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My girls and I lost our beloved standard poodle Winston


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I’m reaching out because we are completely devistated and feel like we will never get better. We cry constantly and hate coming home because we see him everywhere. It’s been 3 days and every day we wake yr olds emotional support dog and she slept with him every night. Even doing laundry leave me in tears because he was in diapers the past three months and I miss doing his laundry terribly.


does anyone have any helpful tips or knowledge to make this manageable? 

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Hi, first I am so sorry for your loss of Winston. There are some helpful articles, @KayC hopefully can share with you. I wish there were something I could say to truly make the pain lessen, but this is very new for you. When you have such a close, special dog like him, it takes some time to learn to live without him. Your mind needs to learn to adjust to life now.

I was just like you when I lost our cat. He was like our child and we were so devastated too. But I slowly came to accept what happened but my emotions were pretty wild for a few weeks. I thought about him all the time it seemed. It was a dark time. Slowly, I adjusted. I was finally even able to remember all the wonderful happy years. It is just not easy at first but all you want is him back physically with you. It is truly painful.

I promise that it will get better and your broken heart will heal. I know it doesn't feel like it now. Be patient and allow yourself to grieve.  


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Dear @Kari_j there are no words to convey my sadness for your grievous loss. It is a terrible thing. I know time will ease the pain but this time, in the freshness of grief, is the worst. We lost our cat almost two weeks ago and I feel as if I am in a nightmare. Shell  shocked. Alone. I have been helped by a book called Paw Prints in Heaven and am planning to have a remembrance gathering for him when I am stronger. There are some good books on line too for children. I pray you find good friends who will walk with you 5broughnyour grief and understand it is NEVER a quick process. I am with you across the miles. So terribly sorry for your loss. 

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When we have a fresh loss such as this, it can feel overwhelming, the pain...everything reminds us of missing them.  We see their dish, or in your case, even doing the laundry.  I would look at the patio door expecting Miss Mocha to show up, wanting in.  It takes time to process the pain, which is what we need to do to process our grief.  In time we do have the happy memories that comfort and sustain us but oh gosh it's hard to make it through the overwhelming pain, but no way through it but straight through it!  I've had so much loss, my husband, my dog, cats, recently my sister, I've learned that loss is part of life, and I've learned to coexist with my grief.  I wrote this based on my first 12 years of my grief journey from my husband but I think losing our pet is also very very hard and some of what I've learned on that journey applies here as well.


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.
  • 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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