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Grieving Horribly Over Loss Of My Beloved Cat


Critterdoll

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Hi Everyone,

I found this wonderful forum today and am happy that I did! You are all so caring and empathetic of one another in your grief.

It is obvious to me that your consideration of each other is genuine, so I knew you people would be the ones to turn to in my grief.

I am newly going through the grieving process as I just lost my beloved cat Spooky just yesterday. Needless to say, I am in

complete shock over losing him. I have been blessed to have loved and cared for him for almost 21 years, so I feel like I

lost a part of myself yesterday. What makes it harder is that I live alone, so it was only Spooky and myself in this little family.

Right now I feel like I will never recover from this loss and I have been crying almost continuously since I lost him.

His quality of life was severely affected due to old age. He wasn't using the litter box anymore, nor was he grooming himself

anymore. I tried my best at first to keep his fur in good condition by brushing him, but then it quickly got out of hand and his

fur turned into a huge matted mess and started smelling really bad. His appetite was still not bad, but he would not walk around

the apartment anymore, but rather, would just lay down all day. Due to not getting any exercise, he lost all muscle tone from

his hind legs and when he did get up to go to his dish to eat, you could see he had a very hard time walking and his hind legs

kept threatening to slide out from under him. Seeing him decline in health like this just tore my heart out. I also think he might

have had kidney problems because he drank so much water all the time in more recent times.

I finally made the heart wrenching decision to have him put down when Friday morrning his hind legs completely gave out.

When he tried to stand, they completely gave out and his legs splayed out on both sides of him. Even trying to help him stand

didn't help since his legs were too weak, so all I could do was lay him down. Later in the day he did stand up and walk to his

food dish, but I didn't really see that as a positive sign of anything. When I felt his hind quarters, there simply was no muscle

left at all. This is without a doubt a matter of aging. He was almost 21 and a half years old and definitely not enjoying his

life anymore.

So yesterday around noon I took him to the vet where his life was peacefully ended. Even writing this I am in tears. I only

stayed with him for the sedation shot, petted his precious head, told him I will love him forever, and walked out. I couldn't bear

to stay for the final shot and watch him take his last breath. I think I would have completely fell apart to see that.

Someone told me just last week that when a pet feels it is time for them to go, they will let you know. Well I feel Spooky did

just that. For the longest time he had not sat near me, but would only lay down in the corner of the room. But on Thursday

evening as I was preparing myself dinner, he came and sat near me for the longest time, then walked with difficulty back to

his corner.

I am so completely devastated. I feel like I have lost all interest in anything, and cry for the impossible; to have him back.

Every time I pass by where he last used to lay, I expect to see him there, and seeing that empty spot is like a shock each

time. I feel right now like I can't go on without him. I am hoping that this overwhelming grief doesn't last for years. It scares

me to feel this way, so maybe some of you can reassure me that the pain of loss will lessen over time. I have had pets

before, but never for this length of time. He simply became a part of me that I now can't bear to live without. I keep saying,

how can this be that I will never see or hold him ever again.

My only hope is that we do get to be with our beloved pets again in heaven where we will never, ever lose them again.

I am a spiriitual, religious person and know God to be love itself, and who loves us, so how would He not allow us to be

with our furbabies again.

I am attaching a photo of my furbaby. I hope it shows up.

Thanks for "listening", all of you, and bless you all!

~ Mia ~ (Spooky's mom)

post-17497-0-68238600-1437966697_thumb.j

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Hello Mia,

I am so sorry that you not longer have your precious furbaby, Spooky, with you in the physical sense. Please know that there are many here who are devoted pet lovers. Spooky is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story.

I know how much this hurts you. There are really no words that can soothe you at this time.

This is a caring forum and I just know you will find comfort being here.

I do not know if you are familiar with the Rainbow Bridge but if you are not I think you will find some comfort in learning about it.

This is only one video ~ there are many.

