mybestgirlSiffie
I don't even know where to begin. I'm doing this because everything I've read about grief says to share it, to give it a voice, and to not grieve alone.



I have no family - due to their abuse I have complex PTSD, so I have broken from them for years. I have no friends because I am learning how to socialize again after being in a cult-like community. I am introverted, private, slow to trust, and it is difficult to make friends through the PTSD symptoms. By some miracle, the last few years I have been blessed with a loving husband... and Siffie. They have been my world. My little family.



She was my first dog. She was my companion. She was the reason I got out of bed in the mornings. When I cried or had a flashback episode, she would relentlessly lick my face. We spooned in bed. I took her on adventures when my husband worked long hours and was often unavailable and I was very lonely. I trained her from when she was a puppy - I had no idea what I was doing and she was okay with that. She and I stumbled through her puppyhood together. She was incredibly high energy and I struggled to keep her active and well-trained while handling my PTSD... But it paid off in a way I genuinely never imagined. She grew into the most beautiful spirit. A lively, goofy, sensitive, aware, beautiful big girl. She made me laugh so much. She rolled in mud, carried her little backpack on hikes, met all the dogs at the park, took a road trip with us, marveled at the neighborhood cats and wildlife, and played endlessly with her favorite balls. She made up new games with her ball all by herself. We were always amazed with the things she came up with, she was whip smart. And then when she was tired, she would cuddle with us and grunt with happiness.



I feel as if my life depended on her. I truly believed she would be here for so much longer... She was not even 3 years old. I spent almost every day with her since we got her as a puppy. I was home all the time so it was literally almost every day, save a few, that she and I were together.

I fretted for months about the decision to even get a puppy because I knew it would be such a long, serious commitment, especially when the PTSD was so bad that I was unable to work. How could I care for a dog?



But I managed to do it, and it's because she gave me strength. Her love, her trust in me, her innocence. Gave me the strength to defy my trauma. 



She was sick so suddenly. An auto-immune disorder. She just wasted away within days, hours. It all went so fast. Was there more I could have done? Should we have seen the signs sooner? I am not a religious person, I don't believe in fate. But I do consider myself spiritual. I have tried to comfort myself in accepting that this is the way it happened... there is so much in life we can't control, even though we want to think the opposite. There is no alternative world in which she would have lived if only I had made one or two decisions differently. Things happened the way they happened. It's no one's fault. At least I hope that's true.



I am still reeling and in shock. Just the other day she was right here, playing with her ball, looking at me with her beautiful brown eyes, laying next to me, eating a peanut butter treat. 


I cannot explain this pain. I had no idea grief like this would be physically painful. In my chest is pain. My stomach is nauseous. I cry and cry until my eyelids are swollen. I woke up this morning and it felt as if huge chunks of the physical world and my body were grayed out and vacuous.



My family was already so small - just me, my husband, and Siffie. Now it's just us two again. We cry together, we hold each other, we take breaks and then do it all over again. At least we have each other. We decided we would live for her - we would fight to always come together no matter how hard it is, because she would want that. She always was happiest when we three were all together. Her little pack.

Siffie, I miss you so much, words cannot describe. I love you with all my heart. 



"You're my best girl, my only girl."
Quote 0 0
SherryM
Please know we all understand and are here for you.  Siffie was truly beautiful. She was lucky to have you as a mom. You loved her with all your heart. We never know how many moments we will be granted, so every moment spent in loving another is our highest calling. As you said, we ultimately have no control over certain things. I lost my kitty Cloud two days ago, and like you, my chest hurts,  I feel nauseous, I feel like every move takes so much effort. I just want to curl up in a ball and cry all the time. I miss her with all my heart, like you miss your beloved Siffie. Animals have such pure souls, they love us so unconditionally, I think that is why this loss hurts so deeply. Please take care of yourself and keep coming back here. It really helps. Hugs to you and your husband. 
Sherry Morgado 
Quote 1 0
mybestgirlSiffie
@SherryM Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful words. My heart goes out to you for your sweet Cloud. I'm so sorry we have to feel this pain right now.
SherryM wrote:
We never know how many moments we will be granted, so every moment spent in loving another is our highest calling.

This is so beautiful, it really spoke to me. I will remember this.
Quote 0 0
JulieF
I am so sorry for your loss - she was such a beautiful dog!  Sherry is right - this is a great place to be because we are all here for you - supportive and non-judgemental.  I am so sorry you had a hard time in life, but you have found a wonderful person to share your life.  Just briefly - I am here because I had to put my boy cat Patch down last Monday due to kidney failure - he was 19 and I had him since he was a kitten.  He was with me through three bouts of cancer and a divorce.  Always there - now he is not.  DO NOT beat yourself up over what you could have done/should have done.  Unfortunately, our babies cannot talk and the best we can do is try our best for them.  In the end, she remembered the love you gave her.  The grief and pain can be overwhelming and will come on in waves.  What you are experiencing is normal, but not fun.  The time you spent caring for her and walking her is now no longer occupied - I think that makes the grief harder.  Your brain is being rational - your heart only knows there is a big chunk missing.

