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dtyp

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
It's my first morning without Nelson, my beloved kitty, and I feel like I can't breathe.  He was put to sleep yesterday at our local vet's office.  He was in the final stages of chronic renal failure.  He couldn't eat or drink anymore and had these horrible bleeding mouth sores that he wouldn't let me clean or touch, so I know he was hurting.  He did still like to wobble around the yard and listen to the birds and watch the bugs and that's what we did on our last morning together.  I can't believe that was just yesterday that I was watching him teeter around and I was holding and petting him.  I am so devastated and keep wondering if there was something else I could have done, if I made the right decision since he still liked to be outside even though he was so weak.

I know everyone on this forum has been through this pain--my question is what did you do to get through it, besides cry all of the time (which is what I do).  My husband talked about someday getting another little guy to love and I recoiled at the thought, for so many reasons.  I feel lost and sick at the same time.  I still can't believe he's gone, so I must be in denial too.  And where is he now?  Where is that amazing litle soul?  What do you think happened to the souls of your little ones?  Are they safe and happy and loved?  I never let myself think about what happens after death but now I seem to be consumed with it.

Thanks to everyone for listening and I would appreciate any words of wisdom and support and experience.  I'm living in a new city while my husband is in Iraq so I'm feeling pretty alone.

Danielle
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nicokudo

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Reply with quote  #2 
Danielle,

I'm so sorry that you had to make that difficult decision to say good-bye to your precious Nelson.  I lost my Nico to renal failure and when they are in the final stage, saying good-bye is the most loving thing to do.  You were a good mom.  I'm sorry you had to do this when your husband is so far away.

I personally believe that our babies do go to heaven/RB/the Cosmos, whatever you want to call it and that we will see/know them again one day. They are safe now, no longer suffering from their earthly diseases.

The first few weeks are very difficult.  I have never felt so many feelings all at once, sadness, loneliness,desperation,guilt.  Looking back, it's all so normal to feel all of this, but that doesn't make it any easier.  Take one day at a time;you are on a journey with many winding roads ahead.

We are all in various stages of grief and recovery and will help you get through this. Lean on us...we've all been where you are now.

Karen



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Karen,Kudo and Nico's mom
Earth mom to Marco and Bella
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dtyp

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Reply with quote  #3 

Thank you so much Karen for your reply.  I know what you mean about the feelings.  They are so strong and so intense and the few times they ease up a bit all of a sudden, slam, there's the punch of grief again. 

I bet Nico was a beautiful boy.  What did he look like?  How long ago did he pass?  Nelson was black and white kitty, with a fluffy thick coat.  He was a big boy, not overweight but just big.  I remember one time I was carrying him in the elevator of our apartment builidng and when we got out a little boy said to his mother, did you see the size of that cat, wow.  When I carried him through the security check at airports everyone commented on what a well-behaved beautiful cat he was.  Last night and earlier this morning all I could think about was how he looked in his last days and him on the table at the vet's office for the last time.  But my husband just sent me some photos he had on his hard drive pre-renal failure and now the memories of him healthy and happy are starting to leak through.

Wasn't it so hard to watch the ups-and-downs of this disease?  So many times Nelson would take a turn for the worse but then get better, not good as new, but he would improve enough and I would think, oh, thank goodness he's out of the woods.  I forgot that renal failure is a terminal disease, or maybe I made myself forget.

Again, Karen thank you so much for sharing your experience with me and for telling me that you felt sad, lonely, desperate, guilty.  I have all of those feelings too.  I sort of feel better knowing how many animals out there are so loved and cherished, as shown by these pet forums.

Danielle
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nicokudo

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Reply with quote  #4 
Danielle,

My precious boy Nico lived with chronic renal failure for 4 years before dying in my arms at the vets three years ago in June.  The ups and downs of that disease are terrible.  They seem to come so close to death and then we intervene and they are okay for awhile again.  I gave him sub-Q fluids for 4 years, high bp meds, potassium pills, etc, etc.  I was so exhausted by the end.  I can only imagine how exhausted he was.

I wasn't sure what to expect when the end came, but he just stopped eating/drinking/peeing/pooping.  His body just started to shut down.  Given that I had pushed his body to the limits to keep him alive, I didn't want to have him suffer as he died so I rushed him to an ER vet at 5am on a Sunday morning. It is so hard to say good-bye; I know exactly what you are feeling even though it has been almost three years. Even though friends and family were so helpful, I just felt so lost and alone.  I felt the same way when my big boy Kudo died as well.

