Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Tremendous Pain


Recommended Posts

My beautiful lilac-point Siamese, Rosie, passed away September 3rd. Two years ago she went into kidney failure and I got better and got off dialysis -- I knew she took my illness from me. In July and August, while I was in Maui becoming a Karuna Reiki Master, she lost half her weight and somehow the two adult house-sitters didn't notice!! She was 3.8 pounds when I got home and she struggled to realize that I was home. This was August 12th. I took her to the emergency clinic where they took blood tests and kept her through the weekend hydrating her. On Monday I transferred her to the Cat Care Clinic where she stayed another day. I was taught how to hydrate Rosie and how to force-feed her. She wasn't even drinking water, though she would go to her water bowl and cry. She was trying to get well, but couldn't. She had seen me over the years come back from the dead more times than I can count and was trying to emulate me. For three weeks she lived on my chest -- hardly moving, needing and giving comfort. When I asked her why she was putting herself through that rather than taking the easy way out by dying she told me she was waiting for me to learn to grieve and celebrate all in one breath. My 15 year-old kitty was wiser than I... Eventually she started having violent seizures on my chest and I asked her if she wanted me to help her die. She said she was OK with the dying process but that if I felt strong enough to go through euthanasia she wouldn't object. She also said she would prefer to die at home. Her vet doesn't make house calls so I got the name of one who does and arranged for him to come Saturday Sept 3rd around 1pm. He arrived at 12:15 -- I wasn't ready -- every moment was precious and he was taking it all away. I put my feelings aside and next thing I know he has a tourniquette around her little arm and is jabbing a needle into her. She started screaming and I was in shock as to his treatment. I told him to get out of my home and apologized to my beautiful Rosie -- he was not the man for this job. Shaking, I called the Cat Care Clinic and told them what had happened. They agreed to stay open for me and I drove to their office. Two gentle, beautiful souls came in to help Rosie and after an agonizing hour she finally let go. She was in peace the whole time though I was crying hysterically. Her little veins had all collapsed, just like mine do, and her heart was so little it had trouble pumping well enough to get the liquid to it. I kept telling her it was OK, that it was only a body and that we would be together always.

Though at times I can actually forget my grief for a little while, it's so raw that I have become intolerant of others, not my usual loving self. I pace all night, missing her on my neck, I get on the computer and play stupid games just to dull the pain. I am a spiritual being and know all things happen for my highest good, yet I would trade places with her in a heartbeat. Yes, I know all the right things, but they don't matter right now. I'm in agony and don't know how to stop this run-away train.

Rabiah Lily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear rabiahlily,

Oh, I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out from your story about Rosie! What a dear, dear soul, and YOU, too! We're right on the same page in many ways and my heart is bursting with empathy for you. You did SO much right, and good, for her, and she for you. I know what you're saying, as our beloved furkids take on so many afflictions FOR US! My remaining furgirl ( now 18 ) also has CRF and so Rosie's battle is so near and dear to my own heart. I'm so glad you told that housecall vet to take a hike! ( I'm thinking of a very un-nice word for him right here! ) My gal has been receiving distance Reiki for 5 years, and hands-on from me, so I'm also glad you were able to give Rosie those benefits as well during her illness. I assume you know you can even use it to heal the past, if there's anything you think needs addressing there? Do you do much communication, that you were able to talk to her so much beforehand? (you're so fortunate, as I can't seem to get a handle on that, especially with my own girl - too emotionally involved)

Yes, you do know all the right things....but that doesn't do much good when you're grieving, does it? I'm sure it will help in time, and even during the process, but it doesn't make much of a dent in the absolute PAIN of loss. Even though I received immediate visitations from my precious furboy, Sabin, starting the day or 2nd day after his transition, at the time it only made me miss him all the more....his touch, feel, voice.....everything! Sheer agony, and that's how it stayed for the first whole year. Even the 2nd year wasn't much better. All told, it was 3 years before I felt more 'normal' again, and I even had his sister to look after. She'd gotten diagnosed with renal insufficiency right after he left, and it's been a downhill progression since then.

