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KayC

Living with Loss

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KayC

Last night I dreamed I had a home invasion/burglary and  Arlie wasn't there to warn or protect me.  This is the first dream I've had in which Arlie was pointedly missing...dead...gone.  It's hard, it's in my subconscious now.  I hate that.

I am feeling vulnerable without him.  Today is three months.  I miss my little boy.

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KayC

This has been a really hard day...it started with me discovering some special treats I'd put away for Arlie and hadn't given to him.  Now I never can.  I've spent a fair share of time bawling today, my sister got to deal with it.  :(  Three months, Arlie, and I miss you more than I can say, you are my life and I love you so much!  I just want you home.

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KayC

Yesterday I drove the truck for the first time since Arlie's death.  It was hard, I always called it "Arlie's truck" since he loved to go for rides in it.  I gave him rides to the park until the last 1 1/2 weeks when he had no energy and wouldn't have been able to jump up into it.  (One of the rocks I painted for him was of that truck with him in the back end.)

My son mentioned to me that it's not good for it to sit too long and the gas would be going bad, so I finally made myself do it.  I found myself talking to the truck/Arlie as I drove and got pretty choked up.  Checked the oil, washer fluid, filled up on gas, washed the window & mirrors.  It's ready for winter, which I see in the forecast we're getting snow this Monday.

Why does everything have to hurt?  It seems my whole life is affected by Arlie being gone. :(

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KayC

Years ago Arlie chewed the trim around the window in his pen, it involved seven boards, some which had some notching.  I just had them replaced today and painted them.  Arlie, you can come back and chew on them if you want!

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A.P. Hill
On 11/16/2019 at 9:14 PM, KayC said:

This has been a really hard day...it started with me discovering some special treats I'd put away for Arlie and hadn't given to him.  Now I never can.  I've spent a fair share of time bawling today, my sister got to deal with it.  :(  Three months, Arlie, and I miss you more than I can say, you are my life and I love you so much!  I just want you home.

Why does everything have to hurt?  It seems my whole life is affected by Arlie being gone.

Kay:

It is a struggle for us to understand this deep bond we have with our pets.  I’m beginning to think that it is often deeper than any bond we have with humans.  Most of us were raised with the understanding that someday we would strike out on our own to face and deal with life’s challenges without the protection of our mother and father.  Oh, we never stop being parents, but our roles are dramatically changed.  With pets, it is a lifetime commitment.  We need them every bit as much, if not more, as they need us.  When they leave us, we experience months and even years of grieving and guilt the likes of which we’ve never experienced before. 

It is perfectly understandable to me that when you discovered those special treats you never got around to giving Arlie that your day was filled with uncontrollable emotion.  I would have bawled all day myself.

It has been 6 months since Micah’s death and even though I know he’ll never be physically present with me in this life, when I go to bed, I still position Micah’s pillow next to me hoping I’ll wake up next to him.  It remains Micah’s pillow and heaven help the person who dares try to use it.  I’ve even asked my wife to never change or wash the pillowcase.

Thank you for sharing your memories of Arlie.  Sometimes when we are thinking that our grieving is out of control and not normal, along comes someone who is experiencing the same emotions as yourself and gives a confirmation that you are not alone in this process.

 

Blessings,

Steve

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KayC
1 hour ago, A.P. Hill said:

Sometimes when we are thinking that our grieving is out of control and not normal, along comes someone who is experiencing the same emotions as yourself and gives a confirmation that you are not alone in this process.

And that helps, it really does, just knowing someone else gets it.  No one will ever replace my Arlie.  I have a special bond with him that even death cannot disrupt.

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KayC

It's weird how people expect you to be over it by now, no one mentions him to me, like it's all in the past, yet in my heart I'm still hurting, I will always miss him.  Arlie, you will never be forgotten to me, you touched me for life.

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A.P. Hill
29 minutes ago, KayC said:

It's weird how people expect you to be over it by now, no one mentions him to me, like it's all in the past, yet in my heart I'm still hurting, I will always miss him.  Arlie, you will never be forgotten to me, you touched me for life.

Oh my dear Kay.  Being alone in your grief is so darn difficult.  I've stopped trying to explain to my own wife many months ago about my loss because I could see that she didn't understand and didn't know how to respond.  I'm not angry about that because there just wasn't the same bond with Micah as I had.  When my emotions can no longer be contained and I'm not alone in the house, I'll go to my office, close the door and let the tears flow.  This forum is my support group.  Just don't know where I'd be without it.