Hugs go out to you and your husband.  Bless you.
Quote 1 0
Quincysmomma
I am so terribly sorry for your loss...it is truly a heartbreaking story and all I can say is that I know what you are feeling. I can tell from your story how much you loved your Siffie. I am about a month into my grief for my dog, Quincy, and I'm not sure if I will ever be the same person I was.

Something you said meant a lot to me because it is just my husband, our kitty and myself as well after we lost Quincy:

"At least we have each other. We decided we would live for her - we would fight to always come together no matter how hard it is, because she would want that. She always was happiest when we three were all together. Her little pack."

So...thank you for sharing your story and take care. Hugs.
Quote 1 0
mybestgirlSiffie
@JulieF and @Quincysmomma Thank you both so much for your kind words. I read your comments soon after you posted them, but I haven't had the strength to reply until now. I haven't been able to bring myself to check the forum.

@JulieF "Unfortunately, our babies cannot talk and the best we can do is try our best for them. In the end, she remembered the love you gave her. ... The time you spent caring for her and walking her is now no longer occupied - I think that makes the grief harder. Your brain is being rational - your heart only knows there is a big chunk missing." These words resonated so much with me. I feel so comforted by them. Thank you. And I'm so sorry for your loss as well.

@Quincysmomma I'm so sorry for your loss... "I'm not sure if I will ever be the same person I was." I feel that deeply as well. And I'm glad my words gave you some comfort. It's hard to hold onto the idea of living for Siffie, I feel so much pain day-to-day without her. But I'm trying to let myself express the pain and not bottle it up. I hope you're doing well.
Quote 0 0
Quincysmomma
@mybestgirlSiffie - Good to see you back on the forums here.  I haven't been coming back here to the forums as much the last couple of weeks either because I am still just really struggling.  Its coming up on 8 weeks for me since we lost Quincy and I have actually started therapy because I am having such a hard time dealing with the loss. I miss Quincy so very much and life just feels so empty and sad without him...my husband would not appreciate me saying that, but unconditional love from our pets is just different.  I work from home and have no children and he was my constant companion for 11 yrs while my husband works long hours...it is proving very difficult to deal with.  What I have really been struggling with lately is the 'never again' part of the loss...he was so full of personality and spunk and the thought that I'll never experience all his quirks again is heartbreaking.

I've actually been considering adopting a new member of the family and struggling between knowing that it would help with my loneliness and we could give another critter a great home and feeling guilt that it hasn't been enough time yet.  My therapist said that if I decide to look for a new adoption, I need to think about it as 'adding a new member to the family and not a replacement for Quincy because there will never be a replacement for Quincy'.

Anyway...I'm sort of rambling now, but I do hope we all start feeling even just a little better every day.  I will miss and love Quincy forever and that part will never change.
Quote 1 0
mybestgirlSiffie
@Quincysmomma I feel you about therapy, I'm glad you're seeing someone to talk to about this. I was already in therapy thankfully, but I've been leaning heavily on it for support these last several weeks.

I agree, unconditional love from our pets is just different. I always heard of people talking about the pain of losing a pet, but I hadn't felt it this hard until Siffie. It's like an ocean of pain that's so big, I just can't open the door to it... But I'm trying to let it express somehow because I figure the grief needs to come out one way or another.

How are you feeling about the idea of adopting a new family member since you last posted? It's interesting that you say that... someone recently recommended that to us as well. She said it helped her handle her grief in the past. I have been thinking about it... but I also feel a ton of guilt, like you say, that it hasn't been enough time. That's a good reminder, that a new family member wouldn't be a replacement... It's hard to know if I'm ready for that.

Thank you so much for your thoughts here. I find it so comforting to hear how similar this experience is for others. I'm trying to just stay open and accepting and understanding of anything that comes up for me. I knew grief takes many forms and there's no right way to do this. My therapist told me, "grief is grief is grief" and so I keep reminding myself of that. I hope you're doing well.
Quote 0 0
Quincysmomma
@mybestgirlSiffie -

We actually talked to the foster for a couple of doggies last week and after a long talk with my husband, we realized that we aren't ready yet.  It was really something simple that made me realize that I wasn't ready.  We currently have Quincy's bed set up exactly as he left it with 'his' blankets and actually his urn and several pictures on his bed and if we brought a new dog into our home, that is the only spot we really have in our living room for a dog bed so we would have to move Quincy and his pictures up onto the mantle and put the blankets somewhere and get new blankets for a new dog and I wasn't ready for that yet.

I do really miss the doggie energy in our home and I am terribly lonely during the day, but the problem right now for me is that I just want Quincy and that's not fair to a new doggie.  I will get there because I love animals (more than most people) and Quincy turned us into dog people for sure...he was such a gift to us and a perfectly timed set of events that brought him into our lives so it feels like he was meant to be ours.

I am also trying to just let myself feel whatever I need to feel, cry when I need to cry and so on because if I hold it in...that's probably not good.  I'm not sure if therapy is helping me yet, but my husband thinks it is so maybe I just can't see it.

Take care of yourself.
Quote 1 0