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Heartbroken Over Charlie


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2 years ago,for valentines day,me and my husband decided to add a dog to our family.Its been just the 2 of us for almost a decade!!We got a cute little pomeranion mix and we named him Charlie bear.About a year after getting him,we had our 1st baby.They became best friends and very protective over each other.We did everything together and even took him with us for vacations.We treated him like he was our son and even after having a baby nothing changed.We still loved him the same.

3 days ago I let charlie outside to play while my husband was out there.Somehow,charlie crossed the street when my husband wasnt looking and when my husband started yelling his name he ran across the street to get back home to us and a truck hit him.The sight of charlie lying there in the road stiff and no longer alive is something I hope to never experience again. He was just trying to get home.He was such a loyal happy and protective member of our family.He would do anything for the 3 of us,so for us to have let this happen to him breaks my heart. Not only were we negligent, but now our daughter is just heartbroken and lonely looking everywhere for her little buddy.Im so sad about it,we lost our little fur baby,a member of our family ...and it really opened my eyes to how life can change in literally the blink of an eye. My house is so quiet and lonely,his toys all over the house.But he no longer greets us at the door when we get home,or follows us around.Even the neighborhood dogs knew,they barked all night the night charlie passed away.I really loved him so much.Driving down the road you can still see his blood,it rips my heart apart to see that.I feel so guilty and can only hope he forgives us and knew how loved he was!post-17187-0-25747800-1424096497_thumb.j

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I am so very sorry to read about the death of your Charlie. These accidents do happen and they break our hearts. Do you have a picture of Charlie that you could share with us? Please be gentle with yourself during this early time of your grief.

Come here and share your story with us.


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I am so very sorry to learn of the tragic accident that took the life of your beloved Charlie, and I can only imagine how painful this must be for you and your family.

As I've written elsewhere, it's important to understand that the grief you're feeling now is a normal response to the loss of someone you love. How you react to the loss of your precious Charlie depends not only on the circumstances of his death, but also on how attached you were to him, on your individual relationship with him, and on the role he played in your family. I'm sure that, in your own way, you gave your heart to Charlie completely, just as he gave his heart to you. It's only natural that, when you lose that which you love so much, you feel the overwhelming pain of loss. No matter who or what you love, the greater the love, the worse the pain feels when you lose the object of your love.
The circumstances of Charlie's death suggest that you may be feeling very guilty and angry with yourself and your husband for whatever part you think you may have played in his being hit by a truck. But at a time like this it's important for you to remember that neither you nor anyone else deliberately set out to bring any harm to your beloved dog. Like all the rest of us, you are human, terrible accidents do happen, and there was nothing intentional about this at all. Anger is a powerful emotion that can be frightening, but feeling angry doesn't necessarily imply that you will lose control or take your anger out unfairly on others. Nevertheless, so that 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 that anger and hold on to it, eventually you may explode, turn it inward and get depressed, or aim it at innocent others. Anger is sheer, raw energy, but you can find healthy ways to discharge that energy and channel it – through physical exercise, writing and talking, for example.

Feelings aren't always rational or accurate, either. Feeling guilty about the circumstances surrounding Charlie’s death doesn't mean that you are, in fact, an uncaring, irresponsible dog owner who intentionally set out to bring harm to your dog. 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 for the time that he was in your life, surely it was your precious Charlie.
In the end, there is nothing anyone can say to erase the load of anger and guilt that you may be carrying around with you now. The only one who truly can forgive yourself is you. Guilt is one of the most common reactions in loss – in situations such as this, it is only human nature for you 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 Charlie’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, my dear, there is nothing you can do now to go back and change what has already been done. Instead, to cope with the anger and the guilt, you might try to find some way to communicate with Charlie'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. 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.

Guilt and anger can eat us alive unless we find someone to talk to about our feelings, someone who will help us look at the situation more objectively. I encourage you to find someone you can talk to who understands the bond you felt with Charlie, who understands the mourning process and will listen to you without judging you. It's good to know that you've found your way to this forum, which offers understanding, comfort and support from others whose experiences may be similar to your own. If you feel a need for more than that, you can go to the State-by-State Guide to Support Groups, Counselors & Pet Cemeteries, at http://www.pet-loss.net. 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.
As I’m sure you know, It’s important that you take the time needed to grieve this loss of Charlie, including the processing of and coming to terms with all that anger and guilt you may be feeling over the circumstances of his accidental death. Grief takes an enormous amount of energy and conscious effort.
Reading about what is normal in pet loss is extremely helpful. See, for example, the articles listed on my site's Pet Loss Articles page. You might also be interested in the online e-mail course I’ve written for Self-Healing Expressions; you can read more about it at A Different Grief: Coping with Pet Loss .
I hope this information helps, my dear. Our hearts go out to you and your family at this sad and difficult time.
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I am so sorry for your loss of Charlie. You have a beautiful family and I can see why you loved Charlie so much. Yes, life can change in the blink of an eye, I learned that when my Fluffy passed away years ago...he'd snuck back into the van unbeknownst to me and when I got off work and opened the door of my van, he rolled out stiff as a board. I think it will haunt me the rest of my life, but it's important to learn to forgive yourself for not realizing sooner, just as I've had to. You know they would be the first to forgive us. I believe there will be a day when I will be rejoined with Fluffy and all of the other cats and dogs I've lost over the years...it will be a great reunion day. I see Marty has posted some good links, I hope you'll take the time to read them, she is a tremendous help with just what we need when we need it. Wishing you some relief from this pain...

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