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catawampus

Overwhelming Grief

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catawampus

My cat Biscuit died in my arms yesterday after spending 2 days in intensive care. The previous week had seen constant visits to the vet, infected teeth extracted, a biopsy in his mouth, an abscess on his foot and a week of me forcing antibiotics down his mouth in desperate hope that his infection would clear up and life could go on as normal. I wish so much that we had not taken such drastic measures to save him but rather let him die more peacefully at home where he felt safe and before his health had gotten to such a point. I don't know if I will ever be able to forgive myself. Although I was with him when the doctor assisted in helping him pass, he was so sick that I can't even be certain he recognized me. He was gasping for air and bile was spilling from his mouth when I arrived. His skin had yellowed from jaundice and his eyes were wide with fear. I will never be able to get those horrible images out of my mind. They will haunt me for as long as I live. I can only imagine what he must have endured the previous night, probably wondering why he had been abandoned, just wanting to be home, safe and protected. And yet was there in that cold, strange place with those cold, strange people sticking him with needles and hurting him with each poke and prod. 

The tears are coming again.

He was my best friend. He was my furry little shadow. I work from home, so we were together constantly. I miss him so, so much. The tears seem to have no end.  The emptiness in me seems bottomless. My heart is shattered.

I've lost other cats over the years and the losses are all so difficult and each time I think that I will never be able to get through this but somehow I do. Yet this time feels different. The loss feels so deep and permanent and that life will never return to normal. 

I just have no desire to go on anymore. How many losses can a person experience in their lives before they are completely broken? Unfixable.

Thank you for reading.

Biscuit's Dad
I will love you forever my dear, precious boy. I hope that you can forgive me.

CAA42E73-C00E-4AEA-93AD-0E18B10F4B7B.jpeg

3899DCCD-084E-4B62-8B54-27A872B6C545.jpeg

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Beatriz

Hello and I hear you and my heart aches echoing your loss. I am so terribly sorry about Biscuit having undergone such suffering. Only a couple of days ago I wrote in this forum that I cannot come to terms with WHY both my cats had to suffer before dying, and I never will. It is the hardest thing because no matter how you look at it, it makes no sense whatsoever. You say you had lost other cats before. I only had two cats in my life and lost them one after another within months. They were elderly and healthy and then they were seriously ill. I could not believe things could take such a bad turn twice, it hit me as something too cruel and utterly pointless. What can I say to you, a year and a half has gone by and I am living on with this pain. I also chose to treat my cats and prolong their lives. They reacted differently to treatments, my girl fought for her life like a lion and we just followed behind. My boy rejected treatment. Both of them suffered a great deal. I have their photos and short films I made and I look at them and see how frail they had become and how uncomfortable they were and how I could not make them better, how I failed to restore them to health. It is the hardest thing to be that impotent towards those we love most. I do understand what you are going through and wish I had a way to comfort you, except by saying that the love goes on and that at times I do really feel my cats are still with me regardless of their otherwise overwhelming absence. Life does utterly change but it also goes on and it is perhaps meant to, for you and for me. I miss terribly saying my cats’ names, so I will say your cat’s name for you: Biscuit. Just hang in there and write here. It has helped me - please treat yourself kindly in these early days and take care. Biscuit is adorable, one can surely tell you love him well.

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catawampus

Thank you, Beatriz. I'm so very sorry for your losses too. I think that no matter what choices we make we are plagued with regrets. We are always second guessing our decisions. We love our fur babies so deeply and unconditionally and would do anything for them. They enrich our lives and at least for me, they make my life worth living.

I lost a very special cat, Gabby, where afterwards I felt that I had prolonged her life too much and let her suffer longer than needed. I just couldn't let her go. The guilt of that decision has never left. With my other cat Fiona, I felt I didn't react soon enough to signs she was getting more and more ill. Had I only done something sooner... at the time she was my best friend. She saw me through my divorce and was at my side when I'd contemplated suicide. She saved my life.

Since losing my two girls I have fostered and rescued cats in need, 2 of whom have died of cancer in the past few years, the most recent being last year. And now my precious Biscuit with whom I'd developed a very special bond with since adoption. It's almost too much to bear. He had been through so much. Carcinoma on his nose (the furless patches on his nose where he received treatment). Stomatitis where almost all his teeth were removed. And finally this last battle he endured and lost.

