My boy passed away May 22 due to anal gland cancer. I feel like the more that time passes the farther away he gets. I worry the less the grief gets the farther away he will be and i need him here...i dont want him to be "gone" completely. I am so worried about this that if i let go of some grief I will "lose" him forever and forget things. Little things, big things, him, good times, funny times, bad times. This cancer came on suddenly and found out when took him into normal non-related surgery they found it. few weeks later he passed on his own after doing radiation for 1 week and only 1 round of chemo. He just could not defecate and think he had neurosis/septic. HE was my best friend, child, life. I'm completely lonely and miserable. I cant' sleep in "our" room anymore so sleep downstairs. I also feel guilty at times because few weeks before i found out about his cancer i got frustrated with him when i was trying to watch something/listen to something and he would not move so grabbed him and moved him and it bothers me. I know sounds petty but he just wanted my attention but right then i didnt give it to him. I would do anything to give him attention one more time. DO you feel like your pets are "slipping farther away" and do you feel guilty about things you did/discipline or not constantly paying them attention?
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Dear jlb,
I'm so sorry you lost your boy.  I know exactly how you're feeling. For example, as the grief becomes less, I am worried & feel guilty as this grief becomes 'easier' in time. Like i'm letting his memories slip away. It will be 1 week this evening that I lost my Peter. I cry a lot thinking, "i don't want to forget about him."  I decided to one day soon, my husband and I will sit down together and write down all the funny, adorable, sweet and beautiful things about Peter. I'll keep the written note and cherish it. Maybe you can do the same thing.  Write it all down about your boy. You can read it every now and then, and it'll help you to remember him.  I also feel guilty and wish I had cuddled Peter more that day and I went out for a bit before he passed so I lost that precious time with him. Don't beat yourself up when you go back to that moment you moved him out of the way. It happens; it's life. Please know that he was ok with it and you made it up another time with him and gave him lots of attention. He knew you loved him. Sending you hugs.
Lynn, Peter’s mom 
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Dear JLB, so very sorry for the loss of your boy.  Yes, I 100% know what you mean and fear it myself.  I still feel in a fog after 5 months and concept of time is bizarre, but as each day passes feel further from my boy.  Because I can't accept this, I then try to think that each day that passes means I'm also closer to meeting him on the other side too if that makes sense.  

I also know how you feel about paying attention.  We recently moved to a new home when Patch became ill so I was so wrapped up in taking care of 2 houses, dealing with the move, settling in, was also assigned largest project in company at my job, stepson deploying to Kuwait for Army, and husband had a medical issue going on, that was ton of stress and pressure.  While I always try to do my best to never take things out on my babies, I know there were times I didn't pay as close attention as I should and was frustrated in general with house stuff mainly.  Luckily my husband was there to pick up most of my slack, but I still feel very guilty and worse - missed those opportunities and attributed to me missing signs of his illness - where I could've and should've done more. 💔 I feel your pain.  You are not alone. ❤
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Dear jlb8693,

I offer you my sincerest condolences on the lost of your beloved.

Yes. Those are natural feelings you are experiencing and just part of the grieving process. Which, as you know, is one of the most intense experiences a human being can go through in life.

Evidently we go through some kind of personal penance and tend to punish ourselves as we grieve. And then as we heal, and begin to realize that actually we gave it our best at the time, trying to help our lost beloved's, we feel that we are abandoning our grief and thus abandoning our beloved's. And that is not the case. It is a mind trick we play on ourselves. As our mind tries to wrap itself around the finality of our loss.

As you go through the transition towards healing, the love for your lost one will reboot itself and it is true that the best memories you have of them will take hold again. They will be gentle memories. Subtle. Sweet. Loving. Not as intense true, but they will be lasting ones. The fear we have is the lack of intensity as we move towards subtle and fond remembrance. More peaceful feelings. Ones of acceptance at the cycle of life.

The other feelings you have of regret related to not always paying 100% attention to your beloved are also natural. Regret and remorse and guilt are also part of the grieving process as we tend to try and understand what happened and fix things in retrospect, which as we know is impossible. Dealing with an ill or dying loved one results in caregiver fatigue. Even the most patient, loving, caring and compassionate individuals, even nurses and Doctors experience symptoms of such. So please know that what you are feeling is natural and will pass.

Kind regards,

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I am very sorry for your loss and your guilt. I have the same fear, that if it gets easier and I dont grieves as much, that my Minnie will slip farther away.  I will never ever stop loving her and missing her, but as life goes on it just feels like she doesnt give me signs, or I am just not picking up on them.  I don't want this to happen.  But we will always have them in our hearts and they will never be too far.

Take care...
Linda L.
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My 3 year old pup had rectal tumors that were strongly considered to be cancer. She couldn’t go to the bathroom without being in pain. She also had anal fissures so painful she couldn’t sit. On top of all that, she had a severe autoimmune disease that caused her muscles to atrophy. There was a time before I knew of the rectal tumors that I became impatient with her while on a walk. Due to the tumors, it would take her about 35 minutes to squeeze out little diarrhea drops. I feel so horribly guilty now that I tried to rush her once. Can’t stop beating myself up over that. My sweet pup was in so much pain and now just didn’t know at the time. So yes, I understand what you are going through. It’s not easy but try to remember that you are human. You did your best at that time. Remember the good times and they love you shared. 
mia sara
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