Dear @morgana1963, welcome to the forums. Our hearts are with you on the passing of your beloved Thorin. You paint a beautiful picture of the incredible bond you had with each other. 18 years is such a long time and it sounds like he helped you through all of life’s ups and downs over the years.
What you are experiencing sounds like grief that is equal to the grief people feel after losing a loved person (there are lots of studies showing this). It can be helpful and validating to know that these feelings of devastation and profound loss are natural and right considering the immense bond you had with your Thorie.
Having to make the decision to let him go was courageous and selfless and yet so incredibly difficult. David Kessler, grief expert says the day we decide to love an animal is the day we accept that one day we’ll have to face losing them. They just don’t live long enough do they?
That same courage shines through in those moments when you chide yourself for falling apart (because Thorin didn’t love you all those years for you to let that happen). When you think of him protecting you in this way you are continuing the bond you have with him. It’s a bond nothing can ever break. And you can keep it strong by remembering him fondly, cherishing keepsakes like his collar or photo or bowl etc., saying his name and telling stories about him.
You mentioned you experience days when you feel like you’re getting better. Perhaps you could try reflecting on what makes those days easier? As you do more of the things that make life bearable you’ll start to string good days together and life won’t feel quite so hard to cope with.
And having an understanding of what’s happening for you is also helpful. So you might like to take a look at our article on Losing a Pet here on the Resource Hub.
@morgana1963, we hope you’ll keep posting and checking in. We’d love to hear some of your favourite stories about Thorin. We’re here for you. 🌸