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How to cope with my grief as it disrupts my daily living?

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Home Forums Loss of a pet How to cope with my grief as it disrupts my daily living?

  • Creator
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  • #31160
    abc01
    Participant

    Hi,3 weeks ago my beloved cat was killed by a neighbours dog. He was only 3 1/2 years old and it was the neighbours fault. The dogs dug under the fence. I wasn’t home at the time,but others were who were meant to supervise him. We had never had an issue before and contained our cat in our yard as per council laws. I have had other animals before,but they have all died of old age & associated illnesses. My last cat friend died in 2020 the age of 14 1/2 years old. I am barely over my old cat’s death and now I must be forced to endure my cats death that is unfair and stolen from me now. I spent all day and night with him and we’re imprinted on each other. My happiness and joy came from him. I wasn’t lonely because he was there giving me unconditional love 24/7. He made me laugh,smile and feel alive.
    Now that he is gone I feel nothing but pain,grief,sadness, guilt,lost, frustration, anger,confusion and basically all in the same 10 sec timeframe. I found his body and have to deal with that truama too. My sweet boy is never coming back and yet I see him in every corner of my home,in the room I have to sleep in and even in dreams that play out like it was all a bad dream,only to wake up to reality.
    I do nothing all day but swirl through my mind,my body hurts and I am utterly lost on what to do in my days as they were always revolving around him. I am exhuasted, but no activity I used to do is engaging or even distracting.
    How can I cope if my grief disrupts my day,all day everyday? When my body is always in flight mode and tension is hurting my shoulder and grinding my teeth.
    Side Note: I am connecting with my Psychologist and talking to two people in my life who are kind and considerate about pet loss. I am reading grief pages and podcasts on pet loss. I am sleeping on time,eating to survive,keeping appointments and trying to do my normal routine as best as I can without the animal husbandry.
    Thank you.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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    Replies
  • #31171
    VM-Tzimisce
    Participant

    Hi @abc01

    What can I say? You are doing everything right. You are reaching out, you are maintaining a life and a routine… I empathise with you. When my cat died, I did all the right things too and I still hurt so much. All I can say is that it will continue to hurt until one day you realise it doesn’t hurt quite as much as it used to. Right now, you’re a box with a very big ball inside it. That ball is your grief. Everything you do makes the ball jiggle around and hit the edges and whenever it hits the edges, that’s when it hurts. That’s when you feel the most pain. And because it’s so big right now, all it can do is hit the edges. But one day – not today and probably not tomorrow, but one day – you will find that when you jostle yourself, the ball no longer hits the edges. Traditionally, people say the grief gets smaller the further away from it you get. But it doesn’t. It’s always there, just as big as it was the day it happened. The difference is that YOU grow around the grief. Through time and experience, you become a more complex person and the grief remains a fundamental part of you but it’s not hurting you anymore. I know it’s no consolation to hear this right now. But, like any injury, it hurts the worst when it’s fresh, and it’s very fresh right now.

    I can only speak for myself, but in the aftermath of my cat’s demise I also saw him in every corner. I would walk into my bedroom and see him on the pillow where he used to sleep. I would dream of him and sometimes even hear his meow. I took comfort in that. For me, it was our way of saying goodbye to one another. Just because he was no longer physically with me, did not mean he was no longer with me spiritually. It might help to think of this period like that?

    We also have a page about pet loss that can be found here https://griefline.org.au/resources/losing-a-pet/.

    If you feel the need to speak to someone over the phone, our volunteers can be reached at 1300 845 745 anytime between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM AEST. Please, do not hesitate to reach out. Sometimes, a conversation with a stranger can help more than a conversation with a friend.

    Continue to look after yourself like you are already doing.

    #31173
    abc01
    Participant

    Hello VM-Tzimisce,

    Thank you for your reply and kind words.
    In a way, to hear that the grief never goes away and you grow around it is comforting. In the strangest way,if I was ever to “get over it or move away from it” I wouldn’t be myself. My animals have always been my world and the light in it. They are too important to me to just forget or not be impacted by what has happened.

    The box and ball analogy is helpful to visualise and makes sense.

    If you do end up reading this,could you perhaps explain what you mean by being with you spiritually?
    Thank you.
    ABC01

    #31178
    VM-Tzimisce
    Participant

    Hi @abc01

    It is my belief that our loved ones don’t just leave us when they die. They continue on. For me, personally, I like to attribute those little glimpses out of the corner of my eye to the spirit of my companion. They linger with us until we are ready to move on because death, for them, isn’t as stressful as it is for us. We’re the ones left over; the ones who have to keep getting up every day without them in our lives. So, they stick around. Make sure we’re coping. And if we’re not coping, they linger longer because we need them. We are not the only ones who loved them. You said yourself, your little boy was always with you. If you were in a room, he was in that room with you, keeping you company. And just because his body is no longer with us, that doesn’t mean his spirit doesn’t stick around to make sure his beloved owner – the person who fed him and cared for him and loved him like his mother – is going to be okay without him. One day, you’ll look around and he won’t be in the corner of your vision anymore. And that will be because he knows you’re ok, and it’s ok for him to move on now.

    I hope this has helped, somewhat. Please feel free to keep interacting with us and responding. I know we can be a bit slow sometimes, but someone will always get back to you, it’s just a matter of time.

    #31179
    abc01
    Participant

    Thank you VM-Tzimisce,

    That was a great explanation and hopefully in the future something similar will bring me comfort and an enduring connection with my boy.

    I guess my anxiety is talking now, but I am afraid that if I never find that healing or it takes years to find that peace or acceptance, that he would be TRAPPED here and can’t move on. The last thing I want is not for HIM to find peace and release. I am still in the process of finding a way to honour him and develop an enduring connection I am “comfortable” with.

    Thank you for your support. I have felt quite alone lately and am coming up against walls with the amount of support or education on grief that people around me have (even though I know they are trying their bests and dealing with grief too), so your support and words are very much appreciated.

    ABC01

    #31185
    VM-Tzimisce
    Participant

    Hi, @abc01

    I think you’re right. That’s your anxiety speaking to you right now. It might help to frame it this way: he can choose to move on at any time. He is choosing to stay with you until you are able to cope again. It’s not that you are trapping him. He’s a cat, after all. If he doesn’t want to linger, he won’t.

    Is there anything the two of you used to do together? Did he have a favourite plant? Something in the garden he particularly liked? Or within the house? Something that you can use to feel a closer connection to your boy? When my boy died, I put his counsel tags on my keyring. They’re still there, even 10 years later. 7 years ago, I got him memorialised forever in a tattoo. Even though he’s physically gone, he’s still with me because he enabled me to enjoy and love life. He lives on because I live on. I am his legacy.

    All these feelings you’re feeling right now are normal. That anxiety is proof of your love for him. The pain too. We don’t grieve nearly so hard for people and animals we didn’t have a close connection to.

    I’m proud of you for continuing to reach out and seek understanding and support.

    #31186
    abc01
    Participant

    Thank you @Tzimisce,

    Your words are incredibly needed and helpful.

    Major has a small cat sized Duck plush toy called OG Ducky. He played with Ducky since he was a kitten and I always kept a track were Ducky was,so we’d never lose him. Especially to his arch nemesis Vacuum. I would often wake up in the morning with Ducky on my bed from Major’s night time antics. I was thinking of getting a shadow box and putting one of the many photos I have of him and Ducky inside the box, with Ducky. And then putting the box on display. I also have the last blanket we shared on my bed,with pulled threads he made biscuits on, to hug.

    That has made me smile today. So thank you and I will continue to reach out.

    ABC01

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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