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I’m looking for help from strangers. My husband and I lost our baby girl, Sammy, on Christmas Eve. She was 9 and had hemangiosarcoma. She did intravenous chemo, and then pills. She was doing fantastic and had an amazing month, week, and even day of her passing. She went outside around 5:30pm while I was making dinner and my husband came and got me. She was very lethargic, and seemed so uncomfortable. She couldn’t walk, and whenever she tried it was as if her back left leg wasn’t working properly. We think the cancer may have spread to her head. We brought her inside as we had a feeling this may be time. Neither my husband or I have actually experienced a pet passing in person. We were confused and wanted a vet to come to the house, but no luck with it being a holiday and a Sunday. She was panting heavily, and everntually threw up. 

We decided to take her to the ER and we could have done a bunch on test, more test with more procedures.  After laying with Sam for a while she put her head on my knee and looked up at me with her beautiful big brown eyes. My husband and I knew that it was her time. We made the hardest decision of our lives and let her go. She passed with such grace and dignity; as she did with everything she did while alive. 

Samantha is our child! We are mourning and don’t know what to do. Going on day 4 now, if I think about her too much I feel sick to my stomach, have extreme anxiety, and feel scared... scared? I don’t know why? Are my feelings normal? Is my baby ok? I know she is, but why does a part of me still worry. She was with me almost all day everyday. I was always with her, touching her, cuddling her, talking to her, etc. 

My husband was with her longer then me and is struggling more than me. Can someone help me with how to help him? Seeing him in so much pain hurts me so badly. I appreciate any help/suggestions/advice/support. 

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Hi sammy. I am so sorry for your loss. I dont think there is any right way to deal with this. Its so sad and impossible to grasp how you could suddenly be without a beloved companion and move on with your life. Its shocking, like being dropped into the ocean in the dark, reaching and grasping to stay afloat. You did everything possible to help Samantha including helping her to pass with dignity and love. Hold on to that. Cry, be sad, allow yourselves to be with whatever youre feeling right now and be there for one another for a hug, to listen or just be quiet together. Just be. This is a painful process. One day, one moment at a time. Write in to this gorum. The people here know what youre going through. 

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Dear Sammybear--

I'm going thru the same thing.  My precious boy only 4 years old was lost in a fleeting tragic accident 2 weeks ago.  I tore my apartment up.  I lost my mind.  I wanted to die too, and actually considered it for several days.  I loved him more than all the pets I'd had put together, and I loved them all too.  That was 2 weeks ago.  And tho I'm no longer considering the most drastic measure, I still have a knot in my stomach and I don't see ever getting over it.  But, like others said, with time I find I'm doing a little better.  Maybe in 2 more weeks I'll be feeling even better.  

These pets that we loved and lost never laid one stone in our path like ppl can do.  They only loved us with pure love.  It's so hard.  But as Ema said keep posting.  If you want to scream, scream.  Pour your feelings out here.  No one will judge you.  They've all felt and been through the very same thing.  I'm saying a prayer that you get some comfort.  I'm so sorry for you and your husband.

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SammyBear,

I am so sorry for you and your husband's loss of Sammy.  It's the hardest thing in the world, especially when you're so close to your pet as we all are.  It does feel like they are our children.  There is no way around the pain of grief, the grief equals the love we have for them.  In time the pain's intensity will lessen as you begin to adjust, and yes, we do eventually adjust as that's how our bodies are designed.  The only way to help someone else with their grief is just be with them, sit with them.  No words will take away their pain.  It does help for the person to know they are heard and understood as that validates their feelings of grief, which is important to us.  Everything you're experiencing is normal, it is the way with grief.  I've lost my husband, countless pets, parents, grandparents, niece, nephew, aunts, uncles, friends, and three unborn children and it's very hard with each loss although each loss is different.  Losing my husband was the hardest but I'd have to say losing my pets was next.  They are the ones that are in our everyday lives.  In addition to losing their companionship, we suffer loss of the ways they helped us, loss of hopes/dreams as well.  We wonder about them, think about them, it can shake our brain to its limit and make it hard to focus at work...they call that grief fog and most of us suffer it to some degree.  Try not to worry about it, it lessens eventually.  After losing my husband I was unable to watch t.v. for a year or read a book through for pleasure for ten years!  It's common to lose interest in hobbies we've always enjoyed.  We might lose interest in eating, not want to get out of bed.  It takes great effort to break through this and it helps if we can continue taking care of ourselves, eat something healthy, even if we don't feel like it.  Go for a walk even it our heart isn't in it.  Drink some water.  