Anne

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Thank you Anne for your kind words. Thank you also for the link to the Rainbow Bridge You Tube video. Yes, I do know of the Rainbow Bridge. Watching this video

made me cry also. I love ALL animals, and can't bear to see any harmed in any way. This video warms the heart to see the pure joy in the faces of these sweet,

precious animals. That's the same joy I would feel upon seeing my beloved Spooky again.

My username, Critterdoll, is one of many other names I had for him. I was so filled with love for him that I couldn't come up with a cute enough nickname for him,

so I alternated between many. BTW, earlier in the day I did see another version of this video. Same words, different pictures. We can only console ourselves by

telling ourselves that we WILL see our babydolls again. The hard part is waiting until that time comes because our love for our pets will never die.

~ Mia ~

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Hi Mia,

I know what it is to connect so deeply with a pet. For people that leave themselves open, they truly become a part of your daily happiness & identity. I know that you will get to a point of understanding about the loss. The excrutiating pain will ebb & flow. It is completely normal to feel like you cant go on. I can say I have felt that way at some point in the day every day since my dog passed. There are times I can remember him with happiness. We are here to listen in those moments when you feel overwhelmed. But you can also share the good times when/if you feel up to it. I have found some comfort in that. I hope you can find comfort here as well.

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Hi Mia,

I was tearing up just reading your message. I understand so well what you are going through. I lost my beloved dog Rosie

on April 26 of this year. I had her in my life for 15 years, not as long as your but still a very long time. She was such a

large part of our family and my heart was full of love for her. Suddenly on the morning of April 26 she had a stroke.

Her head tilted to the side, she was laying on the floor going on circles and crying. All I did was cry too because I knew

this was the end for her. We took her to our vet and reluctantly had her put to sleep. It was the worst day of my life, and I've

had many bad days. We stood there holding talking to her while the doctor put the needle in. I only hope she knew how

much we loved her. The vet took her paw print in cement, a little square, and brought it out to us. When we got into the

car without her, I cried so hard all the way home that I sick so my husband had to drive. I got home and cried very hard

for a long time. I couldn't eat or sleep. After that day I did cry each and every day for a couple of weeks. We had them

cremate her and when her ashes were ready my husband picked them up. They put her in a beautiful cherry wood box

that cannot be opened. I wouldn't open it anyway, I don't want to see her ashes. The box is in my china cabinet along with

her paw print. It's been 3 months and I still cry occasionally, but not every day. I talk to her box of ashes as if she can

hear me. I kiss her paw print too. I just want to let you know that you are not alone. You will never stop missing your

pet, but it will get a little easier. It helps to just talk about it to your friends or family. We have to remember that

our pets would not want to live and suffer and at least they did live a long time. I am comforted in the knowledge

that we will see our beloved pets again someday. In the meantime, keep busy because that also helps to get through

this horrible grief you are going through. My heart and thoughts are with you.

Persie

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Thank you Copperpot and Persie for your kind and heartfelt responses. Persie, reading your post got me crying, feeling your pain.

I love dogs as much as I love cats. I have owned dogs, but only for a very short time each time. The last dog I owned was over

30 years ago. Brownie was his name and he was a golden retriever, german shepherd mix. I only had him for about a year, and

when I had to give him away I cried like a baby, but even that grief wasn't as deep as this. Don't get me wrong, I loved him as

much as my baby Spooky, but I guess the amount of time I had Spooky makes a difference as to the depth of grief. To this day,

if I tell someone about Brownie, I feel the same pain all over again.

Persie, you said talking to friends and family help. I have no family but this morning I called my dearest friend in the world because

I was crying so hard and really needed to talk to someone just then. I had been surprised why she hadn't called me to see how

I am since I told her Spooky would be put to sleep on Saturday. I also felt ok about reaching out to her because she is a dog lover,

has one now, and has always had dogs and has experienced the grief of losing her pets. I told her how I had gone online to look

for a pet bereavement discussion group and told her how I found this wonderful group where everyone is genuinely caring of

each other. I told her about the link Anne posted about the Rainbow Bridge video and then when I described what was in the

video, she got angry with me and said, why are you doing this to yourself. She kept saying that Spooky had a wonderful life

and I did the humane thing by having him put down and asked if I would have rather kept him suffering. I said of course not,

that's why I had him put down. And I continued to say that because he had a good life and is no longer suffering doesn't mean

it doesn't hurt so bad and that I don't miss him terribly, and the only thing I would want right now above anything else is to have

him back, healthy as he used to be.

