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Dust

What do YOU think happens to our loved ones when they physically leave us and will we be with them again?

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Hi! Much like many other people here I've lost my entire world, my highly unique half-wild cat, about three weeks ago to an acute attack of CKD. We've been inseparable since she was a 3-weeks-old street cat and I was an abused lonely 13-year-old. I know she's not here anymore, I grieve while doing pretty much anything since I did all I ever done with her in mind. The world has nothing else for me and I've contemplated suicide nonstop ever since she was taken from me. For a specific reason (that I'll keep to myself) I'm still here in this empty dark world but highly depressed, hateful towards life and desperately trying to find anything that'd let me know that I will see her and be with her again one day, most likely when I die myself. I had dreams about her so far and while I'm unbelievably happy to see her (in her healthy, energetic, cheerful, playful and wild self) in those dreams, I have no clue if they're just my destroyed and deeply wounded mind pointlessly trying to get me back on my feet or if they're more than just illusions and meaningless images. I'm not functioning at all and all my life has come to a halt and I simply cannot see myself dealing or coping even a little bit and due to social and family issues I'm not going to a mental health professional, so between my cries and periods of simply sitting around staring at something and just be shocked, hoping that I'd find a ray of hope, I'm reading and listening to all the opinions or experiences I can find to convince myself that this is not by any means the end of us two and since most of those around me are not supportive at all even to the point of being intentionally abusive, I'm making this topic to see what you guys think about it all or if you have any experiences about what happens to animals especially cats and dogs when they leave. And do you think we will see them and be with them again and if yes how and if you don't mind how did you come to believe in your theory? And while we're at it, some people around me told me to do things that'll make her happy if she was aware of them, but the only thing my cat wanted from me ever other than tending to her needs was for me to just sit somewhere near her and just watch her. She hated the idea of other animals in the house too which is confusing me whether helping other in-need cats/dogs would make her happy at all. So what do you think might make her happy for me to do?

P.S.: I'm definitely miserable but I'm a 28-year-old too so please spare me from the Rainbow Bridge story. Personally, I'm irreligious but please, feel free to let us know what you think or believe whether you're an atheist or religious.

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1 hour ago, Dust said:

I had dreams about her so far and while I'm unbelievably happy to see her (in her healthy, energetic, cheerful, playful and wild self) in those dreams

It could be what some call a visitation dream, to let you know she is okay.  

It would be really really good if you would make an appointment with a professional grief counselor, they're there to help guide us through our grief.  I've been close with one for 12 1/2 years since my husband died and I've learned so much about grief and it's process during that time.  Well worth their weight in gold!  make sure they have a degree in Thanatology, not all counselors, psychologists, doctors, are trained in grief.

1 hour ago, Dust said:

And do you think we will see them and be with them again and if yes how and if you don't mind how did you come to believe in your theory?

Absolutely!  I believe in God, I'm a Christian, and in knowing God over the years of my life (I'm 65 so it's been a while now), there's some things I've come to know about Him.  The Bible references a lion and a lamb in heaven, why would God have a random lion and lamb in heaven, and not my Fluffy, Teddy, King George, etc.?  He's a God of order, I've come to see Him as a thinking God, a Creator, I do not see Him as a being that would waste the best creatures/lives that there are!  I fully believe i will be with them again one day.

I know this might seem a bit sappy, but that's okay, I hope you will view it and receive some comfort from it:

 

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Thank you KayC for letting us know about your beliefs.

Please accept my sincerest condolences for your husband, Fluffy, Teddy, King George and all else I might not know of.

How I wish what you said about my dreams and us seeing them again are true since she was very healthy, glorious and happy to see me in all of my dreams too.

If you don't mind me asking, according to your beliefs (I read the Bible, Quran and Torah while searching for any clues about what might be happening to my Everything now and yes, none stated anything clear about intelligent animals other than us humans in the afterlife) do our pets stay near us down here and then when we die they go to Heaven with us? If we did something wrong would we lose the chance of seeing them again if we went to Hell, for example?

I highly appreciate opinions here since I cannot really ask these questions of anyone near me.

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@Dust, I am SO sorry for your loss. I know how you feel. The world is pretty dark and there is a lot of suffering anyway. When we lose the one thing that means everything it is devastating. 

I was in shock and didn't eat or sleep much for the first few days. The whole "process" of dealing with such a loss is so painful. Heartache is a real thing. 

