Grieving

Margret

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In 1991 my heart kitty, Sweet Thing :rbheart:, got sick and we took her to the vet, who diagnosed kidney failure. I thought that meant “There’s nothing we can do. It’s time for euthanasia,” but the vet said “Let’s try a subcutaneous IV,” so we did. And it worked, sort of, for a while. But then she lost her appetite, and the vet gave her Valium, which has the side effect of giving cats “the munchies,” much as marijuana does in humans. The difference is that for cats it only works one or two times; then the cat develops a tolerance for it.

Time for more subcutaneous liquids. :sigh: Remember, this was 1991 to ‘92; there was no mention made of training me to do it myself at home. This was an inpatient procedure only. Sweet Thing was spending longer and longer periods in a hospital cage, frightened, among strangers, away from the people who loved her, and miserable. And I let it happen, because I thought “If there’s nothing he can really do the vet will tell me that it’s time.” Unfortunately, vets don’t do that, not unless you specifically ask them to. I know that now; I didn’t then. That was my first big mistake.

Eventually, my husband told me that I had to let Sweet Thing go, that she was suffering too much. I talked to a different vet who was a personal friend, and she told me what was actually going on; that any treatment we gave to Sweet Thing at this point was just slowing down the end, that Sweet Thing was terminal, and it would only get worse, something which Sweet Thing’s vet had never told me. So I went to the vet’s office and said that we needed to euthanize Sweet Thing, and that I wanted to hold her while it happened.

I had never before witnessed euthanasia, so this is when I made my second big mistake. I expected there to be a brief period after Sweets fell asleep and before she left forever, during which I could say “Goodbye,” for my comfort, not for Sweet Thing’s; I didn’t want Sweet Thing to know what was happening. But that’s not how euthanasia works. I had always thought that “put to sleep” was a euphemism, one that I absolutely hated. This is when I found out that it’s actually an extremely accurate description. The drug is injected and the cat closes her eyes and sighs out her last breath and she’s gone, immediately. You find yourself holding a body that still looks like your loved one, but there’s no one inside. I drove home, in shock, to a house that suddenly felt totally empty, as if it could never be a home again, because the heart of it was gone. I was grieving, and I felt guilty for waiting too long, and I felt guilty for doing it at all. I felt as if I had betrayed a child, because I knew that Sweet Thing had come to me for help, because Sweet Thing thought I could fix anything, and the only way I could find to help her was to end her life, and I just knew that that wasn’t what she’d had in mind.

(Note: guilt is perfectly normal after the loss of a loved one, even contradictory guilt - “I did it too soon, no, I waited too long.” The fact is that in the face of death we are all helpless, and helplessness is a terrible feeling, so terrible that our subconscious minds would rather feel guilty than helpless. You see, guilt implies that there was something we could have done that would have prevented this horrible thing that happened, and if we can just figure out what that thing was and avoid it in the future this will never happen again. It’s just too bad that life doesn’t work that way. Eventually, if we are to survive intact we absolutely must acknowledge that, while we may have regrets, we did the best we could with the resources at our disposal at the time, and then we have to forgive ourselves for not being God. And if we can manage to laugh at ourselves for ever having expected God-like abilities of ourselves so much the better.)​

And I grieved, desperately, for months. So deeply, and for so long, that my husband got worried about me and began to say the things that many people say to those of us who have lost a pet, things like:
  • “She was just a cat.” (At least he knew better than to call Sweet Thing “it.” Many people don’t.)
  • “It’s already been six months. Don’t you think it’s time you let go of her?”
  • “I’m getting worried about you. This isn’t healthy.”
None of this had the desired result, because he was wrong, and I knew he was wrong. I was grieving because I was in pain, and no act of will could end that pain. I wasn’t done with the important job of grieving. Instinctively I knew this was true, but I didn’t have the arguments I needed to convince my husband, and it began causing trouble in our marriage. Instead of holding me and letting me cry on his shoulder, giving me what comfort he could, my husband was telling me that my feelings were wrong and dangerous. So now, on top of losing my heart kitty, I felt beleaguered.

