My beautiful Holly

botolo

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One week ago I was here, checking on you and trying to understand why you were circling the whole time. A few days before we did the only session of stereotactic radiation to fight this squamous cell carcinoma cancer that came back after the mandibulectomy surgery. We were so hopeful the surgery would have given years of happy life and we were devastated when we learned that the cancer was back. We were now hopeful that the stereotactic radiation therapy would have given you months (and who knows, maybe years) of fairly good life.

But you started circling a couple of days before. The doctor said this could have been the cancer aggressively attacking your brain or maybe the radiation therapy giving you some inflammation. I was hoping this was going to be inflammation. Last week and a day ago it looked like you were doing a little bit better, but not today last week.

Who knew that we would have gone to bed only to wake up with you circling aggressively and meowing. We immediately brought you to the ER. The doctor told us things were not looking good, but that their best neurologist was going to be in that day. The neurologist called us last Monday and told us that yes, things were not looking good but that we had to do an MRI to make sure we knew what was going on with your brain. And we waited the day after for the MRI.

And the doctor called. The tumor was everywhere in the brain. You were still sleeping from the anesthesia and we decided this was too much, you fought like a lion for the past five months, you had ups and downs but I hope more ups than downs, but now there was no other way to keep fighting. I so much wanted to tell the doctor to wait for me, to allow me to drive as fast as I could and come say goodbye to you and hug you before you left this world, but my wife looked at me and told me "let her go". Oh man, it was so difficult to say the words to the doctor and in fact I had to give the phone to my wife because I was crying and not able to talk.

And I am still crying now, while writing these words. It has been a week that you left me and I miss you so so so much. I miss everything of you, I miss your meows in the morning when you were waking me, I missed you jumping over my lap when I was writing on the computer (as I am doing right now) and loving my hand on your belly. I missed your new smile after the surgery, I missed how you called me with your little tongue sticking up, like a little goblin that I found so so so beautiful and sweet. And I can't stand the fact that I'll never see you again, I can't stand the fact that I will not see you getting older, a sweet old kitty, I hate it that your destiny was for you to say goodbye at almost 11 years old, I hate everything of what happened since that day in February, when the doctor wold us that you had squamous cell carcinoma.

And now I am so afraid that my mind will play tricks on me, that will make me forget you slowly...first forgetting your smell, then the way your fur felt on my hands, and then you'll become a memory. I don't want this, I want to remember each and every feeling I had with you, I want to remember each and every inch of your face, I want to remember your beautiful eyes that were looking at me with love.

I miss you so much, my little Holly. So so so much that I don't know what I'll do without you.
 

Furballsmom

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This is from a TCS member, Margret, it may help;

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.
 

di and bob

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Many of us here have stood where you are standing now, we can empathize with the horrible, soul-crushing pain this all brings to our world. Time is the only thing that helps, and yes, time will bring about a softening, a forgetfulness of the horrible pain you are going through. I would suggest that right now, while you are remembering so vividly your precious Holly, get a small notebook and write down in great detail everything you want to remember. It truly is a Godsend in the years to come. That way the passing of time will not help you to forget what you don't want to. I couldn't bear to even look at anything from that horrible time for many years, but it now brings me great comfort and even joy from what used to bring unbearable pain.
It is so very hard, but try to think of her in your life as a great blessing, a gift. These beautiful creatures do not have the same lifespan as ours, and there will always be inevitable pain when they leave us. I pray you can take comfort in knowing you all tried so very hard to beat this thing that was bringing her such pain. You did really all you could, and so much more than most, but in the end, you could not let her be in pain any longer. Somehow you found the strength to take on her pain as your own broken heart and let her go. She will thank you for being there for her, for trying, and for your lifetime of love and caring. Truly you were fortunate indeed, to have someone in your life who brought so much love and happiness. You received a true treasure in this world, a cat's love.......
Your love for that sweet girl is unique as a snowflake. It is YOUR love, and now your pain. There will be many others who will not understand this pain until they go through it themselves. That is why it is wise to express your pain to others, like on this site who truly do understand what you are going through. Thank you for entrusting us with your pain and letting us grieve with you. She will be added to our list of thoughst and prayers.
There is a quote that I cling to in times like these, "Do not cry because it is over, smile because it happened". I know you think right now you will NEVER get over this pain, and you won't. You learn to live through it, you find comfort and gain strength not because of the pain, but despite it. To be loved and remembered after death is a great honor. This love can never be taken from yoiu because it is spiritual, so eternal. She will always be a part of yoru soul and teh new path she now follows will always parallel your own.
So go forward now, remembering the good times, when she was young and so full of life. She would never want you to be so sad. Just as you would want for her, if you were the first to go, go forward into life finding more love and happiness, because that is what she would want for someone she loves so much. Because that is love.
My heart breaks for what you are going through, I'll keep you all in my thoughts and prayers......RIP precious Holly. You will never be fogotten, you will always have secure places in loving hearts. May the good Lord bless and keep you, until you meet again!
 