I told her I am not purposely keeping myself crying just to feel sorry for myself, but that I miss him so much, and it's only been

a couple of days since he passed. I said that I need to grieve in order to move forward. She said of course you do, but reading

all this stuff on the internet isn't helping. I told her I went on the internet BECAUSE I couldn't find any relief just crying here

by myself. She kept saying nobody online cares what I am feeling, and I kept overriding her to tell her about this group and

how I can tell that you all do truly care, and have been in my shoes. I was crying and saying I thought she of all people would

understand. She said she did understand BECAUSE she has been there, but I personally feel that she thinks I am carrying

my grief too far, even though she herself told me her daughter is still grieving for a dog she put to sleep 8 years ago.

I found it so confusing because she sounded so contradictory.

Now I know why she never did call me to see how I am. She seemed so surprised that I was still in such distress when a couple

of days had "already passed" after Spooky's passing. She lives over 100 miles away from me and we have been friends

for over 35 years. All I can say is that her reaction truly surprised me and just added to my grief. I know she means well

because we are like soul sisters, but this time she was way off the mark with her reaction and opinion. It's not that she didn't

care. I think in her mind, I'm just stewing in my sorrow without trying to pull myself out of it. I wasn't with her when she lost

her dogs (who I used to know also) so I don't know what form her grief took. I told her I am all alone with no one to talk to

about it, and that also makes it harder to cope with my loss. (Other friends don't own pets so they wouldn't understand.)

She had her husband and kids to help her cope with her loss, and that makes a huge difference.

I have prayed to Jesus and God to help me not feel the pain so intensely. At times I feel my prayers have helped, but

then I go and fall apart again when I pass by where Spooky used to lay. I saw online somewhere, where it said the more

deeply you loved your pet, the more deeply you grieve, and I believe it to be true, because Spooky was the light of my

life, not to mention, I deeply love all animals.

Sorry for the long post, but I needed to talk about this. With the help of you good people, hopefully with each day that

passes by my grief will release some of its hold on me, but for now, I am still in much agony as I was the day Spooky

left my life.

~ Mia ~

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Mia, my dear, I'm so sorry that your friend did not offer you the comfort and understanding you need and deserve right now. I think when those closest to us fail to "be there" for us in the way that we need them to be, it hurts so much more than it would coming from a stranger.

Your post reminds me of a situation I experienced following the sudden, unexpected death of one of my beloved dogs. The person I thought was my dearest friend said to me at the time, "Geez, Marty, you didn't grieve this much when your dad died." I was shocked and heartbroken at that comment, especially coming from her, and to this day it hurts my heart to think that she would say that to me. Like your friend, she was an animal lover, and I just assumed she would understand how broken my heart was at this loss. I wanted to scream at her that as much as I loved my father, I was far more accustomed to his absence; we lived several states apart and he didn't share every moment of my day with me. He wasn't there each afternoon when I returned from work, so overjoyed to see me and wagging his tail so hard that he would fall off the deck ledge, landing in a heap into the shrubbery. He didn't sleep in my bed with me every night, and lie beside me as I worked in my garden. He didn't follow me into every room in my home (including the bathroom). I could go on and on, but I'm sure you know what I mean. Companion animals weave their way into every aspect of our lives, and their constant presence, unconditional love and devotion are very different from the relationship we have with our human loved ones. Those of us who've known that special kind of love understand that pet loss is an entirely different kind of grief. Beyond that, I treasure the comment I've read somewhere that "the worst grief in the world is the grief that you are experiencing NOW." How true that statement is!

In any event, you won't encounter any lack of understanding among our members here, animal lovers all. That's one of the best ways to protect yourself and your broken heart right now. You are safe here, and you can share as much as you need to do, without judgment or reproach.

