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The Horror Of Fearing Future Loss.

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Though I deal with Anticipatory Grief everyday, especially or oddly perhaps where it concerns my own health, I have choosen this post to be about what I went through about a month ago when every waking moment of my day was consumed by Anticipatory Grief. I lived everyday in fear. In my case it was the threat of Feline Leukemia. You have to wait a period of time after exposure before you can test for it, and those were horrid weeks. During that time I wrote the following letter to my beloved Sunny. His tests came back negative and I am relish everday I have him in my life.

My Dear Sweet Sunny,

I call you many things, my handsome man cat, lover boy, when you were little “pumpkin”, sometimes dumb-dumb head, and in the deepest depths of my heart, I call you my Son. You are the light in my life and you have given me gifts that I would have never asked for, and certainly would have said I did not deserve.

When you were little and sick I gave you everything I had to give. I gave you the best doctors and the best care money could buy. I didn’t think twice about it, no matter what others said, it didn’t matter the cost, having you healthy was all that mattered. I gave you so much I even gave you part of my soul. I gave it freely and willingly; I didn’t hesitate for a moment. You, my shining ray of Sunlight, took all these things into yourself and found not only the will to live, but also a love for life, a self love, a love of family, unlike I have ever found in any living being.

All that you have and all that you are makes the world, but most especially me, blessed to know you. Blessed to share in your constant love and joy in life. Your zest makes me strong, and your bravery fills me with pride.

I know now that if I loose you, I will lose a piece of myself, a part of me that I hold very dear. I gave you my heart and soul freely and willingly and it did not hurt when I gave it, as I gave you pure love. I know now, it will rip away a piece of myself if I should ever lose you. I know this day is coming, but I pray that we will have many happy days together in the sunshine before I will have to say goodbye.

Sometimes I wonder how did this happen? How did I come to love my baby so much? It’s all the things you do, you know. It’s the jingle of your collar, it’s the way you run outside and scare me into thinking you will run off into the horizon and I will never see you again. It’s the way you think a dirty sock is scary, it’s the way you dig at your water bowl, because you can’t focus on the surface of the water. I love the way you try to play with your little sister and knock her off the table, because you’re such a big hulk. I love the way you know just when I need you, the way your rough tongue feels when you lick me to much, the way you shove things on the floor that are in your way, almost as though they don’t exist. I do need you my precious boy. I always need you. Please be healthy that I might be allowed to love you for just a little while more.

Much Love Always~

No real need to comment, it's nice to know that someone will read it other than in my whispered tears to my cat. The feelings were very real, cat or not I was terrified of losing Sunny. He lights my life inside and out and I wouldn't trade a thousand purebreed super smart cats for my one sometimes dense boy.


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It was a 'joy' to read this again, Elizabeth - this tribute and affirmation of your love for your boy, and just as lovely to see more pics of Sunny himself. He fits so nicely into his sink. ^_^

And although this new forum is too late for me and my past needs surrounding that kind of anticipation, I'm glad to finally see a place for others, like you, to share about this type of grief...a type no less real and problematic than any other kind. I'll just BET that Marty's board is the very first to include an "Anticipatory Grief" forum!

But I remember it well enough to know it was just as difficult, in its own way, as the other grief that eventually follows...and oftentimes harder still due to the lack of full acknowledgment about its existence. The fears, no matter what they're about, are incredibly hard to deal with on a daily basis, so thank goodness you've been given a reprieve with your dear boy.

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  • 8 months later...

great letter Elizabeth!

My cat also loves to get into my bathroom sink!!! Aren't they funny?!

I am going though anticipatory grief every day with my rescue ferret, Beau. He came to me bald, skinny, weak, dirty, smelly, blind, and with mange and a round cigarette burn hole in between his eyes.... I rescued him from the local animal shelter.

I had him for about a month before he started to vomit and cry. I rushed him to the vet who did x-rays and then told me he had lymphoma and had only 3 months to live. I am giving him the best 3 months of his life!!!

That 3 month marker is almost up... he does not seem sick, but he is slowing down a bit. I cry every day for him, that he is so loving, brave, and strong. He carries on like there is nothing that will stop him and I love him for that. He makes me think of my own problems as inconsequential.

I am astounded of his capacity for friendliness even after everything he has gone through with rotten people.. I'm glad he gives me kisses every day and loves being scratched on his back.

Thank you for letting me share...

I absolutely understand the fear of losing a beloved pet... thanks for sharing your very beautiful letter!

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  • 1 month later...

Dear Elizabeth,

Your letter to your Sunny boy is so touching and sweet! Your love for him and his antics makes me smile. He is a very handsome cat, that pic of him in the sink is absolutely adorable.

Pets definitely touch our hearts very deeply. I am still so very grateful for the cat I most recently had. He was one of my bestest friends ever, with the bluest eyes; he was also bulky like your cat, haha, my friends say, "your cat is so fat!" but, he's just got the Burmese bigness with the Siamese coloring and blue eyes. :)

Thank you for sharing your amazing letter with us, and your adorable Sunny.

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