Mamanyt1953

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Rest you gentle, Holly, dream you deep. Your pawprints are on someone's heart forever.

This is the deepest Truth I know. Love does not die, it only changes form, it is translated and purified into Love and continues on. This has nothing to do with religion, or any "belief," but everything to do with what I have experienced. Holly's Love for you is with you still, and will be always. It cannot take the place of her physical presence, but one day, when you can bear it, it will bring you comfort. You will not forget her. There are some loves that stay with us when we no longer remember our own names, and from what you have said, I believe this will be true for you and your love for Holly.

My heart with yours.
 
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botolo

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This is truly hard. I still can’t believe my sweet Holly is not here with me anymore.
I have my calendar on the iPhone full with her next appointments or appointments with new doctors that I scheduled to get second opinions. And every time I see these appointments I think “I should cancel them, but wait maybe I will need them for her just to make sure” and then reality hits hard…”I will never need these appointments anymore because she is gone”.

I miss her so much!
 

Purr-fect

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One week ago I was here, checking on you and trying to understand why you were circling the whole time. A few days before we did the only session of stereotactic radiation to fight this squamous cell carcinoma cancer that came back after the mandibulectomy surgery. We were so hopeful the surgery would have given years of happy life and we were devastated when we learned that the cancer was back. We were now hopeful that the stereotactic radiation therapy would have given you months (and who knows, maybe years) of fairly good life.

But you started circling a couple of days before. The doctor said this could have been the cancer aggressively attacking your brain or maybe the radiation therapy giving you some inflammation. I was hoping this was going to be inflammation. Last week and a day ago it looked like you were doing a little bit better, but not today last week.

Who knew that we would have gone to bed only to wake up with you circling aggressively and meowing. We immediately brought you to the ER. The doctor told us things were not looking good, but that their best neurologist was going to be in that day. The neurologist called us last Monday and told us that yes, things were not looking good but that we had to do an MRI to make sure we knew what was going on with your brain. And we waited the day after for the MRI.

And the doctor called. The tumor was everywhere in the brain. You were still sleeping from the anesthesia and we decided this was too much, you fought like a lion for the past five months, you had ups and downs but I hope more ups than downs, but now there was no other way to keep fighting. I so much wanted to tell the doctor to wait for me, to allow me to drive as fast as I could and come say goodbye to you and hug you before you left this world, but my wife looked at me and told me "let her go". Oh man, it was so difficult to say the words to the doctor and in fact I had to give the phone to my wife because I was crying and not able to talk.

And I am still crying now, while writing these words. It has been a week that you left me and I miss you so so so much. I miss everything of you, I miss your meows in the morning when you were waking me, I missed you jumping over my lap when I was writing on the computer (as I am doing right now) and loving my hand on your belly. I missed your new smile after the surgery, I missed how you called me with your little tongue sticking up, like a little goblin that I found so so so beautiful and sweet. And I can't stand the fact that I'll never see you again, I can't stand the fact that I will not see you getting older, a sweet old kitty, I hate it that your destiny was for you to say goodbye at almost 11 years old, I hate everything of what happened since that day in February, when the doctor wold us that you had squamous cell carcinoma.

And now I am so afraid that my mind will play tricks on me, that will make me forget you slowly...first forgetting your smell, then the way your fur felt on my hands, and then you'll become a memory. I don't want this, I want to remember each and every feeling I had with you, I want to remember each and every inch of your face, I want to remember your beautiful eyes that were looking at me with love.