Please believe that it will get better; it just takes longer than you want it to take.  In some ways I held onto my grief....I almost felt that as long as I was still sad that I still had some part of him with me.  This too is probably normal.  However you grieve, whatever hue/color it takes, this will be the normal way for you.  I do remember the ups/downs/meltdowns...it was such a rollercoaster ride.  As I got better, the meltdowns would get further apart, but when they would happen...wow,they would take my breath away.

Thinking of you and your precious Nelson.

Karen



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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #5 
Dear Danielle,

I saw you were on line late last night, but I also noticed you hadn't posted anything yet, so I couldn't reply to you.  I had an urge to send you a private message to see if you needed to connect with someone, but I thought I'd let you open up in your own time.  I don't know why, but I had a really strong sense of wanting to let you know I was here for you.  I think it's a "Momcat" thing. ;-)

I am so very sorry to hear about your loss.  Bless you for loving Nelson so well, and for caring for him with such immense love throughout his renal failure.  As painful as it is, you did the right thing by setting him free from the body that was betraying his beautiful spirit.  I know that, like me (and all of us here), you wouldn't have been able to live with yourself if you had allowed him to suffer on your account.  We do the best we can for them while they're with us, and it hurts so much to let them go on ahead without us by their sides physically.

I have always believed that they are all around us.  I'm of the school that believes heaven is not above us, but tht it wxists in harmony with our world, in another dimension, so to speak.  I know in my heart that we continue to coexist.  It's just harder for us, with our physical limitations, to see through the veil that separates our world from theirs.  I have reasons for believing this, and I think I'll post a story about something that happened to me that proved to me that we are still one with the ones we love who have gone ahead of us.

One day, when the time is right, Nelson will send you a new friend to love.  To be perfectly honest, you won't have a lot to say about the matter.  Nelson will take care of all the arrangements, and make sur eyou meet your new friend at precisely the right time.  He knows you have a lot of love to give, and he will make sure that someone who needs it comes to you to help heal the wounds of loneliness you feel now.  It's too soon right now, but one day, having a new friend to pass the days with will be a huge relief for you.

Think about it this way:  When a good friend moves out of state or to another city, we miss them terribly.  Our routines are interrupted and we feel lonely without the ones we always did certain things with.  Eventually, we make new friends and find someone to go shopping with, to the movies, out to lunch, etc.  But we continue to love the friend who moved away, and we welcome every opportunity that comes along to talk to them, to visit with them, etc.  It's the same with our Bridge Kids.  They have only left us physically, and only until it's our time to join them.  Until then, we make new friends to pass the time with, always holding our first friends close in our hearts, where they stay forever.  One does not replace the other.  As a matter of fact, I've learned that our hearts grown to make room for the new ones who enter our lives. 

You and your husband, and your beautiful Angel Nelson are in my thoughts and prayers, and I'm sending virtual hugs your way to help comfort you.


__________________
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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dtyp

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you Susie for your support.  I like what you said about their being another dimension that we can't see because of our physical limitations and our loved ones are right there.  It makes me think that Nelson isn't gone, just-like-that, which I'm having a terrible time with.  That such a light and warmth can just not exist anymore, and he's still here, but it's just at a different level.  I also like what you said about Nelson sending me a new kitty to care about when the time is right.  My husband mentioned it on the night Nelson passed away and inside I was screaming "NO NO NO!"  for so many reasons.  But right now I'm a little more open to the thought because of how many wonderful animals that need families.  It's going to be awhile until I'm ready but I think I might be ready someday.  And like you said, it might not be my choice anyway, but Nelson's.

I'm doing a little bit better today, in terms of not crying constantly.  I lost it a couple of times, especially when I opened the vet's consolation card and saw an ink print of his little paws that they had included.  Today I'm more numb and a little angry instead of completely shattered.  I put a new picture of Nelson on my desktop background, he's playing with his ribbon and his eyes are so big and green and beautiful.  Everytime I look at it I smile and remember him before he started hurting and it does help.  I have several pictures of him towards the end of his life and to compare those with this other one is also providing much needed validation of the difficult decision to let him go.  My mind plays tricks on me and I think "was he really that bad?  Did I act too soon?"  But his pain is so evident in the latter photos, in his coat and the way he carried himself and the weight loss and the mouth sores, and I'm feeling more resigned to the fact that it was time to let him go.