Blessings,

Steve

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KayC

Yes, and I appreciate your being here.  It helps having others that get it or feel as I do, helps me to know I'm not alone in this.  I do talk to my sister but always it's me that has to bring it up.  I never even heard from my brother when Arlie died (he knew, it was on Facebook).  He has his wife and five kids so maybe doesn't realize what it's like to have your pet be your companion, your everything in life.  I always had dogs in my life but was alone when I got Arlie...my son got to know him as he stayed with me off and on a few months here or there when he was in college, he totally got it, but my son doesn't live near me now.  And his life goes on, he has his wife, kids, and dog.  I am facing holidays and winter alone.  Last night came the first (albeit unpredicted) snow.

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KayC

Thinking of you on Thanksgiving, Arlie...wishing you were here to give some turkey to.  I miss you so much, sweet boy.

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A.P. Hill
32 minutes ago, KayC said:

Thinking of you on Thanksgiving, Arlie...wishing you were here to give some turkey to.  I miss you so much, sweet boy.

Kay:  That first holiday without your soulmate is difficult.  It's mine too.

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KayC

I find myself talking to him.  I know it's crazy but I feel his spirit has to be...somewhere.  I know he's not in his body, I saw it go quiet.  My sweet baby, I am just heartbroken!  23 dogs and cats and I've never felt this bereft before...it's much like losing my husband was.

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A.P. Hill
1 hour ago, KayC said:

I find myself talking to him.  I know it's crazy but I feel his spirit has to be...somewhere.  I know he's not in his body, I saw it go quiet.  My sweet baby, I am just heartbroken!  23 dogs and cats and I've never felt this bereft before...it's much like losing my husband was.

Kay:

If this makes you crazy, I'm right along side of you.  I do the same thing.  With the loss of Arlie that is so devastating and crippling, you have just got to believe that death is not the final chapter.

Blessings,

Steve

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Valerie Lockhart

Hello Kay C,

Arlie is a beautiful companion. I had to put my cat down, who had cancer. I can recall seeing a tear roll down from her eye at the vet's office. I find comfort in the Bible where it speaks of the earth being transformed back into a paradise and animals will be at peace with humans. I now dream of having a pet lion. In God's new world, people will be able to touch the furry mane of a lion, to stroke the striped coat of a tiger and, yes, to sleep in the woods without fear of any animal doing them harm. Notice this promise of God: “I shall certainly cause the injurious wild beast to cease out of the land, and they [humans] will actually dwell in the wilderness in security and sleep in the forests.” - Ezekiel 34:25; Hosea 2:18 May your treasured memories of Arlie offer you comfort. Perhaps volunteering at a rescue mission will also be comforting.

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TAM1

Kay - it has not been that long since Arlie passed and not near enough time to fully understand this or get a sense of things. Arlie is there and talking to him is normal - there will be times when you will sense his presence as I have with Missy. Thankfully have been home a few days so redid my special spaces and put away things that don't fit in or help my home be a healing space and Missy will forever be a part of my life and home(s). The top of the sewing machine will become more festive and even when she was with me, her photos were there. Though I've had other pets, even Molly, she touched my life the most as the greatest friend and companion ever. 

 

IMG-6284.JPG

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KayC

A Veteran's Christmas should have come with a warning...she got her dog back, I didn't.  It left me in tears.  Arlie would be so happy to see me again.  :(

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KayC

Thank you all for responding, this is a hard day.  Tam, your Missy looks a lot like my Arlie, beautiful sweet dogs.  I looked at pictures of Goberians today (Siberian Husky/Golden Retriever), none of them looked like Arlie though, I guess he was one of a kind.  I have never grieved like this over an animal, not this long, not this hard, it's been 3 1/2 months and I miss him more than I can express.  The best boy that ever lived.  He just has to be in heaven when I get there.  All of our animals do.

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KayC

This states perfectly how I feel...

I Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I’d walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.
 

Author unknown

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+Jeffrey+
3 hours ago, KayC said:

This states perfectly how I feel...

I Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden
well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories,
I only wanted you.

A million times I needed you,
a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you,
you never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly,
In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place
no one could ever fill.

If tears could build a stairway
and heartache make a lane,
I’d walk the path to heaven
and bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
and nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one,
the chain will link again.
 

Author unknown

That's beautiful, Kay! :sad: That's exactly how I feel as well. Thanks for sharing this.

No dog will ever replace your sweet Arlie, but I just know you will find another special dog some day, Kay. When the time is right, it will happen.

