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Recovering from loss

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  • Recovering from loss

    I know others struggle with this as well. It seems the older I get the harder it is to deal with and recover from the loss of a beloved pet. Coming back from the vet clinic this afternoon I felt I simply couldn't handle this feeling alone. But on the other hand, I don't want to talk about it with anyone.

    So I stopped at the library and got several books on grieving and one about afterlife. Between reading them and writing in my journal I am beginning to at least feel like I can breathe.

    Does anyone have words of wisdom for recovery? Is this total meltdown of emotion age related?
    Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

  • #2
    I think it really does get harder to lose a loved one as we age.

    When I was younger, I never could understand why older folks would not want to live anymore when they lost loved ones. How could they feel so alone when it seemed to me so many people were around them? I just could not understand.

    But as I get older I understand more how the people and animals we love become a part of us. They become who and why we are. In losing them, a little bit of us goes with them.

    Sure there are other dogs, other horses, other people on this earth who deserve and need love. But in our moment of grief I think we know there is only one Buddy, one Luigi, one Pop.

    And they made us who we are.

    Not words of wisdom - I know - but I hope knowing it is a shared pain that helps you not feel so alone.

    And I hope another waiting pet fills your heart again.
    from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

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    • #3
      I think it really does get harder to lose a loved one as we age.

      When I was younger, I never could understand why older folks would not want to live anymore when they lost loved ones. How could they feel so alone when it seemed to me so many people were around them? I just could not understand.

      But as I get older I understand more how the people and animals we love become a part of us. They become who and why we are. In losing them, a little bit of us goes with them.

      Sure there are other dogs, other horses, other people on this earth who deserve and need love. But in our moment of grief I think we know there is only one Buddy, one Luigi, one Pop.

      And they made us who we are.

      Not words of wisdom - I know - but I hope knowing it is a shared pain that helps you not feel so alone.

      And I hope another waiting pet fills your heart again.
      from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

      Comment


      • #4
        Cry and let it out..... Don't hold your emotions, just let the feelings out... Only time helps soften the loss....... Blessings to you & your wonderful companion that went back home from where we all come from....

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gestalt View Post
          Does anyone have words of wisdom for recovery? Is this total meltdown of emotion age related?
          No words of wisdom, but plenty of sympathy. The only thing I can tell you is that when you have a long term pet or companion animal, or if you have invested a tremendous amount of yourself in a pet...it's hard. It gets harder for each one for me, because when I lose an old dog, it takes a piece of my history and my memories with that dog or cat or horse or hamster or whatever.

          With the last euth, I was a mess for days. Going to work was actually helpful, until that co-worker who had lost her heart dog several years before found out and we sat at work and cried together. It's coming 2 years now and I can finally think about Duncan without tears spilling over.

          Find things that work for you, I had to actively think about Duncan, I had to go through his photos and remember the little things about him. It was sad but it helped me to remember that the issue that caused his demise was not something I did. That may be too much for you, or too much for right now, but find something that makes it easier and try to repeat that.

          and...I'm sorry.

          Comment


          • #6
            I found great comfort in discussing my loss with people who had experienced the same thing on www.petloss.com
            McDowell Racing Stables

            Home Away From Home

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks, it helps to know I'm not alone. Looking through pictures this morning and will go to the site that Laurierace suggested. I lit a candle for him on grateful.org last night.

              I think the reason for the deep loss is from what you all have said, there is history shared and losing someone that "remembers" is very hard. He was the last pet from that time of my life. We had 17 years together.
              Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

              Comment


              • #8
                Losing a loved one - people or animal is hard. I don't think it ever gets easy and everyone handles it differently.

                However, while I agree you need to let yourself grieve, you also need to work on getting through to a peace on the other side of the grief as well. I don't know about for you, but for me I choose to remember my loved ones with happiness rather than sadness in the long run.

                At one point in life we lost two older horses, one who had been with us for 29 years, then a cat from heart disease who'd been with us for 14 years. Barely recovered from that when a barn fire took one of our new horses and badly injured the other. Within a year we lost our dearly loved father.

                So... the choice was to fall into a pit of grief and dispare or find a way to work through it to find a place where memories of these loved ones would be a blessing and not a drag. It's not easy, it's hard work. I found decision making was hard, there were times when anxiety could take over for a bit, but by concentrating on positive things, loving the animals still with us and finding new partners to carry on with you can move on. Yes, you will still miss your old friends, but those memories should be sustaining, not debilitating.

                I recently saw the following which is a thought I love

                "It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- ­Unknown

                And here are some of the readings we found around the death of Dad that helped us - I hope they help you too

                When sorrow comes, let us accept it simply,
                As a part of life.
                Let the heart be open to pain;
                let it be stretched by it.

                In the desolate hour, there is an outcry;
                A clenching of the hands upon emptiness;
                A burning pain of bereavement;
                A weary ache of loss.
                But anguish, like ecstasy, is not forever.

                There comes a gentleness, a returning quietness,
                A restoring stillness.
                This, too, is a door to life.
                Here, also, is a deepening of meaning,
                an opportunity to reflect and meditate
                on the importance of loving relationships.

                And it can lead to dedication;
                A going forward to the triumph of the soul,
                The conquering of the wilderness.
                And in the process will come
                A deepening inward knowledge
                That in the final reckoning, all is well.


                You can shed tears that he is gone,
                Or you can smile because he lived,

                You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
                Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

                Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
                Or you can be full of the love that you shared,

                You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
                Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

                You can remember him and only that he is gone
                Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,

                You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
                Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think there must be a reason for them to have lifespans so much shorter than ours. It gives us the chance to love many dogs, cats and horses (and other animals) in our lifetime. I do hope it's true that they will all be waiting for us when our time comes. To be reunited with several good dogs and cats as well as a few good horses would be lovely.
                  “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                  St. Padre Pio

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just lost my old eventer this week too, so I feel your pain. Literally. He was 25 and had a great life, but it just happened so suddenly. I should have been mentally prepared but I wasn't. My 9 year old cried for 5 hours straight. Grief is a funny thing... I received so many emails and phone calls of condolences and I couldn't answer the phone, and I still haven't even been able to call those lovely people back yet. It's hard.

                    My daughter and I just sat on the couch and hugged each other. Then we started talking about the happy times, and the stories. But even so we had a rough time. She set up a shrine in her room with a whole bunch of framed photos, and she wrote him a letter. Then Just yesterday morning my daughter walked into my room as I was getting ready for work and asked me how long it was going to hurt this much. I said, I don't know honey, it takes time, but thinking about all the happy times helps, and so does trying to think about other things. Distractions are good.

                    Hugs from us... I hope it gets better soon.
                    where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Our house is already a shrine to our old guy and he is still with me. I live in constant fear of losing him, partially because I will be devastated but mainly because I know how hard it will be on my daughter. They grew up together and are one heart. Grief truly is the price you pay for love.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Rhymeswithfizz, I'm sorry for your loss. I've been looking at photos and just started to talk to friends about losing my little guy, it all comes down to the tincture of time I guess. I wish I could will the grief away, but since I can't I will make the best of it.

                        A good friend lost her little dog the day before I had my cat put to sleep. I'm finding comfort in sending her these poems and tidbits of wisdom you all have shared. Crying together and lighting candles.... it all helps.
                        Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Time and more time ~ be kind to yourself ~ ((hugs))

                          Time and more time and slowly the 'healing' will happen ~

                          Be kind to yourself ~ ((hugs))
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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