MySweetBoy
Reading stories from this forum has been so comforting to me in my loss. Page upon page of stories, all different and unique in their particulars, but united in a common experience, eases the pain a little and makes the process feel less frightening. The enormity of the grief, how terrifying it is, especially in the beginning, the horror of trying to get through the next moment, crying all day long, missing them at every turn, the guilt over not making the time for them (even if we doted on them and lavished excess time on them!), the guilt over treatment decisions (even if we spent more on their care than on our own), the certainty that no one will ever replace them in our hearts, the terror of going through this ever again... I read this in every story! It's touching. It's devastating.

The notion that everything will be fine if we just get another pet is laughable, like if you lost a child to just go out and get another kid. But people don't understand if they haven't loved a pet deeply and specifically. I used to think that people who treated their pets like children were a little pathetic. I didn't spoil my cat like I wouldn't spoil a child, but I fell in love with him hook line and sinker when I rescued him (an unplanned event, kismet!) and adored him every day of my life. And he was like my kid.

I certainly didn't understand grief. I think that I was maybe a little insensitive when others experienced grief at the loss of a loved one. I certainly didn't get it when my cousin's husband lost his dog - honestly, I was like, "Whatever, dude." And that was after my sweet boy was already in my life. I just had no idea what losing him would be like.

I now think that if you can weather the grief, that it can teach you about love in a way that nothing else can. 

I used to think that death didn't frighten me - my own death doesn't, I've come close to dying and had major illness and worked through (what I thought was most of) my issues around death. I know in a visceral way that we continue on after death, and that love is eternal and we will find each other again. I also felt my boy tell me 4 or 5 months ago that he would have to leave soon (though I promptly went into denial and his death was a complete shock, even to the vet!). And for the two weeks leading up to his death, I had a song playing constantly in my mind: "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" by the Moody Blues (I know you're out there somewhere and someday I'll return again to you). I'd like to believe this was his soul telling me he would find me again, even though I didn't connect the dots until after he died. But none of these things have made it any easier!!! And it was only reading all these stories on this forum that gave me a little relief, and a little peace.

I think, I hope, that I am past the worst stages - the ones where I worry about my sanity, worry I won't be able to stay alive in the world, shiver in terror at the world and its cruelty, feel certain that I'm marked for some new horror yet to come.

I loved my boy, I loved him so much! He was such a cool cat. He wasn't fancy, he wasn't good-looking, he wasn't talented, well - he gave very good lap, just so so sweet, he would sometimes lie and hug my leg when we were lying on the couch, wrap his front and hind legs around my leg with this sweet sweet little smile at the corners of his mouth. But he was a just a plain gray striped cat with a snipped ear from where he'd been neutered while he was feral. He showed up on the front steps of my apartment building one cold January day, and after ignoring his cries all day, I finally let him in. And that changed my life! I always said I saved him (he was in rough shape!) but he saved me. RIP my sweet boy.

Groundhog-hugging-my-leg-600x800.jpg 
Photo of my sweet boy around 6 months before he died.

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Mysweetsimba
My partner was in the same position as you. He didn't want our cat, but the cat worked his way in. And after that, it was him fighting for Simba right to the end. The difficulty in the costs the time having to go to work having to take advice, having to manage all these areas normally a juggling act as it is.
This is an incredibly adorable picture. Like, really.
I don't think I can handle another loss. But I saw some video that said you must not be soured by the pain, the cat you rescued is one of many, and somehow you should allow your self to love again. I know I can't go through this again tho. No way. I will do more for shelters my kitty benefited and I should help another benefit but owning a pet and seeing them go, no.
I hope I do learn from this experience, I do learn to deal with this separation and loss. I hope we all do here.
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Memories_of_Marmalade


Dear My Sweet Boy,

I want to thank you for your insightful, understanding and loving post. I have been here for a few months, and your last post is one of my favorites that I have read to date. Very moving and inspiring. Thank you for sharing yours thoughts and doing so in such a poignant manner. With words that all of us here can relate to.

Kind regards,
James
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MySweetBoy
@Mysweetsimba there are no "musts" in grief and love, only love. You will find what is right for you. I think of all the pets I had as a kid who I loved but with whom I wasn't present enough to really mourn when we moved away (and abandoned them! lord, how primitive things were back then!) or when they died. I actually had an amazing cat for 20 years who I left with my parents for more than half her life because it was inconvenient to take her with me... but her deathbed scene was so extraordinary. I had been so clueless for most of her life. Back then, I still didn't believe that animals were capable of loving us or having sentience, even though I really felt connected to her and that she was my familiar. I believed the whole notion of anthropomorphic projection. But when she died, ... well, that's a whole other story for another day. Suffice it to say that within 6 months I became a vegetarian, but I didn't mourn the way I mourned this one. With my sweet boy, I like thinking about the fact that my grief is a measure of how present I was in that love.
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Jan_H
I have found pain and comfort reading the stories on this forum. So many stories about so many special, loved and unique pets. Many times I have cried reading the stories here, but it is comforting to know I am not alone in feeling a very special bond with an animal.

But I must disagree with you on one thing. I think your boy was very good looking. I love grey tabby cats.

Jan
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MySweetBoy
@Jan_H - Aw... :-) He was beautiful to me. I just went and picked up his ashes. Sad day.
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Memories_of_Marmalade

Dear My Sweet Boy,

I am glad that he is back home with you. 

"We are made of star stuff" as famed Astronomer Carl Sagan said. Our bodies are made up of carbon. And as Joni Mitchell sang "We are stardust, billion year old carbon. We are golden." Your lad was also made of stardust and his ashes have carbon in them, which again, is a part of what stars are made of.

So just think of that, your boys ashes are made up of billion year old stars. What could be more mystical and enchanting?

