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In Loving Memory "We hold them in our arms as long as we can, then we hold them in our hearts forever."

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  #21  
Old 09-30-2016, 11:59 PM
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LittleArfinAnnie LittleArfinAnnie is offline
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

Hello, Kat . . . and thank you for taking the time to send me your thoughts.

First of all, my sincerest, heartfelt condolences on the loss of your own "little heart". If it's any consolation, please know that the depth of your grief reaction is very much mirroring my own.

I, too, have been bothered over the past two days with stomach pain. ( Annie died on August 31st. ) My first thought was, "Oh, great, now something's wrong with ME ?" I, however, am 63 years old so, naturally, I found myself starting to wonder if there was something serious going on in there.

I'm just playing it by ear . . . It's not debilitating or anything like that, it's just "unusual". I'm hoping that it resolves on its own.

As far as that birthday dinner goes, I gave my regrets and did not attend. I asked my friends to please postpone it but so far there has been no further talk of an alternate date . . . and that suits me just fine, too.

It's always very gratifying to hear from a fellow introvert ! I, too, MUCH prefer solitude to the company of a lot of people. I always have. And now that I'm grieving, it's much easier to be on my own clock ( I'm a retired teacher. ) than it is to be accommodating the schedule of other people.

When Annie died, the most intense manifestation of my grief was the severe insomnia that hit me with a vengeance. And I'm not just talking about only being able to sleep a couple of hours every night . . . I mean ZERO sleep. Period. I went 72 straight hours with no sleep . . . and massive anxiety with racing thoughts, to boot.

My doctor prescribed some sleep meds for me to weather this crisis but they didn't work.

Nothing worked. I was missing my little cuddle bug and her soft snoring so much that my comfy bed had become a place of profound emptiness and sorrow.

One night, in the wee small hours, I had a bit of a brainwave.

I started to look online for a Dachshund stuffed animal that had the same Black and Tan coloration as Annie did. And I FOUND ONE at Amazon.

I can't believe that I'm actually admitting this, but figuring that I had nothing to lose, I ordered it.

It arrived three days later.

It's just a little bit smaller than Annie was but the shape of its chest and little round bum is pretty darned close to perfect . . . Enough to satisfy that aching sense memory that was keeping me awake.

So, here I am, a 63 year old retired professional . . . sleeping ( and napping ) with a little stuffed Dachshund.

And would you believe that it's worked ! I'm sleeping very peacefully again . . . Actually, my body has begun to crave sleep. Occasionally in the middle of the afternoon, too, and I'm just following its lead. After all, I figure that I'm healing. Not only from the major body blow that I took when Annie died, but also from the eighteen months of anguish that preceded her death as I tried everything medically possible to deal with the Cushing's and its many opportunistic complications.

I'm just oh, so very tired now. And if Annie's little "stand-in" enables me to relax into the memories of the comfort with which she blessed me, then it looks like I might be sleeping with a stuffed animal for the rest of my life . . . or until I get another Dachshund, anyway. ( ! ! ! )

Now that I'm able to sleep again, the intensity of my grief is beginning to ebb a bit, too.

I try to keep reminding myself that she was ( and still is ) very dearly loved, protected and nurtured. I made sure that she had the best veterinary care available and I prioritized my budget so that her needs came first. In other words, as my friends keep reminding me, I did GOOD. ( lol )

Would I want her back ? Is that what this aching, yearning grief is all about ? When I can be brutally honest with myself, I can now answer no to that question. Not if it meant that she would have to endure one more millisecond of the limited mobility and ultimate weakness that characterized her final months. The heat intolerance, the panting, the exercise intolerance . . . it was a real challenge to come up with strategies to keep her comfortable. But I did it.

And that's what I cling to ( along with Annie's "stand-in" ) when my sorrow and grief starts to get the better of me.

I gave her a wonderful life . . . That's something to be proud of.

I hope that I can really remember to believe that some day.

Thank you again, Kat, and please feel free to stay in touch . . .
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2016, 09:11 AM
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Joan2517 Joan2517 is offline
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

The first week after Lena died, I slept with a little stuffed dog that looked very much like her. Whenever my grandsons left it lying around we always thought it was Lee. Even though Lena didn't want to cuddle much the last few months of her life, because she was always so hot, I clung to that stuffed dog.

Nine days later, my husband brought home a puppy without telling me and the first night she cuddled up to my neck and slept all night. I was in shock over my loss of Lee and just couldn't bond with Sibbie for the first few weeks, which I might have been able to do if i had been given the time I needed to grieve, so she slept next to me, but not on my neck anymore....she also decided that the stuffed dog was hers, so I put it away where she couldn't chew it up.

Sibbie still sleeps next to me, she curls up against my back and when I reach out during the night to touch the place where Lena used to be, I always put my hand on Sibbie to make sure she's close by.