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Just because you are grieving and missing him does NOT mean you would want him suffering more, I don't understand the things people say sometimes! I am so sorry for your loss, and this is a safe place you can come and grieve and be understood and cared for without worrying about someone else's response. Your Spooky looks so much like my King George (I lost him nine years ago)! My Kitty is 20 in August, I can only imagine how you are feelings, having had him that long.

I'm sorry you haven't received the support you deserve and need. People often really do not know the best way to respond to someone grieving, unfortunately. Unless they've been through it and feel the same way, that's just often the case.

I'm glad you're able to articulate yourself and won't let someone else's well meaning but misguided words throw you into a tailspin.

My husband died ten years ago and there's not a day goes by but what I don't think of him and sometimes talk to him or write him a letter, whether he knows or not, I like to think he can, but I need to express myself regardless. I'm a firm believer that we'll be with our loved ones again, including our furry family members, why wouldn't we! God is intelligent and organized, He doesn't strike me as the sort who would waste a wonderful creation such as our beloved furry family members. They are His greatest gift to us!

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Dear Mia,

Trust me. We care. We care so very much, and we understand your hurting heart. We will be here for you. We are glad you found your way to us, yet are so sorry for the reason you are here. I feel that God, in His great love and mercy, guided me here to Marty's forum. I believe He guided you here as well. That means He knows you are hurting, and loves you very much. Jesus promised to never leave us without comfort. He gives us people when we need them most.

Our Calico Rose, called Callie by her family and friends, died on July 22 ~ just a few days ago. I wrote about her on another thread, but you may not want to read her story until you are better able to handle the pain I feel. I'm just writing to tell you that my heart hurts for you, and to never believe anyone who tells you that we here on this forum don't really care. Your friend made her statement through ignorance, so stands in need of education as well as forgiveness. She didn't mean to be hurtful, yet such words hurt us to our core when we are hurting so deeply. Like you, I am a Christian.

By the way, we've had a cat named Spook, and I had a dog named Brownie when I was a little girl.

I will go back and re-read your story so that I can get to know you better. We will walk with you. You do not have to walk alone.

Warm hugs,

Carrie

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Mia,

We will be with our furbabies in Heaven. God gave them a spirit, and your fur-baby flew away back to our Creator, Jesus. Rest your mind about where your baby is tonight.

Carrie

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I have had similiar reactions to my grief about the loss of my dog Chester. My parents, who adore dogs, are always surprised when I say I am still crying about him. When he passed someone actually said to me, "well, youre just back where you started". I know they didnt mean anything by it, they just didnt know what to say. We only had our Chester a couple of years, but he had become an enormous part of our lives. I work from home, so I spent more time with him than any human in my life. There are so many layers & levels to grief. I have lost people in my life, I have lost pets. This loss has been by far my hardest. Its been over a month and I still hurt every day. I do see some progress, but it is slow. Be patient with yourself, even if noone else is. You will absolutely find understanding on here ?

This site has been so helpful to me (thank you everyone!) I have done a few things that seem to help as well. I made a memorial shadow box for him. My husband and I took his ashes to the beach (though we couldnt bring ourselves to scatter them), and I have been logging some memories about him on here, like an online journal. I also pray and ask our Lord for strength for me & everyone else currently hurting on here. While I am not 100% sure, I choose to believe He is looking after my Chester and all of our beloved pets.

We are here to listen ?

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Hello to everyone!

You are all so blessed! Thank you all for all your kind and caring support! It means more to me than you can imagine. As I have (and am now) shed tears for my sweet Spooky,

upon reading your posts, I cried when reading all your posts. We are all exactly in the same boat. I feel your tears and sorrow, and you feel mine. Bless the Lord for leading

me to you all!

Marty, when I read what your best friend said to you about your father, I was floored. How unbelievably cruel! I feel exactly as you do. I lost my parents many years ago.