I'm just letting myself feel everything right now and whenever I want to cry I just do it.  It makes it hard to be around people and I've limited my outings to those with people I trust and other outings that are only absolutely necessary.  My mom calls me twice a day from Tokyo and my husband and I are lucky enough to be able to talk almost every day too.   But this forum and folks like you have also provided valuable support.  It really helps to talk to and listen to other people who have experienced the same sort of loss.

Thank you again.

Danielle




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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi Danielle ~

You're going to be O.K., but it takes time.  This is an emotional roller coaster, and sometimes it starts up without giving us any warning.  That's when this forum can be of the most help.

I would love to see some pictures of Nelson if you can upload them for us.  T.J is my Bengal who left for the Bridge on March 9th.  The picture of him that I use for my avatar was taken less than 24 hours before he was gone.  It's the only picture I ever got of him that really shows his hypnotic eye color.  They never photographed well until that day.  I am so thankful I took my camera outside when I decided to give him some time in the sun. 

Not long after I came here in 2004, someone who posted regularly at the time was writing about letting them go, and answering the question, "How do you know the time is right?"  He said, "I would rather assist her a week too soon than a moment too late."  I kept that in mind when I had to release T.J.  He loved his life with us so much, he would not have let go on his own.  Something deep inside just told me that I was going to have to be strong for him and make the decision to assist him on his journey.  I couldn't have lived with myself if I had ever allowed him to suffer for an instant if I knew there was no hope of his recovering some degree of comfort.  I know you wouldn't have allowed Nelson to suffer either.  You prevented that from happening, so even if you let him go a week too soon, I hope you will find comfort in knowing that you never let it go on so long that he suffered.  You prevented that from happening, knowing that your own suffering would begin full force.  There is no greater sacrifice we can make for them.

Please try to post a picture of Nelson so we can see him playing with his ribbon  If there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's adorable pictures of furries!  ;-)

xoxoxo
Susie



__________________
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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dtyp

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Reply with quote  #8 
Thanks to wonderful Susie, I was able to finally upload Nelson's picture and now he's my avatar.  In this picture he is about five years old and is playing with his favorite ribbon.  He's my beautiful boy!

I've also included the picture as an attachment so you can see him better.  I'll put up other pictures once I figure how to compress them into a size that the forum can handle.

Attached Images
jpeg Nelson.JPG_smaller.jpg (253.56 KB, 6 views)

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nicokudo

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Reply with quote  #9 
Danielle,

Your Nelson is so handsome.  That picture is one for the memory books.  It looks like a professional took it.  He has such beautiful eyes.

Karen





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dtyp

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thank you Karen, for noticing how handsome he is!  This picture is the background on my desktop and everytime I see it I say "hello beautiful boy" like I used to.  I also really want to thank Susie who helped me put the photo into the right format.

I remember what you and Susie said about the roller coaster ride and the different emotions and crazy stages that are part of the grieving process.  Today was a very hard day for me and it was all about anger in addition to the grief.  The vet called yesterday and said that Nelson was ready to go home and it took me a minute to realize she meant his ashes.  Blah.  I'm going to wait and pick them up with my husband after he gets here, next Friday.  I have a feeling he is really going to be hit hard when he first walks into my parents' house and there's no Nelson to greet him.

In addition to my normal crying spells, I was angry at everything and everyone today, did a lot of cursing, which is not normal for me.  I was short-tempered and moody and got angry at my neighbor for asking me when I was going to get "a new cat."  I know that some people don't get it and he was trying to be nice in a short-sighted way but it was everything I could do to be civil. 

On the positive side, my parents' cat Basil has been a real comfort.  He follows me around a lot and when we sit on the couch together and I am ready to crumple into tears again he comes over and pushes himself into my arms and raises his chin to be scratched.  Tonight he looked at me so intensely and I almost felt like he was saying that Nelson is okay and you are okay and everything is okay.  He's been a sweetheart.

Thanks to everyone again for the support.  It is really really helping me to get through this.

