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Sorry For All Who Have Lost A Pet During Holiday Season


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To everyone that has lost a beloved pet, I am sorry. To everyone experiencing this grief during the holiday season and/or another special occasion, I am sorry. It is tremendous to get through such thoughts and emotions and move forward.

Never did I appreciate this before losing Sir Greysby to pancreatitis on November 25th, 2014 after a 30-day fight wherein he tried to live and my husband and I tried to help him win the battle. Never have I gone through such - let alone his passing 2 days before hosting Thanksgiving at my house, which I did do in an almost an out-of-body manner and excusing myself to go cry silent away from the guests.

3 weeks and 2 days later, I am healing, but have moments wherein I feel sucker-punched in my gut once more and I let-out primordial cries of anguish. Why? What could I have done differently? Why didn't I recognize the 2 earliest behavioral changes in him as signs he was becoming ill? Would those 4-5 weeks have made a difference in his ability to recover before I took him to the Vet?

What have I done to work through and move past such grief? I downloaded 4 e-books to read on pets going to heaven and the grieving process. I learned that my grief and guilt are very "normal," although I have felt anything but normal. I created a beautiful photo journal book of him - from the days he was a stray and we took him in and up through the day of his departure from this life. I kept a swatch of his hair and his foot-print and his collar with the heart-shaped tags. His remains were cremated and placed in a nice oak urn that displays a picture of him making "soft eyes" at me on his last day here.

I have gone to a Christian psychologist twice to help me process the void. The void is not as huge now, but the first week after he left, my stomach hurt, I cried a lot, and I did not know what to do with the spare time that Sir Greysby use to fill-up when he was well, but especially during the last week of his life. I had gone into a panic mode in trying to get him to eat all forms of chicken and/or treats ... anything! I woke-up in the middle of many nights wondering if he had passed away and got up to check on him. When he lapped his ice-cold water, I was so thankful and hopeful. But then, the battle ended. My momentum was still going forward and wanting to help him, but he was no longer here.

I've played back the video, from the last morning of his being with me, several times. He loved my ankles and feet, then sat in front of his food without touching it once again ... after 3-days of his not doing so. He had come full circle. This is what had caused me to take him to the Vet to begin with ... he did not eat his favorite warmed, soft cat food for 3-days. The Vet placed him on steroids and an antibiotic, and for several weeks, it seemed he might have a fighting chance. Sir Greysby never resumed eating his food at the level he had done before falling ill, but at least he nibbled. The fact was that he was anorexic and continued to lose weight during those last 30-days of his life.

3-days before his departure, my husband and I decorated the living-room for the holiday season. Our minds told us that he would not make it, but our hearts hoped he would. We played Christmas carols for him, took a photo of him, and struggled with thinking it might be his last holiday season with us. Barely have I been able to hear any Christmas music since then. However, I do not regret giving Sir Greysby one-last Christmas with us, and I know that with time, I will smile and feel good about those memories.

My other cats and their adjusting to his not being here has been awkward. The routines changed for them, too. Sir Greysby ruled our home during his 2-1/2 year stay with us. :-) However, I am adapting to their new routines and am spending more time loving and appreciating them. They have had numerous pictures taken of them in their favorite areas of the house, at play and at rest. Now, I fully comprehend they are my family that love me unconditionally.

There are "those" people who are thoughtless for whatever reasons. I have chosen not to be rude to them in return, but rather to ignore them and move through my grieving process as I see fit. I know that one-day I will feel better.

It is a process and a journey. I will always thank my God of understanding for allowing this beautiful soul to grace our home with the last 2-1/2 years of his life. We learned so much from him and I know that Sir Greysby is in a much better, heavenly place that affords him happiness and peace.

May your soul find peace and comfort during this time and know that this lady is praying for your wellness and healing, too.


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I am so sorry for your loss of Sir Greysby. It was kind of that way for my King George too, he passed 8 1/2 years ago but it seems like yesterday. He lost weight and got 15% underweight, even though he'd been roly poly all his life. He lived to be 19 and it was cancer that took his life. The first vet I took him to misdiagnosed him, I wonder if they even examined him! That last month of his life I would have had him put down sooner had I known he had no chance and his suffering would be for naught.

Guilt is a natural response when we lose someone we love. We think and rethink the end and wonder what we could have done different. But none of this changes what was, and the truth is, we did the best we knew how to with the knowledge we were given at the time. We loved them implicitly.

It sounds like you're doing all your grief work, and that will aid you in your healing process. You will always miss him, but the pain will lessen little by little. My heart goes out to you. I'm glad you had some Christmas time with him.

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Thank you Kayc for sharing your story with me. It is so soothing to hear from others and talk about our fur-babies.

I love the name of your pet ... King George! King George and Sir Greysby are part of a beautiful royal court now and one day we will see them again.

I cannot mentally or emotionally fathom what it was like for you to have spent 19-years with him and for him to develop cancer. Although I put my heart and soul into Sir Greysby for 2-1/2 years, cats can be more independent, and dogs usually require more hands-on care. It was rough having the daily routines abruptly end.

Yes, the guilt and rethinking things can be quite a hurdle. Just when I think I have moved past it, something will bring-on this thinking again. I know the "what if" approach is not for the best, but I am wondering if it is partly due to experiencing a certain amount of shock in watching him grow more sickly and anorexic.

Last night, a lady friend called to say her dog had passed away. I feel very sorry for her, because she has nobody at home - folks or fur-babies - to help her through the grief. I recommended that she visit this website and plan to give her some literature today that might help her through the initial process of grieving. Had it not been for Sir Greysby passing recently, I would not better understand her, nor know how to help. There is a soothing feeling in knowing that I can take my experience and help another person.

Blessings and peace to you Kayc!

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My King George did not get the first part of his name until after I married my husband, George (I had the cat first)...and it seemed to suit him! he had a very healthy sense of self esteem. :)

I actually only had King George 13 years, having acquired him from his previous owner when he was six. But we were very attached.

I hope your friend does come here, it helps to express your grief and know there are others who've been through it that understand and care.

Somehow we live through these losses, but it isn't quick or easy!

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