None of my dogs sleep where Lee used to, not on her side of the bed, and not on the arm of the couch where she was always behind me where I could lean back and kiss her sweet little face...it's like they know those are only for her.

In all my 60 years of owning fur babies, I have never felt this kind of grief. I am overwhelmed, and consumed by it. I love all of them and they know it. I take care of them, I worry about them constantly now (any little bout of nausea or diarrhea puts me in "red alert" mode), but Lee was my heart and soul baby...and I can't let go, I don't want to let go.

So, whatever makes you able to deal with your loss, just do it. No one has to know but us on this forum...we all understand.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2016, 12:49 PM
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LittleArfinAnnie LittleArfinAnnie is offline
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

One of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of this sad time in my life is dealing with people who continue to badger me to either be more social . . . or to get another dog right away !

First of all, as I mentioned in a previous post, I am an introvert by temperament. Insisting that I be more "social" is like asking a tulip to turn into a daffodil. I'm fairly confident that botanists haven't had much success with THAT !

I was on the receiving end of those comments just this morning, too, when I took one of my senior neighbours to the local library and then to do her grocery shopping . . . because her car was in the "shop" for the weekend.

Now if that's not being social, then I don't know what is expected of me ! ( don't care, either )

As for getting another dog right away ? First of all, my grief is much too fresh and exhausting these days . . . I also live on my own. I can't imagine summoning the energy to deal with the normal, healthy demands of a brand-new puppy ! Not yet, anyway.

My home is a condominium here in Toronto. Living on the seventeenth floor as a I do, going out for a walk four times a day is a real TREK.
When Annie was younger and more mobile, I became quite used to it. And as the seasons began to change, I actually enjoyed watching nature's subtle transformations from day to day with her.

But heading into a Canadian winter with a puppy ? I may as well install a revolving door in my suite . . . I'd be up and down in the elevator about every two hours or so !

Why in the name of GOD can't people just leave me the hell ALONE ?

I am ferociously independent and quite capable of the self-care required for recovery from this grief . . .

Nor am I a hermit !

You know, I would NEVER presume to say stuff like that to another griever . . . even if their loss was JUST a dog ! ( Oh, I've heard that, too . . . )

How have you managed to keep these well-intentioned boneheads at bay ?
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  #24  
Old 10-01-2016, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

Easily, I don't let them know how I feel. I save it for here and if I start to talk about her and I see that "look", I stop and don't talk to them about her anymore.

Anyone who implies that she "was just a dog" has lost my openness. I'll still work with them if I have to, talk to them if I have to, but our relationship will be forever changed, even if they don't know it.
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  #25  
Old 10-04-2016, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

Dear Cathrine
That is why you are here. To be loved ,supported by people like you. Annie is your baby. And no she was not just a dog. Like you ,I come here to let it out. Most people do not realize we need to grieve in our own way. There is no quick fix. Our fur babies are a part of us, not an object to just get over. For awhile I wrapped myself in my grief and distance myself from people because I did not want to put on a fade facade for them. Most people feel uncomfortable about loss so they try to cover it up with business. Right now you need to grieve Anne . Do what is best for you. You will never replace Annie. Be around people of like mind. How do you deal with it? Be kind, be honest, you are grieving the loss of your baby and need time to heal. There is never enough time with these little angels.
Love Sonja,Apollo,Karma
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  #26  
Old 10-14-2016, 06:31 AM
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LittleArfinAnnie LittleArfinAnnie is offline
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

Hello, everyone . . .

It's been six weeks now since my beloved little girl left me.

I thought I was doing REALLY well, too !

Running a small business from home, not making any mistakes anymore, ( ! ) eating and sleeping well, and visiting with good friends.

HA !

Insomnia has returned with a VENGEANCE. Insomnia and her equally evil twin - racing thoughts.

I finally gave up on sleep about three or four hours ago and found myself sitting here in the kitchen staring into space. Pretty much shut down . . . Thinking about everything and nothing in particular . . . ( overthinking is more like it )

I decided to touch base with all of you kind, wonderful souls here because if anyone can understand this bloody anguish, you can.

It also helps if I take the time to write about my feelings . . . I need to get them out of my head.

I think this current "wave" of grief was triggered by a completely innocent encounter I had with a neighbour yesterday afternoon. I live in a condo here in Toronto and EVERYONE knew Annie. She was almost like our building's unofficial mascot. The overwhelming majority of our residents are senior citizens . . . in various stages of their senior years, too. They welcomed the opportunity to spend a bit of time with Annie whenever they ran into us in the lobby and Annie was always very wiggly and affectionate with everyone.

Yesterday afternoon as I was in the parking garage, I ran into a neighbour who commented that I must be about to go grocery shopping because I didn't have Annie with me.

