of it came from the envy of not having any ADCs or at least none that I am aware of! But more than that, it came from reading of the deaths of the beloved pets that got me sobbing so hard that I could NOT stop. Instead of focusing on the ADCs and hope that might bring, I could only focus on the loss of the pet, remembering the painful loss of Tawny, and it just made it all the more real and painful for me. So, at least for now, I have put away the book, to perhaps start later when/if I am in a better state of mind.

That is about it for now.

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I understand, Serl....the whole thing.

I think that the harder we ourselves, and others push us to 'get better', 'push towards being positive' and that whole thing, the worse we can feel, instead of better. Let's face it...we're often just not up to the task, at least not yet. And it's true what the great minds have said - resistance (to, or against anything) is the seat of our pain. So if we're resisting our very natural pain and feelings, and so might others be, it adds another dimension of struggle to our already heavy load. While there's much to be said for uplifting thoughts, if we're not ready for them for whatever reasons, we simply....aren't....READY...to take them seriously. Someone made a remark to me recently that made me laugh, it was so disarmingly insightful and empathetic. She said, "You may tell me to shut up if I'm being too positive." I howled! Now here was someone who 'got' that concept at a deeper level. I could have kissed her! And I immediately RELAXED. This was an open invitation to feel and be however I was in my grief....a rarity in this world. Even on boards such as this one, I've often noticed a propensity to echo the Western world's unhealthy push towards hurrying up and being heavily proactive in pushing through the grief....even as we're saying that there's no deadline we have to meet and that it's all up to the individual's pace. It can be very confusing. I realize it's a fine line between doing something to propel oneself towards healing, and sitting and wallowing in the pain...but overall, I sense a hurriedness and impatience in people (including moi) to heal FASTER, as if this is going to solve something 'better' than taking the turtle's pace might.

So yes, perhaps you are expecting too much of yourself right now.

I myself also realized this week, when I cancelled my one counselling appointment due to snowfall, that my other therapist was giving me TOO much to do, all at once, and I wasn't comfortable pushing myself that fast. I may be being slow at this, but it's MY choice to make, and I'd prefer it to be at MY comfort level. So I'll still do the things she's suggested, but at a slower pace.

As for Kim's book, yes, I get that, too. Much like the Chicken Soup book for catlovers is being for me. I'm near the end of it now, where they always put the most poignant death and dying stories (tho all of them involve loss at some point) and I've had to pace myself and not read more than one/day, if that. That's the double-edged sword of reading books that even HINT at death, after a loss, much less focus on it directly. They can help by getting the feelings, thoughts and grief flowing and moving (which we all know is necessary to healing eventually), but it's also very hard work reading them. So you're wise to care for yourself by setting it aside until it might be able to help more than it can right now. Nothin' wrong with that! For me, I'm still grateful that Kim's last story (DEFINITELY not something you'd want to look at presently) broke the dam of my shock and numbness, very unexpectedly but thankfully, as I didn't LIKE not being able to feel much of anything at all. I felt too much like a pressure-cooker about to IMplode. As with all things, each to his/her own, and in one's own timing. Something that's part of us, perhaps our very soul, knows what it's doing and it's just a matter of learning to hear that voice, then heed it.

One thing I've gotten from the Chicken Soup book though, is believing that I was definitely MEANT to read it. Not only are there a plethora of stories involving grey cats, but so many of them have mirrored my own concerns, situations and a host of other things. So despite it bringing up some of the pain (that's there anyway, even if I'm ignoring it at times), it's been good for me overall.

I'm now starting to read some travel catalogues, as a change of pace, cuz we're planning on taking our first-ever, really BIG vacation in about a year. And you know what? Some of it is getting to be kind of fun, dreaming about. Sun, warmth, warm water, beaches, hikes in beautiful and natural places (before they're all gone!) .....aaaaahhhhhhh....too bad we're not millionaires; I'd be in these places every month!

Edited by Maylissa
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Hi Maylissa,

I'm glad to hear that you are planning a trip and that it is bringing some comfort and interest to your life right now. It sounds exciting.

So much of what you say is true. I know as much (or more than most people!!) that you can not rush through grief. I've told many people (on this very board!) that the only way over the pain is through the pain. And I believe it too! It is just so hard to feel this terrible pain, no one likes these horrid feelings, so I guess we all try to rush through it, deny it, and try anything to make ourselves feel "better." People want to say the right thing even though in truth there is nothing one can say, except give sympathy and understanding. I admit that one of the reasons that I got Sweet Pea soon after Tawny's death was the hope to lessen some of the pain over Tawny's loss. It worked, as she brought new joy during the pain. She is not a replacement for Tawny nor did I ever expect her to be. And I still felt all the pain over her loss,along with some joy over a new life. I feel getting SP was the right decision for all of us, including Tanner and definitely for SP, giving her a better life than she would have had where she was living.

Anyway the truth is that grief is not a smooth, easy path nor is it one that only moves you forward with time. I know that also, so there will be these bumps in the roads and down times or what feels like back sliding to me. I was feeling sick earlier in the week and that also always makes me feel worse mentally as well. Also I had a few people remind me of Rick's bad family history, as if I need any reminder. People can be so helpful sometimes-NOT!

I was also glad to hear that you actually met someone who seemed to understand your grief and was sympathetic to your grief.

I am doing better today-physically and mentally. It is a day by day thing, isn't it? I haven't worked for over a week either cuz of being sick, so I probably need to get back to working since that also keeps me focused on other things but myself and my worries.

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