MiasMomma
I want to share my experience through this Hell so far, and keep sharing, in case it resonates with even one person and helps them feel less alone and more hopeful.

It's only been 1.5 weeks since I had to say goodbye to my beautiful girl, but already, I am learning so much about my grief. Firstly, I've suffered enough losses in my life that I thought that I was "ready" to handle this one, that I knew what to expect. I was wrong. This one was far different for me from all the others. It was akin to losing a child, and it hurt far deeper than I ever thought that it would. It took me by surprise and completely knocked me on my ass.

For me, this grief was like falling into a hole. It's cold, dark, scary and lonely. It isolates you, and that's how all the negativity takes over. All sorts of horrible thoughts start running through your head: "I'm responsible", "I KILLED my best friend", "I didn't do enough", "I am a horrible human being", "I am a complete failure". Grief thrives on that dark hole. I allowed all my fear, all my doubts, all my regrets and every ounce of guilt that I as carrying to completely consume me.

And then I realized something. None of those thoughts are actually true. Not a single one. The reality is that I was a GOOD pet owner, a great "mom" to my amazing girl. Did I make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Does that undo all the things I did right? Absolutely not. We forgive our pets when they pee on the floor, or chew our favourite shoes. We forgive them when they bark/meow like little lunatics or get into the garbage. So why don't we forgive ourselves for not being perfect? We dwell on all of the negative, forget the positive and blame ourselves for them not being here anymore. The reality is that nothing and no one gets to live forever, and we rarely get to choose how we exit this world. Things just... happen.

And so, I realized that I had two choices: look down and continue to dig deeper and deeper into my cold, dark, lonely hole of grief, or I could look UP towards the sunshine and realize that there is life beyond loss. I had to make the decision to start climbing my way out. I had to make the choice to forgive myself.

You need to do that, too. Forgive yourself for whatever you've done wrong. Shut down the voices that are spewing darkness and hate, and start climbing UP. Sure, it may be tough and you might slide back down a few times, but you should never stop trying. If you can't do it for yourself right now, do it for that furry angel that you KNOW would never want to see you hurting like this. They loved you unconditionally. Honour that love by seeing in yourself what they saw in you.
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Rosiebrown
That is exactly how I feel I lost my beautiful 17 year old westie a week ago today is very hard it's her birthday so 3 steps back into that hole thank you for your words of encouragement it realy helps just miss her so much
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Rosiebrown
Rosiebrown wrote:
That is exactly how I feel I lost my beautiful 17 year old westie a week ago today is very hard it's her birthday so 3 steps back into that hole thank you for your words of encouragement it realy helps just miss her so much
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MiasMomma
You can do this, Rosiebrown. I have faith in you. It's absolutely okay to have bad days. It's okay to cry. It's okay to miss her. Just don't ever stop trying. xoxo
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Zelda
Thank you, MiasMomma, for your honest and insightful post. I'm having a bad day today, day 10, but your words are inspiring me to keep trying. 
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StrawberrysMommy
MiasMomma,
What an adorable baby you had! I am so sorry she had to leave you.

Your post was positively spot-on; something we can all benefit greatly from by really thinking about it...and reminding ourselves when the grief monster rears its ugly head and grips our hearts and minds...what you wrote is about as honest as it gets. Thank you!
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Jinxy_Mom
MiasMomma, your post was spot on. Thank you for sharing.
In that dark hole sitting next to me are anger, numbness and thoughts of hurting the one responsible for taking my everything away. I will try to look up.
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Will_Never_Forgive_Myself
MiasMomma wrote:
I want to share my experience through this Hell so far, and keep sharing, in case it resonates with even one person and helps them feel less alone and more hopeful.

It's only been 1.5 weeks since I had to say goodbye to my beautiful girl, but already, I am learning so much about my grief. Firstly, I've suffered enough losses in my life that I thought that I was "ready" to handle this one, that I knew what to expect. I was wrong. This one was far different for me from all the others. It was akin to losing a child, and it hurt far deeper than I ever thought that it would. It took me by surprise and completely knocked me on my ass.