I'm still in denial. I'm still crying uncontrollably. I'm still asking why and how. I know it gets better. I'm happy I've found this forum. Thank you for replying. Your words have helped.

John

 

 

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KayC

John, I'm so sorry, it pains me to see yet another person going through this, your precious Biscuit...I also lost a cat to cancer, his name was George, I had him before I married my husband George, and now they're both gone.  I relate to your feelings, I too felt so bad that he had to suffer tremendously (he was originally misdiagnosed with a cold), when I understood he had cancer and was suffering tremendously, I immediately had him put to sleep, I feel so bad for that last month, he needn't have gone through it, if only I'd known.  he was the best cat ever.

It's hard going through all the changes it means as you're alone and no cat to interact with throughout your day.  I hope you can grasp that you haven't earned the feelings of guilt, they are common with grief and I think most of us experience that.  I hope these articles will help you as they have me.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf
https://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml

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Beatriz

Dear John, the pain is ... excruciating, I know. And we do cry rivers, it looks as though it will never stop. I did not want to fall asleep either. Sleep brought oblivion but then I forgot and waking up and realising they were gone was devastating. It may take a while, but it does get better. I was prostrated for months, lacked all motivation. My home was gone, I did not recognise it. They were my home, everything revolved around their luminous, joyful presences. I mean everything that mattered. Gabby reminds me of Preta, who saw us all through a change of continents, who lost her eyesight but carried on enjoying her life loudly (she was a chatterbox) and playfully. When the vet told us she had died I asked him how-am-I-going-to-live-without-her. I really did not see how I could possibly. But then I am here telling you about her and honouring her life and the meaning she assigned to mine. Please be gentle with yourself. It does get better, bit by bit. Beatriz

 

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catawampus

Thank you, KayC and Beatriz. Your kind words mean so much. I'm so very sorry for your losses. The sudden emptiness of a home without our loved ones is crushing. 

This morning was terribly hard. Waking up without Biscuit and trying to get through the morning without our usual routine -- he was always ready to sit on the stoop outside and smell the air and get his daily sun before coming inside for breakfast and a nap on my computer desk while I worked. Often he would lay his head on my hand which made it hard to use my computer mouse but I never had the heart to move him. He would open his eyes sleepily, look up at me and almost seem to sigh with satisfaction.

I've been crying since I woke this morning. I cannot get the images out of my head of him gasping for air in the hospital. When I went to lift him out of his oxygen cubicle he turned away from me and hid in a corner. I can't shake the feeling that at that moment he hated me for abandoning him and for spending the previous week forcing him to take medication that didn't help him. And when the time came to help him pass, while he lay in my lap on a blanket, I didn't pet him enough. He was gasping for air and I was worried I'd hurt him more if I touched him. It all happened so fast and I didn't have enough time to tell him how much I loved him and to ask him to forgive me. It's breaking me. If I had just been able to look in his eyes one final time and reassure him he was loved and had not been forgotten or abandoned, that I was sorry for hurting him with medicine, that in that moment he was the most precious creature in the world, then maybe I could forgive myself. But none of that happened. And now I just can't see past this hurt and the guilt.

I will read the articles you provided, KayC. Thank you. But for now, the tears are flowing again. They just don't stop.

John 

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+Jeffrey+

John, I am very sorry for all the losses you've had to deal with, and for your adorable Biscuit. And I truly do understand what you're going through. I lost my sweet little girl (Lady G.) on January 14 of this year, and I am still extremely upset over this. There hasn't been a day go by that I haven't shed many tears for my baby. No matter where I am, I just can't help but think of her. And like your Biscuit, Lady G. was my shadow, too. Always by my side, so loving, so awesome to be around. She was my world. 

And like your Biscuit, Lady G. would also get up here next to me while I was at the computer. She'd get all in the way, walking across my keyboard, laying on it, pawing at the mouse and keyboard cables, laying on my mouse, or simply sitting right in front of me, looking at me, demanding attention! LOL But I loved every minute of it! As long as my little girl was happy, I was happy!

