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Sick with grief and guilt


AJWCat

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You totally captured my experience KayC. 100%. Although I am only months into this and not years. 

Does it make sense to say I am sad when I am not sad? I feel like I lose him again when I am not grieving. I don't know it's strange. Don't get me wrong, I am still heartbroken. But when I am not I feel him slipping away... yet again. 

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Same for me AJWCat...I feel if I'm not grieving I will forget my kitty, as if grief is a way of keeping them still with us. It is strange...i am reminding myself everyday of how stroking her felt, of all those images of her, of how much more I could have done for her....it hurts so much. When half a day passes and I am not crying, I am worried: "Is this how much I loved her? Maybe I didn't love her enough"....

 

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8 hours ago, AJWCat said:

Does it make sense to say I am sad when I am not sad?

Once we've suffered a major loss, we carry the grief inside of us...we learn to coexist with it.  We can feel momentary joy, we can enjoy life, smile again, laugh at something funny, but all the while, our grief never leaves us.  It is our constant companion, it's not something we set aside or take off, it's there.  Not like we can forget, we're still missing them.

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4 hours ago, Maria9 said:

I feel if I'm not grieving I will forget my kitty, as if grief is a way of keeping them still with us.

We don't need to hang onto grief...it is our love that binds us, not our grief.  Besides, grief knows where we are, it is there, we don't have to seek it out.

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Traveling. Got to a hotel that we stayed in last December. I remember how much I missed our cat when we traveled and left him at home. Luckily we had a great cat sitter. She texted me a photo every day! Checking in here today, I remembered how he was alive last time we were here. Memories of my sweet kitty are everywhere. 

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You were fortunate to have such a good and caring sitter.  I need to find/develop a new one for my dog.

It is those memories that are so hard...they eventually ease into bittersweetness.

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Oh  AJWCat I know what you mean, they are with us everywhere ...Their absence makes different a once familiar world, we must learn to live on these new terms.:( Yes you were fortunate to have such a caring cat sitter and to have so many photos of your kitty. I am wishing you strength, to help you adjust.

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Thanks to you both. Yes @KayC I googled services local to me. There was the big one with employees and then her business which I knew was fairly new but she seemed to be far more personal and even did a pre-visit to meet our cat and learn about our apt.  

Hope you both are good. I am still traveling. Ugh. 

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Hi there, I see that you haven't posted in a bit but if you happen to see this, I could really use someone to talk to. I had to put my chihuahua down today and am not in a good place right now.

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AJW,

I hope you're home soon!

Kcnmike,

On the forums most people check in once a day, they're not on constantly, but some should be showing up any time.  It looks like you posted late last night.  You might want to consider making an appointment with a grief counselor that specializes in pets, some of them offer services over the phone.  You might want to write Marty Tousley, Grief Counselor, moderator and grief site owner,  tousleym@aol.com  to see if she knows who/where to contact someone. https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/10/seeing-specialist-in-grief-counseling.html

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And @Kcnmike yes, it has been hard to get online for me. Even if no one is here also, if you can, just write. Get out how you are feeling. As you can see I have created pages of it. And take the advice from KayC of course. 

 

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Still heartbroken. We finally moved into our new place in our old neighborhood.

Not having our cat with us (I can picture him slinking around the place checking everything out, and then snuggling with me) is so painful still. He should be here with us. I am staying very busy, exhausted actually, but really sad. Still traumatized over how we lost him too. It was so horrible. I am still overcome when I think about the moment I saw him. How sick he was so suddenly. And I knew in my heart whatever was going on was really, really bad. 2 hours later we put him down to end his suffering. :( 

Def. have taken a step back in healing. I am 3 days away from the 90 mark of losing him.

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Οh  AJWCat ,my heart breaks for you....I feel your pain.Tomorrow it will be 2 months for me ,I've been crying almost all day. I keep thinking too "she should be sunning her belly on the balcony today" or "she should be watching the birds from the window now". I don't know what to say to make you feel better, it is so hard.:( At least try not to think about his final hours, though I know it is hard not to, these images are branded in your soul. Try to think that he passed in your arms and that he felt your love to the end .Maybe he chose it that way, to leave like this , to spare you the agony of watching him waste away from an incurable illness, as many do. Try to think that his spirit is still with you, in your new place .

These anniversaries break us in pieces. Our hearts know, without looking at the calendar. It is good that you are staying busy, to be a little distracted ,but try not to exhaust yourself. Grief is exhausting by itself.

I am sending you prayers for peace and healing.

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Yes you are right, thinking of the very end does no good whatsoever. And, granted he was not going to live forever. He was older - 15. We adopted him when he was about 5. So... I know you are right.

Wishing you lots of healing comfort at 2 months. It is so short and yet so long all at once.  