These words may not really sink in and help you for some time yet, but DO know that you went the extra mile for Rosie, and of COURSE she knows that. Especially with all your energy work, I'm sure it won't be long before you pick up signs all over the place from her, keeping your relationship alive and well, even from a 'distance', which you know is really not even a fur's-breath away. She is as close as the Reiki streaming through you. Our Reiki- lady, as I call her, has had MANY visitations from her 3 transitioned catbabies, all pretty powerful, and they've also each helped each other as each one crossed, to continue their work on the Other Side, to guide her with her remaining babies, and new additions to her flock. Just as Rosie will still be there for you, with you. And here, we'll be here for you, too, only a posting away, to share the pain, the memories, the loving visitations, anything and everything you need to make a connection with.

((((Blessings and angels' wings to uphold you and comfort you in your time of sorrow))))


Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear friend,

I'm so very sorry for your loss. If there were a way to stop this pain, which you so accurately describe as a runaway train, I’d be the first to tell you about it. The simple fact of the matter is that grief hurts, and there is a reason for it: Your heart has been wounded -- cut, torn and ripped apart. The pain you feel is a measure of your love for the one who has died. It is the price we all pay for loving our animal companions as much as we do. Where there is no great love, there is no pain.

I can think of no more accurate description of the agony of grief than this:

. . . Grief is a tidal wave that overtakes you,

smashes down upon you with unimaginable force,

sweeps you up into its darkness,

where you tumble and crash against unidentifiable surfaces,

only to be thrown out on an unknown beach, bruised, reshaped.

Grief means not being able to read more than two sentences at a time.

It is walking into rooms with intention that suddenly vanishes.

Grief is three o’clock in the morning sweats that won’t stop.

It is dreadful Sundays, Mondays that are no better.

It makes you look for a face in the crowd,

knowing full well the face we want cannot be found in that crowd.

Grief is utter aloneness that razes the rational mind

and makes room for the phantasmagoric.

It makes you suddenly get up and leave in the middle of a meeting,

without saying a word.

Grief makes what others think of you moot.

It shears away the masks of normal life

and forces brutal honesty out of your mouth

before propriety can stop you.

It shoves away friends,

scares away so-called friends,

and rewrites address books for you.

Grief makes you laugh at people who cry over spilled milk,

right to their faces.

It tells the world that you are untouchable

at the very moment when touch

is the only contact that might reach you.

It makes lepers out of upstanding citizens.

Grief discriminates against no one.

It kills. Maims. And cripples.

It is the ashes from which the phoenix rises,

and the mettle of rebirth.

It returns life to the living dead.

It teaches that there is nothing absolutely true or untrue.

It assures the living that we know nothing for certain.

It humbles. It shrouds. It blackens. It enlightens.

Grief will make a new person out of you,

if it doesn’t kill you in the making.

— Stephanie Ericsson, in Companion through the Darkness: Inner Dialogues on Grief

What to do with the pain? Accept it, lean into it, endure it. Know that with every tear, with every sob, with every wave of pain, you will be moving closer to the cherished memories that will heal your broken heart. In the days and weeks ahead, do whatever brings you comfort, including returning to this forum, and do what you can to remember the love, the good times, and the wonderful memories you’ve been privileged to share with your beloved Rosie. Know too that we are thinking of you and holding you close in our collective hearts.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Maylissa, for your kind post. Yes, Rosie has visited me many times since she left her body (and before) but, like you said, it just makes me miss her all the more. I learned to truly talk with Rosie when I dropped my attachment to talk to her with words. I started just connecting with her from my heart and letting her hear that and if she was in a different room and I called her silently that way, she would run to be with me. I realized with a shock that she could hear my heart and that's how we communicated from then on. When I was in Maui she came to me just as physically as everyone else around me. I felt her soft fur on my neck, I smelled her and heard her purr. I knew she was saying 'goodbye' so I quickly called and spoke to my housesitters. I asked how Rosie was and they said "Oh she's just fine!" -- they lied... but the worst part is that I knew that. I spoke to Rosie long distance then and told her I could cut my trip short and she said "No!" and told me to be in the sun and feel her with me -- I did that -- we even went snorkling together and I showed her all the beautiful fish and turtles, the amazing coral reef, etc. My trip was not alone, it was with Rosie.

