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Ande

Whitey

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Ande

hello, my name is Andrew, I’m new here.  I had to put my dog down last Sunday, and I’m struggling.  I’m not sure what exactly I’m doing, so I read a lot of the content to try to get an idea. I’ll keep this as short as I can.  I have no one to burden with this, so thank you for reading, any advice or suggestion is welcome.

In the past 2.5 years Ive lost the two family members I was closest with (dad and grandma) my (14 years) marriage, and nearly my ex-wife after a grim cancer prognosis - we remain friends. my neighbor, best friend for 10+ years, like a brother unexpectedly died from a massive stroke at 37. I connected with someone new last year, felt hope after all that. she became pregnant (wife and I never did) had a miscarriage, and a breakdown followed by a schizophrenia diagnoses. it was heartbreaking.

so at this point, I’m hanging on by a thread. I left my job, lost my home, and stopped sleeping almost entirely. I just didn’t feel tired until 4-5 days awake, then I’d get 4-8 hours and be good. I withdrew from family and friends, lived on my savings, and had only my dog Whitey to keep me going. I started using valium and ambien. the ambience would knock me out for about 5 hours. 

So here I am now. whitey collapsed on a walk 3 weeks ago, and briefly lost consciousness. she was then unable to walk more than 5-10 feet w/o visible discomfort. I took her to the vet the following day. they told me she had two large masses, likely cancerous. one was bleeding into her pericardium, creating pressure on her heart and hindering its ability to pump. they recommended I put her down right then, or soon. They told me she was not in pain, so I brought her home and cared for her another 2 weeks. she was fine, not very mobile, and any excitement or walk outside would wind her. she had a very brief seizure after going outside to pe, after this I began carrying her most of the way. last saturday she started showing signs of discomfort or pain, so sunday I had to force myself to let her go. it was the hardest moment of my life.  

i’ve been thru some tough times, from deploying to the sunni triangle and anbar province iraq 06 and 07, to the losses of the past few years.  this was far worse than any of it. 

so ive now lost everything. my car, motorcycle, family, friends, - no one seems to remember I’m here. the VA stopped paying my disability for a 50% rating combat related injury. I was told that could never happen, but it has. but I can absorb all of it. losing whitey has broken me. she was by my side thru everything, always here for me, loved me, needed me.  she was everything wrapped into one. and she was kind to everyone, she loved everyone she met, and everyone loved her.  she was my reason for living. 

 

so I can’t tell if it’s grief, or if this really is supposed to be the end of the road for me. For the first time, I can’t envision a future, nothing I can’t see myself at all.  I am trying to figure out if it’s my turn to fave the music, if not then what do so do?  my life is gone, I have nothing left to live for really.  Rebuilding would be impossible as I have no way to even begin.  Even if I could, I think the guilt that would accompany starting over would be unbearable.

 

Is it always wrong to accept that maybe it’s just time to let go of this life?  How do I decide this?

this isn’t a cry for help, I just want to know if I’m expected to endure in misery, or if there are other options.

D5D519AC-3829-4B70-A1B8-F9E0703C4369.jpeg

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jashar1

Andrew,

I lost my soulmate, an 18 y.o. chihuahua named Hopi, eight weeks ago today.  The moments of stability/clarity I've had since then have been few and far between, but the longest ones came right after interacting with other people's dogs for an hour or two.  Every single time.  I swear, dogs make the best psychologists.  And today I might be adopting two of them - not because "I'm ready" to love another dog, but because I can't think straight unless I'm around one, so if I don't do this I'm never going to go back to work or have any motivation to move forward with life.

If you have access to an actual psychologist, that's probably the most sensible advice.  But if not, try fostering/adopting a dog from a shelter.  Not as a replacement for Whitey, of course, but as a shoulder to cry on.  They'll lick your face and your heart until things get a little better.  That's what they're really good at doing.  

I'm getting two dogs, because losing the one and only dog was a tragedy I just haven't been able to bear.  It's too devastating.  I still leave the lights on for her, and I call out for her in the mornings and evenings.  It's crazy. 