All of this only made my husband more worried about me, desperate to do something to end my grieving, so he talked to a friend of ours who is a Wiccan Priestess and whom he knew I respected, and persuaded her to “counsel” me about my grief. And this is where I made my third mistake: I listened to her. Now, one of the things that the Priestess believes is that it’s wrong to foist your own religious beliefs on someone else, but because she also didn’t understand what was really going on, because she basically agreed that my grief was somehow toxic to me, she violated that principle. She told me that because of my grief Sweet Thing was still tethered to this life; that she couldn’t move on to her next life because I was holding her back. (Just what I needed - more guilt.)

My personal belief (which I’m not pushing on anyone here) is that death is death; that there is nothing beyond it, but I thought, “Suppose I’m wrong. Suppose the Priestess is right, and I’m keeping my beloved Sweet Thing from moving on to her next life. That would be horrible!” so I tried to say “Goodbye” to Sweets, to say “I’m sorry that my grief is hurting you; go in peace.” The only result of this was that my pain turned inward and I went into a deep clinical depression, which lasted for years. I didn’t complete the grieving process which would have allowed my heart to heal cleanly.

Eventually it dawned on me that I had made a truly terrible mistake by accepting this “counseling,” but I still needed a way to explain to my husband and my friend why they were wrong, so I did the thing that I wish I’d thought of in the first place; I went to the library and searched for a book about grieving. The very first book that I found (and I’m sorry that I no longer remember either the title or the author so I’m unable to give credit where it’s due) had a whole chapter about grieving for pets, and it gave three rules or principles for grieving a pet (or anyone else). Here they are:
  1. It hurts as much as it hurts. There is no right or wrong about how much the loss of a pet "should" hurt. The fact is that our pets are family members; they aren’t “just” anything; and anyone who says “It was just a cat” is demonstrating a gross lack of understanding. And the loss of a family member should be painful.
  2. It takes as long as it takes. There is no set period of time within which grieving should end, not for the loss of a parent, or a child, or a spouse, or a friend, or a pet. Some people do their grieving quickly; others of us take longer, and it’s important to take whatever time you need to complete your grieving. And remember, this is still a family member we’re talking about. People who say “It’s already been six months; don’t you think it’s time you got over the death of your cat?” would never think of saying “It’s already been six months; don’t you think it’s time you got over the death of your mother?” No, I’m not saying that your cat was as important to you as your mother. I am saying that grief doesn’t always make that kind of fine distinction, and if you expect it to do so you’re going to be seriously confused and hurt.
  3. The only way to the other side of grief is straight through the middle. There are no shortcuts, no bypasses. Any attempt to cut the process short, or avoid it altogether, merely ensures that you will never complete it.
Our pets make a place for themselves in our hearts, and when they pass it leaves a hole behind. In many ways, the loss of a pet is an amputation; a part of ourselves has been removed, and we will never get that part back. But we have options about how to deal with the loss. If we acknowledge the wound and take proper care of it then it can heal cleanly, and eventually it gets better. There will always be a cat-shaped hole in our hearts, but the time comes when we can remember the cat who made that hole with more affection than pain, when his or her life is once again more important to us than her or his death. But if we try to pretend that we haven’t been wounded, if we cover it up and avoid grieving, we keep the wound from healing properly. It isn’t grief that’s toxic (though it’s certainly painful) but the attempted denial of grief. That puts a huge strain on both our minds and our bodies and leaves us vulnerable both to clinical depression, like I suffered from, and to all of the physical ills that can be caused or exacerbated by stress.

This post isn’t really about Sweet Thing, because it isn’t about her life; this post is about grieving, and I’m putting it here so that others can learn from my errors and avoid some of the added pain that I went through. I hope it helps.
:alright: :vibes: :hugs:

Margret
 

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Margret Margret , I would have liked to give ten Purraises to this post, so wonderfully written. This should be published, it's a wonderful guide and help!!!
Thanks so much for sharing these words of yours with us.

