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Thread: Too Much Grief

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Spring Valley, Il
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    Default Too Much Grief

    I have been slammed with grief for over two months and I donít know where to take it in order to be able to function and take care of my newly diagnosed Cush pup. I lost my 14 yr. old min-schnauzer, Gracie, to lymphoma on 1-11-19. Two weeks after that, my 10 year old Annie was diagnosed with Cushings on top of having been diabetic for about a year. Annie is fully loaded on her Lysodren and is now on a maintenance dose of 250mg 2x a week.
    I feel in many ways, I am already grieving my Annie away. I know Cushings is not a death sentence yet itís hard for me to feel fully engaged with her and to enjoy her as I did before Gracieís death. Iíve visited all the sites listed and read the incredible memorial postings others have written for their departed pups, and all I can do is cry.
    There have been many pups in my life, each one as special and precious as the next. There was something extra special about Gracie through. I always called her my PITA ( pain in the a-- ) pup. She challenged me with every paw every day of her 14 years. However, when we brought little baby Annie home, she wrapped those paws around her new little sister and never let go and taught her what it meant to be part of our family. I know Annie misses her big sis and is grieving too. Our whole world has been turned upside down and I donít know how to get on top of this.
    My husband has been a big help and I know heís hurting as much as I am---I just cry more. Heís not very ďmedicalĒ by nature so Iíve always been the primary caregiver, and everything involved with the Lysodren just freaks me out. I know Annie feels my anxiety and I donít want to do that to her but at the same time, I know I canít swallow my fears.
    I need to do the best I can for my little Annieóshe deserves it and I just donít know to give it to her right now.. Maybe there is someone out there who has been in a similar situation that can offer advice to help me get to a Ďnew normalĒ. Maybe Iím just looking for the voice of reason. My blessings to all you wonderful folks. Karen

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    It is extremely hard to move forward while grieving. Nothing feels right anymore. Everything is before and after. Two months is not a long time to be feeling the way you are. I was numb after Lena died. So completely enveloped in grief that I don't know how I functioned at all. I know I went to work; I know I took care of the other dogs; and I know I took care of Sibbie, a two month old puppy my husband "surprised" me with 9 days after Lena died. But I barely remember that time. I only remember laying on the couch either crying or sleeping.

    Then when Gable started showing all the symptoms of Cushing's I just could not accept it. I put off testing for months. Then when he was diagnosed I wasn't going to treat him because I was so afraid to go through it all again. I still panic when any of them seem sick; I hate to be out of the house for long periods of time; and I still miss my precious Lena every day.

    It takes time to move on...sometimes a long time. You're grieving and it is all perfectly normal. I think when you love that one extra special baby, the one that is your heart and soul dog, it takes much longer. I know what you mean about Annie. Sometimes I look at Gable and it hurts me to know that he could leave me sooner that he would've if he did not have Cushing's. But I also find myself reveling in the things he is able to do again. I didn't really notice when he stopped, but now I see there were a lot of signs. He loves the snow. We didn't get that much so far, but he has been enjoying it so much; running around with Cooper; eating it; and catching the snowballs I throw at him. Right after Lena died, I probably didn't notice these moments, but I can again.

    You will too, Karen...just give yourself time to grieve. It's still too new and painful. Grief has no time limit.

    Many hugs!

    Love,
    Joan
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    Awww Karen, tons of hugs from me, too. Although I’m guessing it was far from easy, I’m so glad you’ve written to us about your loss of precious Gracie. There are so many of us here who do understand the depth of the connection and the overwhelming pain. What Joan has already written in her reply is so very meaningful in so many ways. I can only add a few more thoughts to what she’s already said so beautifully.

    Most of all, I want to “second” Joan’s reassurance that there is nothing odd or abnormal about your feelings. Your loss is so recent and your pain is so still so raw. And now, faced with Annie’s illness, it’s no wonder that your response to Annie is affected by Gracie’s death. It would be far stranger if it weren’t. But it sounds to me as though you have gathered your strength and you are providing Annie with exactly the care she needs right now. I think it’s only natural that, in the process, you’re pulling inward a bit. You’re doing what you need to in order to gird yourself to weather this new crisis. And that’s OK! Each morning brings a new day, with its own set of challenges. But it also offers new opportunities, as well. So please be kind to yourself and don’t expect too much right now. As Joan says, grief has no time limits. When we’re grieving, we just do the best we can, right at that moment. And then we face the next new day. And then the next. Until, finally, things do begin to shift.

    I can sure resonate with your worry about Annie, and also your fear that you’re already grieving her away. I am such a worrier, myself. And after suffering through several significant deaths recently, I know I’m watching my 10-year-old Lab with eagle eyes right now. She’s acting more aged on our walks, now, and I shudder inside when I see her slowing and tiring. She’s my “baby” and my only remaining dog, and every walk with her now feels even more precious. So there’s both a good and bad part to that. The bad part is the anticipatory sorrow that I already feel. But the good part is that I’m totally focusing on her and our time together right now. So the worry seems to be both a curse and a gift for me right now.

    Anyway, I’ll go ahead and close for now. But please do keep on writing to us if it is any help to you at all. I know that our family here has helped me through so many tough times, and I surely hope we can give you some comfort, too.