James



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MySweetBoy
None of this has felt how it normally does to me. I really wanted him cremated so he wouldn't be rotting in the ground, in the dry clay dirt full of mica we have around here, since it's the end of summer and hasn't rained in a while. Now that I have the ashes home, they make me sad and feel weird. Normally I do like to think about us being made of stardust... right now, it's strange and gritty. At least the third option was not a real option: taxidermy! LOL Although...

I could have had them curl him up like he was sleeping on the couch... :-))
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MySweetBoy
@Memories_of_Marmalade, James, I meant to thank you for your kind words. Distracted by my grief. And actually, I think that's one thing that our dear pets were trying to teach us - at least it was one of my sources of guilt: my distraction from paying attention to my kitty when he was suffering or even just on ordinary evenings when I was working on the computer and he really wanted me to lie on the couch so he could connect with me. He would sleep during the day, but by the time dinner time came, he was ready for me to settle down so he could climb up and lie on me and snuggle. He would sometimes climb up and sleep on my desk if I didn't knock off by dinner time. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for your kindness and observations. I hope you are well. 
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AngelsGift
May I suggest a glass orb? Their ashes are incorporated into a glass orb. We had our girls ashes along with her colors... black and white, put into glass. A fitting way to honor her. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to advertise but shoot me a PM and I can give you her info.

As to your post. I would love to have another dog. But I do feel like I lost my child, and they in my eyes cannot be replaced. Of course very few understand this, to many the answer is to just get another dog. Especially since it’s been a year and a half. It may happen, but my heart will have to have healed enough. All of that said, it was a beautiful post. I can relate to much of it.
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BeautifulDK
MySweetBoy wrote:
Reading stories from this forum has been so comforting to me in my loss. Page upon page of stories, all different and unique in their particulars, but united in a common experience, eases the pain a little and makes the process feel less frightening. The enormity of the grief, how terrifying it is, especially in the beginning, the horror of trying to get through the next moment, crying all day long, missing them at every turn, the guilt over not making the time for them (even if we doted on them and lavished excess time on them!), the guilt over treatment decisions (even if we spent more on their care than on our own), the certainty that no one will ever replace them in our hearts, the terror of going through this ever again... I read this in every story! It's touching. It's devastating.

The notion that everything will be fine if we just get another pet is laughable, like if you lost a child to just go out and get another kid. But people don't understand if they haven't loved a pet deeply and specifically. I used to think that people who treated their pets like children were a little pathetic. I didn't spoil my cat like I wouldn't spoil a child, but I fell in love with him hook line and sinker when I rescued him (an unplanned event, kismet!) and adored him every day of my life. And he was like my kid.

I certainly didn't understand grief. I think that I was maybe a little insensitive when others experienced grief at the loss of a loved one. I certainly didn't get it when my cousin's husband lost his dog - honestly, I was like, "Whatever, dude." And that was after my sweet boy was already in my life. I just had no idea what losing him would be like.

I now think that if you can weather the grief, that it can teach you about love in a way that nothing else can. 

I used to think that death didn't frighten me - my own death doesn't, I've come close to dying and had major illness and worked through (what I thought was most of) my issues around death. I know in a visceral way that we continue on after death, and that love is eternal and we will find each other again. I also felt my boy tell me 4 or 5 months ago that he would have to leave soon (though I promptly went into denial and his death was a complete shock, even to the vet!). And for the two weeks leading up to his death, I had a song playing constantly in my mind: "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" by the Moody Blues (I know you're out there somewhere and someday I'll return again to you). I'd like to believe this was his soul telling me he would find me again, even though I didn't connect the dots until after he died. But none of these things have made it any easier!!! And it was only reading all these stories on this forum that gave me a little relief, and a little peace.

I think, I hope, that I am past the worst stages - the ones where I worry about my sanity, worry I won't be able to stay alive in the world, shiver in terror at the world and its cruelty, feel certain that I'm marked for some new horror yet to come.

I loved my boy, I loved him so much! He was such a cool cat. He wasn't fancy, he wasn't good-looking, he wasn't talented, well - he gave very good lap, just so so sweet, he would sometimes lie and hug my leg when we were lying on the couch, wrap his front and hind legs around my leg with this sweet sweet little smile at the corners of his mouth. But he was a just a plain gray striped cat with a snipped ear from where he'd been neutered while he was feral. He showed up on the front steps of my apartment building one cold January day, and after ignoring his cries all day, I finally let him in. And that changed my life! I always said I saved him (he was in rough shape!) but he saved me. RIP my sweet boy.

Groundhog-hugging-my-leg-600x800.jpg 
Photo of my sweet boy around 6 months before he died.



Thank you so much for this very beautiful post. I also am getting to the point of understanding that I did not take care of my dog, he was taking care of me <3
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judylinn
..yes I came to the same realization..Maddie was here to help me and take care of me..which she did.. She taught me about love...unconditional love. That is what is so special about animals.. My sweet boy your kitty is absolutely beautiful..he eminates love ..Judylinn
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Sil
MySweetBoy,

YourSweetBoy is beautiful.  Just loved the beginning of your journey together, "he showed up at your door....".  YourSweetBoy chose you, it was just meant for the two of you to be together.  Throughout my very early childhood, we had many, many cats.  I really cared for each one of them.  But, I do not remember suffering this much their partings, perhaps, because of my young age, who knows?.  And now, we are a family of "dogs".  Losing the first one was very tough.  And, I did say to myself,
"never again, would I put my heart through this pain".  But, life "showed" me, again, and again, that my heart was able to love and most important to "show" and "give" another fur baby the love they all deserve.  Volunteering in a shelter is wonderful, opening your heart to another furry friend is priceless.  We all do what we can to make their lives safer. I am sorry for your loss.
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