Probably 25 years or so ago things were different, but all the euthanasias I have witnessed were in two (or even three) steps.
A sedation and the deadly injection, and between the two steps there was enough time to say good-bye to my furry friend. And that time could be as long as I needed.
When it was the time for Lola, the vet gave her three shots. The first one was a pain killer, the second was the sedative, the third was the final. I had a long time with her before it was over, and the vet was so kind to allow me all the time I wanted, and he asked me twice if I was ready.

What I read in this post has shocked me, because I have relived many of the feelings I have had in the past.
I do not know where in the process of grieving I am now, but I think I'm at the very beginning of it, and I fear it will take my whole life to get over it and reach the other side. I could even die before I do it. But I'm happy like this.
I've been told that Lola wouldn't have wanted me to be grieving her for years, or me to be sad for years. But I just don't want to be happy again. Not without her.

Thanks for your wonderful post!!!
 
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Margret

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Lola would want you to take care of yourself, however you need to do so. The grieving process ends naturally, if at all; I think most of those people who say "Lola wouldn't want you to grieve so much" really mean "I'm uncomfortable with your grief, and this is the only argument against it that I think you'll listen to," much like the Priestess's "counseling" that I received.

As for that counsel, assuming that her basic premise was correct (which I don't), the solution she suggested was still dead wrong. By keeping me from finishing the grief process she trapped me in the middle and kept me from actually cutting the link. I eventually finished my grieving, but not before the depression had left me with emotional scars that I shouldn't have, and which I doubt that I'll ever be rid of.
* * * * * *
The next cat after Sweet Thing was Pretzel, who suffered from cancer of the sebaceous (ear wax) gland in her left ear. After numerous surgeries it became obvious that, no matter how it seemed, surgery was not getting all of the cancer and the choice was to either subject her to expensive chemo, with all of the side effects and no guarantees, or to provide adequate pain relief and let her go when that stopped working, and we opted for the second. Fortunately, Pretzel made it obvious when the pain pills stopped working. By that time we had a mobile vet who came to us. We sat together in the window seat, with Pretzel on both of our laps, petting her and talking about what a good kitty she was, and when she was purring and happy we nodded to the vet, who came over and gave her the shot. Just one shot, but since we knew what to expect our "goodbyes" had been said. That must have been, oh, 2003?, I'm not certain; with Sweet Thing I have a time reference because it was the summer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. I think it was a year after Sweet Thing's death before I felt ready for another cat; Pretzel had already been adopted once and returned to the shelter because she couldn't get along with other cats, which would have made her 2 or 3 years old, and I believe she was 13 when she died, but that's a fairly long chain of logic and I could easily be wrong.

After Pretzel came Floppy, who was turned into an indoor-outdoor cat by house guests who were staying with us during my recovery from brain surgery, at a time when both Roger and I were totally involved in my recovery and therefore didn't realize in time what they had done. One day she simply didn't come home. We had numerous coyotes in the neighborhood at the time, so she was probably eaten. That was 2012; she also was (probably) 13. We had rescued her after Floppy's former human decided to move in with her boyfriend, who didn't like Floppy, and simply abandoned the cat. :censored: So the last time I've been present when a cat was put to sleep was early in this century.

I've been writing a variation of this post every time someone on TCS loses a cat, and it finally became too much, so I decided to write a stand-alone version that I could simply link to, and cleared it with @Anne and @betsygee. I've been procrastinating, until Richard's death a few days ago made it suddenly urgent.

As for publishing this, I remind you that the core of it came from a book, which I am unable to properly credit. I have no desire to plagiarize, and if, by some chance, the author of the original book, or his heirs, should come across this post I would be extremely happy to give credit where it is due. Also, I've seen other books on grieving since, and they all seem to be pretty much agreed on these points, except for the ones that ignore them entirely in order to concentrate on the "Stages of Grieving." Most of those books are written by psychologists or other professionals; I doubt that the world needs another written by me. I just knew that TCS needed it. But thank you for the kind words.

