I've already posted here about losing Charlie. It was a couple of days ago, I lost him on Monday, although it feels like longer...and now that I've had some time after the initial shock to react to the loss, I have some questions about the grieving process. (I've posted this at another pet loss forum and got some great answers, but I'd like to hear from as many people as I can).

I know it sounds weird, but I honestly don't know what I feel. When we decided we had to put my buddy Charlie down a week ago, I cried myself to sleep three nights in a row, and sobbed for ten minutes straight when we put him to sleep on Monday, but ever since last night I've been feeling strangely...numb almost? Like I want to cry, and there's that really horrible tight sensation in your chest that you get before you start crying, but nothing happens. I tear up a little bit and it goes away. Mostly all I want to do is sleep. I only feel better when other people are around, and that's the only time I feel hungry or the least bit happy. Otherwise, I just want to lie down and not be bothered, and I'm really tired most of the time. When I'm alone and I try to think about him, about the fact that I will never get to see him or pet him or hug him again, my mind goes blank just as I'm starting to tear up. It's almost like I'm purposefully trying not to think about him. But I feel horrible...Charlie deserves to be properly mourned, he was one of the best cats I've ever had and I miss him so much. But my emotional reaction toward his death is strangely sedate.

Can you help me figure out what's going on? I'm at such a loss.
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I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of Charlie.

Your reaction to the loss, and your inability to shed tears, is similar to a situation I went through a few years ago when I had to say goodbye to one of my cats. I sought help from a pet bereavement counsellor who told me I was in denial. Denial can be one of the stages of grieving and can, for a while, prevent the owner from mourning the loss of a four-legged friend. My counsellor told me eventually the denial would disappear and I would have the most phenomenal bouts of tears. She was right! I felt guilty for my lack of crying yet, when I began to shed buckets, I wanted the tears to subside. I was on the most nightmarish emotional roller coaster and had to ride the storm. Grief is one strange thing, affecting each individual in a different way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.

Only you truly know the love and adoration you felt for Charlie. In time, I feel sure you will break down. Please try not to beat yourself up. At the moment there are barriers preventing you from weeping. When those barriers fall, the tears will flow. It doesn't mean that you don't care; it simply means that denial is preventing you from mourning Charlie's loss if you are going through the same as what I went through.

I hope you find peace. Take care.


“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Jack Lemmon

Solly, Gonzo, Daisy-Mae, Ebony, Jerry, Tigger, Bonnie, Suzy, Cleo, Spike, Sooty, and Tibby – dazzling lights that will never fade. Adored, cherished, I was privileged to know you all. Until we meet again, my beautiful babies. Bowls of love and cuddles, your ever-loving, devoted Mummy xxxxxxxxxx

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So sorry for your loss.  I am sure you are still in disbelief and shock, not wanting to accept what happened.  Everyone grieves differently.  I know I have had that empty, don't want to do anything, not interested in anything feeling.  The emptiness and sadness can be overwhelming.  There is the panic of realization and the guilt of what could I have done differently.  With every animal you probably grieve differently.  I think everyone has a forever pet and for that one the pain is unbearable.  That baby takes a big piece of your heart with them.  I hope you are okay...  Take care of yourself.

Dali, as much a daughter as any human...  pure love
Until we meet again

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So sorry for the loss of your Charlie
Everyone grieves differently. I know all to well the feeling your experiencing as I lost my forever best friend Mattie on August 8th. I still have my bad days. I left my job when she injured her leg to help her so I was home with her 24/7 for the last 3 years of her life. I did not want to be at home because that is where we spent our time. As she loved the outdoors when we were out with her I was unable to even go out and sit in my yard this summer. I find comfort sleeping with her blanket and pillow, as well as writing to her daily. I will keep you in my prayer that you may strength and some comfort. This forum is wonderful, and so are the people on here. Know your not alone.

God Bless
Hugs to you
Forever a paw print on my heart
Susan Turner
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