While I am not religious and am not traditional in anyway, I believe in energy. It changes, but is not destroyed. I believe in souls and spirits and I think you cat is with you. I do not believe it is the end. But they are gone on this plane for now and it is very hard to accept.

Edited by AJWCat

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I also believe we are energy and energy does not die, it merely changes form.

I believe we are spirit beings and when we lose our physical bodies, we're still spirit, but the Bible does teach we'll get a new body later on.

Many people speak of receiving visitations from their loved ones, both human and animal.  I'm no expert but this one thing I know...

When I was having a particularly anxious time with social security, I felt my husband's hand on the back of my shoulder, reassuring me.  It immediately had a calming effect on me!  I think he had to try very hard to break through like that.  From what I've learned over the years from others on grief sites, we have to be open to it and we can't control it but they do make effort to make contact with us.  I proceed on faith that we will be together again in physical as well as spirit form.

I don't know if that answers your question, but I hope it does.

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@AJWCat - Thank you for your reply and I highly appreciate your sympathy and kind words.

Please accept my sincerest condolences for your cat as well and I'm glad to find out that you're learning how to live with the grief little by little.

I, too, have pretty much stopped eating ever since Cicily's gone. I only drink some water when thirsty and even that makes me nauseous. I try my best to sleep as much as possible, hoping that I'd be able to see her in my dreams again. I've experienced many different intense traumatic and painful events in my life and this is beyond anything I could've ever imagined in terms of painfulness, it's truly the end to me and nothing matters to me anymore (honestly the only reason I'm alive is that I had a dream the night after Cicily left in which someone told me that I will fail in my attempt to take my life since guns are forbidden in this country, I have to use 'weaker' means and I will risk being paralysed for life, so I waited). I feel abandoned or as if something cut me in half and took the half that had all the good factors in it with them. Apparently I'm moving backwards too since while I'm still grieveing, I've started denial and keep telling myself she's just napping by the window like usual because at times I simply feel like I'm losing my mind from too much grief.

My thoughts were too chaotic to think of energy, something that is approved by science as well. So thank you very much for sharing your experience and beliefs with us. That did help me.

@KayC - Thank you for your reply to my question and sharing more about your experience and opinion.

That did answer my question and pointed out to a subject I failed to think of before which is energy. Also I'd be more than happy if Cicily felt like giving me a visit anytime similar to how your husband did. I'm more than open to that.

 

Once again, I highly appreciate your time and kind words. This is the only place I can speak completely openly with people who know what kind of pain I'm talking about and like how many other users have pointed out here, that our problem isn't a lack of enough cats or dogs in our house but we're missing a very important irreplaceable part of our lives (and in my case the entirety of mine).

 

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@Dust, I have experienced moving backwards too. It is a very weird ever-changing process. At one point, for a moment I felt as good and as normal as ever and then completely overwhelmed with grief and agony hours later or the next day. And that has happened a lot. 

I am glad I was able to help you in a small way. This whole experience made me feel totally helpless. Out of control. I was completely blindsided by this loss and even today I am now a different person. I guess it happens to everyone at some point because death is everywhere. Happens to all creatures. Obviously I knew that. But the very end and seeing my cat suffer was heartbreaking. I can't fix that and it kills me. So I try to help others by being here, like @KayC was for me. 

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It was about ten years into my journey when that happened to me.  But when I see a rainbow or a hummingbird or a dragonfly, I like to think he's sending me a message.  I did have one clear "sign" a year after he died.  Pansies were special to us, George called them the "smiling flower" and he put smiley faces on all his notes to me.  We'd had a bumper crop of pansies the year he died (he died in June).  Our flowers were in hanging pots along our patio deck, which is on a hill, so built on stilts.  The flowers are about 15' above the ground.  I live in the mountains in snow country so flowers never make it through the winter, I plant new ones every spring.  Well one year after he died, I spotted a pansy on the edge of the patio on the ground.  How it made it through the winter I do not know!  I can only think George had a hand in it.  I might add, he was the one with the green thumb, he'd cringe to see what I did to his garden after he died.  :o This couldn't have spoken to me any louder if it had been his voice!

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Dust, I recently lost a cat that was much more to me than just a pet. I had him for 13 years and he got me through some of the worst times of my life. I'd like to think I'd see him again and I try not to dwell on what if I don't. I just don't know. :mellow:

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On 12/20/2017 at 6:16 AM, AJWCat said:

So I try to help others by being here, like @KayC was for me. 

