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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3916 
Hi Steve:
I am so sorry about the loss of your beloved Ruffles. Reading about her last days brought back so many memories pf Pal's last days. I just how you feel and like you do now I also blamed myself for the longest time for not taking better care of him at the end. While some of the guilt feelings will never go way on my part I now know that everything that I did for Pal, just like everything that you did for Ruffles, was done out of nothing but the utmost love. I wish that there was something that I could say that would ease your pain or promise you that happier times will come but I do not want to lie to you. The pain does lessen though and we do go on with our lives and we start to remember more and more of the pleasant memories.

Joe

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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3917 
Hi Michelle:
I am sorry about the eight months since you and Rocky parted. I lost Pal on the 25th of August and for many years, the 25th of every month brought sadness. I could not celebrate Christmas or my birthday which also falls on the 25th day of a month. I hope that in the future the pain eases somewhat.

Joe

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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3918 
Hi Achilly:
A book is a wonderful idea.

Joe

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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3919 
Hi Julie:
Thank you for posting the picture of Cody. He is so handsome. You really are a remarkable person to be volunteering. I consider you a HERO.

Joe

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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3920 
To My Best Friend Pal:
It is really going to be cold the next couple of days with temperatures not getting out of the teens. It supposed to be cold again the middle of next week. It is the kind of weather where Taz and I will just stay in the warm house just like you and I used to on these cold, winter days. At least there is not any snow on the ground. We always had a lot of snow when you were with me. You always wanted me to put you on top of the high snowbanks. You always liked being up high. That way you could see more of what was going on.

                                                                             Joe

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stevenkep

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Reply with quote  #3921 
Hi Joe, thank you for your very kind words of support and encouragement. I stayed home from work for four days after the catastrophic events of last Sunday night, and finally returned today, I don't know how I did it. But when my shift ended, I cried like a baby on my ride home. I will try to manage as best I can. I joined this forum in the hopes that it would help me come to terms with the incalculable loss of my Ruffy. I believe that you and the other kind souls that visit this forum are of the same mindset and spirit and that in time I may find peace with myself and my situation through our shared outpourings of grief and support. I promised that I would write more about poor Ruffy's last days, and I will when I am able to bring myself to do it. For now, your post has uplifted me, and I will carry these thoughts with me through the rest of my day today.

Steve

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Reply with quote  #3922 
Hi Steve,
I am the same way often re-traumatizing myself with my beloveds last days. I too can go to work, often crying on the way there or home - I feel like this “ball in the box” theory of grief describes my grief. Perhaps it will sound familiar to you as well https://psychcentral.com/blog/coping-with-grief-the-ball-the-box/

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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3923 
Hi Steve:
The first days after I lost Pal Pal were tough for me also. I, too, cried constantly and my only desire was to join Pal. Those were some dark days and I and sorry that you are going through them now. We all find a way to go on and as time goes on the pain does lessen a bit but the memories will always be there. Eventually, though, some of the good memories will creep into your mind.

Joe

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joeslepski

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Reply with quote  #3924 
Hi AR:
I don't think that the grief ever goes away completely. For me it has been five and a half years and it is still there. The pain does get less severe as time goes by.

Joe

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codysmum102

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Reply with quote  #3925 
Michele,
Last month my precious Cody passed on the 11th and February 11th was especially hard for me.  I can relate. :-(
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stevenkep

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Reply with quote  #3926 
Thank you for the kind thoughts and for the link, AR, and thanks for getting back to me again, Joe, my brother. I did look at the article from AR briefly, but it is something that I will have to go back to, as the exquisite pain of those last, bittersweet days is still too recent for me to be able to come to grips with. As I may have written in my first post, I received a tremendous validation from reading the first year or so of friend Joe's posts because they articulated my heartbreak in a way no one else could express or empathize with, to my way of thinking. And I found the exercise of writing about some of those tragic last days of Ruffy's all-too-short life somewhat cathartic as they helped me to sort things out in a way that I otherwise could not have done. I think we all are, or have been, in a rather hellish place, but at least we are in this together. I certainly plan to attend my very first Monday Candle Ceremony on the 17th, as this is what brought me here in the first place. I have yet to bring myself to write my tribute to Ruffles, it is going to be the single hardest thing that I will ever have had to do.

