Fiona_W
I was talking about this under the thread "Intro: Grieving for two wonderful orange kitties," but I realize I need more advice on a specific issue. I've had some very sweet & sympathetic replies in that thread, but I have a gnarly problem.

Short version: I lost both cats of a brother-sister pair last autumn. They were only 3 1/2 years old! Oscar died on October 26, 2017, and his sister Nénu ("nay-noo") died on December 9th. The details of their sudden, unexpected deaths are not important. What's important is that I am *devastated* at losing HALF of my immediate family in a matter of 6 weeks, just 2 1/2 months ago. (My husband and I chose not to have human children.) And since they died suddenly, I had no period of preparing to lose them!

My problem, what I need advice with, is that my grief is interfering with my bonding with our two new kittens, now seven months old—Stevie Ray and Emmylou. If you're wondering why we adopted a new brother-sister pair so soon after the other pair's deaths, well, it's complicated. In simple terms: They were offered to me with a lot of pressure, and I couldn't resist.

I've already gotten some good advice about setting up separate but parallel threads devoted, on the one hand, to mourning for my precious orange kitties, and on the other hand, to reaching out to our seven-month-old kittens. But HOW to do that? When I give myself over to the grief for Oscar and Nénu, I quite literally weep and wail. I know Stevie Ray and Emmylou can hear me, no matter where they are in the house. The last thing I want them to think about me is that I'm some sort of untrustworthy basket case. Plus, I'm disabled: I can only walk a short distance—with pain, difficulty, and a 4-pronged cane—so I can't follow the kittens when they run from me. =sigh= (When we got Oscar and Nénu, it was before I became disabled.)

I play with Stevie Ray and Emmylou every day. When they are in their cat bed or cuddled up between my husband's legs, I pet them. But other times, they are "hand shy": when I reach out to touch them, they scoot away rapidly.

I have never had trouble forming close, affectionate relationships with our cats in the past... so this dilemma is new to me. I guess I'll just have to work harder at setting up barriers in my psyche between the old cats and the new ones. And I also need to develop some ways of grieving more discreetly, in ways that are less alarming to Stevie Ray and Emmylou.

But you know what I want to do, when Oscar and Nénu press into my mind, as they do at least once an hour? I want to scream and scream and scream....

Oh my god, WHAT am I going to do?

—peace, love, & rock-n-roll,

Fi ("fee")
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teenyweenybb
Hi Fi,

My best thought is to set up a shrine in a shut away, private, and quiet place with your Oscar and Nenu's ashes, and/or pictures, pictures of spiritual things close to you. Keep fresh flowers always there. Go there to let out emotions, pray, meditate, etc. When not there and your passed babies come to mind- just try to have feelings of the love, affection, playing, petting you had for them.

It could be inevitable that some reminders of your passed ones will come up with the new babies. Sometimes you might see Oscar and Nenu instead of the new ones who are actually physically there. Just don't think too much of that, think of love, and let this pass.

May what you believe as a higher power, peace, love, happiness be with you in your grief for those passed sweet hearts. One day they could very well be with you again by a Rainbow bridge and could be rainbows in the skies too!! Love, peace Fi.
our love baby
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COOKIES4
teenyweenybb wrote:
Hi Fi,

My best thought is to set up a shrine in a shut away, private, and quiet place with your Oscar and Nenu's ashes, and/or pictures, pictures of spiritual things close to you. Keep fresh flowers always there. Go there to let out emotions, pray, meditate, etc. When not there and your passed babies come to mind- just try to have feelings of the love, affection, playing, petting you had for them.

It could be inevitable that some reminders of your passed ones will come up with the new babies. Sometimes you might see Oscar and Nenu instead of the new ones who are actually physically there. Just don't think too much of that, think of love, and let this pass.

May what you believe as a higher power, peace, love, happiness be with you in your grief for those passed sweet hearts. One day they could very well be with you again by a Rainbow bridge and could be rainbows in the skies too!! Love, peace Fi.
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COOKIES4
PERFECT RESPONSE. NOT YELLING LOW VISION. I DID THIS: SET UP A ME.ORIOL WITH MY SPARKY'S PRECIOUS BABIES ASHES IN A BAG ON THE CART HIS CAGE WAS ON. WE SURROUNDED UT WITH HIS FAVORITE TOYS MR BEAR BUNNY BROWN BEAR AND FAVORITE LMEN RAGS AS HE CALLED THEM OUR COCKATIEL WAS OUR BABY AND I AM NOT READY TO LET GO YET, FI NOR SHOULD YOU UNTIL YOU TAKE ONE SECOND AT A TIME TO RECIVER. I AM ALSO ARTHRITIC WITH SEVERE OSTEOARTHRITIS ARTHRITIS. TAKE TIME. JIM AND I SAY BIRDIE KISSES AND PRAYERS E ERY NIGHT. IT IS ONLY 54 DAYS SINCE OUR FEATHER BABY PASSED.
JOAN AND JIM SPARKY'S MOMMY AND DADDY
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teenyweenybb
Cookies4,

Yes you just can't let go right now. But that's all right. That's just the way it is. My thoughts for my beloved furbaby, Lexus are calming down now, though. I know that now is the time to just let go. She needs to sleep, be quiet, be at peace, and just forget everything in heaven right now. Don't know when, if ever, will ever be with her again. But that is what love is. To let go. To rejoice that she has gone to a much higher place now. With God/Higher power, whatever it is. It's better. I may very well think I will never see that little Terrier again, or feel her presence next to me. But that thought is just a thought. One day her presence will cuddle up right next to me when I least think of her. That's the way consciousness works. So think of Sparky for now. Remember, love, look at Sparky's things. Just one day let go of the thinking. You will know when to stop. It may seem like a permanent stop. But that could only be the beginning of a whole new remembrance. One day. Peace. Love. Such a good picture of Sparky!!!! That little critter! He must have been such a rascal!!
our love baby
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Fiona_W
Dear teenyweenybb and COOKIES4,

Thank you so much for your suggestions! They are brilliant, right on the money. I've known about people setting up shrines to loved ones before, but go figure: that notion just fell right out of my head, in the intensity of my weeping and wailing.

I started it this morning already by having a set time when I go to my special quiet place (our guest room). I started by doing my daily Qi Gong ("chee koong") practice, an hour-long Taoist meditation for peace and strength and healing. After my Qi Gong practice, I invited Oscar and Nénu into my consciousness, and cried quietly for a long while. After that, I left the guest room, closed the door behind me, and will defer any further weeping until tomorrow at the same time.

I don't have my orange kitties' ashes, because their bodies are buried in the little patch of forest back of our house. (We have six cats buried back there!) But I do have one of those little screens you can load digitized photos into and have the photos display in a cycle. That will be perfect for this shrine, along with some of their favorite toys. I wish I could include a vase of fresh flowers, but I'm too disabled to go buy any. Maybe in the spring when the forsythia and laurel and other flowering shrubs & trees are in bloom, my husband can get some flowers that way. In the meantime, I will put one of their water bowls on the shrine, and refresh the water every day. Water is good for peace and healing, and is a perfect offering to the deity I have chosen for this purpose, the Star Goddess. (My earth religion honors a number of different deities.)

teenyweenybb, I looked through your past postings and was really struck by the big photo of you with your valiant terrier, Lexus. What a great dog! If you would like to see what Oscar and Nénu looked like, here is a link to some pictures:

http://www.ipernity.com/doc/fi_webster/album/352235

Thank you again for your help!

—peace, love, & rock-n-roll,

Fi
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