My mother spent seven months in the hospital and suffered horribly, and when she passed, I cried endlessly, but even then I didn't feel the same deep pain as I feel for

Spooky. I had been away from my parents for many years, having been married, so there wasn't that same closeness I felt with my furbaby. The way you described the

attachment your beloved dog had to you on a daily basis, that describes Spooky to a T. My heart goes out to you for the pain you went through and surely are still going through!

KayC, I am so, so sorry for the loss of your dear husband! I also believe we will be reunited with our loved ones, and hopefully our furbabies also. I couldn't bear the thought

of never holding my Spooky or even Brownie again. Here on this earthly plain, I don't care how much time we get with our loved ones and furbabies, it will never be enough.

We do need eternity that God gives us to enjoy and deeply love our loved ones! I also feel, why would God give us our furbabies to love and see our grief when he takes

them home and not return them to us when our time comes. God loves us deeply and I think it would give Him great joy to reunite us with our precious pets.

LadyCarrie, I see that your grief is as fresh as mine, having just lost your baby Calico Rose just days before I lost my Spooky. What a beautiful name for your furbaby!

My apologies, I have not read your post yet, so I don't know if your precious is a doggy or kitty. When I have finished writing my post, I am heading to read your post.

I truly feel your pain as well! Animal lovers love everyone's pets, not only our own. And that is how I feel about all the pets all of you have lost, and the ones you still

are moms and dads to. Wow, what a coincidence you having had a cat named Spook and a dog named Brownie! I also believe God guided me to you wonderful,

caring people. He never forsakes us and feels our pain right along with us. He knew that my finding you, and all of you also finding this group would be a measure

of comfort. Before coming here today, this morning I prayed to our Lord, and was crying the whole time, asking him, please, please ease my pain, and my prayers

were said for all of you as well that He would also ease the pain all of you are feeling. During our time on this earthly plain we need to support and comfort each

other as we are all equally God's children and that is one of our tasks on this earth, to be there for each other. Jesus said, love one another as I love you.

LadyCarrie, thank you so much also for your second post. It gave me much comfort reading that. You definitely had a good way with words in that post.

Copperpot, as with Marty, what a cruel thing for someone to say to you in your time of loss! And it is also surprising that your parents aren't more supportive,

especially since they also love dogs. Just as my friend. She adores dogs, and has one now. Even though she doesn't care for cats (she had a couple of very

frightening experiences with them) she should have been more understanding. She told me it's not that she doesn't like cats, it's that she's afraid of them.

I supported her in that, because I am afraid of large dogs. Many years ago there was a very large German shepherd running loose in the street and it came

near me and already had his teeth around my thigh to bite me. Luckily I yanked away in time, but since then, I am afraid of large dogs, but I still love them

as I love any other animals. I just can't understand why my friend thinks that because I did the right thing and ended Spooky's suffering, that I wouldn't

miss him and grieve for him. What an adorable name for your baby Chester! How precious! Thank you also for reassuring me that there will be progress.

Since I have never experienced grief this profound, I have had no idea what to expect as far as how long this same intensity of sorrow should last.

As each day progresses toward evening, I have cried a little less, but each morning it hits me all over again, and I am right back at square one. The pain

is so bad it almost feels like a heavy, physical pain. I still feel like right now my life has no meaning without being able to spend it with my soulmate Spooky.

God truly knows what he is doing when He matches each one of us with our beloved pets. He knows that the personalities of human and pet will mesh seamlessly

together and we will love each other as God's wish is.

Even yesterday evening, I had gone to visit my neighbor's mother who lives a couple of blocks away. I told her about losing Spooky, and I am grateful that

even though she has no pets, she felt my pain and told me how sorry she is that I am going through this. Then her daughter came along. Even though her

daughter had known for a couple of days of my loss, she never called me. Now that she saw me, of course she felt obligated to offer condolences (she

never had pets). Her condolences though definitely did not feel heartfelt. Even though she said I know you were very close to your cat, it still didn't

feel genuine. Then she said well, try not to cry. I said, why should I do that, and how can I do that? How is that going to help me, suppressing my grief?

Is that going to make it go away? I told her I need to go through that, not to mention, that is my natural reaction to grief and sorrow.