Margret
 

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Margret, EVERYTHING you say is oh so true! If it helps one person, (though I believe it will help legions)it will be worth the pain of reliving your own journey thru grief and trying to help others manage theirs. In my own posts of comfort I have tried to say many of the same things you have. I wish I knew how to help others accept their grief, to grow despite it. To be strong enough to not need others to acknowledge their pain because it IS so personal, to know how to accept and go on. But it is a personal journey everyone needs to travel alone. It helps to have the support of others who understand, but each and every one of has to eventually get through it and heal that hole in our hearts on our own.
There is one statement that I absolutely love and truly believe in, in your beautiful post; "When his or her life is once again more important to us than his or her death" THAT is what I am always trying to emphasize. Those sweet angels gave us their all. They loved us and we returned that love with a passion beyond compare. We had the time, whether it was weeks, or months or many years, to give them our hearts, to learn to love them, to build a love together. We built up so many happy memories, we learned joy and happiness by having them in our lives. And now we let that short time of pain (comparable to their lives) overshadow all that happiness and joy, and what they taught us, and leave us in so much pain and anguish for the rest of our lives? I don't think that is what ANYONE would want to leave behind as a legacy for the one they love.
Cats live in the present, they don't worry about the future like we do, we should take more from them. When it is said the one that had to leave wouldn't want us to suffer so, I believe in that. Because that is simply what love is. I will not believe that I would want my Chrissy to be miserable and sad for the rest of her life because I died. I loved her so much that I KNOW I would want her to remember me with joy and what we shared, to go on with her life and learn to love again, because of what we shared, not despite it.To pass on that legacy, not feel that she could never live, and love, again. To build upon that love and to add to it, to nurture it. Not let it whither and be hoarded to stand alone, to never see sunshine again.
Love is meant to bring happiness, not pain. We all have to learn to emphasize the life, not the death, especially our own. We have such a store of happiness to choose from, how can we let death overshadow all, to let it minimize what we had and take away from our love and those precious memories of joy. It only will if we let it.....
 
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Margret

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di and bob di and bob , sometime in 2002 (we think) a benign brain tumor began growing in my right frontal lobe; this is based largely on the educated opinion of the neurosurgeon who led the team that removed it after it was finally diagnosed in 2012. I have very few memories of the years between 2002 and 2012 - I call it my lost decade - and most of those memories are unpleasant. I remember the deaths of two friends. I remember staying up late one night to watch the Space Shuttle Columbia land and seeing it split into pieces instead. I remember watching news reports about the growing number of wildfires in Colorado. Things like that, big things, emotional things. What I don't remember are the little, happy, everyday things; sitting with my husband and watching Quantum Leap marathons together, for instance, or going for walks in the park. Somehow those less emotional, less traumatic memories never made it to long-term storage.

There's a lot that we don't understand about the human brain, but based on personal experience my feeling is that traumatic memories are made differently from less emotional, more every-day memories; that somehow they bypass some of the in-between steps and go straight to long-term memory, with a giant red-flag label that says "Important! Do not delete! Ever!," and they're etched in place quite deeply. When the happy little every-day memories are being made we don't pay much attention to them, because, frankly, mindfulness is hard work, and these are things that are (or should be) commonplace in our lives so we don't need to pay that much attention to them, just as we don't need to consciously deal with the mechanics of walking, or breathing, or reaching out to pick up a glass of water. One unfortunate side effect of this is that it can sometimes be difficult to recapture those little every-day things that were the essence of a loved one, while that most recent and most traumatic memory is always there, always available. I think that what the grieving process does is to slowly and laboriously add a second tag to that big red flag, that says something along the lines of "Dealt with. No longer an imminent danger. Safe to archive." And once that less urgent tag is in place it becomes at least a little bit easier to get past the nasty memories with the big red labels to the pleasant memories with the happy little fun labels.