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Hi all. I've been reading everyone's posts. It's been about 6 weeks. Since saying goodbye to my dog baby. I walk in the house and expect to see her waiting. I start crying at the thought of it .. I can see that Im not alone in returning to those final moments. Hers was peaceful on a beautiful morning under our tree with me holding her and humming softly to her as she passed. It's just the euthanasia part thats killing me. It was gentle and peaceful but because I made that decision to end her pain, the memory of that makes me so upset. I've never had to make a decision to end a life, especially if someone I loved so much. I keep asking myself, was it real? How can this be?. This form has been very supportive. Peace and healing to you all. 

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Dear Ema I am so sorry for your pain...Remember what you did was out of love. For me euthanasia is the ultimate act of selfless love.  You didn't kill your baby, you ended her suffering and gave her peace. And you made her passing as beautiful as possible. I am sure she knew that .Please try to find comfort in  these thoughts.

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AJW,

Those habit/patterns that are now missing are such a reminder of their absence, it looms out at you!  I adopted King George (cat) when he was six and for the next 13 years he was such a wonderful family cat!  He would always greet me when I came home, waiting out in the driveway.  As he got older, he'd be on the back patio, but he'd still get up to walk towards me and greet me when I came home.  Finally, that last year, he'd be laying on the porch swing, back patio, and when I came up the ramp, I'd see the top of the swing moving and I'd know he'd jumped down and was making his way towards me.  He got cancer and was suffering terribly so I had him euthanized at age 19.  I still miss him.  He was a wonderful lap cat and we enjoyed him so much.

Maria,

Will be thinking of you as it's your two month mark.  (((hugs)))

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10 hours ago, Ema said:

Hi all. I've been reading everyone's posts. It's been about 6 weeks. Since saying goodbye to my dog baby. I walk in the house and expect to see her waiting. I start crying at the thought of it .. I can see that Im not alone in returning to those final moments. Hers was peaceful on a beautiful morning under our tree with me holding her and humming softly to her as she passed. It's just the euthanasia part thats killing me. It was gentle and peaceful but because I made that decision to end her pain, the memory of that makes me so upset. I've never had to make a decision to end a life, especially if someone I loved so much. I keep asking myself, was it real? How can this be?. This form has been very supportive. Peace and healing to you all. 

What you did was a kindness for her, not something bad.  It's much better to go that way, peacefully, with those who love you, rather than suffer to death bit by bit.  I would have had George euthanized sooner had he been properly diagnosed, but by the time I knew this was something he wasn't going to recover from, he'd already suffered more than any little cat should ever have to go through.

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16 hours ago, Ema said:

Hi all. I've been reading everyone's posts. It's been about 6 weeks. Since saying goodbye to my dog baby. I walk in the house and expect to see her waiting. I start crying at the thought of it .. I can see that Im not alone in returning to those final moments. Hers was peaceful on a beautiful morning under our tree with me holding her and humming softly to her as she passed. It's just the euthanasia part thats killing me. It was gentle and peaceful but because I made that decision to end her pain, the memory of that makes me so upset. I've never had to make a decision to end a life, especially if someone I loved so much. I keep asking myself, was it real? How can this be?. This form has been very supportive. Peace and healing to you all. 

Hey @Ema it is a tough thing to do. You're forced to do something that every fiber of your being does not want to do. Mixing love with death makes no logical sense. Yet being the one to end a pet's suffering (a life in great pain or sickness isn't a happy life anymore) is truly kind. I understand how the last six weeks have been for you - we all do. :( Wish it were not so painful. 

My heart goes out to you, I am so sorry for your loss.  

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18 hours ago, KayC said:

Maria,

Will be thinking of you as it's your two month mark.  (((hugs)))

KayC I'm so sorry for your King George, he was such a sweet and loyal kitty, I was so touched by his story. My heart breaks that you had to see him suffer but you were kind and loving till the end and you helped him as much as possible.May you have peace with this. Their ending is never,never easy for us, no matter how.                                                        Thank you, hugs from me too! :wub:

 

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It's weird, but no matter how many years go by, we carry within us the love and memories that mean they will never be forgotten, their lives mattered because we knew and love them for the special beings they are.  Funny how in grief I use past and present tenses interchangeably, but that's how it is, what was past still is, even though the circumstances in our lives have greatly altered with their passing.  I believe them to still be alive, I just can't reach them now.

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AJWCat, I am so sorry you had to experience all of that. I totally understand your pain, your guilt, and you feeling miserable when you were supposed to be having a nice time.

