MOConnor
Hello,

This will be briefer, I promise.  I could not say all I wished to in my first pose because my emotions rose up unexpectedly and I couldn't go on right away.  You can't type if you can't see the computer screen for the tears.

Losing Jellybean and Maria was the emotional equivalent of having my heart torn from my chest.  Jelly's death hung especially heavy on me because I was the one who decided to have her put to sleep.  I knew it was the best thing for her...but that was no comfort to me.

I never realized how alone a person can be and how loneliness can destroy the human spirit before.  Maybe my bunnies could not speak but the expressions in their eyes and posture communicated very effectively.  After Jellybean's death I retreated into myself, spending a lot of time alone in my room.  My parents may have gotten me new bunnies, cute and loveable in their own way, but the depth of my grief prevented me from bonding well with them, eventhough they tried hard to earn my affection.  I felt empty inside, as if I was a hollow being someone had poured darkness into, smothering all light and joy and hope.  I wept in the privacy of my own room, took to overeating (seeking comfort in food) with a concurring rapid and unhealthy gain in weight and lost interest in a lot of things I had once enjoyed.  Less than six months after Jellybean's passing I was diagnosed with clinical depression and  had to go on medication, which I still need.

The tears may have dried for the most part after about six months or so but the emptiness remained.  At times I resented the new bunnies, thinking that they were trying to replace Jelly and Maria...but most of the time I understood and I always made sure Nyota and Deanna had good care and, when it was time to move again, that they went to a good home where they would be well cared for and happy.  But I couldn't love them as they deserved...not yet anyway.  I wasn't ready.

It has been so long...but still I can cry thinking about Jellybean and Maria so I know the pain is still there.  Sometimes I get hallucinations of a soft, heavy, warm bunny body in my lap or cuddled in my arms.  Is there an end to grief, a time when the memories of your furry family member are no longer bittersweet because you do not have to feel the pangs of loss along with the memories?  Or is the pain always there, in some form or another?

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chipperboy
Hi MOConnor,

Thanks for sharing how you feel and I'm so very sorry about the loss of your precious rabbits. I may be completely wrong, but after reading your post, it sounds like you kept a lot of your grief and pain inside and either couldn't or wouldn't share your feelings outside of your room. I'm not sure what the circumstances are, but know that you don't have to keep it inside.

It is so very, very important to be able to let your feelings out and work through the grief of losing your rabbits, who meant so much to you. Even 6 months later, you still feel pain and grief so deeply because that is where you pushed it. We are here for you....we want to hear how you are feeling and help you come through this dark tunnel and begin to move to a place that you can remember your precious babies with smiles and laughter....even though you will continue to miss them.

Your feelings are very valid and we understand your grief. Please, please continue to write us about your thoughts, feelings and anything else you want to share. We are walking this journey together until we all see our babies again.

Sending you my prayers and hugs.

Chipper's Mom

Momma's Chipper Boy (9/19/95 - 1/30/11)
My love, my heart, my Chipper! Until we meet again....I love you buddy!
Chipper's Mom

Momma's Chipper Boy (9/19/95 - 1/30/11) My heart, my love, my buddy! I miss you and love you so, so much! I can't wait to see you at the bridge! Love, Mommy

Lady "Ladybugs" (8/2/03 - 6/5/17) My sweet girl. Thanks for the walks, playtime, sock collection, boo boo kisses and love you gave all of us. We will miss you dearly! Until we meet again...we love you!
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MOConnor
Hello,

Thank you, Chipper's Mom...I appreciate the prayers and the kind words.

You hit the nail on the proverbial head.  There was a lot of grief I for the most part couldn't express because I didn't have anyone who would really understand my feelings and then, after a few years had passed, grief I would not express because I didn't think it was appropriate.  I mean, we're talking over 15 years, not 15 months or 15 weeks...my parents seemed to think the intensity I carried was out of place even a few years later, nevermind now in 2011.