There a several things that make this so difficult -- when I was dying, she brought me back to life and I made a promise to her that we would go together. Even though she released me from this promise, saying that she never attached our vow to our bodies, that she understood it to mean our souls would never be apart, I feel guilty for not taking my last gentle breath to be with her. I can feel the cold earth on my skin as though I'm in the ground with her... The other thing was a comment my sister made, which made me realize how unprepared I was for Rosie's death. She said "we all get pets knowing that we'll outlive them" -- well, I have been so ill since before I got Rosie that this thought NEVER entered my mind. I naturally assumed I would go first and she would follow. I wasn't ever prepared for this...

Some folks have suggested I get another cat and I get angry thinking "they just don't get it!! Rosie was not a pet, she was my little soul-mate." My two delightful dogs try to make me laugh and they get so sad when I cry yet I can't stop. I know they miss her too and yet I don't know how to better handle this situation. Rosie, though only 7 pounds, was the Matriarc of this family and the dogs (border collie/springer spaniel love babies) deferred to her in everything. Mac would be bumping into furniture like a typical oaf of a pup and Rosie would walk in so regally, next thing I knew he would be walking around just a regally emulating his little Mother. Samantha learned her loving ways from Rosie (she sure wasn't born with them!) and now is a swett delight. The love between these two dogs closely reflects the love between Rosie and I and their devotion to Rosie and to me is complete. This should be a comfort -- there's the word 'should'... I wish they were...

Thank you again for your thoughful response.

Rabiah Lily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, Marty T for that beautiful and perfect poem. All day today I have been actually holding my hands against my chest trying to push the pieces together... such agony... I will read this again when my head stops pounding so much. Thank you for your gentle kindness, and thank you for the amazing course you have put together on grieving for your pet (I assume that's who you are?). This is how I found this forum.

I got a lovely card from the Cat Care Clinic with all of the staff writing gentle notes to me. Since the pet grieving group meets Monday nights and I have choir, I can't meet with them but you words of wisdom in each class have been wonderful. They make me cry, yes, but it's OK. I am going to send a card back to the vet telling her to suggest your course to all grieving humans. Your work is truly appreciated.

love always,

Rabiah Lily

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dear Rabiah Lily,

I am so gratified to learn that my online pet loss course is helping you through what I’m sure is one of the most difficult and painful experiences in your life, and I am equally pleased to learn that it led you to this warm and caring place.

Obviously I believe very strongly that, with sufficient information and support, there is much we can do to help ourselves through grief, and when circumstances and schedules are such that we cannot obtain that information and support “in person,” the Internet offers an easily accessible and powerful alternative.

I also believe very strongly that, while loss creates a deep and painful emotional wound, it is an injury that can be healed. Your response is a powerful affirmation of my belief that, with help and understanding, the pain of loss can be transformed into a challenging new beginning, and the grief experience can become a healthy, positive and healing process. If ever I needed encouragement to continue doing what I do, your posting does just that. I thank you for presenting me with such a gift, even while you are in such pain.

Love and blessings,

Marty T

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rabiah Lily,

Your soul-close connection with Rosie reminds me so much of mine with my beloved Sabin. Although I didn't get words per se from him, we were so in sync with each other that words were superfluous....though I'd yak away to him and his sister anyway. I'd often just KNOW what game he'd want to play, for example, even switching from one to another in mid-stride....and we liked the same games, too. And his sense of humour was so human, it even matched mine, so he could make me laugh so fully and deeply, as no one else ever could. But that in-tuneness also had its 'downside', as I also just knew one fall day that he wouldn't be with us for much longer. I tried to tell myself I was just being paranoid, but in the end, it wasn't more than 4 months later that he was suddenly gone, from cancer that didn't show any clinical signs until it was far too late. ( we did have him checked out soon after my 'knowing', but they found everything normal, and in fact, looking good )

So I know what that heart connection feels like, but unfortunately, it has seemed to me that Sabin was the catalyst for my ability that way, as I can't seem to recreate it with Nissa, his sister, no matter how hard I try. With him, there was no trying necessary - it just was. I suspect my enduring sorrow for his loss could account for my heart closing off enough to constrict this ability, but that's how it is, regardless.