And I agree, it is not obsessing. You loved this cat, and your thoughts and worry show how much Your cared, and I know your kitty knew as well. I too, have to fight back on showing anger to others out of frustration, but try to be there for your husband as hard as it seems, you can be surprised how much companionship even from a human can help ease the pain. And yes, being at home does make realization set in and I won’t lie, it hurts :/ 

 

and you said you feel like no one understands you. I know that feeling! I feel so sad knowing others know it though. I also visioned losing my cat too possibly old age, but he got sick and this all happened so quick. All I can say is, I know your pain and trust me you aren’t alone. I hope things will get better for you.

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Thanks Rebecca. We do all understand each other all too well. I know right where you are too. The first week was pretty much hell. The next two were a little better. This forum really helped me, I am glad you are here!  Hope you are okay too. 

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Just over 3 months now. I came across our cat's "file" - I still have his paperwork from the day we adopted him in 2007. And a bunch of recent vet visits and his rabies certificate. It expired 11/11/2017. I never did call the vet to see if they got my email about him passing away. And so I guess they cancelled our appointment after all. I can't believe they would be so heartless not to even email me back. I don't think I want to go there with my next cat. :( 

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Honestly, I think I would call them.  If they got the email and didn't bother responding, shame on them and they need to FEEL their shame!  :angry:  If they didn't get the email, it'd be good to make them aware of what happened and it'd make you feel better to know they aren't just uncaring and callous.

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Yes, give them a call...I cannot believe they are so cold and uncaring not to send you a message. You have to know what happened with them. I hope that they didn't get your e-mail and also hope, well.....that you'll be ok when making that call.

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Please don't have this fear, of being judged. No one is in a position to judge you. Accidents happen, whether during vacation or not .What happened ,it was absolutely not your fault..You have suffered and are still suffering so much, don't add such a fear to your burden.                                                                                                                                                          It is difficult not to cry during such a call.I cry too every time I mention my kitty.It is not the tears I fear so much but the wave of sadness that comes with them.

Anyhow, I wish that this will be for you as painless as possible.

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You don't deserve any judgment.  Our pets can pass away at any time with no notice, as far as that goes, so can we, if anything, death has taught me that.  

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Okay so I finally called. Got someone I didn't recognize. I mentioned that our cat passed away a few months ago and that I emailed but wasn't sure if they still had our appt.

She checked and said they didn't have an appointment on file. She was sympathetic and nice enough but they clearly got my email, cancelled my appt., and that was that. It's too bad b/c they are a cat only clinic and normally very good. You'd think a vet office would be very mindful of these things. 

 

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I am so sorry. One would expect they would be more caring and considerate. They could have sent you at least a card or e-mail. We trust them with our pets and they surely must know what it means to lose them.

When my vet was on vacation I took my kitty to this vet clinic where they told me nothing could be done for her.They just gave me some medications.After a week I went there again. They coldly told me that my kitty had only 3-4 days of life and that was it. I had to press them to give me more medication to help her. I hate to even pass outside this clinic  now. I had to wait for my vet to return ,to help my kitty and take her in. My vet has just a small office near my home, but she is kind, experienced and has a personal relationship with all her clients, animal and human.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My point is that maybe sometimes vet clinics, like hospitals, can be impersonal, viewing us and our pets as "just clients".And we don't get to see this until a loss happens . And this is awful.Of course not all vet clinics are this way but some of them are. On the other hand they have all this technical equipment that many vet offices do not have.The ideal would be to find a vet clinic with a kind and humane staff.                                                                                                                                                                                                               

I just wanted to share my own experience .I don't know if all this is helping you.I hope it does, in some way....

 

 

 

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I feel the same way about the clinic that misdiagnosed my King George, causing him a month of needless pain and suffering.  I wish I had him back to hold and love and then put to sleep a month sooner!  Even when I called them after he died and told them they didn't examine him thoroughly (for which they'd charged me an arm and a leg) and how much it caused him suffering, they were cold and callous and did not care.  No apologies.  I will never take an animal there.  But there are other clinics in town I will no longer use either, I have some horror stories I could share.  It's so sad how hard it is to find a good caring vet that does their job and understands animal nature.  Unfortunately it's become "big business" just like the other corporations.  Where is James Herriot when you need him?

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Wow, so so sorry to hear both your stories. Ugh, terrible!

I get it, people make mistakes, they are running a "business" - Maria you are right, but just a little communication and some compassion would go a long way!

 

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AJWCat it's true what you say. Compassion especially is the only thing needed to make a difference.

KayC I am so sorry that you and your King George had to go through this, and for all your other pets at the clinics . It is horrible and heartbreaking.And this indifference your talking of hurts so much. To me it is as unforgivable as cruelty.