Those first few weeks were really hard though, and I couldn't have made a decision on whether life was worth living at that point.  Not with any clarity.  And now that I've weathered that part of the grieving process, I'm glad I didn't make a decision about that right after Hopi died.  When her heart stopped beating in my hand, I felt like that was when mine had stopped.  But the truth is that my physical heart did keep on beating.  And I haven't been handed an inoperable cancer diagnosis, nor have I been fatally struck by an 18-wheeler.  So, I guess there's something more for me to do here before I go.  I think you should wait a little time before thinking about that.  Process this stuff, then talk to someone about making that determination on your best day, not your worst.

Take care,

Aaron

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KayC
1 hour ago, Ande said:

so sunday I had to force myself to let her go. it was the hardest moment of my life.  

 

1 hour ago, Ande said:

she was by my side thru everything, always here for me, loved me, needed me.  she was everything wrapped into one. and she was kind to everyone, she loved everyone she met, and everyone loved her.  she was my reason for living. 

I am so sorry...I feel your pain.  I know what it is to lose everything one at a time, the hits keep coming. After my 23 year marriage ended, I met/married the love of my life, my soulmate and best friend.  3 years 8 months later he suddenly died of a heart attack, he looked the epitome of health.  It has been the hardest thing in the world.  I've lost both parents, a sister, niece, nephew, grandparents, countless pets and friends, but my sweet faithful companion of 10 1/2 years, my Husky/Golden Retriever, Arlie, has cancer spread throughout and is scheduled for euthanasia in one week.  I don't know how I'll live through this, I really don't.  I'm doing one day at a time, same as I learned when my husband died.  My dog is what has gotten me through these tough times and given me reason/incentive to live.  Even when my heart stopped on the operating table, and they gave me compressions to my chest to get me back...for two hours after in recovery, my heart kept stopping and it took all my might to try to live...for my dog.

I really hope you'll see your doctor for sleeping aid, so essential to get some sleep, I don't know how you've survived on so little.  Can you appeal their decision to take away the disability pay?  

I am so sorry for your loss, your dog i beautiful.  I don't understand how/why anything. least of all that a sweet faithful companion can have their life altered so suddenly by something so horrific as the C word.  

I'm also sorry for the miscarriage...I went through three of them and had to go through fertility treatment, I finally had two children, I hope for a good outcome for you and your partner as well.  That journey was also very hard.

You want to know what to do...that answer will be different for everyone.  We are all unique in our relationships, just as we are unique as people and hence our grief journeys are also unique, but there's some commonalities too, enough that we can relate to each other.  I hope you'll continue to come here, it's good to get out your feelings and express yourself.  And it helps to know you are not alone in going through this.

I wrote this article, of what I've found helpful following losing my husband...I imagine I'll have to get through the loss of my dog much the same way.  I hope you'll find something helpful in it, today, and on down the road.
 

TIPS TO MAKE YOUR WAY THROUGH GRIEF

There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.

 

 

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KayC
27 minutes ago, jashar1 said:

today I might be adopting two of them - not because "I'm ready" to love another dog, but because I can't think straight unless I'm around one, so if I don't do this I'm never going to go back to work or have any motivation to move forward with life.

I hope you'll share with us after you adopt, how it's going, some pictures.  I can't imagine living without my Arlie, but don't know if/when the time will be right to adopt again, it's not something I can even think about right now. You are right, they are the best.

Your advice is solid, thank you for that.

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Ande

Thank you for the encouragement, it immediately helped me feel something better just to read your replies.  I am sorry to hear of each of your pains, it feels so unlucky that some people must endure such awful experiences. I am pretty apathetic toward myself and my future right now.  It’s embarrassing and not how I would’ve imagined myself dealing with adversity, but it’s the truth.  I don’t know what will happen, what I am going to do.  Rebuilding feels vulgar and wrong, just even enjoying anything feels like it would be wrong and disrespectful to what I had.

