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Nickyv

Can't do this much longer

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KayC   

I am so sorry, she is very beautiful.  It's the hardest thing in the world to lose our furry companion, they have loved us unabashedly, and without reserve.  They are God's greatest gift to man.

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Nickyv   

14 years of us being pretty much inseparable. She was my whole world, my life, my reason for living. What makes this even more painful, is she was in perfect health, still ran around like a puppy. 14 years I kept her safe, she was my baby. But I failed her. Another dog bit her and killed her. That moment continues to play over and over in my head. It's unbearable. And of course people just say, time will heal, or get another dog. It's not the same for everyone. I already know, this is it for me. She is the only reason I had not taken my own life in the past. Love of my life. Im so sorry baby girl  received_1581828735168667.thumb.jpeg.49267f0b5c1bde28d44f98b72486df25.jpeg

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AJWCat   

Nicky, that sounds horrible. I am so sorry that happened. Dealing with my own terrible guilt and horrific death of my cat. He was a total love and innocent just like your sweet dog. They didn't deserve what happened. But you are a good person. I know that b/c your dog was a good judge of character. Don't let her down, be good to yourself and forgive yourself for what happened (even though it was tragic you are not to blame.) I will have another cat eventually because life only makes sense when I share it with an animal. Too many need to be saved. And I will be there for another when I can.

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KayC   

We think we should be able to protect them from anything/everything, but we can't always.  That's hard to accept.  I hope you can learn to be as kind to yourself as you were to her.  I feel the way you did about her about my dog and I know when he goes it's going to be really, really tough, it's hard to think about.  He's Golden Retriever (lives to 9) and Siberian Husky (lives to 10-12) and he's already 9 1/2, it scares me.  I cook for him and take really good care of him, walk him every day, give him belly rubs.  He has his own recliner by his own window.  But I can't imagine not having someone to share my life with, I also can't imagine ever loving another dog as much as him, but I know they create their own place in your heart...but then this one is like a soulmate in a dog, he's the perfect one for me, goofy, loving, so smart.

If I could wish one thing for you it would be that you would realize your own worth and value, that you are deserving of love and forgiveness, patience and understanding, and self-care.  The way you cared for your dog is how you now need to care for you.  (((hugs)))

I hope you'll read these articles, I've shared them with a lot of people, but it seems when we lose our furry companion we are hard on ourselves and there are things in these articles we need to realize.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf 

http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml

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Hi, Nicky,

I'm so sorry to read your story. What you are feeling hurts so much, and I know that you are feeling desperate.........trapped.........don't know where to go or what to do. I could repeat all of the usual stuff about ......... working through it..........not blaming yourself..........slow healing..........but it won't help. 

So what I would say to you is this: you blame yourself, and the memory haunts you. But you did not allow it to happen intentionally. It is unbearable, I know. But it was not your fault. You did not know it was going to happen. It happened in an instant, before you realised. You would have done anything to stop it. If you had known then what you know now it would never have taken place. But none of us can tell what is about to happen. It's part of being human. We ARE human, You would have done anything to prevent it but it was not your fault. Your darling knows that and will not blame you.

How does she feel if she sees you so distraught? She is watching you and sending you the message that she knows you could have done nothing. She is saying to you that she loves you, always has done, and knows you will always love her. She doesn't want you to move on from your sadness because that is right--but she does want you to stop torturing yourself. You cannot help her by doing that. If you make yourself ill, it will cause her grief. 

 

The other thing is that, after we lose a friend like this, there is always something to blame ourselves for. With me, the trauma of the attack was not there, and my little man had nearly 16 years with me. I blame myself for not checking the new painkiller prescribed by the vet that I believe caused his stroke; I blame myself for not realising that his little head was going to drop as the sedative took effect. BUT I hand-fed him for three years, took him for incredibly slow walks every day to keep his little lungs clear of the developing problem, always pout him first, put my life on hold for him because I loved him so much..............took him for walks every day of his life.............found the best food............always showed my love for him...........

 

Please, Nicky, try to think of all of the things in her life that you did RIGHT, and how much she loves you for that. Those are the things that you must hold onto. Cry, of course, and I will cry with you. But know that you did not let her down.............

 

 

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KayC   

Richard,

That is a beautiful response.  I see that you also have lost your little man, I'm so sorry for your loss.  I like your way of looking at it and know what you say is true.  We could take all the guilt and blame in the world on ourselves and it wouldn't change anything except make us feel bad, paralyzed in our grief.  Yet they know we loved them, we'd have done anything for them, and often did.  I cook for my dog, for medical reasons, and he is a gentle giant so it's a lot of cooking, something I gladly do because I love him.  All of us here love our animals and there's not a one of us that would intentionally hurt them.  There's not a one of us that deserve guilt...yes indeed, think about what we've done right and how much love we share for each other.

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Nickyv   

Every morning I wake up and I'm unconsolable. I can barely function. She was all I had, my everything, my reason for staying alive. She didnt deserve this. This pain is too much, and maybe time helps some people, but it wont help me. 5 weeks in pshych ward and home now for 2 weeks, and I'm getting worse if that's even possible. I just want to be with her more than anything. 

received_1528903500461191.jpeg

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  • Dear Nicky,

Please know that there are people out here who understand. Yes, everyone's experience is different, of course, but in every case the grief comes in waves of desperate and inconsolable pain. I understand; I do understand; I really do. I felt the same as I drove home from the vet's. Tomorrow I have to go and pick up my little bear's ashes. It will be hard, but it will keep him close to me, at least physically.

