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Bigcatsdad
Cindy,
I'm glad you are posting again and slowly starting to feel better. It just all takes time. It will be coming up on three months for me since I had to say goodbye to Albert Things have been a bit better but I had a bad spell a few Fridays ago. I just started crying and I couldn't stop. For about an hour I cried and wasn't sure why until it hit me, I still really miss the big guy. Still the odd bad day mixed in with the good ones but now there are more good ones than bad as the weeks are passing by.  I guess its all part of the healing process. .
I hope you are starting to have more good days than bad as well.
-Jeff
Bigcatsdad
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Buddy_Mama
Hi Jeff... thanks for letting me know how you've been doing. I haven't been good at checking in here regularly to do the same. I've just been feeling really sad, day after day, with all days feeling the same - until today (see below).

I picked up Buddy's ashes about a month ago; I commented about that as I was literally on the way to pick them up. As soon as the vet hospital staffer handed them to me through the car window, with mask and gloves on, I broke down crying (no, I couldn't walk inside to pick them up like normal, because of coronavirus restrictions). In the passenger seat of my husband's car, I hugged Buddy's box of ashes close to me, and cried & cried.

Oddly, Buddy's vet called me about 10 minutes later, before we even got home, to discuss Buddy's necropsy results. She didn't know I had *just* picked up Buddy's ashes, so it was very weird and coincidental. Anyway, I remembered what you (Jeff) said you've been doing with Albert's ashes. So during the day, I've been placing Buddy's box of ashes in the living room, in one of his 3 favorite napping spots... and at night I've been bringing them into our bedroom, and placing them on my dresser (though he never climbed up there - it's just that I can see his ashes box better there).

Every day has been like this since March 7. And I've had at least one round of sobbing every single day, for 7 weeks and 1 day. Until today. To my amazement, I was able to get through today - the first day in 7 weeks and 1 day - without sobbing. Yes, my eyes welled up a couple of times today, but I did NOT break down and sob. I told myself to be strong for Buddy's sake, as I've encouraged others to do in other posts here. But today was the first day I've been able to make *myself* be strong. I was able to switch my mind to happy memories, instead of remembering his last moments and letting *any* memory of him - happy or not - bring me to sobbing.

I'm saying this to encourage all of you grieving pet parents who are in pain. I know you're thinking every day in the future will be as painful as yesterday and today have been. Please believe me, there will be a day soon when the pain will feel lighter. You won't sob, you won't feel that you're drowning in pain, you will be able to get through a day feeling just a little bit better. I didn't believe that day would come, but today it did. And it will come for you too. Just hang in there. Sending love to you all.
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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kikis_mom_1118
I remember picking up my Kiki's ashes. That was 5 months ago. I was in so much pain. The hurt is still there but not as devastating as it was at first. She was a beautiful little spirit. I sat her ashes on the bar in the living room, I kiss and hug her box every now in then. I did bring her to the room once but that was a little too much for me to bear. I'm glad you are finding some type of comfort and eventually the pain will lessen.
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Bigcatsdad
I was the same when I picked up Albert's ashes. I had been a little better, then I picked them up and cried and cried. Al that night and most of the next few days. It took me right back to his last day and the crushing pain. I did feel a little bit of comfort that I was finally bringing him home. I felt so bad having to leave him at the vets after he passed. I almost couldn't do it, I didn't want to let him go so finally bringing him home I felt a little better.
Cindy, I'm glad you are feeling better. It's been over three months for me now and it's been better for me as well. I can look at pictures and remember good memories of Albert and they make me smile, laugh and feel better. It just takes time. I still get a tear in my eye once in a while with certain memories but most are all happier ones. The weight of grief is almost unbearable when this experience first happens but as time passes it slowly eases to a point to where you can breath again even though the first little while you don't ever think you will ever get to this point.
Wishing warm and happy memories.
-Jeff
Bigcatsdad
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Buddy_Mama
Even as weeks have turned into months - it’s been 3 and a half months since the horrible night I lost my Buddy - life is just not the same, and everything feels so empty without my big black loving boy by my side. All the memories of his little habits, his little quirks, our rituals, things I maybe took for granted, things I never assumed would be gone so quickly, forever... it all brings me to tears and makes my grief and sadness feel so acute.

I don’t cry as hard or as frequently, but I still do cry almost every day. I still look for my Buddy, I still think I see him coming around a corner sometimes. I haven’t put away his food dishes, toys, cat tree, or scratching posts... and I still haven’t been able to bring myself to clean out his litter box. I can still barely look at it without bursting into tears. Sometimes I just thank God for the COVID-19 quarantine situation: no guests in my house = I don’t have to explain why Buddy’s litter box remains untouched, and I don’t have to worry about being judged for it.

Keeping all Buddy’s things visible makes me feel somehow like he’s still around, even though I see and touch the box that holds his ashes every day. I bring him into the bedroom with me at night, and out to the living room every morning, where I place him in one of his favorite napping spots. I’ve been doing the same with the ashes of his older sister Mandy, right next to him. They looked just alike (though Mandy had a smaller build), but they never met. I’ve only ever had one cat at a time.