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So after 3+ months without our sweet cat, we decided to go to the main pet rescue in our city and there we a lot of cats. After about 20 minutes of looking at cats, reading profiles, etc. we decided we couldn't do it yet. My husband commented how scared he is to love something again and then I lost it and broke down right there. I miss our cat so much! Needless to say we left. I am sure the volunteers were wondering what was wrong with us. 

Apparently it is still too soon. I want to love a cat again so badly, and yet I am so heartbroken still. And terrified. This whole thing has been so awful. I was such a careful and responsible cat "parent." I  got his teeth cleaned, annual vet visits, watched him like a hawk as much as I could, etc. Until I took him away to this vacation house and he got into something and got sick. I still have guilt over not being extra careful. I should have paid more attention to what he was doing. We left for a one night trip and even though it was 10 days before he died, I wondered, was that when he got into something? 

I thought about it all morning as I was waking up. I am so haunted by the whole thing still. I give people advice here and now I don't even feel like I am making any progress. I guess it's going to take a lot longer than I even thought.

 

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Oh AJWCat I am so sorry , my heart breaks for you....Please, please don't blame yourself all over again .You were extra careful with your kitty and you always made sure he was safe. But you are not superhuman, no one is. There is nothing you could have done  that you didn't do,  please don't fall into this trap of "could", "should", "if only" again. I am so sorry that going to the pet rescue was so painful for you ....and that it woke all those terrible feelings ,along with your guilt. Try to leave your guilt aside, don't listen to it. You are making progress but this is a complicated process, be patient with yourself. I know you want to love a kitty again but it seems that your heart needs more time to heal before you do it.          Take the time . (((Hugs)))

 

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Oh AJWCat I am so sorry , my heart breaks for you....Please, please don't blame yourself all over again .You were extra careful with your kitty and you always made sure he was safe. But you are not superhuman, no one is. There is nothing you could have done  that you didn't do,  please don't fall into this trap of "could", "should", "if only" again. I am so sorry that going to the pet rescue was so painful for you ....and that it woke all those terrible feelings ,along with your guilt. Try to leave your guilt aside, don't listen to it. You are making progress but this is a complicated process, be patient with yourself. I know you want to love a kitty again but it seems that your heart needs more time to heal before you do it.          Take the time . (((Hugs)))

 

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Hi Maria, thank you. I know you are so right, I know better than to put myself through all the craziness in my mind. I did not expect it to be so hard. And I didn't expect that my husband would have so many issues either. He never says anything - but he's still so sad and thinks of our cat everyday.  I know we will find the right one in the right time. And I know getting a new cat will not replace the kitty we lost. Nothing will bring him back. You are right - I am making progress but it IS a complicated process! 

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I agree with what Maria said, men grieve in their own way and just because they don't talk about it doesn't mean it isn't going on just like it is with us.

I'm sorry that experience was so hard for you both...you'll know if/when you're ready.  I guess you just need more time to grieve and come to terms with his death.  But I do wish you didn't feel guilt.  I just read a short article this morning about how humans are the only ones that are so hard on themselves.  Animals take life as it comes.

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Hi ajwcat. It must have been awful at the rescue . You're just not ready and that's ok. It's in your heart to have a relationship with a cat and you will when you are ready. I understand about being scared after what we've been through. Loving another pet with the thought of having to lose them one day makes it frightening to consider. If I were to take in a new dog right now I would be crying all the time at the thought of losing her rather than enjoying her. Im definitely not ready.  On the other hand, we really don't know what life has in store for us and not having that love again would be even worse so take your time. If its in our hearts to have a bond with a dog or cat or any Pet, then we will again when we are ready for a new love and relationship. 

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So... today's update is that we got a cat yesterday. Went to the local store where the city brings in adoptions. I let my husband pick her out, she's almost three. She's much more energetic than we are used to of course having an older cat for so long. She looks totally different than our last cat in every way. I found myself wanting to get a cat that looked the same so I am disappointed. Having her here makes me miss our other cat SO much. I am literally in tears missing him. But my husband seems happy with her, she is very affectionate - like overly affectionate. I know - too soon, but I am just so sad one way or the other. Without a new cat, with a new cat. It does not seem to matter, I am still heartbroken. I am starting to look forward to life getting happier. I feel defective and even I am getting tired of this grief now. 

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AJWCat you need time... your heart needs time...you are not defective. You suffered a great loss and you must allow grief to run its course, whatever that is. Maybe it is a good thing that your new kitty looks so different from him. Maybe if they looked the same the comparison would be even more painful. I am newer to this than you, but I think we will never stop missing them.No other pet can occupy their place in our heart but this does not mean we will never love another pet again. Maybe in time you will love your new kitty, in a different way, but do not put pressure on yourself to feel other than what you feel. When it comes, it has to be natural.                                                                                                                I am glad your husband is happy with her. He will be able to be with her when you cannot.

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