See what I mean!  :P God, I miss her so much! 

large.630761367_LadyG.(March262017)(2).jpg.38fde633b512cffcf83246934ef48731.jpg

 

I hope you find comfort soon, John. Wishing you all the best, brother. You hang in there.

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catawampus

Thank you, Jeffrey. Lady G. is a beautiful girl. I'm very sorry for your loss. I read your initial post and thread and watched your videos of her. Such a sweet girl. It's obvious you had an incredible bond with her. Once in a lifetime.

It's very fresh for me still and I'm having a really hard time of it. I have to force myself to eat and I can only sleep by taking sleeping pills. I haven't left my apartment since it happened. Whenever I close my eyes I see his little face at the very end, gasping for air, terrified. I keep going over and over how I should have done things differently even up to the very end. I keep reliving the moment and trying to change the outcome. I keep asking him to forgive me even though I can't forgive myself. I still can't believe this has happened the way it did. 

I loved it when Biscuit would sit in front of my computer screen and block my view. It would just make me laugh. I would never move him, just try to look around him, lol. Or when he'd lay his head on my mouse hand and I'd do everything I could to keep working without disturbing his nap.

Thanks again for reading my story and offering your kind thoughts. It helped a lot. And thanks for letting me see Lady G. Her sweet face made me smile for the first time today. I just wish we were all here for reasons other than the collective loss of our beloved little friends.

Wishing you all the best as well. 

biscuit-resting.jpg

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KayC

The pictures you guys provide of your cats, they're precious and I can tell how much you love them through your words, it's palpable.  I know I have never forgotten losing my King George (cat) 12 1/2 years ago, it's much like your story, John, and I've always felt bad that he suffered that last month of his life.  I've never regretted ending his suffering, for he deserved so much more than the pain he got, he was stoic throughout and it broke my heart, he was such a good cat.  Funny how they say time heals all wounds, but not this one, time does nothing to erase the memories of loving and losing them.  The ache in our hearts cries out how much we miss and long for them.

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catawampus

Thank you, KayC. The pain seems like it will never end. It will fade in time but it will always be with me. I just don't know how to get past this though. I go to bed crying. I wake up in tears. I sleepwalk through the day. I can't close my eyes without the images of him dying haunting me.

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KayC

It has only been four days and it takes much longer to process our grief to the point where we begin to adjust to the changes it means for our lives...yet even so, we still miss them, we learn to live with it but it's still there.  It may help to see a pet grief counselor...since you're in LA, there should be one there.

There is also something that can be done about the images in your mind haunting you, see here:

https://www.healthjourneys.com/blog/ask-belleruth/have-you-heard-of-emotional-freedom-technique-eft.html
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2010/03/using-emotional-freedom-techniques-eft.html 
https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2016/03/in-grief-using-eye-movement.html

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catawampus

Thank you for the links, KayC. I appreciate it. It's been another excruciating day. Lots of tears. 

 

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KayC

I'm sorry, I know it's hard to get through.  Tears line the path to acceptance...not that this is ever "okay" with us, it's not, but that eventually we realize it has happened, there's no altering it, and it is what it is now...but our life isn't only about our pain, but also about the full lives and love we shared with them, all of our memories, and carrying them in our hearts.

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catawampus

Thank you, KayC. I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful replies. Every little bit helps get me through the day.

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KayC

I hope each day gets a little less painful for you.

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catawampus

Thank you so much.

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apmy41

I just wanted to chime in to say that your babies are all precious angels. And if there’s one thing I know about our pets, it’s that they forgive us. They chose us. We’re their world as much as they are ours. You know in your heart you only ever did what you thought was best for your baby. Biscuit knows that, too. I also like to believe they wait for us and we’ll see them again. I’m not sure I’ll make it after my loss Wednesday, especially that I had to choose to let her go. But I’m hoping sharing will help. 

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+Jeffrey+
On 3/26/2019 at 5:38 AM, catawampus said:

Thank you, Jeffrey. Lady G. is a beautiful girl. I'm very sorry for your loss. I read your initial post and thread and watched your videos of her. Such a sweet girl. It's obvious you had an incredible bond with her. Once in a lifetime.