I miss you so much, my little Holly. So so so much that I don't know what I'll do without you.
Thank you for sharing Holly with us.

If it helps, many of us here also have lost our beloved pets and experienced the emotional suffering and almost physical pain that fills our days after.

BUT it does get better.

And you never have to forget, just learn to cope.

Holly would not want you to suffer. Stay busy, take time to grieve, move forward and one day another cat (not a replacement), will come into your life.

Its been 8 years since we had to put our little Motu to sleep. When she left, we adopted two cats. They never replaced Motu, but have enriched our lives greatly and we love them very much. In a way............it feels that Motu gave us a final gift...........the need to continue to share our love. Maybe it will be so for you.
 

Maria Bayote

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Losing a beloved pet companion is one of life's deepest sorrows. Each one of us who has experienced that loss deals with grief in different ways. As adviced by others above, take your time. You can cry your heart out, sing out loud, paint or write a poetry, anything to help you lessen the sadness a bit. As I always say, grief does not really go away. It stays with us for a long time, possibly as long as the rest of our lives. But it does get mellow in time. The familiarity of it helps a grieving person to deal with it every day, but once in a while after some time, it will still make one cry over a familiar scent or smell, even faint memories can send a person bawling in tears once more.

Here's sending all my warmest hugs and sincere pats on the shoulder. Hang in there.

And to Holly, run and play in eternal happiness baby. You were so loved.
 
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botolo

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It has been two weeks since Holly left us and it is still incredibly painful. I still can't believe she is not here with me, I still can't accept that she took her final breath. I feel somehow like I failed her. I promised her that I would have saved her, I prayed so much every single day that God would have made a miracle and took the cancer away, I hoped so much that the surgery would have helped her and that we would have had so many wonderful years together...and now she is gone and I will never see her again.

I still think of all the times we went to the vet recently, and how she always came close to me, as if I was there protecting her from anything bad that could happen. But in the last moment I was not there with her. My wife told me "let her go, don't force her to wait for you before you do euthanasia", but now I think that she was sleeping on the vet table without me and that I did not have a chance to tell her one more time how deeply I loved her. She was my world!

The photo I am posting here it's the most beautiful I have of her, but it also gives me so much pain. This was a few months after surgery, when I completely fell in love with her "new" face after the mandibulectomy. And this was a day where I brought her to the vet for a check-up and she was recovering very well from the surgery. We were discussing removing the feeding tube because she was eating a lot on her own. In this photo she was looking all around the vet office, super curious and super excited to be there. She was not scared because I was there with her.

When the vet diagnosed the cancer the first time, some of the specialists I consulted told me it was not humane to go through surgery, it was not humane to go through the feeding tube. When we did the surgery, I was so scared that she would have never gone back to eating on her own and I was so stressed at the idea of having to feed her through the tube her entire life. And now I am here, after witnessing what tube feeding means and how cats adjust to it very well (she used to come look for me when it was feeding time, and she was jumping on my lap, waiting for her syringe and purring the entire time I was feeding her), thinking that I would give everything I have to still have her with me, even if this would mean feeding her through the tube and waking up at night to feed her. Anything to have her here with me.

I would love for someone to tell me "yes, you'll see her again, her life continues somewhere else and you will join her when the time comes". I would live my life with joy, knowing that at some point we will be together one more time and that she is doing well now.
 

di and bob

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Love like you two shared does not end, there will be a permanent bond between your two souls. The 'essence' of that precious girl will always surround you, the new journey she is undertaking will always parallel your own. She will be as close as your thoughts and prayers, talk to her and ask her to help you through this.
The hole they leave in our lives is immense. It takes a long time to fill that space. It takes an understanding that the suffering is over, that they are at peace because they will always carry our love with them. It is a great honor to be loved and missed after death, you do her proud.
It takes a long time to heal, and time is what it takes. Try to celebrate having her in your life. Guilt and grief are real, they will consume you if you let them. She would never want that for someone she loves so very much.
Even the Pope said we will see our little ones in heaven. Though heaven is reserved for those with a soul and a conscious, all that we loved will be there to bring us happiness once more. Every living, breathing thing has a soul, He sees every sparrow that falls.
Your sweet girl lives on through you now, in your memories, and in your soul. Give her thanks for giving you the chance to know and hold dear a cat's love......
 
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