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Does it get easier?

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Home Forums Loss of a pet Does it get easier?

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  • #21415
    jordanlou
    Participant

    I lost my beautiful dog Gus on May 30 just before 5:30pm I took him to the vets where he was put down. I held him in my arms as he died and it was the worst moment of my life. I have had an ache in my heart ever since that moment. it was a week before his 12th birthday. I was 16 when I brought him home and he had been with me through all the hard times I had ever faced. I feel so lost without him. Being his human was a huge part of my identity, I don’t know how to be or what to do without him to take care of. I miss him so much.

    It has nearly been 2 months and I feel like although I cry less frequently, the pain is just as intense. I feel guilty for putting him down, maybe I should have tried harder to understand what was going on with him, maybe I should have kept him with me for one more night but at the same time I feel that this would have been selfish of me to keep him alive any longer because I know he was suffering. As much as I wanted more time with him, he had suffered so much being unwell and in and out of the vets for 5 weeks. He had lost the use of his back legs the day before he died, he was completely incontinent and was panting almost constantly. He had nt been himself for weeks. I missed him so much even before he died.

    I hate walking on the beach now because he isnt running up beside me. I hate sleeping at night without hearing his deep and often very noisy breathing. I have been away from home for work since only 10 days after his death and I am so fearful of going home soon because he isnt going to be there to greet me. I miss him so so much and I feel so many things – sad, confused, angry, anxious, empty. I just don’t know what to do.

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  • #21418
    VM- cookie
    Participant

    Dear @jordanlou,

    I’m sorry for your loss- it sounds like you and Gus had a strong bond.

    From reading your post, I hear that you are sad about the loss of your beloved dog, and miss him dearly. It also seems like you feel conflicted about your decision to put him down- you feel bad for doing so, but you also think it would not have been best to prolong his suffering. It is normal to feel this way, and the way you feel is valid.

    Your post got me thinking about this analogy- grief is a ball that sits in a box with a pain button. At the start, the ball (grief) constantly presses against the pain button, and the pain can feel overwhelming and difficult. However, over time, the ball shrinks, and hits the pain button less often, making it easier to function. However, it can still hurt from time to time, and some days might be more difficult than others.The ball can take time to shrink, and there’s no set timetable for coping with loss. Take your time to process your emotions, and allow yourself to feel them.

    It might also be helpful to find ways to continue the bond with your pet while acknowledging that he is gone. https://griefline.org.au/resources/understanding-the-symptoms-of-grief/#Continue_the_Bond_with_your_loved_one_while_coming_to_accept_that_they_have_gone has some tips that might be beneficial.

    I just want to end this reply by acknowledging your strength in reaching out on the forums. Keep reaching out to us if you need someone to talk to- we are here to listen. You can also call the helpline at 1300 845 745 from 6am-12am AEDT if you would like to chat with someone.

    All the best.

    #21423
    vmiris
    Participant

    Hello Jordanlou,

    Thank you for your post and I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful dog Gus. Everyone’s timelines for grief are unique and the waves can come in different moments and from different triggers. hope that things do become a bit easier for you over time and this question ”does it get easier?” is such a normal response to grief as it is in these times that we really need hope that it does as the pain can be so intense. As you will already know, everyone copes with grief their own ways. Personally, I’ve found Lois Tonkin’s work and images helpful in the idea that we grow bigger around our grief – https://whatsyourgrief.com/growing-around-grief/
    Also, this article on Coping with the Coulda, Woulda, Shouldas might be of some support – https://whatsyourgrief.com/guilt-and-grief-2/

    All the best to you and take care when you come home and in the days and times ahead.

    #21452
    james
    Participant

    I understand exactly how you feel. I lost my four year old cattle dog/kelpie X to a 1080 bait four weeks ago. I was with her throughout 15 minutes of excruciating pain until her life drifted away. Hard to get over it and I feel sad all the time. I live on a farm and I see her during every job I do. She was such a close friend and I will never get over her. It really hurts and I struggle through each day, but I know things will get better, so hang in there.