Again, to all of you thank you so much for all your loving support, and my support goes out to all of you as well! Have a Blessed day!

~ Mia ~

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Dear Mia........

Come here often and express your feelings. We are there or have been there.

There is nothing wrong to say. Feelings are what they are and we need to express them and not shove them into

a dark place because they will erupt in some way.

I'm so sad to read about your beloved Spooky. Honor him often with your grief, cry often and loud, even pound on your bed,

and send us more photos and tell us more memories.

I had to let my adorable, loved Gb go by euthansia 2 months ago - May 26. I miss him terribly - not an hour goes by

that I have dont have a tear or two or more. Crying is good for me - releases the tension of grief.

Angel Gb and his brother Hamish were 15 on July 20. I had Gb in an ER for 48 hours due to horrible breathing problems

and they were not able to wean him off oxygen so I made the decision as the vet told me his quality of life

was zero and he was so frail. I am thankful for their expertise even tho I hate that he was so sick.

I love him. You can still love your Spooky Angel.

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Mia, This is the best place to talk about your beloved pet and your grief. Everyone on here care for each other and understands exactly what

you are going through. I had a very bad morning today, crying like a baby over my Rosie. Even after three months, it still hits

very hard some days. Hang in there, it will become a little easier. Just keep coming on here and enjoy the wonderful comments

from some very special people.

Persie

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Thank you for the compliment. Calico (Callie) got her name because her mother was Blue Gingham. Blue Gingham was truly blue. I've never seen one like her. Callie looked like her father, a red sable. Beauregard is a red smooth.

Carrie

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Ashely, who died nine months ago (still hurts terribly), was a wee Black and Tan girl who came from Ashes and Embers. On our way home from San Diego, Amberly and I thought to possibly name the trio Poppy, Petunia, and Daisy. Jerry thought not. Amberly and I called them that sometimes anyway (giggle). Ashely looked like she should be called Daisy.

I'm not sure what a fast running fall without a landing is called, but I had one of those this morning while I was playing ball with Beauregard in the Hollow. I was wearing thong shoes, and the toe of my right shoe hung on an attached cedar tree root that was only about an inch in circumference. It worked like a slingshot, and I became the human ammunition. It was so little I never saw it, yet it was so strong that it didn't break.

I didn't know I could run so fast for such a long distance with my arms outstretched straight in front of me with my face about two feet from the ground. I kept thinking that my face was going to hit the ground hard and fast at any moment. I was jerked hard from my neck to the end of my spine. I ran with my face close to the ground while taking very short steps like someone whose feet are bound. Were I older, or couldn't run, my face would have ploughed another rut in the Hollow.

I don't think I have an unaffected joint, yet I don't believe I'm seriously injured. I'm definitely going to be sore and stiff with a good set of muscle spasms along my spine. Some muscles are a bit stretched. My right SI and neck got the worst of it.

As though that weren't enough, when I took Beauregard out to play ball on the driveway (thought skipping the Hollow for tonight might be a good idea) late this afternoon, he cut in front of me causing me to fall forward onto flat palms. My wrists bent a bit backward. The positive is that only my right wrist hurts, and not a lot worse than usual. I got another body jar, but just a little one.

I have scoliosis with three curvatures (used to be two, and I was taller); even so, thanks be to God, I'm not broken. Because I'm not broken, I know how to treat myself at home (pain institute certified; glad of it tonight). I'll be fine. I'm grateful I didn't get truly hurt for Jerry's sake, as well as my own.

Poor little Beauregard had an accident also. He was chasing the ball up the 12-degree incline driveway during our late day playtime, lost his balance, lay fully onto his right side, kicked a few times, and lost bladder control. He's never done that before. Cheez! He's got to live a looooog time. We need him! He needs us, especially since he doesn't have his sidekicks Callie and Ashely. But here's no way for us to explain where they went.

Tomorrow will be much better. I'm really not accident-prone. That one today will last me a while.

Hugs to all,

Carrie

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Carrie, do you have any pictures posted of your beautiful babies? I did a search for blue gingham dachshund and all I got was pictures of blue gingham sewing projects and such.

