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> How Do You Deal With Grief?
Fox
post 5th Jan 2018, 8:02 pm
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My little elderly Jack Russell was unexpectedly diagnosed with advanced kidney failure on Wednesday and the vet recommended putting her to sleep which we did. She'd had a terrible life before we got her and she was an incredibly difficult little dog with lot of issues that meant we had to manage so much around her - I had her for 12 years when I only thought we would have a couple.

I'm so so grateful to have ad her as long and she went to sleep in my arms and didn't suffer but I'm utterly beside myself. I cannot stop crying and I feel like my insides have been wrenched out. I feel guilty for every holiday I went on and for leaving her to go to work. I feel awful that we didn't catch it earlier even though the vet said by the time the symptoms had become obvious it would have been too late. I should still have noticed though - she relied on me for everything and I didn't realise when she needed my help the most. I found myself gathering up her hair earlier because I don't want to hoover it. I can't imagine her not being here. I keep forgetting for a second then remembering again and it's killing me. I'm scared to sleep in case I dream she's still here and then I'll wake up and she's gone. I know it's distressing for our other dog seeing me be like this but I can't seem to pull it together. Everything reminds me of her and I keep looking at the places she used to sit - stupid things like I went to sit washing on the floor and stopped because she used to make a bed out of it. Or when I'm cooking she used to stand under my feet hoping I'd drop something. I can't believe I won't smell her or feel her fur again. I keep thinking where ever she is now she will be alone.
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moorx
post 5th Jan 2018, 8:26 pm
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There is no one (or easy) answer. Everyone copes differently, but I can assure you that everything you are feeling is perfectly normal - in fact I recognise and can identify with a number of the things you have listed, including not wanting to hoover up their hair err.gif

All I can say is that time does heal. It is still too raw at the moment, and will be for a while, but you will (in time) be able to look back with smiles rather than tears. But right now, you need to grieve in whatever way is right for you.

I've not used them personally, but the Blue Cross have a pet bereavement service which may be of help:

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-support

I'm sending you more hug.gif s

Please keep posting - there are lots of lovely people on here who have been through what you are going through and can offer wonderful support. I know, because they have been there for me.

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zico's mum
post 5th Jan 2018, 8:45 pm
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I'm so sorry.I lost my almost 14 year old Border Terrier Duncan in October and the pain was horrendous.Real physical pain.It didn't help that I had a friend staying with me so was keeping a stiff upper lip but about 3 days after he died I just had to ask her to go out for the day to let me grieve - and bless her she did.I had an absolute crying and wailing bout,and it did help me.I went through the guilt too - why didn't I spot he was ill sooner,whay hadn't I insisted on a blood test,why why why....but I knew he was too tired and old to fight the infection.I slept with his blanket for days and his collar is still on my bed each day.Getting his ashes home from the vet was I think the beginning of the healing process for me,he was home again.
You will find your own way through the hurt - it won't be easy and it will hit you hard at times in the future too.I hope you too will begin to remember the wonderful times you had with her and she certainly found a great home with you.
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kimw
post 5th Jan 2018, 8:51 pm
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hug.gif hug.gif ... agree with everything that moorx and zicosmum have said. You will need to grieve but as time passes, happy memories will come to the fore. As others have said, what you are feeling and thinking now is to be expected hug.gif

They all leave big gaps when they leave us... oh and they are never alone... she will always have you and you will always have her in your heart.
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doggroomer
post 5th Jan 2018, 9:09 pm
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I'm so sorry you've had to let your dog go to the bridge, and that you're grieving so badly hug.gif

I agree with others though. Be kind to yourself and, eventually, you'll be able to look back with happy memories instead of tears hug.gif

Chris
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Fox
post 5th Jan 2018, 9:27 pm
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Thank you, I knew I'd be upset but I didn't think I'd feel so awful because she was such an oldie. It wasn't helped that straight after I had to get on a flight and go to a funeral for a young family member who passed suddenly. And your right Zicos mum - it's a physical pain.

We've had a number of failed ivf attempts and my New Years resolution was to just concentrate and enjoy the family - i.e. Dogs that I did have. So I feel guilty about that too. I'm just glad to know there are others who felt the same and I haven't done wrong by her. My husband has also been amazing and not reacted to the hair gathering or blanket sniffing and is also devastated even though she wasn't very nice to him and treated him like staff (and growled at him a fair bit if he tried to sit near us). She was the best worst dog ever. I hope her wee soul comes back to me someday. Thanks again. Xx
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Carolynleah
post 6th Jan 2018, 12:03 am
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hug.gif hug.gif hug.gif
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lolbeck
post 6th Jan 2018, 10:15 am
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Oh Fox, I recognise everything you have said. hug.gif

The following was a response to someone grieving for a human friend but for me it makes sense for all those I have lost, human or furry.....

'Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.

There is a lay-by on the way home from my parents that is one of my waves for Flo. We stopped there on the way back from her last visit to see them. For the first two years I sobbed as I drove by. Now I smile and tell her how much I miss her........with a tear in my eye. wub.gif

Loving a dog inevitably ends in pain but the only way to avoid that pain is to not have a dog to love........

Take care and grieve how you need to. hug.gif
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cindere528
post 6th Jan 2018, 2:30 pm
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Some very wise words above and there's nothing I can say that's any better than what has already been said.

Just keep on posting on here, we've all been through it and understand how you are feeling. Hopefully we can help you through this horrible time hug.gif hug.gif hug.gif
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Rianna
post 6th Jan 2018, 5:46 pm
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hug.gif hug.gif

My darling Summer is 15 and was diagnosed with renal failure in October. She has most likely been in failure for well over a year but she hid it so well and it is only now the jigsaw pieces have started to come together err.gif . She is with me still but I know it wont be long until I have to face the decision you have made.

Grief is personal and no-one is the same. You will get over this but when I lost my dog camp 4 years ago it was months before I could say today I didn't cry err.gif . It hurts like hell sad.gif .

But you gave her a good life and when the time came she had the best goodbye a dog could have with you cuddling her until her spirit was free again wub.gif . We all feel guilt for the things we regret we didn't do or say and it is normal but remember the funny little things you did together (waiting for dropped food)and the way she always understood you wub.gif . Death cannot break that bond.

Scamp comes to me in my dreams sometimes. It is okay to wake with tears on your pillow.

I believe they accept their passing and don't want us to grieve so much for them and she will try to show you a sign that she is close to you when you are able to see it.

Take care sweetheart,
xxx
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Auntie Ange
post 6th Jan 2018, 6:06 pm
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Fox ... I can't add much to what has already been said esp the quote from lolbeck. Just be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to cry and wallow a bit. You loved her and she is worth your tears and sadness.

But also be aware that the current sadness of loss also links into other sadness we have or have had in our lives. Imagine sadness is a jug that when things are added to it it spills over.

I went to a friends funeral several years ago. The lady was young but I had not known her for long. I was inconsolable and blubbered and couldn't speak. I realised afterwards that although I was obviously upset at the loss of a young friend but added to that were the tears also still left to shed over the loss of my sister a few years before. I had taken the loss of my sister badly and my 'jug' of sadness kept over-flowing.

hug.gif hug.gif

Ange

This post has been edited by Auntie Ange: 6th Jan 2018, 6:07 pm
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Fox
post 6th Jan 2018, 9:59 pm
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Thank you all, your words have helped. Especially the shipwrecked analogy. Today has been slightly easier and I've managed a few hours without crying. I just keep thinking last time I wore this top she was here or such like. I knew she was ready to go as she went with the vet willingly which she never would to get bloods and when we left to wait on the results she walked back into the consulting room and stared at him when normally she would have been off like a shot. When we went back I saw a rainbow in the sky and I knew it was for her.

I just hope her wee soul comes back to me. I honestly can't believe she's not here anymore - it's like a nightmare I can't wake up from. Well so much for not crying but at least I managed a few hours. X
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bix
post 7th Jan 2018, 2:28 pm
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I just wanted to say, Fox, that if you feel like off loading your feelings on here, you can be assured of sympathy and support from people who have had similar experiences. Only those who have loved a dog can understand the absolute pain of the loss and sometimes, non doggy people just don't realise what you are experiencing.
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tuppen
post 7th Jan 2018, 6:02 pm
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hug.gif hug.gif hug.gif
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Tigerthedog
post 8th Jan 2018, 12:45 pm
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A word of warning - one of the things that sets me off is reading about others' losses like this. But I am glad it happens, it honours the ones that have gone. Most of the time, though, its happy memories!

Knowing it was time, and that you did the right thing doesn't make any difference to the sense of loss you feel. And a difficult dog, or one who needed a lot of care just leaves a bigger hole in your life. Then on top of it every loss brings back all the old losses. So when Seamus died two years ago I grieved for him, but also Tiger my first dog as an adult. Then I thought about Doobi, my childhood dog, and how in my childish ignorance I failed her. Then I think about my parents, especially my mother who died when I was twelve.

I don't think we get any better at grief. Each time is like the first, plus some!

So time helps, and doing it properly - being brave is useless and just makes you feel worse.

There is one thing that does help in a peculiar way and that is the Homoeopathic remedy called Ignatia. You can buy it from Boots, and just take one or two doses. It should help you to cope without actually stopping the grief(which is healthy). Just the weeping episodes seem to be less. Don't keep taking it once you feel better, but start again if you slip back.

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Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 16th January 2018 - 9:24 am