But there are some pleasant things that are so deep that nothing can eradicate or even obscure them. I've already mentioned that I don't believe in an afterlife, so I was quite astonished to discover after my father's death that I was unable to think of his love for me in the past tense. One of the first lessons I ever learned was that my parents love me, and that was always in the present tense, and it continues to be in the present tense to this day, even though they are no longer here to love me. And there are two pleasant things about our pets that can never be obscured, even by that huge red flag (partly because they're also integral to the trauma that causes the red flag): that we love them, and that they love and trust us. Other things, details of personality, little quirks, funny stories, things like that take more time and effort to get to once that red flag gets in our way. That's part of the reason grieving is so important; it's the only way I know of to get past the red flag.

I don't think this tendency to let death outweigh life is a moral failure of the human race; I think it's hardwired into our brains by all those years of evolution, when a flashback to a big, traumatic event might provide a timely clue that could keep you from being eaten by a lion, or caught in an avalanche, or making camp next to a nearly dry riverbed when there's a downpour upstream. We need those subconscious life-or-death clues to be readily available, to be the first things that pop up in a dangerous situation, and we have to work out ways to get around them when they keep popping up when we don't need or want them.

Margret
 

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Reading this has helped me. I recently lost my 8 yr old cat tragically due to him getting hit by a car and me being the one to find him. I adopted him when he was 2 years old from the humane society and had him 6 years. I've been having a hard time dealing with his loss but now I think I am actually in a normal grieving process after reading your posts.
 
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Margret

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southernbama southernbama , I'm glad you found it useful, though I'm very sorry to hear about your loss. Please remember that TCS is a community, and we're here for you whenever you need a shoulder to cry on. And welcome to our community; we're very glad to have you here, though we wish it were under happier circumstances.

Margret
 
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Margret

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Thank you so much. Moving through this grief sucks. I do know that his life was more important than his death and hope that I can look back on the happy memories and smile one day.
Yes, I know it does. It just sucks less than the alternative of trying to bury or deny your grief. And if you do this important work, for as long as it takes, that day will come. You just need to heal first.

Margret
 

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I am in a bad place today, after helping my Jaspurr out of his suffering yesterday. All I can do is think about the sweet way he loved to cuddle with me and how I will never feel the incredible softness of his fur or hear that amazing purr that was ALWAYS instant whenever he was near me. Or that bushy tail that my husband thought was so funny because he would instantly raise it high and straight if he saw me. HOW do I live without such sweetness after having it on a daily basis for 11 years? And of course I am torturing myself with the too late, too soon scenario and wondering why I put him through some of the things I did. I am angry that he didn’t get to a ripe old age, all mellow and laid back, because he was always a nervous cat. I am worried about his brother who has been here with him his entire life. It just sucks. But that being said, this post did help my frame of mind some. At this point nothing is going to help me much.
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss and I can relate. The grief process is long and hard. My cat was also a nervous cat and also had very soft fur. I loved my cat's tail too. It looked like a raccoon tail. The last hour or so I've been dealing with the sadness of losing my cat back on 4/29/18. I ran across pictures on my computer and video that made my heart hurt. I walked out to his grave and typed in my journal how I was feeling. The tears are flowing right now. Mason, my cat, was only 8 years old. I adopted him from the humane society when he was 2 years old. Apparently, he had grew up in the shelter since 3 weeks old. Some days I do good and every once in a while, like a scattered thunderstorm, the moments pop up. I have other fur babies to take care of. I had bottle raised two kittens right before my cat died. They have helped and are very loving. Mason was not a hold me kitty. He was very independent and didn't like too much touching so it was a major accomplishment to get him to purr. The last few years I had him he got to be more loving though. In the winter he would cuddle against me in the bed. He followed me room to room and always went to the bathroom with me, lol. It seems the kittens are doing the same thing. Getting used to the new routine was painful. I always gave Mason a spoon of tuna in the morning and night. He looked forward to it. He loved black forest ham. I always gave him a few pinches when I was making a sandwich. I have not been able to buy black forest ham or tuna since he died. I miss him terribly. After this happened, I noticed that I no longer feared dying because I will be reunited with him and all my loved ones in heaven. He wasn't the first fur baby I lost but he was my first inside cat. The last 3 months of his life we were together 24/7 because I left my job in January. I talked to him more during this time. He was my best friend.
 