If only more people like you two existed on this planet, I wouldn't be this disappointed in every aspect of continuing to 'be in this world' ...

@KayC You're completely right! I know this for a fact that no matter if I manage to deal with my mourning(s) and depression or not, I will NEVER, EVER be the same and my being lucky enough to have met and known her (so far) and now this, will reflect in everything I'll do for the rest of my life ... . Many things that I didn't paid much attention to have changed so far too, even some minor things like being unable to chew gum (I used to chew one pretty much all the time when outside) or completely losing my ever-so-hungry sweet tooth and suddenly really hating to eat crunchy food as if my jaw is locked, ... . I have some times of just being a 'vegetable' with no reactions or focus and then the grief hits me hard. I've experienced other deaths so far and I'm very sure that no death or loss will be as difficult for me as this one, by far. Once again, I appreaciate your being here to console and share people's pain, both you and KayC. I hear Cicily's voice occasionally but like the dreams I'm finding it difficult to say if that's a thing or just me wanting to receive ANYTHING from her ... .

@karla1842 Please accept my deep condolences and thank you for sharing your beliefs on this subject as well! I wish I could say something to make things less painful for you but I'm pretty much in a dark stormy spiral myself just wishing stuff without knowing much about what's even happening to us (Cicily and me) so I'm not sure what to say other than letting you know that we're here because we share the same kind of pain and that if you're in a not-so-much understanding environment like how I am, we're here to reassure you that the pain you're feeling is very much called for and we fully recognize all that might come along with it. I'm failing myself at doing that but please stay strong!

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9 hours ago, Dust said:

I will NEVER, EVER be the same and my being lucky enough to have met and known her (so far) and now this, will reflect in everything I'll do for the rest of my life

This is the purpose I see in our relationships, being human or animal, that we affect each other to the extent that we take with us something positive for having known each other and been in each other's lives.  That pure love, it affects and changes us all for having had it...and having given it.

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My dog crossed the rainbow bridge on Wednesday. On Wednesday night i had a dream.. It was a strange dream, there was kids causing mischief outside, i invited neighbors i didn't really know inside my home (my home was totally different in my dream) to talk about the mischief. I was apologizing for being out of sorts, explaining that i just had to put my dog down.. and an old lady i didnt know said, was she a black great dane? Shes right here with you. I woke up feeling like it was a message that she is still with me. Yesterday while i was having a crying spell in bathroom. I was sitting on the bathroom floor crying. I looked over and there was a really bright light with a rainbow ring around it reflected off my bathroom sink. I kept asking myself, is that Roxy. Is that her spirit? I tried to stare into it while i was talking and apologizing, but the light was too bright. I looked down and kept talking. After a few moments, it was gone. I looked around trying to figure out what could have caused the light but couldn't find anything. I begged for it to come back so i could believe it was her fully and say everything i wanted i wanted to say. But it didn't. And then today.. I've been sleeping on the couch with her collar folded up next to me. I got up to go outside for a cigg and when i came back in the collar was open in a circle shape. I could've possibly bumped it.. or maybe my other dog bumped it. But it was possibly another sign from her, that shes here with me. I'm still praying, wishing and waiting for her to come to me in my dreams so i can know she ok where ever she is and that shes happy, healthy and whole again. Just believe, believe with all of your heart that her spirit is with you. 

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roxybrown,

I am so sorry for your loss.  It sounds like Roxy is trying really hard to let you know she is with you, yes she is okay.

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I have thought about this a lot, I'm not religious or spiritual but I have always liked to believe that when animals pass they will go and be with the ones that have gone before them and be looked after. It brings me some comfort to think that although I don't know if it's true, the idea that they will meet their old friends makes me feel better. I also have dreams randomly about my cats, past and present. In the dreams I always realise at some point that it's not real and I'm wondering why my cats that have passed are with me. But it's also lovely to have that contact, spend time with them again in a dream.

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It just occurred to me that my Miss Mocha is now with Lucky, she adored her!  Here they are together, Miss Mocha used to follow her around and imitate her and they often slept together.

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Hi, I'm really struggling tonight after having to have my 13 year old dog PTS on the 15th Dec. The only thing getting me through life at the moment is the hope I'll see her again one day. We rescued her at six months old. I was 25 at the time & had just come out of a Coma after a brain injury. If it wasn't for that energetic pup I would've been in a wheelchair for a lot longer than I was. She was with me through some of my worst times and was the only being on this planet who could make me laugh or put a smile on face during the worst of times. Before the vet came to our home to put her to sleep I asked her to please send me a message once she'd gone so I knew she was still with me. 

