My baby passed away and it was expected... but it was still so difficult. He was losing his hearing, walking was becoming difficult and he kept getting tangled up in things more and more... but it was still a blow. I've known my baby since I was 8 he was 17 and a half when he passed. And its hard now since taking care of him has become a part of my daily life: Feeding him medication, giving him special food for his kidneys when they started to give him pain. But now it's to the point that I forget he's not outside in the yard when it gets dark, I think I hear barking and its not him. Now there's this hole I don't know how to fill. I have a hard time enjoying things I used to. 

How do I greive? I still need to work and be productive but in-between luls of normalcy I just feel sad. I know it's best that he's not suffering and that he's passed on at home in a familiar place but I'm taking it the worst in my family. I love him so much still but thinking about him only hurts. How do I keep it together? 
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Dear Ktelsmommy,

I'm very sorry for your loss of your boy. 17 1/2 is an incredible run, although "forever" would not be long enough with our beloved's.

The barks you heard may have been him. Think about it, when humans pass away people don't report hearing voices of their lost human loved ones. It only appears to be our pets that we hear. But humans talk more than pets. So why don't we keep hearing humans voices when they depart?

I heard my boy (a cat named "Marmalade") on many occassions. It was so clear, so distinct that I would bolt upright from being asleep. I do believe hearing them is a sign. There are books written about this topic.

Grief is like the tides. It ebbs and flows around us. Sometimes coming up to our shins, and then around our knees and then up to our waists, all then it rises to our chests, then rises all the way to our necks and then finally over our heads and we are pulled under and we hold our breaths until we can surface again. What happens over time is the tides of grief completely recede. The key is to just wait it out. Hold our breaths if we need to and then catch our breaths again. And then breeeaatthhhh.

I found praying and asking for "mercy" helped. I found speaking to my boy every day and night and thanking him helped. Letting him know that I still love him, will never, ever forget him, that I miss him and that I hope to see him again. And saying a prayer for him at bedtime each evening asking God to watch over his spirt / soul helps. Even if it is just to comfort myself, it still helps. I say to God - "If you can not reach him, if I will not be able to see Marmalade again, I am still grateful for your crossing our paths when you did. And for the time that Marmalade and I were allotted." 

Just continue to travel through time. Every single second, every single minute, every single moment, every single hour, every single morning, every single afternoon, every single day, every single night, every single week, every single month - you are HEALING. It is your birthright. You're mind and body and spirit has a built-in healing mechanism. It is working even when you think that it is not. I am one year in and it is such a relief to be able to smile when I talk to my boy. I am still heartbroken and I miss him so. But I have joy when I think of him which is growing as time goes by.

I hope that soon whenever you think of your lost beloved, that what comes to mind, are only your very fondest, most cherished and happiest memories of him. The measure of the depth of your grief is the measure of the great love that you had for him. How wonderful that during his life time he knew and experienced such love from you and returned it to you. What a true blessing to exerience in any one lifetime.

Kind regards & my sincerest condolences,
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So sorry for your loss!  It is especially hard right now for you because it is so fresh. I know you gave him a lot of love his life.  I had to let me baby boy Patch go about 5 weeks ago due to advanced kidney failure - common in elderly cats - and was 19 years old.  Even though I knew it was coming, it still hurt (and still does - I miss him so much).  But I am now able to smile when I think of him.  I have his ashes in a box on his favorite chair and talk to him every day.  

A very good friend pointed out to me that part of the pain of the loss is because all the time we spent taking care of them when they were sick is now empty time.  Special times of the day are hard - times we spent with them.  

James is right - eventually the pain will start to subside slightly every day.  It does not mean you miss them less - just that you have accepted they are gone and are able to remember them with a smile.  The hole in your heart where they lived will always be there though.

Hugs to you and bless you.
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The chatroom available through this website is helping me.  Best wishes through this painful process.
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So sorry for your loss!  This forum was a big help to me when I had to put my 19 year old cat Patch down due to advanced kidney disease.  People here are kind and compassionate.

Hugs to you!
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