I have always been good at concealing my emotions from others, even from myself apparently because I still get caught off guard at times by the memories and the lingering grief.

Am I indeed free to express myself in any intensity needed here?  I know the depths of my feelings and how intense they can be at times...and the last thing I want to do is set someone else off with my rantings.  I may not know anyone here yet but I still respect the feelings of others, even strangers.

Long ago I wrote a poem about Jellybean...several years after her death, when I was in high school.  I'm debating placing it here...I am not a professional poet and while I have some skill at both prose and poetry I've had negative reactions to my poems.  Somebody once told me that writing a poem idolizing a pet was a form of idolatry and inappropriate for a Christian.  Not fully sure I believe that...if it is true then the fantasy I've indulged myself with for years is idolatry as well...and I'll be skinned alive before I give it up! 
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tikibarb
I wish there were words or actions that could ease your pain.  I know how you feel.  Sometimes it feels like it will never get better.  I lost Ted 7 months ago and some days I still feel like it was yesterday.  Other days I am OK.  I am really starting to love my new baby Pippin.  I have had him for 5 months now and I find myself worrying about something happening to him.  I hate that.  It took me a couple of months to be able to really open my heart to him.  I think the fear of losing him is just too great to handle after losing Ted.  I just don't know how I would survive it again.  I just keep trying to push through it but it's not easy.
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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donnalee
Dear MOConnor,  I'm very sorry for the deep pain you are still experiencing.  I agree with Chipper's Mom about the need to express the feelings and the grief and it sounds like you agree with that too.  This is a great place for that.   I'm a little confused from your post, though.  Are you a young person still living with your parents who lost your bunnies 6 months - 1 year ago or are you an adult now and you lost them 15 years ago?  My understanding from your second post is that it was 15 years ago so my response is based on that.
Please know I'm not a medical person or anything close to that, so, take my words for what they are worth, just an opinion based on what you have written.  I understand the loss of Jellybean and Maria threw you into a clinical depression.  I do believe a loss of a great love like this can trigger depression.  I also believe, as the months and years pass, we still carry some sadness and certainly tons of love in our hearts for our furbabies who have passed.   However, if you look back in the threads and read 'The Seven Stages of Grief', I think eventually most of us move on to some degree of 'acceptance' in order to continue living our life.  We don't like it but we have to push through and find the new 'normal'  in order to live and fulfill our purpose here.   I'm wondering if perhaps you are stuck in one of the stages and need some help from a grief counselor to work through it.  Believe me, we all have our moments and our tears....I really have no idea when that stops (if ever) but the frequency lessens as time passes.   Again, I wholeheartedly agree with you and Chipper's Mom that it might help to express your thoughts & feelings here on this site.   Experience your grief with people who are sympathetic to what you are feeling.
Now, in your most recent post, you asked if you could feel free to express yourself in any intensity here and you mention not wanting to set someone else off with your rantings.  I'm not really sure what you mean.   I think the homepage has something you can click on for some guidelines about posting.  Again, my opinion.... While this is a wonderful place to express your feelings, your sadness, and your pain, we always have to be aware of others who might be reading our posts.  Many who come here have very fresh, raw grief.  You wouldn't want to impact someone else in a negative way or a way that sets them back.  I'm certainly not saying that is what you would do but I don't really understand exactly what you meant in your post, so that is why I'm addressing it.  Also, on the homepage, there is information about people you can actually talk to who understand and can give you some guidance.   MOConnor, I'm so sorry for what you are experiencing.  I hope the love, support, and encouragement you find at this website will help you and give you some comfort and peace. 
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MOConnor
Hello,

To clear up your confusion I am 30 years old now and still live with my parents...I am still trying to find a steady job that will let me strike out on my own.  Jellybean and Maria's passing occurred shortly before I turned 12...which puts it in the early-mid 1990's I think.  I never did have a good head for numbers.