After the vet had driven off with her body I was in pieces. Only half an hour before I'd taken her for a final walk in a field beside our house and her footprints were still by the front door. I took my phone out to take pictures and was in pieces. Suddenly this tiny kitten came running over to me and started rubbing it's head against my legs. The strangest thing was the kitten was jet black like my dog and wearing a shabby red collar with a bell on the same as my dog was wearing the day we rescued her back in 2005. So this kitten then runs into my home and won't leave. It walked into all the rooms and stated doing the tricks that my dog used to do. I'm convinced that kitten was an angel to come and put a smile on my face moments after the worst loss of my life. No one where I live has seen or know this kitten and it's never been seen again.

We decided to have our dog individually cremated. I was waiting all over Christmas to get her ashes back. I was getting so frustrated and decided to look on the crematoriums website just for something to do. Three mins later my phone rang and it was the crematorium saying her ashes were ready to collect.  As I was sitting there a single white feather floated down out of nowhere and landed right beside me.  

So many things have happened since she went a month ago tomorrow that I'm convinced I will see her again.  

I really feel your pain and I'm hear if you want to talk. Can I also say that being so close to death myself when I was in a Coma I'm sure of something more once this life is over. Please have faith that you'll see your baby again xxx

 

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Max,

My sister was in a coma for 4 1/2 months also a brain injury that left her quadriplegic, that was 50 years ago.  She did say she could hear us but couldn't respond.  I'm glad you had your dog, they are a real inspiration and drawing factor!  I'm sorry you lost her, oh that our dogs could live our lifetime and we could peacefully go together!  I too believe we'll be together again, that they continue to exist and are happy.  Bless you!

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@Max79 Hi and thank you for sharing your experience here. Please accept my sicerest condolences for your loss and I'm sorry to hear that you had to go through a serious injury, hope you're completely recovered by now.

I lost my, I think at this point it's safe to say soulmate, on 27th November and she too, came to me when I was at the lowest point in my childhood (teen years) and the fact that she chose me makes me feel like the luckiest being ever. Now, I'm still exactly like how I was the day it happened, nothing has improved or gotten more tolerable and like what someone here said before, it still leaves me in utter disbelief to see the sun rising again as if nothing has changed when my entire world is now pitch black and I'm basically an empty shell walking around.

I would also describe the signs you mentioned as messages especially with the black cat and I'm also leaning towards believing that there's more after we go based on other people's experiences but all I can do is just hoping that I'd end up being with her again after I go and keep begging her (in case she could hear me) to send me any signs she can. So far I received some but my pessimism tells me that they could simply be me and not her.

Thank you very much for your empathy, we're here too if you felt like you needed to talk. Simply talking about it makes the pain slightly easier to manage for many.

I'm still clinging to the small hope I have that I'd get to be with her again, this time hopefully forever, because that's the only way I can get through every minute.

I've failed at it completely myself but during this hard times, stay strong please!

@KayC Sorry to hear that about your sister. 

Both Miss Mocha and Lucky are precious and if afterlife really exists, I'm sure they're enjoying one another's company. The closest humanbeing to me who's now deceased is my grandfather (to whom I wasn't really close) and Cicily is my first ever animal partner (not counting hamsters, chicks, ducklings, turtles, ..) and apparently the only one judging based on how messed up I've become since she's gone, so unfortunately I can't even have the hope that she's now with a familiar face wherever she might be. Being half of a feral breed, she herself hated another animal being in her terittory as well. I might not know where she is but I often ask her to stay with me always if she can.

Once again, thank you for sharing your experiences!

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I've been reading this thread with interest and pray so much that when Ava passes she comes back to me so I know she's ok.  In fact,  I've been sitting here over the last few minutes talking to her about it and some of the ways she can let me know, she's only gone from this world but we will be together again one day.  I really want to beleive this but when my last dog died after 14 years together, I had nothing, no dreams or 'sense' of her presence, she was just gone and I was devastated. So I am praying that Ava will hear me now and in a few weeks when I have to let her go, she remembers and knows how important it is to me that she lets me know she's still around. 
 