You are fortunate that you were able to even have tactile communications while Rosie was still here. That's pretty amazing and I envy you your enlightened-ness. I suspect that is, in large part, why you are still left here, that this is what you must nurture, as a testament and legacy to Rosie's and your deep bond. This is what the world needs to learn about. The possibilities and realities of how deep the human-other species connection can and does indeed go, when one is open to it. What bigger and better thing could they have ever taught us, intimate lessons aside? Perhaps, since I think cats in particular are so wise, she revised her plans and realized this was bigger than the both of you and that you should carry on to deliver this message to others before you joined her. I can tell you, you've certainly already done wonders for ME, just in unabashedly sharing these parts of your journey with Rosie! It's a rare soul I meet who is as sure of these kinds of connections as you are, and that helps me in turn to carry on as well. It helps my faith and warms my soul. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find that once you've done whatever it is you need to still do on this planet, that you WILL be one of those few who simply wills themselves to leave, peacefully and consciously, when the time is right.

As for just hopping on out to the market place to replace her.....what can I say? It's an abomination to me when people say such ignorant things. I realize not many have had such deep bonding with their animal companions, but please...it's an affront to someone grieving, and I always ask them if they would suggest such a thing were it a human child that was lost. ( of course, there are those who really would, and have! ) I also don't think it's quite correct to assume we will outlive our companions, as one never knows what can happen. For me, despite the pain it causes to me, I'd rather be the one left to mourn because I wouldn't want to inflict such agony on my beloved furbabies. At least we can assume, hope or know that they are experiencing peace while we are here in pain. We are bearing the pain for them and instead of them, and as such, it is a gift we can give back to them for all the love they showed us through their time here. No one deserves the peace they now have more than they do. Sabin was my soul-mate, too, and I don't even want him entertaining the thought of reincarnating! I'd rather he stay safe and loved and free without a body to worry about, than come back here to possibly suffer some more! Even if that means I'll be without him for many moons.....

There IS little comfort for our sorrow, except for possibly the thought that our lives would have been far less enriched without our blessed furbabies to share a part of it, often the most meaningful part. I used to hate that quote about it being better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, and never even really understood it to its depths until I lost Sabin. While I could have lived my life without him, and wouldn't have suffered as much as I did and still do if I hadn't lost him, I also wouldn't have had his great love and wisdom to help me through the other losses I've had since, and have yet to face. For that, I can be grateful. I still miss him and always will while I'm still here. I found this quote which sums up my sorrow over my boy perfectly, as it will for my gal when she is gone, too.

"I dropped a tear in the ocean. The day you find it is the day I will stop missing you."

- author unknown-

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Marty T and Maylissa:

Yes, Marty, your course has been a life-saver and, I think, better than a physical group for me because it allows me the freedom to read the lessons when I'M ready for each one and, because I'm at home, I can cry as loud and as deep, and as long as I want without feeling self-conscious. They are beautifully and mindfully written and the links you suggest have been perfect. I sent the free course to my sister whose cat Felix (my Godson) had a stroke, is 18 years old and is having great difficulties -- not long for this world, I don't think. She also has found this course perfect and her cat is still alive. I hope what she reads will better prepare her for the loss which is coming.

One thing I did right was to have a ceremony for Rosie the day after she died. We buried her and planted a weeping mulberry tree over her grave, then we planted twelve other fruit and nut trees in her honor, and lots and lots of roses. This way, as I nurture and water each plant, each tree, I feel I'm taking care of Rosie still. In the future, when the trees start giving me fruit, it'll be Rosie continuing to nurture me. I look out to the back yard and see all those new trees and I feel the sadness lift a little -- it helps somehow. I was amazed at how many people showed up to say 'goodbye' to Rosie, and even more amazed when they all started talking about how very special she was and how magnificent it was to watch our relationship. It was truly moving, plus it showed me how many true friends I have.

Thank you both for your very kind and gentle words. I have known for years that I'm still living because I'm here to help others, to be of service. Please let me know anytime you need me for anything -- I'm available till my last gentle breath.

with love and deep gratitude,

Rabiah Lily O'Cearnaigh

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...