HumanWriter
On Monday, my rescued Maine Coon Scruffy was euthanized as a result of advanced symptoms of feline leukemia. He was only five years old. He first appeared in my life as one of several outdoor cats that I fed and watered and attempted to shelter in the cold winter months. But he was special somehow, and the only one that I eventually brought inside (when it was brutal weather).

Last November, he came inside permanently after suffering a serious would to his neck. $1000 and 3 weeks later, he finally recovered from that, as well as a bad cold. Then, last Friday, after only a few weeks of truly good health and quality of life, things took a sudden turn. Drooling, tongue lolling, refusal to eat and drink. Not himself, not comfortable.

I held out hope, but when my vet entered the exam room I immediately knew there was none. My options were -- expensive surgery, followed by an uncertain recovery period, almost certainly followed by ongoing bouts of illness, all made immensely more difficult by Scruffy's FeLV positive status. Or, euthanasia. It seemed to me the humane choice, and the vet wholeheartedly agreed.

I could not bring myself to be present for the procedure. That is causing me a flood of guilt. And then, knowing that my grief will pass in time causes a second layer of guilt -- as if "getting past" his loss does him a dishonor. 

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jaschutz
I too struggle with the guilt of not grieving my dog for as long as I should. I lost her 5 weeks ago and have started the process of trying to get a kitten (I'm not ready for another dog yet). As soon as I put a deposit down for a kitten I felt so guilty and terrible because I thought that London would be insulted that I didn't grieve her loss for long enough. Don't get me wrong, getting another pet doesn't mean I'm not grieving for her anymore. I am just ready to have another pet and to remove some of the silence in our house. We got London as a puppy about a month after we put down our first dog Ashley. I have always (to this day) felt guilty that we got another pet so soon. But I think it did help us heal a little by having another animal to start a routine with. I think it's really common to feel guilt like this. I wish I had an explanation or some advice that could make the guilt go away but unfortunately, it is a part of our grief. All I can offer is my apologies that you lost such a special animal and that I am thinking of you.
Jamie

You can visit London's memorial at:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/LONDO001/Resident.htm
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Katel
We don't ever stop grieving, we just learn to live with it and in a way to move on.   Our darling gone ones know that and that's how they would want it.  No need to feel guilty.  My gone ones are safe in a very special place in my heart and they know I will never forget them or love them less, and I just know they are happy that I have rescued other pets and love them and saved them from
loneliness.  I am sorry for your losses and understand your heartache so well.

Kate 
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Beesmom123
Human writer
I'm so very sorry for the loss of your Scruffy
I wish I had words of advice to get you over the guilt but unfortunaley I think it comes with the territory
These beautiful creatures are totally dependent on us for everything and give us unconditional love
To have to make life and death decisions for them is beyond heart wrenching
I had to make that terrible decision my self just over 13 weeks ago and it still torments me

One thing I do know is I loved my boy more than life itself, wouldn't and couldn't intentionally do anything to harm him and I really think he knew it because I was his mom and had always protected him

While your Scruffys life was much too short , take some solace in the fact that you helped him and gave him love , when no one else was there for him

Peace and comfort during this incredibly difficult time
Diana

Bee- "Good night sweet prince & flights of angels see thee to thy rest"
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patent123
It sounds like you cared deeply for scruffy.  Had it not been for you he could have remained a stray and not had that person to call his own.  I know you feel guilt for not being present during his passing BUT you shouldn't beat yourself up over it.  

Some people just emotionally can not handle watching their pets pass.  My Mom was someone who got to emotional and couldn't be in the room during the procedure.  I always sat with them for her.  Just because you weren't in the room doesn't mean you didn't love him.  So don't feel guilty you gave him a great chance at life...unfortunately sometimes health issues like these are just out of our hands.

I to feel some form of dishonor when it comes to my girl.  She passed in September 2014. If I had a good day and managed to laugh I felt bad for enjoying myself.  Now that more time has passed I am worrying that I will forget her or my missing her will become less.  I feel like healing in anyway is a smack in the face to her.  Its silly to think this way but I think we all do at times its just another part of our grief and healing.  Just know you really helped scruffy out when he needed it most! You gave him a warm house and love.  At the end of the day thats all most of us really want a place to call our own with people we love.
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HumanWriter
I feel better today than yesterday. I am realizing that, for a short time, Scruffy enjoyed the quality of life that every cat deserves. There are 6-8 strays outside right now that I'm feeding and watering as much as possible, but I know their lives will be short and full of struggle.

Backing up a bit: my grandfather passed away on the morning of December 9. At the time, I was with Scruffy at the vet getting his neck would cleaned and fixed. I think part of the grief that I felt for my grandfather was transferred into trying to build up Scruffy's strength and give him life. So his passing was like a double shock. He's gone, papaw's gone, and now I feel it all. 
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HumanWriter
I want to make a memorial here, but I just can't quite bring myself to do it yet. Has anyone else waited weeks or months? 


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jaschutz
I didn't make London's memorial right away. And even after I did, I couldn't bring myself to share the happy memories of her right away either. You have to take your time to when you feel strong enough to celebrate their life. I don't think a lot of people are ready right away. I have even started to create a photo album of London but have yet to finish it. It's hard to try and compile her life knowing that it is over here on Earth. I just do it in little bits. Just because you can't do stuff right away doesn't mean you loved Scruffy any less. He knows how difficult it is for you and I know he just wants you to take your time healing.
Jamie

You can visit London's memorial at:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/LONDO001/Resident.htm
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