 

I know I will never have a life like that again, it’s ok.  I will find a way to adjust to the empty spaces. 

 

thank you again, your replies gave me a feeling of relief. people acknowledging I still live and am hurting.  My ex wife visited whitey, and we talk every few days. but I can’t burden her with how much i’m struggling.  she just beat the odds and went thru a very long and difficult battle with cancer. Sid be selfish to put any more concern on her.  Thats why I came to you I guess, I needed to share.

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KayC
1 hour ago, Ande said:

 Rebuilding feels vulgar and wrong, just even enjoying anything feels like it would be wrong and disrespectful to what I had.

It feels that way but it's not.  What you are feeling is normal in grief.  It's important to give ourselves permission to smile, to get better, to help ourselves...it's imperative even.  

 

3 hours ago, KayC said:

It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.

So many people think if they take a momentary break from feeling bad that we are dishonoring their memory, but we're not.  We're trying to survive, it's natural and normal to, our bodies are amazingly resilient even when we seem to not want that!

1 hour ago, Ande said:

My ex wife visited whitey, and we talk every few days. but I can’t burden her with how much i’m struggling.  she just beat the odds and went thru a very long and difficult battle with cancer. Sid be selfish to put any more concern on her.

She's been through a lot, yes, but that doesn't mean she wants the friendship to be just one way...it might actually help her to have it go both ways, to have you share your struggles with her.  You might start by feeling her out with telling her a bit and if she handles it, perhaps a bit more...

We all need support.  It's when we don't have it that it's the hardest.  

Sending you cyber hugs and wishes for comfort for you.

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Ande

thank you. I got a call I can pick up the urn with the ashes today. I try not to think or remember for too long or too deep, but I have thought maybe having the ashes near me will help, we’ll see.

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foreverhis
16 hours ago, KayC said:

but don't know if/when the time will be right to adopt again, it's not something I can even think about right now.

Of course not, Kay.  You have to take today and each day with Arlie now.  Much like our other losses, looking too far in the future is simply too much.

As for that future, I'll tell you a little story.  When my sister and her husband lost their beloved Jasmine, a delightful animal shelter rescue mix, she said she could not imagine finding another dog for a really long time. They'd adopted Jaz as a pup and had her for more than 12 years.  A couple of months later, she and her husband were volunteering at a local shelter.  One particular puppy, about 5 months old, "spoke" to her heart.  She spent time with him and fell in love.  Her husband agreed that this puppy was special.  They adopted him and are all so happy together.  She was shocked that she was able to open herself up to a new companion so soon.  I told her that it always seems to be like that.  Sometimes our hearts simply open when we aren't looking and we find love.  If and when the time is right, you'll know.

For now, simply love Arlie as you have always done.  You cannot ask more of yourself than that.  I'm so sorry these past 2 months have been so painful for you both.

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foreverhis
18 hours ago, Ande said:

I have no one to burden with this, so thank you for reading, any advice or suggestion is welcome.

Welcome.  I'm very sorry you find yourself here, but please believe you have come to a good place with members who truly understand.  Do not worry about keeping your story short or think you are burdening us with it.  That's what this community is for.

When my husband and I lost our beloved Charlie (Keeshond) and then 3 years later, Penny (tabby Persian), we had each other and our family to get through the worst of the pain and grief.  You have faced so much loss and have given so much of yourself in service (and thank you for that).  Now you find yourself alone without the one loving companion who gave your life meaning.  It's completely normal to feel alone and hopeless right now.  In many ways, you are in shock.  The pictures of Whitey are wonderful.  What a charmer and clearly a delightful companion.  I'm so sorry you lost her.

No need to respond if it's uncomfortable, but may I ask if you've been diagnosed with PTSD?  What you must have gone through is bound to have lasting effects.  Would you be eligible for a service dog?  It might be just the saving grace you need to help you through this newest grief.  You already know that we don't get over or move on from losses like these, but a service dog and the training you would both go through could be so beneficial in the long run. 

