I was hoping getting Mandy's ashes back would bring me closure or solace.  But it did not.  I feel like a fish out of water - flopping around gasping for air and feeling hopeless.  I can hardly bear this pain.

Wednesday when we drove out to the crematorium, (aka "The Farm"), it was an appropriately gloomy and overcast day.  Dark clouds hung low in the sky.  A misty drizzle sprinkled the windshield, mimicking the thousands of tears I've cried for her.

When we pulled in the long driveway at the farm, the sun came out.  It was as if Mandy was telling me "see, I'm still your sunshine". 

As I picked up her little box, the weight of it seemed all wrong.  My heart could not accept that she is really gone.  And it is all I had left of her to cling to.  I rode with it on my lap the whole way home, just like she did when she was alive.

As we drove away from the farm, the sun ducked back behind the clouds.  It is one of the few signs I feel like I've received from her (and I have begged).  The momentary break of sun.  Then it was gone.   
I cannot take her cherry container with her name engraved out the box they packaged it in.  I cannot bear seeing the clay mold of her paw print.  I can't stand to see the reminder that she is indeed GONE.

I hope that at some point her remains will bring me peace, but I am not there yet.  I'm having so much anxiety and anger and sadness - it is a vicious cycle of the most horrible emotions....

Did anyone else feel this way?


Mandy's mom Michele

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Michele, I am so very sorry for the loss of your Mandy, and I really understand how very hard this grief journey is. The night I lost my beloved cat Jasper was the hardest I have ever been through, and the second hardest would have to be when I picked up his little box of ashes. It was so surreal, how could this be happening, how could my sweet kitty be in this little box I was holding, oh I so understand what you are going through, there are no words to describe losing someone so dear, it just seems as though all the colors have gone out of our world, and we will never be the same again, and it just feels so very wrong.

Well, it has been eighteen months since I said such a heart wrenching goodbye to my boy, and I want to reassure you that the pain does ease up just a bit as time goes by. I still hurt, and I still cry, and I miss him more than words can say, but I am so far from where I was back on February 3rd when I lost the little love of my life, and I wondered how on earth I could ever get through each day without him, but I have, and he has sent me so many signs to let me know he is alright, and that he is still near, just as your Mandy did. They love us so very much, there is no way they could just go away and be gone from our lives. Your beautiful little ray of sunshine is still with you in every way that counts, she showed you that at the farm, she is still so close. I want to post something I wrote just months after I lost my Jasper to let you know I really do understand.
My sweet Jasper,
It has been nine months and you have never left my heart. I had no idea that my heart could hold such joy and happiness in finding you seven years ago, and I had no idea that my heart could hold such pain and heartache in losing you nine months ago. I will never ever forget walking out of that animal hospital that cold and dark evening with your carrier, with you not in it, never have I felt so alone, shattered, and broken. I will never forget several days later, walking out of that animal hospital with that small wooden box with your ashes in it, such raw and searing grief I felt in knowing that you were not coming back home to me, but also feeling just the tiniest bit of relief and comfort that somehow, someway, your sweet spirit was back with me. It took every bit of strength in me to walk back through those doors that day, and it just felt so wrong to see others bringing their pets out of there so full of life, yet here you were, my big, beautiful and vibrant boy, in this little wooden box, never ever have I felt such complete and utter devastation.

I wish you peace and comfort in the coming days Mandy's mom, try to keep hope in your heart, your sweet Mandy is still so close, and no time, distance, or separation could ever break the special bond you have with her. Your post brought such tears to my eyes, because I have been there, and I am still there in so many ways, and I can so hear the sadness and the pain in your words, and I can also hear the love you have for your precious girl in your post, and so can she.


Pamela Lynne Crawford
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You are with me in deep thoughts, as I sit here with the carved box containing my Mimi's ashes and a packet of her hair clippings that came home today.  I could barely drive to and from the vet's office to pick them up, and don't know how I walked into the house on two legs again.  I feel like a round of bullets was shot through my body; I've had that feeling all week.

My emotions are mixed as well.  The pain and sadness are beyond indescribable.  I cannot appreciate that it is beautiful outside here, and I envy any one who is able to enjoy it.  I'm not sure if I'm angry or just hurt that the bereavement counselor, who I've been working with for my mother, never called about Mimi since I emailed her last week.  She is well aware of what happened because the on-call counselor I spoke with last weekend notified her on Monday.  Could it be because she really isn't an animal lover, as I discovered the first time Mimi and I met her?  She knew what Mimi meant to me.  

I believe you will find peace and comfort that Mandy's ashes are with you.  A neighbor of mine, who lost his dog last summer, told me yesterday he lives with deep regrets that he didn't bring her home. 

I don't know what more to say, but I am thinking of you a lot.



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Thank you so much for your kind responses. 

While I am truly sorry for the losses of your Jasper and Mimi, it helps me to know that I am not alone.  

I think I am suffering loss on two fronts - first the loss of my girl and second the loss of several "friends" whom I thought would be there for me, in fact are not.  I'm at a loss to understand their distance from me, but it compounds my misery.  -- So I understand doxylove, the counselor not contacting you adds insult to injury.  The last thing we need to feel is abandoned in our time of need.  I have been very angry at my "friends" and then overwhelmingly sad.