One thing about my first post that I want to mention while it is fresh in my mind, is that I may have gotten the timeline wrong. That Monday, February 3rd, is very significant for a number of reasons. I believe that I gave the impression that Ruffles's condition was improving or at least stabilizing from Friday, January 31st through Sunday, February 2nd, the beginning of the poor thing's last full week of life on this earth. While going over the texts that went back and forth between my wife and me, I realize that we should have brought her to the vet's on February 3rd. When I mentioned this to my wife after I got home from work today, she said no, the vet had said to make an appointment for the following Monday, meaning the 10th, which proved to be far too late. So I showed her the text, dated January 31st, timed 4:00 pm Eastern. The sum and substance of that text was, the vet said to stop the medication (which we had done a full day before, as I had correctly stated) and see how she did over the weekend, meaning the weekend of February 1st - 2nd. Now here's an exact quote: "If she is not good bring her on Monday (February 3rd)." Now events become jumbled in one's mind, especially after so soon after so devastating a loss. So I incorrectly wrote here in my first post that Ruffles's condition was improving then, when in fact it was not. In going over the texts in chronological order, there were reports of incidents of vomiting and/or accidents in the house at least once a day. She was most definitely not improving, and I managed to get that Monday off from work so that we could bring our dog to the vet's. But for reasons that I am unable to recall right now, we didn't act at that time. If anyone is to blame, I put the blame squarely on myself, because I should have been more proactive and insisted that we bring poor Ruffy to the vet's on that Monday afternoon, and then she would have had the full week to be treated, once the vet ordered what should have been an emergency hospitalization for her. My wife did call the vet again and she got a voice message from the vet on Wednesday, February 5th, saying that he wanted to see her the following Monday, February 10th. So it could be that my wife is right in her recollection of the sequence of events. Ruffles did have a good day on Friday, February 7th, so maybe the Monday, February 10th follow-up date was not unreasonable, in retrospect. But then...that was Ruffles's last good day.

Well, this is all that I have time to post right now. I wanted primarily to acknowledge the latest expressions of sympathy from my new-found friends here, and then I started to write about what I've been thinking about all day today. I'll be back soon.

Steve

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codysmum102

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Reply with quote  #3927 
Steve,
I read your post and am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Ruffles.   When I lost my Cody last month on the 11th it broke my heart into a million pieces.  I cried so much I thought my eyes were going to fall out.  It is so devastating and seems so unreal.  I felt like I was in a nightmare hoping to wake up and see my sweet baby lying next to me again.  It is not unusual for me to be driving somewhere crying and then have to put my sunglasses on when I go into a store so people don't see my red puffy eyes.   Most of us second guess our decisions and wonder what we could have done differently or why we didn't see signs we think we should have seen.  I've even followed the vets orders and things have gone wrong so as lay people it's even harder for us to know what we should do or have done.  I know our babies wouldn't want us to beat ourselves up about it.  We loved them and gave them a good life for the time they were with us.  Fifteen and a half years is a testament to how well you cared for your baby.  Mine only lived for thirteen and a half.  I know we all wish they could live as long as us but unfortunately that is not the case.  I too hope that when I pass I am able to see my baby boy waiting for me at the pearly gates welcoming me home.
Take care,
Julie
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stevenkep