    #21460
    VM-Mancha1
    Participant

    Hi @james and @jordanlou,

    I lost my Rhodesian Ridgeback 35 years ago now, and I have to say that whilst it gets easier, it never goes away. Morph was a character, the best dog I ever had and I felt like he was connected to my soul. He was the smartest dog I ever knew, built like a truck and he’d vet every person who came near my baby daughter, stare them in the eyes for a minute or two to let them know they were okay to approach – but hurt the little human, and he was taking their arm off. He was, simply, the best. Even today, writing about him brings a tear to my eye.

    But it wouldn’t, if I hadn’t loved him as deeply and fiercely as I did. I am proud that I loved him that much, and certain he knew it too. So I choose to see my pain as a mark of my love and respect for my best friend. I’ll always carry it with me, because I want to carry it with me and not forget how great a dog he was.

    I’m so sorry for your respective losses, I can only imagine the pain you feel. Please know that by coming here, in sharing your stories, you are helping others too – I’m now smiling as I write this, picturing the day Morph and I bumped into a huge male kangaroo as we walked through a forest. The roo looked at us, we looked at him, everyone froze. Then, after a few seconds (that felt like several minutes) the roo hopped off, and we heard him disappearing into the distance.

    Then, after a moment of silence Morph runs forward, stares after him and barks aggressively, the coward!

    The pain of losing him might not fade, but neither do those memories, and they warm my heart.

    #21644
    vm-donuts
    Participant

    Hello @jordanlou, thank you for your trust and also thanks for sharing your experience. It is not easy to talk about the loss experience. I appreciate that you tried and made it. I hope that you will feel better after telling.

    It has been more than two weeks since you made this post. I wonder how you spent these two weeks, and how have things been going for you this week?

    #21767
    missmichelle73
    Participant

    My husband ran over our 10 year old staffy accidentally last week who was my soul mate.. my shadow. I have been beside myself in tears every day.. I cry going to sleep.. I wake up crying.. I miss him so much.. I cry at work.. I’m so sad.. our house feels so empty.. I’m sure my family and friends think I should be over it a little by now.. he was my love and I can’t believe I’m not going o see his eyes looking at me with unconditional love ever again

    #22570
    jordanlou
    Participant

    Hi James, it has been a couple of months now since my post and your reply. How are you? I hope you are going well and experiencing your grief in a lighter way. I still have my hard moments and sometimes those hard moments stretch into hard days. I understand what you mean with the reminders of your beautiful girl. Even now, I still have a half a second thought that my Gus will run to the door when I get home from work.

    #22571
    jordanlou
    Participant

    @VM-Mancha1 thank you. I like what you said about carrying the grief with you and how you want to carry it. You’re right, we carry this grief because we loved deeply. I try to remind myself of that. It is still hard not to feel completely lost without my boy Gus but I try to think of the good times and to be at peace with the love I have for him, I know the love will never fade even though he is no longer with me physically.

    #22572
    jordanlou
    Participant

    @missmichelle73 Hi Michelle, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I get it. the non stop, overwhelming tears. I still have that sometimes and it has been almost 3 months since I said goodbye to my boy. It is so hard. I can tell from your first reply how much you loved your staffy and I can empathise with how much you must miss him because I feel that pain as well. I sometimes feel like it will never get easier, I will always yearn for him to be back in my arms or walking beside me or sleeping with me on my bed at night. I have been reading some books about grief, I found them at my local library and I think this has helped me. I try to acknowledge it every day that this is a part of me because Gus is a part of me. I find that learning about grief, reading about it and talking about it as well as talking about Gus helps me. There have been periods of time where I have not said his name out loud for days at a time and I hate that, it definitely made me feel sadder than I already did. So now, I try every day to talk to someone about him even if its just a passing comment about some small thing that reminds me of him. I say these to my partner, my friends, family and colleagues and even if the conversation moves quickly in its natural progression past my mentioning him, it still make my heart feel good to have acknowledged him.

    I hope you are doing ok. I am thinking of you.

    #22697
    vmtheelephant
    Participant

    Hi @jordanlou, thank you so much for your kind words to all of the fellow posters here who are still hurting through losing their own pets. Your honesty to share these painful feelings from losing Gus is so validating for all of us who’ve lost our best friends, feathery, furry or otherwise.

    Thanks also for sharing these small but important ways that you’ve found to keep loving Gus. It’s wonderful to hear that talking about him and learning more about your feelings through this process is helping, and so thoughtful of you to share these discoveries.

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