Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Need Help Understanding My Feelings


Recommended Posts

I need some help understanding my grief. We lost Nikomi the Ferret at a very young age, 1 year and half. We had this ferret for a short time but he immediately found a spot in our hearts. We mainly got him for our older ferret, Chinook, which is going on 5 years. He has gray in his fur and is slowing down. We know he will not be around forever, so that is why we got Nikomi but Nikomi died first.

I find myself mourning Chinook even though is well and healthy and with us now. This animal is more spoiled then my 2 dogs. I find myself feeling guilty spending time on the computer, mainly for job hunting, and occassion on ferret sites. I do not want to be away from the house long because I want to be with him even if he is sleeping, I can watch him and I know he is near. I find myelf clinging to him and sometimes when he is sleeping, I will lay hin down on the floor in a ferret proof room and pet him gently until he falls asleep. Is this normal? I have a small shrine on a table for Nikomi and it is going on 6 months and I refuse to take this down. Has anyone gone through this before? Am I normal?

Thanks for listening and responding.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim, dear, I think this is all part of your reaction to losing Nikomi ~ which brought you face to face with the harsh reality that both your ferrets (indeed, all of us) are mortal, and the time we have with our loved ones is limited. This is especially true for our companion animals, whose life span (depending on the species, of course) is so much shorter than our own. Nikomi's dying before his older sibling Chinook was not at all what you expected, and indeed it did seem to go against what you would expect to be the natural order of things. This results in your being on guard now and somewhat overprotective of your ferret who survives ~ the sort of thinking that says, "If it could happen so unexpectedly to Nikomi, then it could happen to Chinook as well." Consequently you find yourself "clinging to him," as you say, not wanting to let him out of your sight, as if somehow you can protect him from dying too soon, too. On some level (perhaps unconsciously) you may be trying to make it up to Nikomi (who died despite your care and concern) by over-caring for Chinook. None of this is rational, of course, but then, feelings seldom are rational ~ they come from the emotional side of us, not the logical, thinking part.

The fact that six months into your grief for Nikomi you find yourself reluctant to leave Chinook tells me that your grief may be interfering a bit with your ability to live your life (i.e. leave the house for any length of time or take a job away from home if you find one). You might consider having a few sessions with a grief counselor who is sensitive to pet loss, just to help you get through this challenging time. (Hospice of the Valley's Bereavement Office has a list of such counselors who practice in the Phoenix area; just call 602.530.6970.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...