No, I do not believe it is time for you to let go of life.  I'd be lying if I said that the thought never crossed my mind after my husband died last year.  Of course it did, especially those first few months when I felt so alone, angry, confused, and empty with nothing to look forward to in life.  These thoughts, while terrifying in many ways, are also common and normal.  Please come here and talk about them as often as you want.  We will always listen and we will try to help and comfort you if we can.

I urge you to contact your state and local representatives to try to have your disability reinstated.  It's unconscionable that they terminated it.  You served and were injured in combat.  It makes me so angry to know that our government (and society) abandon honorable people like you.  Please do not give up without a fight!  Summon the strength your precious Whitey gave you and fight for what is right.

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Ande
2 hours ago, foreverhis said:

Welcome

thank you. I appreciate your and everyone else’s replies, it helps knowing someone is aware of me, I didn’t realize how isolated I’ve become until now.

I guess I say it’s a burden because you all have your own pain you are dealing with and it feels kind of selfish asking for advice or sympathy, but I am grateful for it.

PTSD yes I could get rated for it (25-35% I believe), but as an Airborne Infantryman I can’t do that.

 

I can’t imagine having another dog, I don’t think I could give it the love and dedication it would deserve. 

I picked up her ashes today, they made a cast of her paw, and an ink paw print. They put her in a little urn with her name engraved on it. They were very kind and did the best I could imagine. I don’t know how they can do what they do.  Young ladies in their 20’s watching people say goodbye to their pets day in and day out, the emotional strength they must have is incredible.  But whitey is back here with me now, and her favorite toy (of the past few months anyway) is here.  Though her toybox of countless toys and tennis balls still sits undisturbed.

There are moments of crippling sadness that I’ve never experienced, I didn’t know I could even feel like this.  But I am getting through each day.  I can’t thank you and the other folks here that have acknowledged me - and understand what is happening.  It has changed something for better, I feel less like I’m on another planet now.

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KayC

I want to second everything foreverhis said, she put into words what I would if I could.

I'm so glad you have her back with you, how nice of them to do the pawprint and casting!  I'm hoping I can get an ink pawprint of Arlie, not sure he'd cooperate when alive.  

I really hope you'll look into getting your benefits reinstated, I too feel very angry that they could do this to you after your service!  So wrong.  You need the help now more than ever.

About having another dog, I know you feel that way now, that's how I feel too, but never say never, just hold your heart and mind open...although I can't imagine it, you never know.  Give it time and see.

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catawampus

Ande,

I'm so very sorry for your terrible losses. It was truly heartbreaking reading your story. But I'm glad you found this place. The people here are all so kind, thoughtful and loving and all know to one degree or another what you are going through. As many on the forums have said (myself included) losing a beloved pet is often harder than losing a human family member or friend. We spend so much time with them. They love us unconditionally. They only want to be near us. In many ways they are like our children. 

When I lost my Biscuit Boy, I thought I wouldn't be able to make it through. I didn't want to. I just wanted to die to end the pain and the tears. Like you I needed pills to help me sleep and more pills to help me cope throughout the day.  Waking up each day to face the "new normal" caused so much anxiety that I would have rather ended it all then and there. But I endured as we do. As you will. 

I do hope you decide to adopt another dog some day when you're ready. The relationship will be different. The love will be different. But it can be just as powerful even though it feels like you'll never be able to love that way again or give that much of yourself to another companion animal. It might even seem like you'd be betraying Whitey's memory to adopt. But in time rescuing another dog who needs a home and love can be just the thing you need to give your life meaning again.

There are some great chat rooms online where you can chat with others who are going through this seemingly impossible grief. If you need links I can provide. The right chat room can be amazing. There are some truly incredible people going through some truly terrible times, all coming together and supporting each other.

Whitey is such a beautiful little girl.

Be well, my brother. Take care. We're all here for you.

Biscuit's Dad.

