Ladymindful
On October 4, 2010 I had Jackie put to sleep. She was probably 14 or 15 (we rescued her). She was mostly healthy. My ex-husband had cancer & moved back to California. I was moving to New York. We were her lifeline and we didn't think she could live without us. I think at the time I was not in my right mind from the stress and taking prescription meds. I still feel unrelenting guilt. I miss her every day and wish I had stayed in Arizona and made a life for us. The vet tried talking me out of it. I explained the situation and that Jackie's mast cell tumors were coming back. So we did it. How do I ever get past this?
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Apollo_the_great
It seems you have a real tough situation. I don't fully understand what you are saying. You said that the dog couldn't live without you, but you also said that it had tumors. If he was in pain, then you did the right thing.
William
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Graceful

Ladymindful wrote:
On October 4, 2010 I had Jackie put to sleep. She was probably 14 or 15 (we rescued her). She was mostly healthy. My ex-husband had cancer & moved back to California. I was moving to New York. We were her lifeline and we didn't think she could live without us. I think at the time I was not in my right mind from the stress and taking prescription meds. I still feel unrelenting guilt. I miss her every day and wish I had stayed in Arizona and made a life for us. The vet tried talking me out of it. I explained the situation and that Jackie's mast cell tumors were coming back. So we did it. How do I ever get past this?


First, I want to say how sorry I am for the loss of your loved one, Jackie.  It sounds like you loved each other very much, and were faced with an inordinate amount of stress at the time Jackie's health was headed in a direction that was not good, and that we all dread; at age 14/15, that is a time when, despite how youthful we feel they still are, our pets are in their senior years, and aggressive treatments are more often than not, very hard on an animal, and sadly, do not lead to more than a very short additional number of days, and those additional days are not always what we hope them to be.

It is a very common occurrence for a pet parent to feel guilt and regret, but at some point, it is critical to work through this as best you can, and acknowledge that in order to honor Jackie's life, you need to forgive yourself.  She's already sending her love your way, and she knew you were doing what was best for her, sending her to Rainbow Bridge before she could suffer and lose her dignity.   Very often, it is said and wisely, "better a day too soon, than a day too late."    

You may want to talk to a third party professional, who can be objective with you, and give you some methods to help ease your pain and anguish.   First and foremost, you need to forgive yourself, as I said above.   We are all flying by the seat of our pants in these situations, and yet, we have to allow that no matter what the outcome, our intentions were pure, good, and loving.   

If you are mindful (your screen name), then perhaps you do meditation, as I do.   One suggestion is to "set an intention" (you must know what that means) every day before you meditate, or start your day.  You may want to dedicate your day to Jackie, and do something nice for someone, or make it a point to say something nice to another person, even a stranger, every day.   It does not have to be anything big, in fact, the simpler the better.  Start a journal and write to Jackie, telling her that you love her and let her know she means the world to you.  There are many actions you can take that will help you feel you are doing something productive to ease your sorrow and guilt, you just have to get started, and find what works for you.

Every person who is on this forum loved, and dearly, a pet who has passed to eternal life.  We were all touched at the deep, soul level.   Time will never diminish those feelings in any way, but we all hope that over time, the happy memories surface more often than the sad ones.  After all, that is part of the celebration of life: to show our gratitude for the gifts we are given while we are here. 

All I need to see is that you posted here and feel as you do about Jackie, to know that you are a good person, who wanted nothing more than to help Jackie in her time of need.  You did that; now, you need to let go of your guilt, as best you can, and be at peace with Jackie's memory.  
Light a candle for Jackie and let that light be your path to healing.  My best to you.
Grace xo

"Now that the time has come
 Soon gone is the day,
 There upon some distant shore
 You will hear me say,
 Long as the day in the summer time
 Deep as the wine-dark sea,
 I'll keep your heart with mine
 Till you come to me"  (LM)

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Ladymindful
Thank you Grace. All your suggestions are so very helpful. I appreciate your taking the time to write all that you did. I will do as you suggested. Namaste.
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