I gently told her that Annie had died six weeks ago. We must have stood there talking for about twenty minutes or so. She had many questions and I took the time to answer them for her.

I was a little bit shaken by having to tell my "story" all over again but I figured I would bounce back once I hit the grocery store.

Which I did, actually.

Until it was time to try to sleep.

WHAM ! ! !

The worst part of this latest "wave" of grief is the constant nattering of my inner critic. I seem to find myself itemizing everything that I haven't been able to attend to over the course of the last six weeks.
That "To-Do" list was started well before Annie died. I literally put everything on hold as she declined - assuring myself that I would have plenty of time to deal with all of that "stuff" soon enough.

Now that she's gone, I find that I'm beating myself up for not swinging into action to tackle those tasks.

My get-up-and-go got up and WENT !

When I'm not dealing with the immediate demands of my small business, I just want to REST. And for me, that means curling up with a good book . . . with naps whenever my eyes begin to get heavy.

When my husband died eight years ago, my grief didn't feel like this. I pretty much just felt rotten for about a year and a half.

This experience of grief is very different. I'm aware of peaks and valleys now . . . Not bipolar peaks and valleys, mind you . . . There are just days when I feel more like myself ( whatever that means ! ) minus my usual motivation and drive . . . And then there are days when I just feel like hell . . . That's when I become virtually immobilized by inertia.

Am I being too hard on myself here ? Fortunately, I have no regrets with respect to the quality of Annie's nurturing and care during her final months . . . I don't really know WHAT'S tormenting me and preventing me from sleeping.

Is this "just" grief ?
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  #27  
Old 10-14-2016, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

It does seem harder with our fur babies. I am still in "grief" and it is 34 weeks today. There are days when I also function like a normal person and then there are the days I can't. I go over and over and over it all. I blame myself for rushing in to treat her. She was almost 15, I should have just left her alone and let her live out her remaining days home with all her familiar surroundings and not going to the vet for blood work and having to constantly watch her for signs of too much Vetoryl.

Last night was one of my waking up every hour or so remembering that last night, checking the time and remembering what was happening at that time in the Emergency Clinic that night that she died. I wonder when it will stop?
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  #28  
Old 11-06-2016, 11:34 AM
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LittleArfinAnnie LittleArfinAnnie is offline
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

Hello, everyone . . .

Annie has been gone for just over two months now and I "thought" I was making my peace with this soul-searing grief.

Until yesterday, that is . . .

Right out of the blue, a day that had started out with workable plans slipped into a day of sad inertia. And I have no idea what triggered it, either . . .

I'm sleeping again ( for the most part ) and I make sure to eat nutritious meals, too.

My energy is pretty good and I socialize with friends on a fairly regular basis . . .

I even have moments when I realize that I'm feeling happy and peaceful . . . knowing that Annie's struggles are over . . .

So what the hell happened yesterday ?

Actually, today is shaping up to be somewhat similar, too.

I'm in the process of trying to "force" myself to tackle a few items on my "To-Do" list this morning but all I really want to do is just curl up and read the day away . . . Nothing is really pressing anyway.

I wasn't expecting to be so blind-sided by my grief and sorrow again, to be honest . . . While not as intense, this inertia very much resembles the way that I felt right after Annie died !

I'm also afraid that if I honour what my body is telling me to do today ( effectively, a big fat NOTHING ), the voice of my "inner critic" will roar to life to berate me for being such a slug !

I've put myself into a damned-if-I-do and damned-if-I-don't predicament !

Do any of you wise souls have any advice ? As always, it would be MUCH appreciated !
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  #29  
Old 11-06-2016, 10:22 PM
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

Hi Katherine,

My Buddy passed over three years ago. As you can see, I am still here. I don't know how wise my advice is, but I have found that it helps for me to listen to what I'm feeling at the time. So, it is quite OK to curl up with a book and read your day away, if that's what you need at the time and are afforded that luxury. A few down days now and then, will not turn you into a slug. Grief comes in waves. Some small and rippling, while others knock you flat. Be gentle with yourself and listen to what you are needing/feeling at any given time. It's slowly start to get easier, but the pain never goes away entirely.

Hugs,
Kathy
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  #30  
Old 11-07-2016, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Goodbye, My Little Heart

I have no wise words, as I too find that out of the blue, something seems to set me off into a world of missing my molly and basic inertia to get anything done.
Sometimes I don't even know what it is, just a general look around the house of where she should be and isn't I think will do it if the feeling is inside waiting to come out.
The only thing that one can really do is to roll with it, knowing that this too shall pass and maybe tomorrow is the day that you will not feel it so profoundly.
Then again, maybe it will be next week. There is just no way to tell when it hits or how long it lasts.
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