Grief exceptionally difficult to face

swampmonster

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I had to say goodbye to my cat on Friday. He had been diagnosed with diabetes and unfortunately, for some reason was very insulin resistant. I was waitlisted for an internist appt that couldn't come soon enough, and he went into ketoacidosis. I had the absolute best veterinarian on my side. We had lengthy discussions about options and what have you, and in the end given a number of facts, risks and possibilities we determined it would be the humane thing to say goodbye. And my vet even said it was the most peaceful one she'd ever done. We had him set up in his favorite box, all curled up and warm, with his mouse toy.
In the beginning of his diabetes it was touch and go, he had a bad case of hepatitis, wouldn't eat, and had to be syringe fed. And by some kind of freaking miracle he pulled through and lived and loved like a normal cat right up to the very last day, when I knew things had turned dreadfully wrong and we booked him immediately. I have no regrets about our decision, there was clearly something else making him insulin resistant, and I could see something physically amiss in him. But the grief is crippling me.
This is a cat who was practically attached to my hip. I raised him from a tiny kitten, and we were almost never apart. Even if I went on vacation for a week, I'd come home and he was waiting there, and would be glued to my side for the next several days just to make up for lost time I guess. Everyday I sang to him, danced with him, kissed him good night. He loved to watch me work. He liked to get into trouble. I always felt like he was trying to make me laugh. I said to my husband he was like a living joke, my cat always made me smile and burst into laughter. He was just plain weird in a beautiful way.
I feel his absence, I feel the energy of the house has changed, and how the routine of having him near me has been altered. I feel like my shadow is gone.
I don't want to get over him, I don't want to to not grieve him because that would be absurd. I wish it didn't physically hurt so much though, I wish the house wasn't so dark. I feel like I've gone through major surgery and lost a part of myself. I don't know the way forward. I've tried to fill my time with positive things, but nothing seems to help. I have other cats, whom I love, and each cat is beautiful and unique, but this was my child, my soul mate. I'm just so broken.
 

Anchoress

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Rest. Grief is exhausting. Be kind to yourself. Make sure you take in enough fuel for your body to cope. Grief is normal. A part of loving. Rest in that. When it is time it will lessen in sharpness and you will be ready to accept that progress.

A few years ago I lost my dog and a so loved cat within 24 hours unexpectedly suddenly. My family ordered me - and they were as stunned as I was - to get three more cats. In my shock I did so. Three very needy young cats. Not to replace- which can never be- but to pass the loving on. A tribute to the lost ones,

Part of our life with critters is that we will outlive them.

Rest. Lean into the wind. Let it hold you.
 

daftcat75

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There's no shortcut through grief.

However, I did find this program very helpful in finding some solid footing in the days after Krista passed.
Urgent Coping Skills for Pet Loss Grief - Center for Pet Loss Grief

I also wrote Krista a letter expressing my sorrow and regrets for not being able to do enough for her but also and more importantly, expressing my overwhelming gratitude for the life and love we shared. On the one year anniversary of her passing, I shredded that letter without re-reading it. I found that I while I was (and still am) missing her, there was no way I ever wanted to go back to that day I had to say goodbye. Shredding that letter was my release of those sorrows and regrets. Doing it on the one year anniversary gave me something to do for the anniversary, but also reflected back to me how far I had come.

I know it's gut wrenching today and difficult to imagine it getting easier. But it will. The pain will fade with time. The love does not. Your relationship to him will change. You won't stop missing him. But you also won't stop loving him. All those things he did that made you smile and laugh, they will make you smile and laugh again as loving memories.

Whenever you are ready, please feel free to share photos and stories.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Beautiful Friend, dream you deep. You walk in someone's heart forever.