I as well hope to find some easing of the old pain, especially with Jellybean since I had her put down.  There's still some part of me that wonders if I should have tried the insulin injections for her and see how she responded to them before having her put down...I wonder if I acted too hastily.  I've heard stories of diabetic pets leading long and happy lives despite their disease and the injections...

And I am extremely sorry for confusing you, Donnalee...I'm not the best at communicating.  That has to do with my long isolation, a self-imposed exile lasting many, many years because fellow humans seemed only to want to tease or use me because I was "different".  My beloved bunnies weren't like that and I soon grew more comfortable around them than around members of my own species. I am finally coming out of that part of my past and am trying to find others who will understand and help.  And I think in that goal I have come to the right place. 
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donnalee
Thank you and no need to apologize and I certainly didn't want to pry into your personal life.   I read a lot between the lines and I was concerned about you and I didn't want to say the wrong thing.  My response might be different to a 14 year old than a 30 year old. 
Yes, I agree, you have come to the right place.  No one will hurt you here or tease you or anything like that.  I think this is a great place to get some help and support and finally move into that 'acceptance' stage of the grieving process.  My thoughts are with you. 
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chipperboy
Donnalee is correct, no one here will tease you regarding your feelings and relationship with your bunnies.

Also, please know that questioning the decision to put our beloved pet down is a very normal part of the healing process. I questioned my actions as I had a choice to try to fix him or put him down. I even went back to the vet a couple of days later to discuss his situation and try to reconcile with myself that I did the right thing.

I learned that yes, I could have fixed him and yes, he would have lived longer......but at what cost to him? He would have had to endure surgery and the healing process, he would have been on pain medication the rest of his life and he would not have had any sight. He didn't deserve a life like that.....not for my sake.

Jellybean may have lived longer.....but at what price? Constant medication, possible reactions, complications from diabetes? Your precious bunny didn't deserve a life like that.....she is healed, whole and very happy now. Your love for her saved her a life of drugs and potential pain and sickness. Also, vet medicine is very different now than it was 15 years ago.

You did what you thought was best and was in the best interest of Jellybean. And if your actions was out of love and care of your beautiful girl....then it was the right decision.

Thanks for posting your feelings. When and if you can, we would love to see some pics of your bunnies.

Chipper's Mom
Momm'a Chipper Boy (9/19/95 - 1/30/11)
I love you forever sweet boy! I miss you so much! Can't wait to see you again!
Chipper's Mom

Momma's Chipper Boy (9/19/95 - 1/30/11) My heart, my love, my buddy! I miss you and love you so, so much! I can't wait to see you at the bridge! Love, Mommy

Lady "Ladybugs" (8/2/03 - 6/5/17) My sweet girl. Thanks for the walks, playtime, sock collection, boo boo kisses and love you gave all of us. We will miss you dearly! Until we meet again...we love you!
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MOConnor
Hello,

I see what you're saying...and some may call me crazy but I had been around Jellybean enough to get some idea of her feelings by the expression of her eyes.  And she was telling me, in her own way, that she couldn't go on...she was so changed from the bunny I had once known.  Somehow...I knew it was time, eventhough she was only 5 and the normal lifespan of a pet bunny is 8-10 years.  Whoever said the hardest part of love is letting go hit the proverbial nail on its proverbial head.  Even years later you can still be haunted as to if you did what was right.  At the time I couldn't see any other option...she was ready to go eventhough I wasn't ready for her to leave and it was one of the hardest things I ever did...to choose to give her release.

I'll try to get some photos up...if I can find the negatives.  The orignal prints got lost years ago but I think I still have the negatives around here somewhere...if any store will still make prints of those old-style square-shaped photos.  Jellybean was harder to get a good photo of...she did not like cameras and flash bulbs.  Maria was much more laid back about the process.  The best ones I have are very old, when they were a year or two old so I hope the negatives haven't deteriorated past the point of recovery.
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