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les26

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I am in a bad place today, after helping my Jaspurr out of his suffering yesterday. All I can do is think about the sweet way he loved to cuddle with me and how I will never feel the incredible softness of his fur or hear that amazing purr that was ALWAYS instant whenever he was near me. Or that bushy tail that my husband thought was so funny because he would instantly raise it high and straight if he saw me. HOW do I live without such sweetness after having it on a daily basis for 11 years? And of course I am torturing myself with the too late, too soon scenario and wondering why I put him through some of the things I did. I am angry that he didn’t get to a ripe old age, all mellow and laid back, because he was always a nervous cat. I am worried about his brother who has been here with him his entire life. It just sucks. But that being said, this post did help my frame of mind some. At this point nothing is going to help me much.
I am sorry to read this, it is so so tough to lose our little friends under any circumstances. It is the grief that is talking now, it will try to mess with your mind and body but it will slowly release and get out of your system and you will come to terms somewhat better but never be quite the same, but it does take time. I am sorry this has happened to you....

"Their last breath on Earth is their first breath in Heaven" :rbheart:

I hope your heart heals a bit more each day, Lord Bless you......:alright: :grouphug: :rbheart:
 

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I can relate with everyone here. I am smack in the midst of grief since losing my 9 year old tuxedo son Leroy to cancer 1.5 months ago. Everyday I have good and bad hours. This morning I woke up in tears because I was grieving for him even in my dreams. Again. :sigh: The first time I met Leroy 6 years ago, I was viewing the houseshare I was moving into, and was blown away by his majestic size. He was so large. I kept reaching my hand out to pet him when he came toward us, but he wouldn't let me lol. My housemate/landlord had found him on the street as a 3 month old stray and brought him home at the urging of a friend. Then I moved in and Leroy and I became mother and son :hugs: Leroy was a big 17lb cat but shy and cautious. One friend described him as being afraid of his own shadow lol. It took a while for him to come around and trust a human, but he liked being around people. If we had guests over, he would sit close enough to observe the action but just far (or high) enough so no one could touch him. He was very affectionate with me though, especially in the bedroom and bathroom ha ha. Maybe because that's where he felt the most privacy - just he and I alone. Made our bond all that more special. We always slept in together on the weekends - the happiest time of the week. My 3 loves were - Leroy, bed, sleep. Since I lost him, I have grown fearful of the bed, I hate going to sleep due to the nightmares, and I just about lose my mind on the weekends. Grieving is the hardest thing I have ever experienced, and I've been through a lot.
 
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Margret

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I know that one fairly common thing when we're grieving is that we'll be in the grocery store, or the mall, or wherever, and we'll see something that our departed cat would just love, and suddenly there we are in an incredibly public place weeping uncontrollably.

For what it's worth, I've found one thing that makes this a bit easier to avoid, and that's setting aside time every day specifically for grieving. It isn't easy to do, but it does mean that when you go shopping you've already grieved recently, so that irresistible cat toy or new flavor of food doesn't seem to grab you so hard. You don't get that momentary "Oh, cool. I should get that for ___ - no, wait, he's dead" reaction that always jerks you into tears.

This may also help somewhat with the nightmares: if you're taking proper care of your grief during your waking hours your subconscious may not need to do it in your sleep.

Margret
 

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It makes no sense, but EVERYTHING makes me think of Jaspurr. He lived here in this house for 11 years and I see him in everything, even things not directly related to him. He was, and still is, a part of me. I am so thankful to still have his brother Purrcy, who I was worried about, but he has seemed OK so far. I have caught him just sitting and looking around in several different rooms, and sniffing some of Jaspurr’s favorite napping spots, but so far he doesn’t seem depressed. Of course he is getting lots of extra love from me! He and Jaspurr were littermates, but really never very close. Purrcy wanted to be, but he was rebuffed by Jaspurr so many times I think it drove a wedge between them. Jaspurr was bigger and I used to say that he regarded Purrcy as the pesky little brother. They got along for the most part but theirs was not the kind of relationship where they slept cuddled up. It was in the beginning when they were kittens, but something happened along the way to change that. So, maybe it will make things easier on Purrcy.
 