Jasper'smom, the feeling is indeed surreal.  That's precisely how I felt being handed that tiny box.  It was all wrong.  This just couldn't be him/her.

Some folks find solace in their babies ashes being returned.  But I knew I didn't want ashes.  I wanted her back.  And that was not going to happen.  I wanted to reject them initially because my heart did not want to accept that my journey -- with this beautiful little chihuahua-terrier mix that I rescued -- was indeed over.

I have felt those exact things, that the colors have definitely gone out of my world.  And my body feels like someone shot me full of lead.  I can hardly get through the day.  No matter how beautiful it is outside or how much sleep I get, I'm lost.  I ache.  I keep looking for her out of habit. 

I do hope in time I will find peace with her ashes.  I am planning on taking some and spreading a little in her favorite places.  Maybe that will bring me some peace.

Thinking of you both,

Mandy's mom Michele
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I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm waiting on my Lily's ashes to be returned to me and perhaps like you I'm hoping for closure and a sense of having her back. Her urn arrived a few days ago and it is so small. It never occured to me that the weight would be different. I hope you find peace and find your way through this. Your baby was so lucky to having a loving mom like you in life. I truly believe they can feel our love wherever they are. You will see your baby again. Wishing you peace.
I love you forever. I like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be.
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Michelle, we lost our beloved Caylee last Wednesday on July 8th and we feel exactly as you do.  I have no desire to do anything, even eat.  I am so sorry for your loss also.  Our babies are so much a part of us and when they go, they take such a big part of us with them.  We have been through this twice before and each time it gets harder and we recall each passing fur baby.  I want my sweet Caylee back so bad.  I need to hug her and hold her and rub her ears and give her doggy back massages.  I feel as lost as you do.  This time is so terribly hard and just praying time will heal this gaping hole inside for all of us that have lost a pet that meant the world to us.  I am lost and confused also and don't know what direction to head in right now.  Please know you are not alone in your grief.  Hugs, prayers and comfort to you during this really rough time.

Phil & Sue
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Michelle, I also feel like you.  Each fur baby that is lost is harder than the last.  I just hope with each passing day it gets better and some days when it does you start to think about them and you feel like it just happened yesterday.  I truly hope that they are happy now and at peace forever.  Everyone here is so supportive, kind and understand what we are going through.  
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I am so sorry for you loss, I don't know what else to say other than I know exactly what you are going through. I've learned some of my "friends" might not actually be as close as I thought. I've come to realize that many just don't know how to handle such overwhelming grief for the loss of a pet. I avoided many, including my brother, for several weeks if not months because I couldn't take the insensitivity. I never had human children so Scooter was and always will be my baby. Some people cannot or will not ever understand this. Now after five months, I know who I can say things about my baby. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. Sometimes I have problems getting down on the computer what I truly want to say.

I am one who felt comforted when I had Scooter's ashes home with me. Cried like a baby when I picked them up, but felt good he was home.

Take care,
Jonancy...Scooters Mama
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Hi Michele,
My wife is picking up our beloved Nicky's ashes today. As with you, the stormy weather here seems appropriate. It's 5 weeks today.
Tearing up now, the grief comes and goes. It's a little better I think.
There are times when I cab accept that death is a part of life.  I've seen my parents and siblings pass.
Yet it's still two steps forward, one step back. Sometimes three steps back.
Hang in there
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Yes Michelle! I ABSOLUETLY did feel and STILL DO feel the same way! I was unable to stay with my little boy when the vet did his thing. I knew he was scared and did not feel well, but I couldn't BEAR to watch his execution. I am still struggling with the "execution" thing everyday. I DID NOT want his ashes, and did not take them. I could not bear seeing him reduced to "ASHES". That was NOT who he was.! The little paw print with his name and photo and dates on in mean nothing and DO nothing for me, Nothing will bring him back and I just don't relate to these things as 'HIM". You are so not alone, I feel the exact same way you do.  "Death ends a life, not a relationship". He was and will remain my forever best friend.
Nancy and forever Zaki
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I am sorry so many of you felt no comfort receiving the ashes or felt you couldn't receive them. It is totally understandable though. I just wanted my whole boy back, I wanted the warmth and ability to touch him again. I still do and will always want to. I can't bear the not holding, stroking and kissing him. I did bring his ashes back and have them next to where I sit. I sometimes wonder if it is more a symbolic thing. In any event my family know when I go, even if that is decades hence, then Fiddle's ashes are to go with me. No one questions that. Just as distressing for so many of you is the lack of understanding from so-called friends. I have only a few people I've needed to avoid. Lots of people have understood. It could be that from the day I picked that little boy up I made it clear what he meant. Perhaps people dare not to say anything to the contrary. I just don't know. I suppose on the few occassions I've felt people don't understand I have just ended up pitying them. If they can't feel what I feel, what you all feel then they haven't experienced joy and love as we have. Perhaps it sounds unkind but I don't want people in my life who don't appear capable of either compassion or able to love a little being that loves unconditionally.
Love you forever and ever and I will be there for you xx
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