I'd really love to see pictures of them. Maybe you can direct me to one of your posts where you have their pictures.

Gee, I do hope you are ok after the falls you took! That's a truly trying day you had!

~ Mia ~

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I am so, so sorry for your loss Marj! I grieve right along with you.

Marj, what is the story behind your baby Gb? Were you told why he had the terrible breathing problems?

Do you still have Hamish?

I'm curious as to where your furbaby's name Gb originated from. Is it an abbreviation of some sort?

Do you have any pictures posted of your babies? If so, maybe you can direct me to the post?

~ Mia ~

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Every morning my loss hits me very badly again. As soon as I open my eyes, my first thought is of Spooky. It scares me, because I feel a blackness wash over me

and I struggle to focus on starting my day.

I have another reason why I am struggling with my emotions. I have been in the process of packing my things because I am moving. It has already taken me a couple

of months of packing, and it will take many more months to do so, that's how much stuff I have from over 20 years of living in my childhood home since my divorce.

As I was packing, I was constantly passing by where Spooky was laying, knowing he would not be coming with me since his health had been in decline since before

I started packing. During the packing process it was tearing my heart out that he would not be coming with me to my new home. I would have so wanted him and

myself to have a wonderful brand new start in a new place together, but I knew it was not meant to be. Even now I am hysterically crying as I am writing this. I felt

so guilty that I can't take him with me! Every time I passed him where he lay, he would meow a greeting and I kind of ignored him. I thought that by ignoring him

from time to time, the pain when he would be gone wouldn't be as bad. I guess I was already trying to pretend he wasn't there to mentally in some way protect myself for

what was to come. I didn't ignore him each time. Sometimes I would say a few words to him, and sometimes lean over and pet his precious head and I could hear

him purring.

Oh, my sweet, sweet babydoll, why did you have to leave me?

Since he is gone, I haven't even tried to continue packing. Right now I feel like nothing matters to me but missing him so much it hurts so bad. I haven't gotten

a new place to live yet. I can't do that until I sell this house and have money for a downpayment on a new place. My first choice will be a condominium, my

second choice is a retirement community and my third choice is a house. I had at first thought of moving to an apartment, but most people don't allow pets.

Before Spooky died, I vowed I would never get another pet, and if I did, maybe a bird. Even though I was trying to fool myself into thinking if I didn't pay

Spooky too much attention before the end it would hurt less when his time came, I knew I would be devastated and wouldn't want to experience the sorrow

of losing a pet again. But I think just maybe after I have moved, I might want a pet again. If I were to get a cat again, I would get two so they have each

other for company also. I love dogs equally, so I'm not sure yet. Now I also feel guilty because I didn't pay him enough attention the last few weeks before

the end. Am I a cruel person because of that? After loving him deeply for all those years, I feel like I let him down near the end just when he needed me

most and I think I can never forgive myself for that. I think also partly why I didn't pay him all the attention he deserved, was because I felt guilty that he

would not be starting a new life with me in my new home.

A few years after I got Spooky, a stray cat was hanging out on my porch so I gave it some milk. He (or she) was a beautiful tabby. The cat had no collar

so I assumed it was lost so I had decided I would keep him. I brought him into the house and started to go upstairs with him and Spooky came down as

I was going up. He gave me such a hurt look, like, how can you do this to me, that I didn't have the heart to "betray" him with another cat, so I put the

cat back outside and never saw him again. That's why, if I do get a cat again, I would get two young ones at the same time.

Maybe my feelings of pure devastation are two-fold? Partly because I miss him so very much, and partly because I'm feeling guilty?

These are my feelings this morning. Can you all be honest with me and tell me if my actions were very wrong, or can you understand why I acted the

way I did?

~ Mia ~

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Yes, guilt is a part of the grieving process. I have struggled a lot with guilt. I felt guilty about not doing enough, or the right things to save Chester. Then I felt guilty about how I got so wrapped up in trying to get him diagnosed, I didnt spend enough time comforting him. Even though I spent every night up with him..I still feel guilty. I then felt guilty about not going to see him in the morning before they put him under anesthesia. Even though I couldnt have known he wouldnt wake up. Its just a big ball of guilt that I am trying to understand and move past. You will do the same. In time you will remember all the things you did for Spooky and not these percieved failures.

