Grief Realized

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Yesterday, we lost our little dog. In the early morning dark hours in bed, our beloved little boy went into a massive sneezing fit. When we turned on the light, there was blood sprayed everywhere.  Our hearts sunk and we knew it was time – we couldn’t let him suffer or live in pain. I let him lay on my chest for a couple hours until his appointment. I wanted to ingrain that memory in my head.

At 10:30 yesterday morning, my family and I took him to the vet to be put to sleep. Rather than do it on the table, I held him in my arms as they gave him the first shot that would make him fall asleep. I’m trying to hold onto the peace I hope he felt being in my arms. I held him for a bit and we all said our goodbyes. Then the vet took him to the back to administer the final shot; we couldn’t have out last memory be of him gone. As we waited for word that it had been done, we all basically collapsed in each others arms in hard and forceful tears. After the vet came in and told us it was done, we left and went home, crying all the way.

Getting home was even more tough – the emptiness we felt in the house, like something so very important was missing. We struggled with seeing his beds and toys. We struggled with the parts of our daily routine that had always involved our little doggie. We felt guilt for putting him down, even though we knew we had to. There were and are so many thoughts going through our heads. What if we had given it one more day? But he would have been in pain and we couldn’t allow that.

I have never truly experience grief and loss.  When I lost my father, I was in a weird place, as it was when all the family drama was going on and I had turned off all my emotions, so I never really or truly felt the loss of my father. But I felt this loss immensely! It hurts so bad that I don’t know how to survive it. I know time will heal but right now, I just don’t see how it ever could.

I feel so lonely, and I know that will be even harder and more pronounced once my husband starts traveling again for his job next week. We pick up Scottie’s urn and ashes hopefully by late next week – and we can’t wait to bring him home. We need him home.

It’s interesting how people grieve in different ways. When we got home, my husband laid next to Scottie’s bed and I started cleaning – I had to keep myself busy or totally lose it.  Of course, throughout the day, we both lost it many times. We talked a lot but whereas I was mainly missing Scottie’s presence, my husband was afraid that until we get the aches back, Scottie is alone and afraid and that thought hurts my husband. Unfortunately, I hadn’t had that thought and his sharing it with me made me start hurting about that. I try to think that his spirit is no longer there with his body, and that if dogs’ spirits do go someplace, then he is with other dogs or family members and he isn’t alone or afraid. I prayed to my dad that if he is out there somewhere, that he find Scottie quickly and take care of him for us. My husband also hopes that Scottie isn’t mad at us but I think Scottie would somehow know that we did what was necessary and it was out of nothing but love and concern. I have to hope that anyway – it’s the only way we will find peace.

I guess I have just never felt a sadness like this, a grief so deep. I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t just sit; I have to be doing something, anything, to distract my mind. When does the pain start to subside? When do we start to feel a little peace and relief? When is it okay to feel moments of joy again, especially with Christmas upon us?

For now, we still have his beds out – they still smell like him which actually brings me some comfort. I still talk to him too. Good god – I don’t know how to get through this…

 

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39 thoughts on “Grief Realized

  1. Grief gives varying degrees of pain and emotion and goodness knows that is bad enough. But when grief is inflicted on individuals or Families deliberately by another human being particularly using a Child as a tool is absolutely disgusting.

    In a situation where a Parent has been found guilty of alienating a Child yes that person must have help and treatment but should they not be punished like the pain the other Parent has went through. Yes some Parents will be remorseful of what they have done others believe you me will be angry as they see they have failed.

    The answer in all things P A is to exterminate it to its entirety, PA must be outlawed. Unfortunately there are many organisations and agencies who propagate P A through GENDER. As far as I am concerned no matter all the good work organisations do, they disrespect their own ETHOS through criminally adding and abetting P A.

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    1. You know, this is the second comment about PA on this post. I’m a little perplexed as I’m not sure what I wrote in this particular post that deals with PA. However, I like all types of comments, any time, any day.

      As long there are humans, there will always be PA, as much as I hate to say it. It’s just a trademark of certain, selfish people. It’s also so very hard to prove. I definitely think it should be considering abuse. It IS child abuse on so many levels. And it affects the child and ex’s life forever.

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  2. We are days away from putting our dog to sleep. He has cancer. He is like a part of who I am. Cant remember life without him. Ive started crying already because I know soon I wont have him anymore. It is heartbreaking. My other dog just passed away a few months ago. I swear I would wake up to the sound if her bark weeks after. I knew she was watching over us. Knowing he will be gone soon…the empty house will be unbearable. So I truly truly feel for your loss!

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    1. Oh, me dear, how I feel for you! When we had set a date for our dog, the 2 days before were filled with tears. Then we put it off and ended up having to do it another 2 days later. It has been 2 weeks and I still feel the loss in so many ways. I swear I can smell him sometimes, or hear him sniffing at a closed door. It being during the holidays makes it one more step harder too. I knew I loved him but I guess I hadn’t realized just how much. I know exactly what you mean and all my love and hugs go out to you! I am hear if you need me! HUGS!!

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  3. Dear Sarah, maybe a healing ritual is what is needed – a ceremony where you both take time to honor him and remember the wonderful times together – maybe bring some objects that he loved – gather it in a circle, light some candles, set an intention for coming together to truly remember the joyous times together. I am quite sure you will succeed in sensing that in spirit, he is with you as always _ and that is an incredible help.

    At least It was for me and my daughter. It felt “full” in a way.

    All the best for you and your family
    love
    Leelah

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  4. How incredibly touching your words are. It’s difficult at times like this when faith has been outgrown to find something to fill that void. Your love for Scottie is so great and so deeply experienced that it must count for something meaningful. That you can survive it without bitterness and still feel kindness for others is a great achievement. The word that comes to me to describe you is a “winner,” over your many losses.