    Marianne

  4. #4
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    Feb 2019
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    Hugs to you Joan and Marianne,

    Last night I found the “Light a Candle” site and lit as many candles as my fingers would allow—then I cried some more. Today, Gracie will have been physically gone from us for two months. After reading your posts many times, I really had a sense of not being alone and that there are unseen faces and unknown names who sincerely “get it” when it comes to pup grief. It’s like no other. I also remembered a poem that gave me strength today to actually get a few tasks finished. Here it is for anyone else to whom it may give a boost:

    LAST NIGHT
    I stood by your bed last night; I came to have a peep.
    I could see that you were crying you found it hard to sleep.
    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
    "It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
    You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
    I was with you at the shops today; your arms were getting sore.
    I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
    I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
    I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
    I gently put my paw on you; I smiled and said, "it's me."
    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
    I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
    It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
    To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew... in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
    The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
    I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
    Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.
    Author unknown

    So here I sit with Annie and the hubby watching a hockey game —go Blackhawks—they are winning 5-1 and all I can do is cry. Many blessings, Karen
    Last edited by Katy1; 03-12-2019 at 02:27 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    That is one of my favorites, Karen. I found it somewhere years ago before Lena was sick, I think after we had lost our other dog, Andee. It makes me cry and smile at the same time.
    Joan, mom to my Angel Lena, Doree, Gable, Cooper, Angel Phoenix and now Sibble.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    Oh my, that poem is so sweet and touching! Thanks so much for sharing it, Karen.

    Iím so glad you found the candle-lighting site. It is such a comfort to me. I use it kind of as a diary, writing little notes to my angel babies as the mood strikes. I lost my Barkis 14 years ago, and my sweet Peg almost 3 years ago. And I still go to the candles regularly in order to leave them a note. In the glow of the flame, it helps me feel close to them to tell them what Iím thinking and how much Iíll always love them.

    I think part of what makes a pet loss so especially hard is that they are the ones upon whom we always rely to help us through our other losses. Their sweet kisses and tail wags calm our souls. Their unwavering loyalty and companionship are buffers against the pain. But when they themselves are gone, it feels as though thereís no comfort to be found anywhere. The grief is overwhelming and everpresent.

    When Barkis died, I cried every day until the afternoon we brought baby Peg home. My daily tears stopped not because I missed him any less, but because she needed me to focus and take care of her. And I did, and so another bond was forged. But now theyíre both gone, and the tears still come at times. Lighting my candles does help. And having the chance to write and share my stories about them also helps. Karen, if youíd care to write and tell us more about Gracie and your lives together, it would be our privilege to read your stories. All our memories are so precious, and I think itís a gift to us all to share them. It unites our little family in our love for our true and forever companions.

    Sending warm wishes for peace and comfort your way,
    Marianne

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    As I just posted on what I respectfully refer to as the "med thread", Annie and our little family of three had a good day today. In fact, it was good enough that I didn't even feel the need to check on her every 10 minutes or so to make sure that she was still breathing. As I have been making myself move forward in spite of my mental need to sit in my chair and cry for my beloved Gracie, I was able to tackle some chores in the kitchen. As I was mopping up the b-izillion small muddy paw prints from the kitchen floor, my eyes did a quick 360 and I noticed the dry kibble container sitting in a corner and the two bags of new kibble for Annie that needed to be dealt with. I picked up the container and looked at the lid and then the sides. The words "Dry food for Gracie and Annie" were written everywhere on that container, every side, top to bottom in magic marker. Of course I started to cry but I picked it up anyway and dumped out the remaining dry food and took it to the sink. I filled it with warm soapy water, heavy on the soap, in hopes that as the water spilled over the edge it would make the words disappear. I left the kitchen still in tears to check on my still snoozing peacefully Annie, then made my way back to the sink. I turned off the water and tried using a wash cloth to scrub at the letters. No luck, and then a big wave over took me and I felt like I was saying my final goodbye to Gracie all over again. All I could do was just stand there in my own personal puddle. Then out of the blue, I started talking to myself. I was saying these words, " It's ok Mom, you are not scrubbing me away and you're not making Annie worse by getting rid of the words. They are just WORDS." I stopped dead in my tracks with the eerie sense that it was really Gracie doing the talking through me. I stopped crying, wiped my face so I could see what I was doing and grabbed the bottle of Clorox Kitchen Cleaner with Bleach. I held my breath and sprayed the top of the lid until I had to take a breath. I sat the bottle on the counter and went into the living room and turned on the TV. I looked over at Annie, still snoozing, and tried to imagine the little z's floating toward the ceiling and then popping like soap bubbles.

    After about 15 or 20 minutes I made my way back to the sink and I could hardly see any writing at all. I grabbed the cloth again and without much effort was able to clean the remaining letters off. I rinsed the lid and set it on a towel to dry then repeated my spraying, waiting, rinsing technique until that container looked brand new from the store. By that time, it was getting very late in the afternoon and I realized that I was too exhausted to cook supper. A few moments later, Jerry walked in the back door having completed his afternoon rounds about town, Annie immediately woke up and ran to greet her dad with some barks and many tail wags. That made my heart smile. Jerry then said to me, "What can I go get you for supper Mom?" I gave him a big hug and my order, then fed Annie with that same smile still on me face. So, I thanked Gracie for her help and guidance today and told her I would light a special candle for her and the others with her tonight, plus a special one for Annie to bless our good day. Blessings to all of you and your pups here and beyond. Karen
    Last edited by Katy1; 03-13-2019 at 11:53 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    Marianne,

    May I send you a private message.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    Yes indeed, Karen. Just click on my username and a menu should pop up that includes the option of sending me a private message.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Default Re: Too Much Grief

    I think I'm making some progress forward. Yesterday, I threw my phone in my purse, went to our local drugstore which has a photo center and a sympathetic check out person. Through my tears, I managed to print a few of my favorite pics of Gracie, and Annie too, which now adorn the refrigerator. I smiled to myself--through the tears.

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