Danielle


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shmoobear

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Reply with quote  #11 
dtyp, I hope that you are doing o.k. today....I am so sorry for your loss. Nelson is so adorable....I'm sure you guys had so much fun together, and that he was a great companion while your husband is away.

It's been 3 weeks today since I lost my Dakota. He was an 11.5 year old Husky, and his illness came on suddenly (as in, he was fine, then sick on a Saturday and had to go on his journey on a Sunday). All I can say is that the grief changes. I think I feel a lot of sadness today, mostly because I feel like it's been YEARS since I've gotten to touch him. I hate that feeling. And as you said "where is his beautiful soul?". I struggled with that as well. But ultimately, I believe that he is a part of nature again....and that he is everywhere.

I also have Dakota as my wallpaper, and every time I open or close the computer I kiss my fingers and touch his nose. What I wouldn't give to be able to give him a big, real smooch. On the 2 week anniversary my two year old, who doesn't talk all that much, came into the room and looked at the picture. It's a serious picture (I posted the same picture with a poem in a previous post). He's sitting under a tree in the snow. My two year old looked at him, and then up at me, and said "Kots (what he called him) is happy". Well, I started crying instantly. I really believe it was a message from Dakota. I believe that like animals, young children are more open to everything in the universe. The picture didn't look like Dakota was smiling, or being silly....so it was particularly touching that he said it.

Sorry to go on so long...but I do believe that your Nelson, like my Dakota, is happy. Their spirits have returned to nature....and as sad as you are, you will feel him everywhere.
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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #12 
Danielle ~

Nelson is so adorable!  I'm not at home on my own computer right now, but if you have other pictures you want to compress, feel free to send them to me and I'll get them done ASAP for you.  As I told you, I love doing that, because it means I get to have a sneak peek!  LOL.  I'm house and pet sitting this week, but I'll be going home at least once a day and I can check for pictures then.  I'll be back home for good on Wednesday night.



__________________
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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dtyp

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Reply with quote  #13 
Shmoobear,
Dakota is so beautiful!  What a shock it must have been to have him pass away so suddenly.  One day he's there and seemingly healthy and the next, he's not . . .  I am so sorry for your loss. 

I loved what you shared about your two-year old knowing that Dakota is happy.  That had me in tears, I can just imagine the moment.  I hate not being able to touch Nelson too.  I still have a small piece of fur of his that I found on the window ledge he used to sit on and now it sits on my nightstand.  Unfortunately, it doesn't smell like him anymore, it didn't take long for that to fade.

Today is another hard day.  I'm feeling like I moved too fast on putting him to sleep, and I thought I had come to terms about that.  I've been thinking about when I was holding him in the vet's office and how high up he was holding his little head when we were waiting for the vet and suddenly I have an attack of "OMG if he was holding his head up like that maybe it was too soon to let him go".  Lots of second-guessing.  Susie told me something that makes sense, that its better to be one week too soon than to do it too late.  So that is comforting.  But I'm still going back and forth about the timing.  I guess I have to wrestle with it a couple of more times until I finally let it go.

And today is sunny again, with a cool spring breeze, another morning that Nelson would have loved.  I made myself take a long walk and eat a healthy lunch.  Over the past month, I've dropped my exercise routine and been eating a lot of junk food and it's time to get back to the basics.

Thanks shmoobear, for your support.  And for sharing your Dakota with me.  I hope you get a lot of hugs from your two-year old today.

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Susie_Squillions

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Reply with quote  #14 
Dear Danielle,

There's something strange that happens not long before death.  It happens to people as well as to our animals.  There seems to be a sudden burst of energy, and for a short time, they seem to be much stronger than they really are.  I can't recall the name of this "syndrome" (not really a syndrome), but it is real, and it happens more often than not.

It's natural to second guess the timing of our decisions when we have had to make them on  our own and can't consult the patient.  The important thing to remember is that those decisions were made out of love for our best friends, and in an attempt to prevent them from ever suffering needlessly.  Was it too soon?  It's always too soon for those of us who are left behind, but I have faith that we are guided by a power greater than ourselves when the time comes to say our farewells.  The timing is always as it's meant to be.  It just hurts so much to those of us who are left here to miss them so.

((((((((Danielle))))))))



__________________
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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