A couple of weeks ago we lost our dear pet who we considered our child traumatically and I can't seem to shake this horrible feeling. My husband was home with me these past two weeks, we both cried everyday. Now that he's gone to work as of yesterday I am actually feeling worse. I lost 10lbs from being physically ill. I have looked for online support groups and counseling in our area. I haven't been able to find anyone local. Today I got in the car and was going to force myself to get something to eat, at the stop light I bursted into tears and just came back home and cried my eyes out. I don't know if this behavior is considered normal but it sure doesn't seen normal to me. We've gone thru all sorts of pictures and we have pictures that were up in the house before this all happened. We tell him we love him and miss him but I wonder if this is making things worse?? We would prefer to keep the pics up, after all he was a huge part of our life for 14yrs. I just don't know what to do or how to make things a little easier. I don't expect we will ever be over what happened but I feel like I'm losing my mind. We are happy when we think about the good times and seconds later so devistated about loosing someone so dear. Has anyone experienced anything like this? Did you find anything at all that helped your depression? Meds are not an option for me at this time. We had a very special bond with him. He not only needed us and was amazingly smart but I became dependant on him thru some pretty hard times.
Thank you in advance for any information you may be able to provide.
Hi and welcome to the forum,
It sounds like you are experiencing grief. It is normal and most if not all people have either gone through it or will. The time it takes varies from person to person and I would challenge anybody who tells you it was just a dog. The best thing I can tell you is it does get easier. I have experienced a lot of grief in my life and all of it has been overwhelming. There are stages of grief and if you look it up you can find them. The main thing you need to know about the process is that it doesn't always go in order but for the most part you will likely go through most if not all of the stages by the time this is behind you. I have lost a lot of pets tragically and it hurts every time. Losing a pet is significant and I have seen the question on many psych evaluations of whether you have lost a pet. Relationships are built with every animal you get especially with dogs and cats because they show you unconditional love and that is something to be cherished as most people don't have the capacity to do the same. I would also post this question on the dog forum for people to view it and may be able to help.
My sweet sweet little baby girl passed last year, and I went through all the things you have included in your post....You are not alone in all of this, many many people go through deep grief when our animals pass on.
If you go to Amazon or Barnes and Noble, many books have been written about grief from a pet passing. My vet runs a support group for those of us who are having a harder time, and the Public Library is also a real good source for books on grief at no cost.
A year ago I was inconsolable, and now I just adopted 2 more females who really needed a home with a loving person. I know it is probably very hard to think that far ahead, but the universe is always giving us many chances to use our best qualities in the healthiest way, and for me that is in the care of small animals...
There is no proper way to go through grieving, I thought I would cry forever, and then one day....I was done. I stopped. And I came out of the grief healthier then when I first got my little girl years ago and I think it was all the tears that washed out the sadness and a little bit more of sadness and depression I wasn't even aware of having....
Please let us know how you are doing....I am sending you a big hug
and please know that many many people care about you.....
Thank you for the replies, I really do appreciate each of them and I'm sorry you had to go thru a similar experience of loosing someone you loved. I know there are several steps to grief according to what I've found about pet loss but this feels different then the worst grief I last experienced in August this year. I feel that I really have no purpose here anymore. My little boy was everything to me and needed meds he needed several things from me thruout the day and now I don't know what to do with myself. I feel so lost and alone and a overwhelming feeling of sadness. My husband thought I was making it worse by not wanting to leave the house and get out of bed but I don't feel I should be on the road with these crying episodes. It doesn't matter what I do everything reminds me of him since we did everything together. I just want to sleep because then I'm not thinking about ways to join him and how painful it is to live without him. We have had two baby losses this year and that was where I felt grief, this doesn't feel the same.
I have a story for you, I have told it several times but I like it:
A lady had been seeing a psychiatrist for a long time as she grieved the loss of her child due to Leukemia. She made little progress over the years. Although the doctor had great empathy, one day he told her that she had to fill the void left by her loss. She left the office and came back two weeks later. She sit down and told the doctor "I don't need you anymore". In shock the doctor asked her what happened. She said after I left your office last time I went home and spent all night baking cupcakes. The next morning I took those cupcakes to the cancer ward at the hospital. I found my purpose in life....making cupcakes. You have to make cupcakes.
