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The Loss Is Very Hard


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It's still very hard to cope, I'm crying a lot and I'm very sad.

Yesterday I went to check the grave of my cat Joey, and I found out that somebody maybe dogs digg in the grave and I saw some of his hair,

and it was so painful and I started to cry and cover it with sand.

It was very traomatic, because i'm still in shock that it realy happened (that the cat is realy dad), it was harder.

It's very hard to wake up in the morning and remember that the cat is gone.

I dont know what to do, sometime I fill that I'm loosing my mind because it's final and the cat is not coming back!

I'm living alone, and it's so hard without him. He did the place so happy to be there, and now I have to run away from home so I wont fill so bad.

It's so hard to cope with death that happen so sudden of someone that was so close to you.

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Dear Nili,

I'm so sorry about the sudden, unexpected death of your beloved cat Joey, and I can only imagine how empty your home and your life must feel without the physical presence of your beloved companion in it.

It's important that you understand that the grief you're feeling is a normal response to the loss of someone you love. How you react to the loss of Joey depends not only on the circumstances of his death, but also on how attached you were to him, on your relationship with him, and on the role that he played in your life. It's only natural that, when you lose someone you love as much as you loved Joey, you feel the overwhelming pain of loss. No matter who or what we love, the greater the love, the worse the pain feels when we lose the object of our love.

The circumstances of your kitty's death suggest to me that you may be feeling very angry at yourself for whatever part you think you may have played in his being run over by a car. But at a time like this it's important to remember that you did not intentionally set out to bring any harm to your beloved Joey. Like all the rest of us, you are human, terrible accidents do happen, and there isn't any way you could have foreseen what was going to happen to him.

Anger is a powerful emotion that can be frightening, but feeling angry doesn't necessarily imply that you'll lose control or take your anger out unfairly on others. But before you can get through it, let go of the intense emotions attached to it and move on, your anger must be admitted, felt and expressed, if only to yourself. Keep in mind that feelings are neither right or wrong, good or bad. They just are. What really matters is what you do with what you're feeling. When you simply acknowledge feelings of anger to yourself or to a trusted other without actually doing anything about them, no harm is done, to you or to anyone else. On the other hand, if you suppress it and hold on to it, eventually you may explode, turn it inward and get depressed, or aim it at innocent others. You can find healthy ways to discharge the energy of your anger through physical exercise, writing and talking.

Feelings aren't always rational or accurate, either. Feeling guilty about the circumstances surrounding your cat's death doesn't mean that you are, in fact, an uncaring, irresponsible pet owner. As I'm sure you know, one of the most wonderful things about our animal companions (unlike humans!) is that they love us unconditionally, they are forgiving of all our human faults, and they never, ever hold a grudge against us. If anyone knew how much he was loved by you throughout the years of his life, surely it was your precious Joey.

In the end, there is nothing I can say to erase the load of guilt that you may be carrying around with you, Nili. The only one who can forgive you is yourself. Guilt is one of the most common reactions in loss -- in situations such as this, it is only human nature to feel guilt for what you may have done or failed to do. If after examining all the facts you decide that you should have done things differently in this case, then the only thing you can do at this point is to learn from your mistake and promise yourself that if you are ever presented with the exact same set of circumstances again, you will do things differently next time.

A sudden, unexpected death like this can teach some valuable lessons about how fragile and temporary life is, and that if we have something to say to someone we had better say it now, because we may never get the chance again to say it. Can you let this be one of Joey's legacies to you -- one of the precious life lessons you can take from this tragic loss? Are there any other lessons here that you may need to learn? Take some time to think about all of this. It is one of the most important tasks in mourning: to find meaning in this loss.

In any event, Nili, there is nothing you can do now to go back and change what has already been done. Instead, to cope with the guilt you feel, you might try to find some way to communicate with Joey's spirit and ask for his forgiveness. That may be by meditating, by writing him a letter and saying all you need to say to him, by finding a quiet place and lighting a candle and speaking to him in your mind -- whatever way you choose is up to you. You might also make the effort to find a pet loss support group, and continue using a message board such as this one, so you can talk with others whose experiences may be similar to your own. Sometimes sharing our story enables us to unburden ourselves and to obtain the absolution we may need from others.

None of us is perfect; we are all human, we've all made mistakes and we've all done things about which we feel guilty. The point of all of this is to find some way to forgive yourself, to apologize and make amends to the one you believe you have harmed, to learn from your mistake and to move on. That's the only way you will heal from this loss.

Guilt and anger can eat you alive unless you find someone to talk to about your feelings, someone who will help you look at the situation more objectively -- is there anyone you can talk to who understands the relationship you had with Joey, who understands the mourning process and will listen to you without judging you? I don't know if there are any pet loss services in your area, but since you have access to a computer, you might try visiting some of the wonderful sites on line that offer comfort and support to those who've lost a cherished animal.

I hope that you will spend some time reading some of the articles I've posted on my own Grief Healing web site, because the more you understand about the normal grief process, the less "crazy" you will feel, the more you will know what to expect and the better able you will be to handle your own reactions to your kitty’s death. (Simply go to my Articles and Books page. Wait for the entire page to load, then scroll down the page till you come to the "Articles" section, then follow the directions to find "Articles by Marty Related to Pet Loss and Grieving". Hit the down arrow to view a drop-down list of title choices, then hit the "Go to Article" button to bring up the one you want to read.). On my Pet Loss Links page, you can follow some of the links to many other wonderful pet loss sites as well. Another option is to subscribe to an online e-mail course I've written on pet loss; if you're interested, you can get a sense of it at Pet Loss: A Different Grief. You might also go to the library or your local bookstore (or to Amazon.com) to find and read the accounts of others who have been through similar experiences — such accounts will reassure you that you are normal, will give you some idea of what's ahead and what you can expect in grief, and can give you hope that you can survive this loss. There are also pet loss telephone helplines such as that sponsored by the Companion Animal Association of Arizona (602-995-5885). For a state-by-state guide to support groups, pet loss counselors and helplines, see Moira Anderson Allen's Pet Loss Support Page.

I hope this information proves helpful to you, Nili, and I hope you'll find the comfort and support you're seeking.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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  • 2 weeks later...


I am soooooooooooo sorry for your loss. I have wanted to respond to you and have kept coming back to your message and my eyes begin to shed tears for you and your loss. I have also wanted to find the perfect words of comfort for having to have endured seeing Joey's hair at his grave site. I read that over and over and ... All I could think, hasn't Nili endured enough by the loss of Joey, and now this. mad.gif

We burry our dead kids in our front yard with a cactus on top that reminds us of them. The day after Petey died, it began to poor down rain, I was freaking out that I would walk out there and see part of him. We hadn't chosen the cactus yet. I kept calling Steve at work, running to him when he got home from work. He assured me that it would not happen, that our Petey was burried deep enough. I only imagined what if, you endured it ... my heart aches for you and that horried experience and your loss of Joey.

I see that Marty mentioned the pet loss support phone number. There are a lot of good people that return the calls, so if you can I highly recommend that you do.

Many hugs and peaceful thoughts your way,


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