This is what I know...we do not get over these losses, but we do, with time, get through them. It will take as long as it takes, and any attempt to shortcut that process will backfire on you. Ignore those (and there will be some) who say, "It was just a cat." They are the poorer for thinking so, and, for all the grief of loss, you are so much richer for having known him, for having loved him, for having been loved by him. I will also tell you this...love never dies, it only changes form, is translated and purified, and continues on, now Love. And Love abides. Always, forever, Love abides. Someday, when your grief is not so raw and tearing, you will find his Love waiting for you in a quiet corner of your heart. It will be there until you meet again.
 

di and bob

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The love you shared with that boy is unique, one of a kind. It is only known and felt by you and him, no one else in the whole world will understand it or know it. Now that he is gone there is a huge void in your world, a huge hole in your soul, and it takes a long time to learn new ways to fill that void, to allow it to heal. You have to hang on to the fact that his love is still there deep inside of you. It is spiritual, so eternal. NOTHING can take it from you, can break that strong bond that ties your two souls together. He freely gave it to you, and you to him, and it is both of yours forever. Right now the pain of loss is all-consuming, and it will be for a long time. His love will rise in time and give you strength to go on, because just as you would want for him if you were the first to go, so he wants for you. Not to be crippled with pain and spend your life in the darkness of loss, but to let his love shine forth. He left you a legacy of love, not pain, and you honor him greatly by remembering and loving him after death.
My heart goes out to you. I know how much this hurts. Keep busy and fill your days by adding more love to his to help it grow even bigger, even stronger. You will be blessed for loving that boy so strongly. May it also bring you strength. His love will always be there. He will forever be as close as your thoughts and prayers. You will never get over the loss, you learn ways to live with it. To live despite it. we are living proof it DOES get better, but it takes a long time, one day at a time......RIP sweet boy. You will never be forgotten, you will forever have a secure place in a loving heart. May the good Lord bless and keep you until you meet again!
 

betsygee

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Oh, I'm so very sorry. Even when we know it's the right decision to let them go, it's the hardest thing to do. I'm glad it was a peaceful passing.

What was your sweet boy's name?
 

Anchoress

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I am realising how blessed I am in that the deaths of my cats have been fairly sudden after very short illness. Never had I had to make that decision. Just held them close in their familiar surroundings,
 

solomonar

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A friend of mine had a dog. A long-living breed, very though. The dog got sick in his senior age and was not able to eat. I spare the other details. The agony was almost one year long (!), my friend rejecting the idea of letting him go. His end was terrible, so the owner needed almost one year to get back to a normal life, and was never able to care another pet.

Some say cats's fur are made in human's tears. So on their home-clouds, a bare-skin kitty waits for a human to cry for a cat. The Wise Man collects the tears in a bag and changes them into fur for the kitty, for her to be able to cope with the harsh environment of the Planet Earth. Then the Wise Man throws the kitty to the Earth - that is not cruel because we all know that cats knows how to land safely. Then the kitty starts to look for a human to cry for her at her End. When the Time comes, another kitty got her fur from tears.

My heart is with You!
 

catmom2wires

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I am very sorry for your loss as well. I began the same situation on the 31st. I spent more time with my Brillo than any other creature on earth for the past 12 years. I get kind of panicky at night, knowing I will be sleeping and waking without her by my side.

You will be in my thoughts as we navigate this strange new world.

C
 
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swampmonster

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I just want to thank everyone for their kind and supportive words. It's been very comforting.
I went away on a vacation with my partner and it allowed us to step back and reframe the loss. I was able to separate myself from all the triggers, like his empty room, the sunshine where he loved to lay, his chair that no one else could touch. I was able to process the grief without having to be confronted with it every five seconds.
Once we returned home I found I was able to face those triggers with more strength. I still feel immense sadness but I'm not crying so hard that I make myself sick any more. I can still feel it physically, like fatigue, I can feel the tension in my back. And the house is unnervingly quiet.
I have two other fur babies who I've been doting on more since the loss. They aren't bonded to me in the same way Gimli was, they're more passive, but I'm making sure to play with them and let them know that I'm around. My cat Mo was adopted after we lost our other cat, Nori, six months ago. I adopted Mo as a pay-it-forward kinda thing to honor Nori, and I'm enjoying getting to know him, even though he is a bit of a weirdy. My husband and I agreed we'll be making a donation to a charity in Gimli's memory, but I won't consider another adoptee for sometime, I just want to reflect this time and learn to live through the grief.
The best advice I can give to anyone landing on this thread in the future: back up your photos and videos, give yourself space if you need it, make art, write, garden - whatever it takes to reconnect to your love in a meaningful way, be kind, be patient.
Thank you ♥
 
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