Its overwhelming early on to accept that they are really gone. I have to assume it gets easier with time. I know I went through it once before with a my childhood dog, but it was a long time ago now.

March through your day, even though it may feel like youre a zombie. Staying busy can be a wonderful salve and can help you embrace the change.

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Mia,

Guilt, and often anger, is a part of grief. Guilt is different from remorse. None of us deliberately hurt our furbabies, so what we feel is remorse rather than guilt. Even if guilt, guilt is forgivable. We will nearly always make mistakes in the care we give our furbabies. We make mistakes as do their doctors, because we are all human. I believe we need to remember that we could not have loved our furbabies deeper or better, and we did the very best we could ~ at the time. If we had it to do over again, chances are we would still not do it as well as we would want ~ just somewhat differently. As is said often, hindsight is 20/20.

The niggling thing is that we can remember particular things we could have done better, and so we are knocked off our emotional feet (I'm basing this on myself). As I see it, we have two options. We can choose to forgive ourselves, or beat ourselves up for as long as we can remember in future. I am wrestling with the same issues even as I write. I'm still trying to arrive at peace myself. I know I'll "get there," and I know also that it will take time.

In Ashely's case, I feel deep and terribly painful remorse; the guilt belongs totally to the vet. In Callie's case, we accidentally waited too long due to no vet being available as they said they would be, causing Callie to suffer agony all night long and throughout the next day. In this case, I have the options of forgiving, or turning against two good people, and thereby becoming riddled with bitterness. I've lived long enough to learn the hard way that forgiveness feels much better than bitterness. I'm not being good; I'm being selfish. I'm protecting myself. I acknowledge that I'm working through my feelings, yet I know my goal.

I am not qualified to speak about your ignoring your beloved Spooky. Others here can speak better to you about this than I. I can speak only from my personal experiences. I do know disengaging with loved ones is common among those who are terminally ill. The terminally ill will disengage from roles they have filled toward the end of life. One of my dearest friends pulled away from her two small children near the end of her life. We took the children, but that another story. My point is that we have reactions and behaviors when we are in deep emotional pain that are not always rational. How you reacted with your precious Spooky is natural, normal, and necessary for you ~ at the time. Try to remember "at the time."

It's time for my morning medical routine with Jerry, so I'll be back later.

Warm hugs,

Carrie

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Mia, my dear, you ask if we can understand why you acted the way you did, and the answer is most definitely YES. There is not a person among us who hasn't shared those feelings of guilt, regret and remorse for what we did or failed to do as we cared for our dying loved ones. We are human, not perfect, and certainly not prescient. Consider this: One reason we love our companion animals so much is that they are far more forgiving of us humans and our human frailties than we are toward one another. Surely your Spooky knew (still knows!) how much you love him. And as Carrie says, Spooky was probably more aware that his earthly life was coming to an end than you were, and he probably had already begun that detachment and disengagement process. For all we know, the way you behaved toward him may have given him the reassurance he needed to know that you were capable of letting him go, that you knew he had to leave this world, and that he had your permission to go.

Here is what I suggest: Write Spooky a letter and say all that you need to say to him, including your apology if that is what you need to offer. Ask for his forgiveness and say whatever else it is that you need to say to him. Then take that letter and burn it, letting all your guilt and regret and remorse go "up in smoke" with the letter. Make an elaborate ritual out of it, and make it as special as your imagination will allow. Rituals such as these can be very powerful, and you may find that it helps you to release some of that guilt.

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Hello Mia,

Sorry but just noticed your thread and just wanted to offer my sincere sympathy. I dread the time when my fur babies have to leave this life but as others have said you will indeed be reunited. It's obvious from what you've written that you gave your cat so much love and a wonderful loving home. Spooky was so fortunate to have you as his mum. I will pray for you both.

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