The Hardest Decision...Help Dealing with the Aftermath

Mamanyt1953

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Deciding to have our cats euthanized is without a doubt one of the hardest, more heartbreaking things we ever have to do. And in the aftermath, we always question ourselves. Every one of us, no matter how sick our cat might have been, are left with a nasty case of the "what ifs." This article may help you deal with those feelings. Sensitive, and written by someone who knows, it addresses those feelings in an honest, straightforward manner!


Dealing with Feelings of Guilt After Euthanasia - The Conscious Cat
 

jefferd18

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I understand how hard choosing euthanasia is and frankly I admire those who put their animal friend first when making that tough decision. I have only had to euthanize one cat, Bugsy, because I was told that his last final moments would be the equivalent of being smothered by a pillow. Even then, I waited too long. :(





Guilt is a uniquely human feeling and it does not have to be strictly associated with the choice of euthanasia when it comes to the death of our beloved animal companions. Death sucks and losing an animal in any way always makes us blame ourselves.

Even though Jeff died in my backyard shed from natural causes, there is still not a day that goes by without me questioning myself on what I could have done to prevent her death. There isn't a day that goes by without me asking myself- did I tell Jeff that I loved her often enough?

Here is a sample of some of my guilt ridden questions:
Was I blind to any signs of illness, of slowing down?
She was petrified of humans which is why I never took her to a vet- but should I have forced her to go?
Did the lose of her canine teeth years before have anything to do with her heart problems?
Did I overfeed her?- which may have lead to her heart problems.

....and on and on it goes...


I would add another reason for the role that guilt plays: even though it makes us miserable, oddly it also makes us feel alive.
 
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di and bob

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The article was a truth no one wants to hear, but it is a truth none the less. Forgiving yourself is almost impossible, especially in the first throes of going through it. I truly think you learn to live with the pain, because it becomes a part of you and your life. We will always have something to regret because there is such a hole in our lives, our very soul, that we have to fill it with something and at the time we are not capable of filling it with forgiveness because we need to feel pain, real pain, because that is what is actually in our hearts. It is what we are experiencing. And why do we feel such pain, such guilt, even if there should be none there at all because of the horrible suffering of one we love so much? Because we are human and not one of us will ever make a perfect decision, at a perfect time. because not one of us is perfect. Listen carefully to the statement..."it is better to let them go a day too early, then to let them suffer a day too late". Believe in that. Every life has an ending, EVERY LIFE. We cannot go back in time and make everything better, we cannot prolong life beyond it's conclusion. No matter if we are poor or rich, happy or sad, we all live to the same conclusion. So our time spent here on earth is just that, time. Some have more then others. Every second of every minute should be spent doing what we can to pursue happiness and peace, that we are with those who love us, and that we love someone ourselves. Because that is what life is about. Miracles, the beauty of life, happiness because we are content just because we are alive. Living in the moment, not in the past. Though we can treasure the precious memories we have and learn from our experiences, the past is gone and cannot be changed, no matter how much we would want it to be different. Don't waste precious time trying to change it. Bring the good to the present with you, and leave the bad where it belongs, in the past. The future can be forged from our experiences with the past but it is not possible to see into it. We have to work to make a dream come true, we have to first live in the present to make the future possible. Don't worry about things in the future enough to make yourself lose time in the present, I can guarantee you that almost ALL we worry excessiviely about DOES NOT COME TRUE "what will be, will be...."
Let grief and guilt go, it will always be there to haunt you, because it is a part of your past. Concentrate on the present, be thankful for the good that did happen, be thankful that you experienced a love and a time in your life so wonderful you feel such a loss. Concentrate on teh good parts of the past, I can guarantee you they outnumber the bad. Don't let the minority of bad feelings take over your life. You are alive and you are here to remember and keep on loving that precious little one. That is what makes life worth living, the memories of great love in the past, and the hope it will be with us forever so we can build upon it and keep it alive in the future. Though no two loves, no two beings will ever be the same, it is possible to be happy in the present. But first we have to let go of the guilt and the pain of the past. Keeping it there in the past, where it belongs, and working to live in the present, to seek life again, one day at a time..........
 

Antonio65

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There isn't a day that goes by without me asking myself- did I tell Jeff that I loved her often enough?
You didn't need to tell her. She knew it even too well.
Animals do not need our ordinary and primitive way of communicating to understand things, to know our feelings, to learn our thoughts.
They are much more advanced than this, they can read your mind and feel your heart. Jeff knew what was in your mind and your heart, she knew she was very much loved and how lucky she was to have you as her friend.

Here is a sample of some of my guilt ridden questions:
Was I blind to any signs of illness, of slowing down?
She was petrified of humans which is why I never took her to a vet- but should I have forced her to go?
Did the lose of her canine teeth years before have anything to do with her heart problems?
Did I overfeed her?- which may have lead to her heart problems.
We all have a list of guilt ridden questions that will torment us for the rest of our lives and will keep us from accepting the death of our beloved pets. Most of those questions have no reason to exist, and we feel guiltier than we should.
When we are reunited to our friends, they will tell us that we suffered uselessly over those questions and in that moment our hearts will be light and serene again.
 

solomonar

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From our first breath, we start being guilty. It is impossible not to be guilty an entire life. Humans are selfish, all Creatures are selfish. Otherwise no Creature would ever exist.

Am I guilty to decide the End of my Cat? Yes, I am. Am I guilty when decide not to offer my cat a nice path to the End? Yes, I am. Am I guilty for not caring any cat in my life? Yes, I am. I am always guilty, no matter what I do. Then, what? There is something in our Souls that keep us going, despite this neverending guilt. That "something" is different for each of us. That something makes us humans.

Lets imagine we are never guilty. Imagine we always do "the right thing", at "the right moment". Would we be happy? I guess not- we will be just computers, with no Soul at all.

It is not our fault that we are always guilty. It is nobody's fault. We cry, we are always guilty, we have Souls.

+++

In more practical terms: we use to say that offering End avoids pain. Well, we say that. But we really know what pain is? Fortunately, most of us do not. If we do, we place ourselves in a Hell on Earth.
 
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