For me, this grief was like falling into a hole. It's cold, dark, scary and lonely. It isolates you, and that's how all the negativity takes over. All sorts of horrible thoughts start running through your head: "I'm responsible", "I KILLED my best friend", "I didn't do enough", "I am a horrible human being", "I am a complete failure". Grief thrives on that dark hole. I allowed all my fear, all my doubts, all my regrets and every ounce of guilt that I as carrying to completely consume me.

And then I realized something. None of those thoughts are actually true. Not a single one. The reality is that I was a GOOD pet owner, a great "mom" to my amazing girl. Did I make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Does that undo all the things I did right? Absolutely not. We forgive our pets when they pee on the floor, or chew our favourite shoes. We forgive them when they bark/meow like little lunatics or get into the garbage. So why don't we forgive ourselves for not being perfect? We dwell on all of the negative, forget the positive and blame ourselves for them not being here anymore. The reality is that nothing and no one gets to live forever, and we rarely get to choose how we exit this world. Things just... happen.

And so, I realized that I had two choices: look down and continue to dig deeper and deeper into my cold, dark, lonely hole of grief, or I could look UP towards the sunshine and realize that there is life beyond loss. I had to make the decision to start climbing my way out. I had to make the choice to forgive myself.

You need to do that, too. Forgive yourself for whatever you've done wrong. Shut down the voices that are spewing darkness and hate, and start climbing UP. Sure, it may be tough and you might slide back down a few times, but you should never stop trying. If you can't do it for yourself right now, do it for that furry angel that you KNOW would never want to see you hurting like this. They loved you unconditionally. Honour that love by seeing in yourself what they saw in you.


MiasMomma,
I'm trying to do what you have accomplished. I think it is great that you could get that far in that short of time.  I am still in that dark place. There are some things about what happened to my dog that I feel so sure I could have prevented, but for some unknown reason, I didn't follow through. It was tragic for him and he was young, too.  Missing him is such a hard thing for me to experience. I want to see him everywhere because that's where he would be, everywhere I went in my home.  He would follow me. Such a loving dog.  Missing him so much brings me back into my dark place with regrets and guilt. Nothing seems the same anymore. I don't feel the same. I am not grounded. I am constantly bouncing back and forth. As soon as I think I'm handling it, I miss him again and it's another cycle. When did you accept it? Was it when you made your choice to forgive yourself or was it before that?  I haven't let go. I'm haven't accepted it. I'm at a road block. Once you forgave yourself did you feel you still cared?  I wonder if I'm not letting go because I'm worried that means I don't care anymore for him. I don't know. I haven't had any close losses in my life. This was the worst thing to happen to me. On a positive note, I have a second appt with a grief counselor. I hope I can be as strong as you without forgetting about my Parker. I don't want to lose my love for him.
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MiasMomma
It wasn't easy for me to get there. I had to force myself to step back and look at things from an outsider's perspective. I gave my girl an amazing life, did everything humanly possible to make sure she was happy, healthy and loved. Some things are simply out of our control. And blaming yourself is as pointless as blaming yourself for the weather: it's not your fault and even if it is/was, it doesn't change anything. I had to forgive myself for making the choice that I truly felt was in her best interest, even if it hurt like Hell. Can I say for certain that it was, without question, the right time? No. I can't possibly know that for sure. I let her go because I loved her enough to do so, not because I didn't want her here, or love her anymore, or want to keep taking care of her. I promise you that the first step to healing is forgiveness. Without that, you will stay stuck in this horrible place indefinitely.

