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Losing my best friend of 17 years – how do i make this process easier?

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Home Forums Loss of a pet Losing my best friend of 17 years – how do i make this process easier?

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  • #24391
    zizi03
    Participant

    I had to say goodbye to my best friend 4 days ago. My dog lived such an amazing life making it to the age of 17. He started as our family dog, I was 2 years old when we first got him as a puppy, he quickly became my like shadow and our bond was amazing. He was always a constant in my life, there for all of my big moments, he was my main support and life companion.I feel so lost without him already and the house feels so quiet. From a very young age I struggled to fall asleep without him and we had such a steady routine together. I have never lived without him and my sense of being grounded and the security I have always felt with him has been uprooted. His dementia and irritability in his few month days were distressing for everyone, 5 days ago I could tell he was telling me it was okay to let go now. i could tell he was ready and I feel as though he had held on as long as he could until I was aswell. There is still no length of time with him that would have felt like enough.

    A chunk of my heart feels empty without him. He was apart of me and my identity and the adjustment to him not being here feels almost unatural. Sleeping and eating is almost impossible and I am trying to find peace in knowing he is finally resting. He gave me so much and he left a mark on me that I know will forever stay with me. The comfort he gave me every day is now missing and not having him next to me every night is breaking my heart. I am really struggling with learning how to go on without him, its something that I have never had to do. its still so raw and I am trying to search for ways that might make this process easier. I have never felt grief like this and its hard to see myself at the other side of it where i am not a blubbering mess. Ive lost a big piece of me.

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  • #24392
    vmsteph
    Participant

    Oh, @zizi03, I am so very sorry that you have lost your beautiful companion and shadow. He sounds like the most amazing dog – they truly do become our best friends and offer us so much solace, comfort and joy. Losing a much beloved companion animal can be as great a loss as any, and your grief is completely understandable and relatable to many, myself included. It is going to take time to adjust to this loss – he was such a profoundly important part of your life and learning to live without him will be a bittersweet process. You may find the following link provides you with some ideas on how to cope with his loss and how to honour his memory https://griefline.org.au/resources/losing-a-pet/
    I lost my beautiful labrador after 16 wonderful years. I found that it helped that I could bury him on my property in a spot where he used to bask on sunny days. I planted some evergreen flowering bushes over this grave and I tend to them with care to honour his memory. Whenever I feel his loss keenly I go and sit in that spot and talk to him, and imagine him in a better place where his bones don’t ache any longer and he can chase balls and go swimming whenever he pleases. Even though I miss him I can find solace in knowing he is no longer in pain. I share this because you may have a way you can honour your boy that resonates for you, and allows you to express your ongoing love for him and all that he gave you.
    I can tell that your loss is a big heavy weight at the moment, and I know it can feel overwhelming. With time you will become better at carrying this loss. It’s not that you will grieve him any less, but rather that you will become better at holding the weight of it. I am thinking of you, as are all of the Griefline community who understand what loss is. Please come back to us and talk to us some more, as and when you feel able.

    #24429
    vm-peacelily
    Participant

    Dear @zizi03,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss – to have a friend you grow up with and who is part of the family is such a special thing and you must have had many beautiful memories together! It’s so painful to lose someone who has been such a big part of your life every day, and yet somehow painfully beautiful to know that this love was so deep that he stays with you in your heart even if his body is no longer there.

    Losing someone (I will say someone not something – my cats were more than people to me!) takes so long to adjust to, and I feel we never really get used to them not being there, but somehow they remain in our lives and hearts in a different way. I still remember the emptiness when my cats passed away – something was missing everytime I woke up or returned home, and there was less life and less laughter for so long. I also feel guilty that I did not do more to protect them, and I think it’s really special that you felt such a connection with your dog that you could tell when he was ready to go, to be in a better place with less suffering.

    If it helps, please share his name and some memories you have of him! I would love to hear about how you grew up together and celebrate the funniest, most joyful, adventurous moments you had together

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