 

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KayC

I know I'll never have another even close to what I have with Arlie.  Like you say, if I ever adopt again, it will be different, starting fresh with a whole new personality to figure out, grow accustomed to, and love.  Arlie is perfect for me.  I've never had one so smart, so considerate, so communicative, so goofy and fun, never had someone I loved so much, my heart feels it's bursting with pain right now.  As Ande wrote, we don't see how we can go on.  

I remember someone who used to be on this forum, Darrell (olemisfit), he always said, "One foot in front of the other", I guess that's how it's done.

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Ande

Hello. I appreciate you guys, this is the only thing that offers me any relief to me.  I’m not agonizing every second of the day, but it feels pretty close to it.

I guess I was naive but I never knew about such a despondent, empty feeling.  I see you guys maintaining and offering advice, and I wonder if you feel better or are just used to it.  I’m struggling myself. very little sleep, and feel like the only thing I have to look forward to is somehow seeing whitey again.  But I don’t know if that will happen, I guess I believe it’s 50/50.

my ex wife reached out yesterday and I told her I was doing ok.  I am overcome with guilt at the thought of being anything but devastated.  I know that I’m supposed to move on with life and honor the memory, etc. I don’t know though, whitey was my life.  I know that sounds dramatic, but it’s the truth. has anyone else found feeling happy impossible to do because of guilt

 

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KayC

Ande, I have learned to live with grief following the loss of my husband 14 years ago.  I've had so many losses, but the hardest by far was my soulmate and best friend...and now I'm losing my soulmate in a dog, Arlie.  I don't know how I'm going to do it but I don't have a choice, I don't want this cancer to cause him any more suffering.   He's scheduled for Friday morning and it's going to kill me.  But you ask if there will be anything to look forward to again.  I've learned to embrace every little thing that's good in life, no matter how small, no matter how fleeting...I embrace it, try to appreciate it.  And most importantly avoid the comparison trap!  Comparisons are a joy-killer, they invalidate our experiences.  There is no "moving on", there is only learning to live with.  But I don't want to paint you an all glum picture either...we are amazingly resilient, it just doesn't feel like it when we're going through it.  Early grief is tough.  It took me probably three years to process my loss of husband, I don't expect this will be any easier, I am extremely close to my dog.  I know a lot of people don't get that, but I didn't just tie him up in the back yard and throw him a scoop of food once a day.  He LIVES with me, we interact constantly, he's smart, he has the best personality I've ever seen, he's a self-appointed guard dog over me, he is fun and goofy, he makes up games to play, he walks with me twice a day, every day, he's sweet and loving, he's considerate, I've had 23 dogs and cats in my lifetime, and I'm closest to him.  I know there is no other like him.  How would one "move on" from that?  You don't.  You live with your grief.  In striving for happiness, let your goals be small bite sized hunks at first and gradually work your way into it.  Living in the present is one of the most important things I've learned.  We can't merely live in the past, and living for the future solely doesn't do it either, it's in learning to live in the present while having a balance with enjoying memories from the past and looking forward to being with them again in the future.

And yes, I believe heaven is for dogs.  How could it not be?  It wouldn't be heaven without them.  

You mention guilt...guilt is a part of grief.  Whether it's due to euthanasia, or not catching something sooner, or not being able to prevent something from happening, we feel guilt.  We wish we'd have given them one more treat, one more belly rub, one more walk, one more hug (okay, I kiss my dog).  We do all the "what if's" as if we're looking for a different possible outcome, only there isn't any, there's just the one we got.  Guilt doesn't have to be earned or deserved to feel it.  It's a feeling.  People can't talk us out of our feelings, but it helps to know what it is, what it isn't.  Guilt feelings don't mean you were a bad parent or even necessarily that you failed.  But we can feel that way.

I really hope you'll read these two articles, they're very helpful in understanding it.

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

and this one:

http://www.aliveinmemory.org/2013/05/30/learning-how-to-smile-again/

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foreverhis
On 8/14/2019 at 8:36 AM, Ande said:

 I know that I’m supposed to move on with life and honor the memory, etc.

No.  Sorry to be so blunt here, but screw what society expects or thinks we are "supposed" to do.  It's wrong, it's hurtful, and it does not help.