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Reply with quote  #3928 
Hi Julie, thank you for your beautiful and moving words. I just got home from my other part-time job and as I got into my car on a freezing February night, I cried as hard as I've cried since that terrible night. I do draw some comfort from your compassionate words that seem to echo my own thoughts and feelings as I try to get through the agony of another day without Ruffles. As I type this message, I am holding a brown knitted ottoman cover with fringes that my wife and daughter had wrapped Ruffles in on the night that we took her to the emergency room (because all of her regular blankets and bed coverings were soiled or stained). I never used a security blanket or anything like it in my life and didn't think I ever would, but here I am holding the blanket as if I'm holding my Ruffy in my arms. That blanket was left behind with Ruffy when we said our goodbyes to her on that awful night, and it occurred to me the next day that I'd like to have it back. I asked both my wife and daughter if they wanted the cover back, and they both said no. So I said then that I would not bother the hospital staff about getting it back. But as I grieved and the days began and ended the same way, I thought to myself, I have to get that cover back because it comforted poor Ruffy while we were on our vigil with her until the end. So on the Wednesday after, February 12th, I stopped at the hospital in the off-chance that they may still have it. There was a very kind soul at the front desk named Amanda who, after I explained what I was seeking, took the duplicate cover from me and went to an area of the hospital out of my sight while I waited. As a precaution, I had brought with me a matching cover, since it was part of a set, so that the cover, if it was still in the hospital, could be positively identified. When Amanda came back, she didn't have the cover but said that it might be with other articles that were being laundered. Amanda then took down my number and said she would call me either way. Well, I got a call from Amanda the next morning with the news: they still had the cover! Yes, it was washed and therefore cleansed of anything that might have been left behind by Ruffles, but it was the very same cover that was with my doggie on that fateful day. Amanda just asked me to wait a couple of hours until it got out of drying. Sure enough, without my family knowing anything, I showed up at the appointed time and accepted Ruffy's brown cover. That cover will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Like you, I look forward to the day when Ruffles, her mommies and I can be reunited in a world that we can't even imagine here on this mundane and sorrow-drenched earth. I am facing the first weekend without Ruffles, and like everything else in my daily routine, I am dreading it. But that brown ottoman cover is as much of a tangible reminder of Ruffles to me as are her pictures and her toys, bed and blanket, as well as her feeding and water bowls that are still lying all around our family room floor. And that's my story for tonight.

With all due empathy and respect,
Steve

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codysmum102

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Reply with quote  #3929 
OMG Steven I have the blanket that I wrapped Cody in on his last day on earth and as I type I have it in my lap.  I take it to bed with me because Cody used to sleep with me and the first nights after his passing I held on to it for dear life.  I actually talk to it like it was Cody because just being able to say the same things I used to say to him is a great comfort to me.  At first I used to just talk to him and say things like I miss you baby boy and mommy is so sad without you, you are such a good boy but now I actually say things to him like "you be good boy mommy be back later" when I leave just like I used to or when I go to bed I tell him it's time to go night night.  I miss saying those type of things to him and it makes me feel a bit like he's still here instead of talking to him like he's gone.  It doesn't take the place of actually being able to physically have him here just like looking at his pictures isn't like looking into his big brown eyes as he smiles up at me but at this point I will do whatever it takes to get through this. If that means doing things that some might think are crazy than I'm O.K. with that.  I've never experienced pain like this and a loss so profound that it has shaken me to my core.  I have no roadmap to follow so I'm making it up as I go along hoping that I can get by from day to day.  Do what you have to do to survive.   If God wills that I am to be on this earth for a long time before he calls me home I need to find a way to come to terms with his loss so that I can truly live my life and not just exist.
Take care,
Julie
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stevenkep

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Reply with quote  #3930 
Thank you for those sentiments, Julie.  Somehow the blanket or cover becomes a surrogate for our beloveds, and yes, I have been talking to that ottoman cover as if Ruffles were snuggled up in there, too.  Your poignant words <I've never experienced pain like this and a loss so profound that it has shaken me to my core> resonate with me, as well.  I have taken to following another ritual that I've developed since that fateful night, starting at a quarter to midnight, around the time that we were left alone with Ruffy for her last few moments.  I will take that blanket with me and lie down on the hardwood floor next to Ruffles's bed and talk to her for about fifteen minutes, till just after midnight.  I've mostly been praying and asking for her forgiveness.  Yes, it sounds crazy, but like you I find myself making things up as I go along because I find myself in uncharted territory, as I believe all of us on this forum are to one degree or another.  And now it's already past a quarter to the midnight hour here on the east coast, so I must be going.  But thanks again, Julie.  Your post made me laugh and cry at the same time.

Steve

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