One thing though.... Like I said I had another dog before Ava, they are very different characters, and whilst Ava has always got on with other dogs, Jasmine was quite aggressive around other dogs, due in part to being attacked when she was a small puppy.  I really want them to get on and be there for each other and for us alll to be together if there is 'something' after this life but I worry that this will not happen.  Does anyone have any views on this?

Oh and Dust I understand what you mean about getting another pet.  I sometimes wonder if the fact that I got Ava just 3 months after Jasmine died is why she didn't visit me.  I've been talking to Ava about it during the time we have left (she has terminal cancer, I only found out yesterday after she had emergency surgery after a tumour on her spleen ruptured) the vet has said we may only have a couple of weeks left together 2 months is the max prognosis with this tiype of cancer.  Anyway I've been talking to Ava explaining to her that I will get another dog (I have already started looking) although I don't know how long after she dies this will happen.  I say this because after my last dog died there was no way I was getting another dog blah blah.  2 months later I was in such a mess, I had lost so much weight because I wasn't eating or couldn't keep any food I ate down, I cried cinstantly, and was always on the verge of tears.  i couldn't sleep and like you I literally felt there was no point going on and did take an overdose but luckily it didn't work, however I didn't feel like that at the time, it was at this point that a friend bundled me into her car and took me to see some puppies which is how Ava came into my life.  She LITERALLY saved my life. I really believe that I was so lost in my grief and pain that if Ava hadn't come into my life when she did and pulled me back from the darkness I would not be here now.  Due to the severe reaction to Jasmine's death I am trying to prepare myself as much as possible for Ava's which is impossible I know.  But I also take comfort that Ava came into my life to heal my heart and therefore she will understand why I need another dog to do the same when she has to go and she will understand that it is in now way a replacement for her just as she wasn't a replacement for Jasmine. 

Wow I rambled on longer than I realised :wacko:

 

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I think they know we aren't trying to replace them, that's not possible anyway, their relationship with us was as unique as they are!  I do hope you get your visitation.  I haven't had that from a pet, but I have had signs from my husband, although it was a long long time before I got that.  (at the one year mark with the random pansy)

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Hi KayC, 

I hope so, I suffered immense guilt at the time when I got Ava and have since felt guilty for how that was for Ava at the time because I was clearly conflicted about bonding with her and what that felt like regarding my other dog Jasmine, not that you would know it all these years later when Ava is as much part of my heart beat as Jasmine., it's as if their hearts merged with mine as one heartbeat that still continues when they have gone.  Which is a lesson I hope to take forward with my next dog and hopefully wont take all that guilt into that relationship as I know I did with Ava.  But Ava has such a big heart, the kindest, gentlest character that she was able to forgive those early days and love me regardless until now I can't imagine a moment without her.

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I felt guilt for not having felt the same way about Lucky (whom I lost in November 2008) as I do Arlie, whom I adopted in February 2009 at age one.  But they were very different dogs, Lucky so trained and obedient but so scared of her own shadow.  Arlie is headstrong but self-assured and very interactive with me, we have a very close relationship.  Part of that has to do with me being so alone in my life now, but much of it has to do with his personality, he's just a very good fit for me.  I loved Lucky and appreciated her, but our interaction is very different.  Lucky entered as part of our family of four, whereas Arlie entered with just me and my cat and my son's dog, Skye for a time.

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Yes KayC I think it does make a difference what your life is like, I had a family dog growing up and although I was sad when she died, it was nothing to the overwhelming pain I had when Jasmine died and now facing life without Ava.  I think the difference is yes they have different characters, Ava and Jasmine couldn't be more different in so many ways yet I loved them both equally I really beleive that, I think the thing that has the biggest impact on the bond and the relationship you have with them is what/who else is in your life.  I live alone and have very few meaningful interactions with people. I mainly have work friends who i see at work but rarely, if ever social except at things like the works christmas meal. I have a couple of friends that I consider good friends but I hardly see them because they live too far away in parts of the country.  I don't have family of my own ie children and I have had no contact with my family including extended family since I was 15 (I'm now 45) so my dogs very much become my whole existance apart from work which I do because I have to.  I think that's why I have developed such close bonds with 2 very different dogs.  I have massive trust issues which is why I am so isolated, my childhood plus the unhealthy relationship patterns I have had in part because of my childhood has left me keeping people at arms length which I know is not good and at times like these it's especially noticable how few people I have in my life at all let alone that I would call a friend.  Hence why Jasmine and Ava each became my whole existance when they entered my life and leave such a massive and overwhelming void.

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