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    1. Wow my dear, you actually just filled me with a little warmth. It’s strange, so many people on my blog keep saying I am so kind – sometimes it’s hard to see that in myself. I guess it’s just hard because everyone else seems to see it except my family and my son. But I have to hold on to what I can, I know. 🙂

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  5. I’m so sorry. I’ve lost several dogs before, and I know how devastating it can be. I don’t know what else to say, but I am really, truly, very sorry for your loss. I won’t recommend it right now, but maybe try reading the “Dog Paradox” (it’s a comic you can find it online). Don’t read it now, it’ll make you cry. But in a few days, or a few weeks, when you’re missing your dog, it might be something that will help you relate. And maybe even laugh too.

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    1. I will definitely do that, once some of the pain has past. Thank you! The pain and sadness is still very present. The house feels so empty without the little guy. Sometimes I think I am doing okay, and then others times I can’t stop crying. I guess it is just grief at its height.

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  6. I’m so very sorry. I have lost 4 dogs over the years and thay were all special and became family. I dream of one day the pack being united. God bless you in this difficult time.

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    1. It really IS a mix of love and grief, and even guilt. Could we have done something different, did we do it too soon? But I think we did it at the right time as he was starting to feel pain and suffer. It’s just hard cause we feel like he should still be here.

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  7. I am so so sorry for your loss. You knew it was coming. You need to grieve. It’s part of it. I’m sure that he knows you did your best and I’m sure he knows he was very much loved by you. And I am sure YOU know that too. He will be with you all the time. And his memory lives on.

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  8. I am in tears reading this, and my heart is broken for you and your husband. I understand as I lost ‘Max’ last year. After my loss a neighbor gave me a poem, that I will give to you. I hope you find some comfort when you read it.

    A Dog’s Plea
    by Anonymous

    “Treat me kindly, my beloved friend
    for no heart in all the world is
    more grateful for kindness than
    the loving heart of me.
    Do not break my spirit with a stick,
    for although I might lick your hand between blows,
    your patience and understanding will more quickly
    teach me the things you would have me learn.
    Speak to me often,
    for your voice is the world’s sweetest music,
    as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail
    when the sound of your footsteps falls
    upon my waiting ear.
    Please take me inside when it is cold and wet,
    for I am a domesticated animal,
    no longer accustomed to bitter elements.
    I ask no greater glory than the privilege
    of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.
    Keep my pan filled with fresh water,
    for I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst.
    Feed me clean food that I may stay well,
    to romp and play and do your bidding,
    to walk by our side and stand ready,
    willing and able to protect you with my life.
    And, my friend, when I am very old
    and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight,
    do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.
    I am not having any fun.
    Please see to it that my life is taken gently.
    I shall leave this earth knowing
    with the last breath I draw that my
    fate was always safest in your hands.”

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  9. Oh my. I’m crying. So sorry for your loss. He was loved and knew it. I know your pain. My beloved kitties were ‘put to sleep’ in different ways (I won’t go into it), and a part of me died with each one. Cherish the memories. He’ll be looking down at you from Rainbow Bridge.
    Lots of love Sarah. xoxo

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    1. Thank you Persia! I’m sorry you have felt this loss as well. The emptiness and loneliness are sometimes overpowering. We do have amazing memories and lots of pictures and videos of him. I can’t look at them yet, but someday I will be able to.

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  10. Oh my goodness, I am so sorry for your loss… my heart aches for you and your family. Our pets become like our children and when they are gone, they leave a very big hole in our hearts and lives… I have lost pets and parents and loves… grief is like waves to me. I’ll think I’m doing ok and then another wave will hit me and suck me under and I have to fight to get back to the surface to breathe… so hard, but I have discovered over the years that the time between the waves crashing on me gets longer and longer as the time passes thereby making the grief easier to take. it does fade but it takes time and the greater the love for the person or animal that is gone, the greater the grief and time to heal. I read this quote once a long time ago, I wish I could remember who wrote it so I could give credit where credit is due but is said something like “there will come a time when the thought of your loved one will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye” I love that because it is so true. I think you can take great comfort in knowing that you did what was right for your pet, I know it is a hard decision to make but so important to help them go in peace, they trust us to do that for them… and I firmly believe that animal souls are treated the same by God as ours are, maybe even better because they are so innocent and love unconditionally. I hope you feel the love of this season and know and really believe that your little pet is well in the care of God.
    Namaste, Michelle

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    1. I can’t thank you enough for such a kind and loving reply. I love that quote and will try to hold it close to my heart. I am sorry you have dealt with so many losses. This being my first, and I now have fear about the future and what another one would do to me. HUGS to you sweetness! ❤

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  11. I am so sorry for your loss. I have had to put several animals to rest to ease their suffering. It never gets any easier no matter how many times you do it. You will get through this, you are strong. Take it day by day, hour by hour or even minute to minute if you have to.
    Why not have Christmas in honor of him? He would want you to be happy and feel joy. Dogs always want to please their owners.

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    1. We actually did a pre-Chrismas for him where he got to unwrap his presents. And then we made an ornament yesterday with his picture and hung it on the tree at his height level so he will be there watching us at the real Christmas. I wish it hadn’t been during the holidays…

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  12. I’m so, deeply sorry. You did the very best thing you could do for him by not letting him suffer. He was so loved by your family, I firmly believe that his spirit came home with you from the vet and is no longer in the body he used to keep. Losing a family member is devastating…I wish I could give you a hug. I’m so glad you are all together right now to help hold each other up through the worst of the grief and loss. xx Scottie is with you though. You’ll feel him all around you once the shock of loss passes. xox

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