 

On 11/30/2019 at 2:35 PM, TAM1 said:

Kay - it has not been that long since Arlie passed and not near enough time to fully understand this or get a sense of things. Arlie is there and talking to him is normal - there will be times when you will sense his presence as I have with Missy. Thankfully have been home a few days so redid my special spaces and put away things that don't fit in or help my home be a healing space and Missy will forever be a part of my life and home(s). The top of the sewing machine will become more festive and even when she was with me, her photos were there. Though I've had other pets, even Molly, she touched my life the most as the greatest friend and companion ever. 

 

IMG-6284.JPG

Missy is such a beautiful dog, Tam1. And I love the special space you've created for her. 

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JellyBean04

Kay,

I know your pain. I miss my old girl still, it's been 1 year 2 months. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her,that I don't miss her. Things don't seem right without her. I have had may pets too, never been without one in my life. I believe that in our lives we find that special one. The one we have THAT bond with. My girl was 15 years 7 months when she passed, I only really thought about the end when she first got sick at almost 15 (never been ill before). I knew it was going to hurt me. Understandably. But I didn't understand fully until it happened. In a way I felt relief because she wasn't suffering anymore, but she was gone. A part of me truly went with her. It has been over a year, I feel like I should be "over it", if those around me knew I still felt this way they would tell me that. But how can we let go? The loss of my old girl is still so raw. I have had many other animals before, and the loss has been sad and devastating each and every time. But the loss of my old girl, my Frank, is something different. It's like she's gone but she's not. If that makes sense?

Arlie is your special one, as Frank is mine. I still say goodbye to her when I leave the house. I also have never grieved for a pet in this way. In a way it may seem weird. But I think it just means I loved her, I miss her. Nothing wrong with that.

I hope you're okay.

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KayC
3 hours ago, JellyBean04 said:

In a way I felt relief because she wasn't suffering anymore

I felt relieved that Arlie wasn't suffering anymore either, I finally slept all night.  But oh God, the pain!  I felt I had taken on HIS pain for my own now.  My heart is not right.  I wonder if he misses me or thinks of me where he is.  I know he's gone to a happy place and I'm glad for him.  But oh God it's hard living without him here in my life!

3 hours ago, JellyBean04 said:

I feel like I should be "over it", if those around me knew I still felt this way they would tell me that.

I'll never be "over it" or "over him," that just won't happen, he's part of me, and part of me is missing.  I know no pain like the pain of grief!  I'd rather a physical pain than this!  I know he wouldn't want me hurting but I know of know way to stop that.

3 hours ago, JellyBean04 said:

In a way it may seem weird.

Only to those who haven't had this bond.  Arlie was my special one, my soulmate in a dog.  He knew everything about me, he made me his study.  He got so excited when I'd come home, he'd jump up on the gate and give these happy squeals!  I've never heard another sound like that.  I love that dog with everything within me.

3 hours ago, JellyBean04 said:

But I think it just means I loved her, I miss her. Nothing wrong with that.

No, nothing wrong with that at all.  I'm kind of in that transitory state where sometimes I smile at memories but much of the time I am pained because it's a reminder that he's gone.  :(

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AJWCat

KayC I don't know how things work - in this universe - but if I dog can think of his owner, Arlie thinks of you for sure, and happily, without pain or suffering, only how wonderful life was together with you at your home. And, he would definitely not like to see you so sad.

I remember how much you coached me to try to find joy in the smallest of things when I told you dark everything seemed. I fought that so much. I didn't want to find any joy, I didn't even want to look for it because I was so sad. That took some time to allow. 

Even the other day I started thinking about losing my cat and everything that happened and it breaks my heart all over again. 

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KayC

I still practice looking for and embracing joy in the moment, but that doesn't mean you don't get hit with immense pain/grief/sadness too.  I'm not crying as much on the outside but I sure am on the inside.  People keep asking me if I'm getting another dog, I don't know the answer to that.  No one will ever be like my Arlie, he's the love of my life, along with my husband that passed almost 15 years ago.

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AJWCat

Oh that is true. You've had so many pets over the years. I believe when it's right, if it's meant to be, you'll meet the right one at the right time. Getting the cat we have now was actually very sad for me. It was just a reminder that our other guy was gone even though I was so glad to save this little sweet kitty from the shelter. She'd been there 30 days and apparently didn't take to anyone who tried to engage her. She took to my husband right away though and he picked her.

I am very damaged from losing my other cat still. I am terrified of loss now. 

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KayC

Look what my son is bringing me tonight!  I prayed Arlie would guide him to the right one.

Klee Kai Alaskan Nanook.jpg

Paul & Pup.jpg

Pup & Bruno.jpg

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