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Margret

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It makes no sense, but EVERYTHING makes me think of Jaspurr. He lived here in this house for 11 years and I see him in everything, even things not directly related to him. He was, and still is, a part of me.
Yes, it does, at first. Immediately after a death you're so close to it that it's very hard to think of anything else. I think I mentioned it elsewhere in the thread, but just in case: This is a good time to be gentle with yourself. Don't expect things to be "normal." Don't rely on your memory, for instance, when you're going to the grocery store, because your mind is thoroughly occupied with your loss. So make lists - to do lists, shopping lists, whatever.

So, maybe it will make things easier on Purrcy.
If it does, that's good. Don't let yourself get caught up in a new round of guilt because you recognize and appreciate whatever silver lining there is - it doesn't mean that you're glad you lost Jaspurr, only that you're glad things are a bit easier for Purrcy.

Margret
 

les26

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All 3 parts in the original post are correct, and the hardest for me is #3 that the only way through it is through the middle and it is so true.....it is the worst feeling you can ever have, it feels like you are suffocating and if you try to fight it things only get worse, you have to just let it hurt and deal with it head on but that is so painful but the only way to deal with it, you too feel like you will die and really don't care if you do, it is that bad, but with time it does lighten up.

I remember after we put Simon down in 2014 because of stomach cancer, I held him and felt him go limp and wanted the vet to "be sure" that he was gone, like they were going to make a mistake and he wouldn't be dead. I remember sleeping for a few hours and waking up and that awful feeling that I had, it was an unusually hot night in May and we didn't have the air conditioner in upstairs yet, I felt like I couldn't breath, I even went outside 2 in the morning yet it was still so hot and humid I couldn't escape this feeling, truthfully I felt like I killed him but knew that wasn't the case. I remember feeling like I was suffocating in the shower, couldn't stand to have that door closed, I felt like I was in a coffin. I also couldn't stand to be in the dark, a grown man scared in the dark, and my pastor at that time told me that it was because I felt "everything was closing in on me" and it forced me to deal with it head on. I did, and day by day it lessened, but it took awhile and is just one of the worst feelings you can ever experience in this life.

And when the vet called weeks ago to tell me that Sugar was experiencing a severe allergic reaction to the anesthesia when she had the tumor removed and some dental work I could just feel my emotions going to a very bad place, it was like a switch flipped and my world changed in 3 seconds and there wasn't a darn thing that I could do about it, but thank God it wasn't the end for her, she is doing very well now but that sure took some life out of her, Deb and I and the vet and their staff!

It hurts, it hurts like hell, it is the price that we pay for being pet owners but it is the choice we make and we do it over and over again, but it takes something out of us each time we grieve, our hearts break only to be repaired with time but not like they were before, but we do it, and some day down the line it will be one heck of a glorious reunion when we are greeted by all of our pets from the past when we too go to "Rainbow Bridge".

Hang in there, it is so so hard but just hang in there, it is a stress test but you will eventually pass it and slowly heal......:rbheart:
 

Antonio65

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It hurts, it hurts like hell, it is the price that we pay for being pet owners but it is the choice we make and we do it over and over again, but it takes something out of us each time we grieve, our hearts break only to be repaired with time but not like they were before, but we do it, and some day down the line it will be one heck of a glorious reunion when we are greeted by all of our pets from the past when we too go to "Rainbow Bridge".

:yeah:
 

furrypurry

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les26, I can so relate to the suffocating feeling. I told my husband yesterday that the grief makes me feel claustophobic, because you cannot escape.

I am, for some reason, feeling a lot better this morning, but I’m sure it’s just a temporary reprieve.
 
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