Losing Buddy has taken a toll on me, especially since I’ve been trying to navigate other major loss and changes for the past 3 years, and because Buddy was an only cat. I don’t have another cat to whom I can redirect my love for Buddy, another sweet soul to give me a reason to get up in the morning, to find comfort in. I know of 4 cats near me that are in need of immediate adoption; I brought it up with my husband, but he won’t agree to it yet (for reasons that have NOTHING to do with these particular cats, or our ability to care for any of them). I’ve tried to explain that being able to care for another cat will help me heal from losing my Buddy, will let me put his unopened food and litter to good use, but he has refused for the indefinite future. (And it’s not at ALL because he’s grieving Buddy more than I am.)

The only comfort I feel most of the time is knowing I’m not alone in my pain and grief. Sending virtual hugs out to all of you who are hurting too. We can’t go back in time, so we must go forward one day at a time. ❤️
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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Dmoore
My heart breaks for you. That was a touching tribute to your precious Buddy. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my sweet dog, Jasmine last week and I find myself crying many times everyday. Like you, I have a hard time getting up every day. I feel broken and alone. 
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Buddy_Mama
Dmoore, I'm so sorry about your Jasmine. Since it's only been a week, I know that your pain is still very raw. The first week or two for me was such a blur, so much pain and tears. I had a hard time eating and sleeping too - if you experienced that, I hope you're able to do both now. We form such incredible bonds with our babies, all the while knowing that we're likely to outlive them. Thus we feel such hurt and bottomless sorrow when we lose them, no matter how old they were or the circumstances of their loss. It speaks to how unconditional their love is for us... and how the deeper our love for them, the deeper our grief. I'm glad you're here; this site has given me comfort as a place to explain, vent, and hopefully offer comfort to others. Although it may feel like it, just remember that you're *not* alone. Sending you hugs...
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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Maddie140
I'm so sorry about the loss of Buddy. I haven't put my Sammy's beds away and the litter box is still in the back seat of my car from when I last took him to the hospital where he died. I don't want to be presumptuous, but it sounds like you might be dealing with hurt feelings regarding your husband's refusal to get another cat. Each day will get a little better. Maybe so minuscule that you don't notice, but it will eventually (in your own time) add up and heal your heart. Best of luck to you.
Madelyn DeStefano
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borealis
Buddy_Mama wrote:
It's the single worst cruelty of the universe that our beloved, unconditionally loving babies go before us. Not that I wanted to go before Buddy, and leave him wondering where I went... (whenever I'd travel, my husband would tell me he'd sit by the front door watching & waiting for me, at least for the first night I was away).


This is so true...I've been reading through some pet adoption sites and there are some cats that just fall apart when their owners pass. There's some heartbreaking stories of senior owners who have passed and their cats have stopped eating because they are missing companionship so much.
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Morriash
Hi Cindy,

I sit here reading your posts and crying because I feel that our grief is so similar. I lost my baby Patches on April 16th. She was 18.5 years old and had a handful of health issues such as diabetes, kidney disease, and pancreatitis that would flare up. Even with her ailments, choosing euthanasia at the end haunts me and is a big source of my guilt. I wonder daily if she was actually ready to move on or if I was making that choice for her against her will. I wonder if I had done more if she would still be here today or if it would have all been in vain anyway. I chose not to pursue medical treatment at the end for her lack of appetite, weight loss, and lethargy because I didn't want her to suffer once again through the bloodwork and needles if she wouldn't make it anyway. Now I wonder if maybe she did have one more fight left in her and I stole it from her.

I miss her everyday. I try to sit with her ashes for a little while everyday and tell her how much I love her and miss her and ask her for forgiveness. When I'm not sitting with her, she rests on my bedside table. She used to love sleeping with me, but once her neuropathy got so bad she had a difficult time with jumping on the bed. So I put her in the bedroom to make up for all of her lost time getting morning snuggles.

Similar to you, I have no other cats to direct my attention to. I do have a beautiful Australian Shepherd, whom I love dearly and who loves me, but the love is different. With patches, she was apart of my soul. We shared so much in our lives and had a connection that was so unconditionally full of trust and understanding. With My Australian it feels different, less intimate of a connection almost. Because of this I am thinking of adopting another cat, I am not sure if it is the right time or the right move but I have been praying to God to send me a sign if it is the right thing to do. My plan is to go see a few kittens and if while seeing any of them I get a sign or gut feeling that it is right then I will go ahead with getting another cat. I have this ,maybe unrealistic, hope that God will send patches back to me and that one of the kittens will give me a sign that they are her reincarnated. I know this sounds silly as all of my traditional Bible teachings have not indicated that reincarnation is something that God does, even when begged to. So I guess we will see.

Anyway, please know you are not alone in your grief. Stay strong. Sending you hugs and strength!
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