Overwhelming grief

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Overwhelming grief

Post by Marshmallow's mum on Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:48 pm

My sweet baby girl marshmallow was attacked by a neighbours dog Monday night and despite mammoth efforts she died Wednesday night. I am totally consumed by my grief and guilt. I feel guilty that I ever let her go outside, I didn't bring her in earlier, that she suffered. I am so heartbroken, I can't stop crying. My other cat midnight keeps looking for his sister and is never going to find her. The memories of her attack and her treatment are haunting me, I can't get them out of my mind. Even the happy memories of good times spent with her are so painful. I just want to go to sleep and not wake up. I know marshie would want me to keep going for midnight and my children but it is just so hard.

Marshmallow's mum

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So sorry about your loss

Post by Chandlersdad on Mon Nov 26, 2018 5:44 pm

Hello. I am so sorry for your loss. My cat, and my best friend, was killed by a dog a day before your cat was attacked. It's awful and I am also overwhelmed with guilt, grief and longing to see my friend again. He was the perfect cat for our family and we felt very lucky to have him.
I am still in shock and very sad, but what has helped me a bit are three things: 1. I knew about the stages of grief, but didn't understand that there are different kinds of grief. You and I are suffering from "unanticipated grief" as we weren't expecting this to happen. That adds guilt and a sense that something was stolen from us to the overall sadness. I don't have a great answer on how to deal with this, but just understanding why I was so impacted was helpful.  Also, grief comes in waves. It's not a linear process. And sometimes its just debilitating. I am trying to just accept it and not fight it.  2. I have forced myself to write in a journal and to create a google photobook. I'm not big about expressing my feelings and it was really tough to do. But I feel like that helped bring some closure. And it did help me remember the good times. You'll have to decide if this works for you. 3. Listening to podcasts about grief and talking to people who understand. That helped maybe the most. Try to avoid talking people who don't understand the devastating impact of the loss of the pet, even those that have good intentions. You will leave the conversation feeling emptier.
Most importantly, you need to seek professional help if you are continuing to feel like you don't want to wake up. There's no shame in that. This is a really tough time and people want to help. Reach out and don't simply hope that it will pass. I called the ASPCA Grief Counseling Hotline and it was very helpful: 877-GRIEF-10 or (877-474-3310).
I wish you the best. Opening our hearts to an pet creates the potential for this kind of intense pain. But I am reminding myself that this is what makes us human. That helps a bit as well.
PS. My buddy was named Chandler. He was a Maine Coon and was really, really special. Most of all, I just miss him.

Chandlersdad

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Re: Overwhelming grief

Post by Marshmallow's mum on Tue Nov 27, 2018 11:01 pm

Hi Chandlersdad, I am so sorry for your loss. What you are saying makes a lot of sense and someone at my work said something very similar to me today. It is like something was stolen from us. we were not expecting this to happen and that is what is making it worse, that it shouldn't have happened. The grief does come in waves and sometimes it is so overwhelming. I have not been able to even look at photos of marshmallow until today and even now I get totally overwhelmed looking at them and remembering what a sweet, innocent girl she was. I have started seeing a grief counsellor and have joined a grief support group to help with some of these intense feelings around guilt and anxiety for my other cat. I have decided to build and enclosure in my backyard and net off as much of my backyard as possible so that he can go outside again as he is miserable inside. Your Chandler sounds like such a wonderful boy and I totally understand that intense missing of your best friend. I miss my girl intensely as does my other cat midnight. Talking to people like you and others has really helped so thankyou so much for your reply. I don't feel quite so alone in this.

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