I still miss my girl so very much. There isn't a minute of the day that doesn't go by that I don't think of her. Choosing not to blame myself or hate myself for her passing hasn't changed that. I still get waves of grief that wash over me unexpectedly. And I think that's normal and will be for a while. What I refuse to do is continually beat myself up over things I can't change... things I couldn't have changed no matter how hard I tried. No one and nothing lives forever. It was simply her time to go, and I have to be okay with that. Moving forward isn't about forgetting. It's simply about choosing to continue to live my life. In letting go of the misplaced guilt, I've been able to look at pictures and remember my time with her with a smile, along with the tears. She was an amazing girl who bought SO much joy into my life. It wouldn't have made a difference if she'd lived another 10 years... no amount of time with her would ever have been "enough". But the time we did have together was incredible, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I choose to honour my Mia by continuing to love other animals. There are so many out there in need of a good, loving home where someone will cherish them like everyday could be their last. That's what my girl taught me: every single day is a GIFT. Love someone/something like it could be the last.
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Zana2011
Miasmomma bless your heart!.you are so right!.I felt me and my buttercups bond was so special bc I saved him 6yr old.it was fate...we needed and saved each other...some day I wana be strong enough to save another dog that really needs me..BC there's no better feeling than rescuing an animal in need.
Animals are so good and pure.they all deserve that care...I hope one day u can help another baby bc the world needs more ppl like u.
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lili_c1010
MiasMomma wrote:
I want to share my experience through this Hell so far, and keep sharing, in case it resonates with even one person and helps them feel less alone and more hopeful.

It's only been 1.5 weeks since I had to say goodbye to my beautiful girl, but already, I am learning so much about my grief. Firstly, I've suffered enough losses in my life that I thought that I was "ready" to handle this one, that I knew what to expect. I was wrong. This one was far different for me from all the others. It was akin to losing a child, and it hurt far deeper than I ever thought that it would. It took me by surprise and completely knocked me on my ass.

For me, this grief was like falling into a hole. It's cold, dark, scary and lonely. It isolates you, and that's how all the negativity takes over. All sorts of horrible thoughts start running through your head: "I'm responsible", "I KILLED my best friend", "I didn't do enough", "I am a horrible human being", "I am a complete failure". Grief thrives on that dark hole. I allowed all my fear, all my doubts, all my regrets and every ounce of guilt that I as carrying to completely consume me.

And then I realized something. None of those thoughts are actually true. Not a single one. The reality is that I was a GOOD pet owner, a great "mom" to my amazing girl. Did I make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. Does that undo all the things I did right? Absolutely not. We forgive our pets when they pee on the floor, or chew our favourite shoes. We forgive them when they bark/meow like little lunatics or get into the garbage. So why don't we forgive ourselves for not being perfect? We dwell on all of the negative, forget the positive and blame ourselves for them not being here anymore. The reality is that nothing and no one gets to live forever, and we rarely get to choose how we exit this world. Things just... happen.

And so, I realized that I had two choices: look down and continue to dig deeper and deeper into my cold, dark, lonely hole of grief, or I could look UP towards the sunshine and realize that there is life beyond loss. I had to make the decision to start climbing my way out. I had to make the choice to forgive myself.

You need to do that, too. Forgive yourself for whatever you've done wrong. Shut down the voices that are spewing darkness and hate, and start climbing UP. Sure, it may be tough and you might slide back down a few times, but you should never stop trying. If you can't do it for yourself right now, do it for that furry angel that you KNOW would never want to see you hurting like this. They loved you unconditionally. Honour that love by seeing in yourself what they saw in you.


thanks for sharing this. im going through d exact same phase self blame, guilt depress and all. i will do this. hope it works well for me.
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Buddy_Mama
Dear MiasMomma: this is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now. Thank you so much. I'm so grateful that you posted this to help others. It's helping me right this second, nearly a year after you originally wrote it. I hope you see this message to know how much your post means to me - and, I'm sure, countless others too. Bless you, and your Mia, and the infinite love between fur baby and pet parent.
Cindy (Buddy’s mama)
My baby Buddy 5/4/10-3/7/20, rescued March 2011
My sweet Mandy 11/27/91-11/2/10, rescued November 1992
My beautiful Barney 4/28/73-9/7/92, adopted May 1973
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LaGata
Thank you for your insight and words of encouragement.  They ring true and compassionate for all who find themselves here.  
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