If you find either of you having a hard time functioning (working, paying bills, eating, doing what has to be done), you might want to see a grief counselor, yes they have them for loss of pets.  You could also attend a grief support group and the bigger cities usually have one specifically geared for loss of pets.  I lead a grief support group for loss of spouse.  We welcome others but it's just worked out that that is the loss everyone has had.

As Robbie said, our pets are special to us as they loved us so unconditionally.  I've been known to drive out into the woods and scream.  I probably scared a few wild animals but at least they haven't locked me up.

Everyone is different in their grief response, some withdraw, some can't stand to be alone.  We find our way through this and nothing is right or wrong about it, just unique to us.

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@SammyBear, I echo what everyone has said here, I hope it helps you. 

Feeling scared is an odd feeling isn't it? I also felt very scared after we expectedly lost our cat (kind of like you, we were making dinner on a Saturday night and he got violently sick). 

I am not sure where that feeling comes from except maybe it is the true realization of how fleeting life is, how danger and tragedy can strike at any time. I hate to sound dark but I could not understand why I was so scared as well. I was also sick to my stomach (didn't hardly eat for 2 days), anxious, and had a weird feeling of doom. So yes, everything you guys are feeling is normal. Sadly, all part of this incredibly heartbreaking journey you are now on. 

I'd encourage you guys to keep talking to each other if that is what helps. Your brain takes some time in just processing the loss, it is almost unbelievable. Sometimes your mind will replay the events over and over to get a handle on it. My husband was as sad as me but he distracted himself from the pain, slept, watched t.v. I came to this forum and read practically every post and shared and shared to try to express my overwhelming guilt and grief. Maybe your husband would benefit from reading these posts?

I wish I could give you more comfort. We all know where you are right now and all I can do is hope that your broken heart is doing okay and that you find a little peace. 

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Thank you for your responses. Just reading them gives me some comfort; knowing I’m not alone. I’m not alone, I have support, but sometimes hearing it from people you don’t know brings solace. 

I think I get scared because I don’t think it feels totally “real” yet, and I’m afraid for when it will? I’m trying to stay busy, but that scares me too. Am I delaying my grieving? Although I still cry everyday  

I told my husband about my post and I think I need to actually get him to read. He can be a bit hesitant about these type of things.

Once again, thank you. I hope you all have found some peace as well. Knowing we’re not alone and have a place to speak deeply and freely definitely helps. I’m truly sorry for everyone’s losses as well. You are in my thoughts.

 

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SammyBear I just read your post. I am so sorry about your Sammy.I wish I could say something that could ease your pain, it hurts so much. Most of what I would say have been expressed by people here and it has been expressed beautifully. This deep deep grief is so familiar to all of us . I just want to say everyone has their own way of grieving. This feeling of unreality is part of the grief ,as much as crying is.We need time to adjust to this new reality ,I think it's a form of self protection, otherwise we would go insane. My kitty has been gone five months now and it still feels unreal sometimes. And ,frankly, I still often feel scared. Like AJWCat said ,it is this feeling of doom, the realization that we are mortal and powerless.

As for your husband,grieving is often more difficult for men,they have been taught to act brave no matter what they're feeling inside. Do not press him to express his feelings but let him know it is very ok to cry and weep. Unexpressed grief can harm us.This may sound strange but men often need " permission" to cry. And sometimes just being by his side, with a touch, a hug, like Ema said, is enough. I agree with KayC. maybe going to a grief counselor will help you.

I am so sorry for what you're both going through, I know how hard it is. Try to take care of yourselves and not fall apart, physically at least. Keep posting here, we all understand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Understanding that men often grieve differently than women do, and allowing for our own differences, we are each unique in our grief and how we handle things.  Just being there for each other will mean so much, knowing you are in this together, even as you individually grieve.  It is good to be able to express yourself as it allows your feelings to be heard and validated, and there is solace in feeling understood, but some people have a harder time with that than others.

Hang in there, we're all in this together, each of us with our losses.

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