Of course you will honor Whitey's memory.  You do that every day you get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other.

But let me tell you something true:  We do not move on from grief.  Your love and grief for Whitey will be with you always.  Over time, what you are feeling now should and probably will soften bit by bit.  You will be able to have moments of light and be able to bring to mind all the joyous and loving times, and you will be able to smile as you do.  We are all learning to live with our grief and it's the hardest thing imaginable.

This is a TED Talk that member JBSC01 shared in April.  It's specific to spouse loss, but IMO encompasses the essence and truth of grief.  It may help you understand why telling us to "move on" is absurd.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khkJkR-ipfw&feature=youtu.be

 

I have a question.  What is the reason that Airborne Infantry members don't qualify for PTSD ratings?  That makes no sense to me, but my family members in the service were Army Air Corps in WWII and Navy in various air and sea duties during WWII through Vietnam.  I know next to nothing about your specific duty.  My only personal experience was working with the military at times as a civilian contractor.  I cannot grasp why any of you wouldn't be eligible for PTSD ratings.

 

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Ande
On 8/14/2019 at 9:34 AM, KayC said:

I don't know how I'm going to do it but I don't have a choice

I’m really sorry that you’ve had to endure so much already, and are now faced with this.  I understand the dread and agony you must be feeling.  I hope you have someone to help you pass the time each day.  I want to help you, and everyone that is going thru something like this. 

 

On 8/14/2019 at 9:34 AM, KayC said:

guilt is a part of grief

I am learning this now. I still have some guilt thats deserved regarding my dad.  I missed a visit I had planned, pushing it tothe next morning - and he passed that night. That is a weight I will always carry, and I can live with that.  

The guilt I’m feeling over whitey is crippling.  As I began to reflect on the last few months, and reconsider some of her behaviors, I realize I was missing some signs I should not have. whitey was trying to tell me she was sick, and I was mistaking it for her usual behavior of telling me she wanted to play, eat, play, walk, etc.  It’s hard to accept that she was living with frustration or disappointment toward me, but that is probably the reality. I’m struggling pretty hard, enough so that I’ve given the only gun I still own to a friend so I wouldn’t have that option.  I will have to get stronger and find a way to live with this knowledge, as that’s my only other option. 

I feel like I might be losing this battle though, so far anyway.  I’m not winning yet, that is for sure.  In the 2 (3?) weeks since whitey left, Ive been pulled over twice, neither time was I issued a citation though. Last Sunday I fell asleep driving on the 101, and drifted into the car next to me. It wasn’t serious, but the guy had his wife and daughter in the car.  That’s not acceptable, so I’ve been taking uber since then.  I’ve struggled with sleep for a decade, it’s been really bad the past 3 years. But I’ve never done anything like this before.

This is not typical behavior for me, and I feel like there are little queues and signs that make it clear I’m being steered in a certain direction.  I can face the music that’s not a problem, but I don’t want to be forced into it.  Certainly not by events that could hurt others like a car accident.

 

On 8/15/2019 at 9:42 AM, foreverhis said:

What is the reason that Airborne Infantry members don't qualify for PTSD ratings

Many of us would certainly qualify, but there is an unwritten rule that applies here. A psych diagnosis that places blame on combat is a dishonor that would do more harm than ptsd symptoms.

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KayC

I keep finding myself holding my breath...and I make a conscious effort to let the air escape.

I also could have had an accident and have to make conscious effort to be present fully in my driving...it is not only us, there are others on the road to consider.

I do not feel there is any dishonor to someone who has served, no matter what effect it's had upon them...those effects are part of the cost of their serving, and not something reflective of their strengths...their strength lies in their willingness to have given their service.  My hat's off to you.

You show great integrity and forethought in handing over your gun...it's often a too easy way out of the pain...when we should have no easy opt but to go through it and experience the journey and the value of the emerging as it begins to appear.  It takes time, time we often don't want to permit it.  Oh how hard the pain of the now!

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