But, quite by accident, I have found a way to talk to him: every night, just before I go to bed, I have taken to lighting a small scented candle on the windowsill, the idea being to light his way to bed for him. And then, suddenly, I knew he was there. Now I speak to him at that time. He always replies, and I know it is him. And I have taken to going on our favourite walk every day--well, all of it, that is. For the last eighteen months it was as much as he could do to get round just a quarter of it, very, very slowly, but still enjoying all its sights and smells....... In one particular place on this walk I speak to him and he comes to me. He is there, trotting along by my side, fit, well, healthy and full of life.  I know that his spirit lives strongly on. 

 

I do believe that animals have spirits. Your little girl does. She is trying to communicate to you but you cannot hear her because of your grief. But one day soon you will hear her, and the clouds will clear; your heart will fill with calm for just a moment. And those moments of calm will slowly increase as you become more and more used to the new way of communicating with her. Meanwhile, her spirit is flying; she knows new life and no pain, except her loss of you. But she is watching you there. And one day, believe me it will happen. Without warning, Perhaps when you are least expecting it, she will speak to you clearly, and will tell you that you must go on. And she will show you ways in which she can help you to go on.

Meanwhile, please know, as I said earlier, that there are people out here who deeply understand and share your grief, and who love you. Please, please, do not despair. You are not alone. We are here with you. We share every step of your way and you must turn to us when you need us. Do not give up.......Your little angel is there, waiting for you just to light the candle for her so that she can speak to you.

Please find some solace in the sunshine knowing that she is standing just behind it, and in the knowledge that we are here with you...........

 

 

 

 

.

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Nickyv   

I brought my baby girl with me EVERYWHERE. And it's painful to be anywhere. I couldn't get in my car for a month. I don't enjoy the warm weather, or the beach, because that was our thing. Well everything was our thing. It was just me and her, and I loved it that way. I didn't have interest in seeing any friends, because she was all I needed. Being with her was my favorite thing. After work, I would actually run from my car to my front door, because I was so excited to see her. I never thought I would lose her in any other way than old age. Obviously it would still have been devistating, but the fact that she was a completely healthy 14 year old, is part of what's destroying me. 

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AJWCat   

Nicky I totally know how you feel. Same with my cat. He got into something (I saw his nose was scraped up but didn't think too much about it. Had I any idea, we'd have gone right to the vet!) and died from a poison of some kind. And it was not pleasant. I hate that his last moments were so horrible. Bringing this up to my husband is off limits because he can't face that we are somehow responsible but we are.  I have to face the truth. Now, my cat was also older, 15  years. He had been losing weight, I am sure he was developing some illness but who knows? We may have had years left. I hate the suddenness. So we were both cheated. Both by horrible circumstances. We have to learn to go on and not being able to change it. I try to face that reality everyday. I am still very anxiety ridden over it and also angry. But I know time will heal it and it will for you too. I am sorry you lost her, truly. I feel your pain. 

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KayC   

Nicky,

It takes much time to process grief...it took me about three years to process my grief when I lost my husband.  It's is very hard hitting.  Some people don't struggle as much because their relationship wasn't the same as ours or because they're better at coping, or their personalities are different or whatever reason...we all handle grief in our own timetable, there is no one size fits all for us.  It takes what it takes.  I can assure you it won't always stay in this level of intensity, thank God, we couldn't handle it if it did.   As you process your grief, you will eventually begin to adjust, you will hone your coping skills as you put in your grief work.  I've belonged to (another) grief forum for 12 years, read countless books and articles, seen a grief counselor, and have started my own grief support group.  This is what I call "doing your grief work", time alone does nothing, it's what we do with it.  Processing my grief was just the beginning, then I had to find purpose, that took even more years. I've had to build a life for myself that I can live...our previous life is gone, and we feel like we're living in the wreckage of it, so it's important to build a life for ourselves, but all this takes time, much of it.  Don't get hung up on time, just keep plugging away, one day at a time, it'll all happen eventually.  I do understand your deep feelings...I will be facing this again one day with my dog, he is everything to me right now and I can't imagine life without him, but I know I will face it and I will have to tackle it much the way I did when I lost my husband.  At least now I know the roadmap.  Your relationship with your dog is greater than most people's, I understand that, so is mine with my dog.  My husband was my soulmate (of people) but my dog is my soulmate (of dogs).  I hope that makes sense and you don't think me whacked out!  I wrote this article with people in mind, but it really can apply to ANY relationship with which we were close enough to grieve deeply.
 

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.]
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

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Kay C's advice is so good. Nicky, AJWCat and all others suffering this terrible nightmare: please try to gain strength from all of the good things you did for your dear ones, and all the times you made them happy. Every death brings self-recrimination or guilt as well as agonising pangs of sadness. But if you can hear them talk to you, you will know that there is only love in their hearts for you. God bless you all.

MR POTTER.JPG

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