It's very fresh for me still and I'm having a really hard time of it. I have to force myself to eat and I can only sleep by taking sleeping pills. I haven't left my apartment since it happened. Whenever I close my eyes I see his little face at the very end, gasping for air, terrified. I keep going over and over how I should have done things differently even up to the very end. I keep reliving the moment and trying to change the outcome. I keep asking him to forgive me even though I can't forgive myself. I still can't believe this has happened the way it did. 

I loved it when Biscuit would sit in front of my computer screen and block my view. It would just make me laugh. I would never move him, just try to look around him, lol. Or when he'd lay his head on my mouse hand and I'd do everything I could to keep working without disturbing his nap.

Thanks again for reading my story and offering your kind thoughts. It helped a lot. And thanks for letting me see Lady G. Her sweet face made me smile for the first time today. I just wish we were all here for reasons other than the collective loss of our beloved little friends.

Wishing you all the best as well. 

biscuit-resting.jpg

That's such a great picture, John! It's very clear to see how much he loved you. And I have a small plastic container full of pens and pencils on my desk, too. Lady G. would sometimes claw at them wanting to play with them. She would get into everything while up on my desk. But, she was simply being a cat. She laid up here on this desk beside me during many nights. I miss being able to reach to my right and pet her. I miss her so much. Ugh! I'm getting upset thinking about it. :(

Hope you don't mind me sharing another pic of her.

large.1894525192_LadyG.(November262016)(

Again, I truly hope you're able to find comfort soon. So you hang in there, my friend.

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apmy41

Such angels. 

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+Jeffrey+
15 minutes ago, apmy41 said:

Such angels. 

Thank you very much. 

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apmy41

Just reminds us how very much they love us. That them being there during the simplest times means the most. 

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catawampus

Thank you, apmy41. I'm very sorry for your loss as well. In spite of everything and even though I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone, I feel somewhat fortunate that I'm able to find some solace in speaking to others who understand. 

Thank you too, Jeffrey. I appreciate all the kind thoughts and words. LadyG is such a sweet, beautiful girl. Thank you for showing me another photo of her. It's so hard looking at pictures of them though isn't it? Trying to find distractions are tough when everything around me reminds me of him. I'd never even watch TV unless he was curled up across my lap or chest. Even the simple act of watching TV now seems lonely.

I just love how LadyG is curled into little a ball with her tail curled in front of her face. I would just love to watch Biscuit sleep. His little tongue would usually hang out. There was such contentment because he knew he was safe and loved. He would occasionally part his eyes just a bit to make sure I was still there and then back to sleep he'd go.

Fond memories but still too much of the bad for me to smile just yet. Hopefully one day soon I will be able to think of him and smile. For now I'll have to settle for tears.

John

biscuit-napping-desk-1.jpg

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apmy41

What a comfort you were to him. You were his world. And he knows how much you love him. He really does. 

Thank you...I miss Fatsy more than I’d ever be able to explain. And I won’t ever be whole again. She chose me out of nowhere eleven years ago when she showed up on the porch and never left. It never feels like enough time and I regret every minute I didn’t spend with her. And can only hope I made the right choice for her after all she did for me  

I have found the slightest comfort in picking her up today and having her next to me, just in a different form. I remind myself that even if I can’t interact with her, she’s still definitely there. 

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catawampus

Thank you apmy41. Biscuit was my world as much as I was his. I was probably closer to him than most members of my family. I do hope he knew how much I loved him and needed him.

I can only imagine how much you must miss Fatsy. They become such a part of our lives, such a part of us. I feel like the best part of me has been taken away. I just feel incomplete now.

I will be picking Biscuit up tomorrow. I will be happy to have him back but also saddened beyond measure. 

Like Jeffrey's Lady G, I would like to see photos of Fatsy if you have any you'd like to show us?

 

 

 

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apmy41

You’re very welcome! I agree - it has helped to share with others who can relate. She went through everything with me. And I’m lost and have been in a surreal world since then. It feels like forever and no time at the same time. And I know I’ll never be the same. I always promised her I’d do what’s best for her and I know you did the same. And so does Biscuit - that’s what counts. Fatsy was fourteen lbs when she arrived ...how she got her name lol. Thank you guys for listening! 

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