Thank you for the story. It makes sense to me but I've been trying to fill this void for 10yrs. We really want to become parents but it isn't that easy. I will be undergoing the last three ivf cycles we can afford, I've already had 4 and have had 15 surgeries in my life. My depression goes much deeper then the loss we have just experienced. We aren't ready for another dog, it will never be the same. I just really don't even want to be here anymore, I'm tired of the pain and loss that seems to be flung at us.
What do you mean you don't want to be here anymore? The first time I said that it meant that I was exhausted with life and I was about to make it all go away. If this is the case let me know and I will start to change my focus to that.
Anyway don't like making assumptions but I take it seriously when somebody says that and I want to spend some time talking about that. You can private message me if it makes you more comfortable, plus this conversation will likely be a long one. Talk to you soon.
Hi Ellen, to me its very normal to feel like you do. Over the past decades, humans have come to the realization the all living things have value and our pets are our children. I have 2 cats, Toby and Jake, and if anything happened to them i would feel just as you do.
I would suggest getting another pet asap, there is another baby waiting for you to take them to your home and become part of your family and soul.
Go out and find another love.
I wanted to thank you all for your advise. I don't think my feelings are normal at all. I found a place I'm going to message about getting some counseling. I'm having panic attracts and cry uncontrollably when I have to come home knowing he won't be there for me. It's dangerous driving the freeways crying your eyes out. Yes I was talking earlier about not wanting to stick around planet earth. I am having some major depression that is just getting worse by the day. I will be starting an ivf cycle in a day and my heart and mind are just not ready to cope with this and the loss, it's beyond overwhelming and nothing I seem to do helps me. My husband is going back to work today and since I'm disabled I will be stuck here by myself for another 6 days and I've already broke down in tears while he slept fearing another week on my own. He has a life changing interview coming up in about 10 days and I really need to hold it together at least till after his interview so he can do well. I keep having these short bursts of dreams about my dog and it makes me not want to go to sleep since they aren't all that happy. I've lost 15lbs in almost 3 weeks not being able to eat and throwing what I do up all the time. I had a massage on Saturday hoping it may help make me feel better and all I did that day is cry cry cry. I'm in a lot of pain now from the injuries that were worked on me. I am feeling worse about everything as the days go on instead of any sign of getting better. Every morning I wake up I wonder why I'm still here. I don't want to live feeling this way. I don't know what to do to make things better. Last time I had a miscarriage I thought it was the worst thing I could ever go thru after hearing the heartbeat several times and then hemorrhaging one morning and it was all over. My dog and I spent overa month in bed never leaving the house. Now when I have my 16th surgery in a couple weeks he won't be here taking care of me like he always did, this gives me anexiety too. We have two other dogs but they are my husbands dogs because my dog always needed me around the clock. I know dogs grieve too but they have been completely out of control and only listening if I yell at them. Although it wasn't my older dogs job he was a buffer between them and I. He understood what I wanted them to do and got them to do it, I no longer have this. On top of the overwhelming grief I am tried all day long by these two dogs making it much harder on me. I just don't know how much more I can actually take. I know if I decide my time is up here on earth I won't be going to heaven and being reunited with my dog later on. This fact and the fact that I love my husband of 21yrs are the only things keeping me here. Nothing else matters as far as I'm concerned. Family and friends haven't called to see how we are doing since the loss, this is very hurtful since he was a big part and loved by so many. The last 6 months of my life have been extremely difficult and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy.
First off if you are feeling lonely feel free to come on here and vent or talk about something else. This place is a great place for healing but if you want to just talk about something different to get your mind off of it you may find that helpful. Tell me about more about your dog. When mine slept with me she liked to sleep in the bend of my leg. When she had her puppies I hand fed her in the beginning while she was taking care of them. I didn't work so I didn't leave her side much. Her name was Ginger. I got her right after I got back from Iraq. She was very affectionate with me but didn't care for my wife. : ) but I was okay with that. I should have taken her warning because my wife ended up leaving me for some guy she met on facebook when I returned from my second deployment in Afghanistan. Such is life. Anyway, I hope you get to feeling better. I was praying for you while you have been gone these last few days and I was really hoping it had gotten better. Try to talk about positive things you remember if only for a short bit. When I first started getting treatment on my PTSD from combat every time I talked about it I would get nightmares. I have worked through that over the last year and I don't struggle that much with the nightmares now because I stopped filtering out the things I enjoyed about the deployment and let go of the things that were painful.
Copyright 1994-2016 MedHelp International. All rights reserved.
MedHelp is a division of Aptus Health.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.