Having a bad night....how do you let go? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 01:14 PM
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Linda -

I can totally relate to your grief. When Ray passed away 5 years ago, it was totally unexpected and it was devastating for my husband and I. How could a dog who was just running and playing on Friday be gone on Monday? It wasn't fair. He was only 8 years old and was our constant companion. We don't have kids, so I can't relate to that part of what you're going through, but he was one of those "one-in-a-million" kind of dogs that we'll meet once in our lives if we're lucky.

I don't think anyone can tell you how to get through it. I know I spent a lot of time searching the internet and reading various pet loss sites. But the tears would still come when I least expected them. When I drove past the corner where we used to wait to cross the street; when I looked outside at the spot where he used to lay in the shade; when walk-time would come and there was nobody to walk; any little thing would remind me of him.

But then something happened and those memories became happy memories. I can't really tell you what that something was - I think it's different for everyone. But gradually the sorrow seemed to lessen. I still didn't think it was fair that he was gone, but, and I don't mean for this to sound cold at all, there was nothing I could do about it and nothing was going to bring him back. I could choose to celebrate his life and remember all the joy he brought to us, or I could stay stuck in my grief wondering why he had to leave. Ray would not have wanted me to stay stuck! He would've wanted me to go on - never forgetting him of course - but honoring his memory and celebrating his life and all that he gave us for those 8 wonderful years.

One of the things that really helped me was Crystal Ward Kent's "The Journey". I'm hoping maybe it will help you also. Take care.

The Journey - by Crystal Ward Kent - Celebrating Your Companion


Kaiser - 8 yrs old

Ray (Radar) - 8 yrs old - At the Bridge
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post #12 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 04:12 PM
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I designated a quiet place in my yard to be Ranger's garden. It has a bench where I can sit and relax, have breakfast or coffee, and think back about my companions that are at the Bridge. I took in several seniors and hospice cases who left since Ranger. I plant a tree or add something to the garden for each of them. It has been almost a year since I sent my BoBo to the Bridge and the pain is not any less: I and his canine pals miss him and life will never be the same. We often share banana-nut-bread, gummi bears and almonds in his honor - he adored those, especially during the last few months of his life. I will be eternally grateful for being given those four months to create memories and say goodbye.
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post #13 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 04:24 PM
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I'm so sorry for you losses.. and mine...

I am standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads his white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. He is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch him until at length he hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says: "There, he is gone!"

"Gone Where?"

Gone from my sight. That is all. He is just as large in mast and hull and spar as he was when he left my side and he is just as able to bear the load of living freight to his destined port.

His diminished size is in me, not in him. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There, he is gone!" There are other eyes watching him coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: "Here he comes!"

And that is dying.

- Henry Van Dyke

Rest in peace, Max.. 10/23/05 -5/3/10

Kira (sable) GSD 10/09
Geordi (ferret)
Amanda (MaineCoon)
Max (GSD) (10/05 - 05/10) We love you and miss you.
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post #14 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 04:53 PM
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-hug hug hug hug-

No one can make this any better with you, but I can share my own story, if it helps...

My once-in-a-lifetime critter thus far was a Siamese cat, not a GSD, but the pain is just as real and profound.

She had lived out a full life, 18 years. I was still grieving more than a year later. Went to visit Mom for Mothers day, and there, in the middle of her living room, was a giant cage, with an itty bitty kitten in it. Siamese, with all the breed traits, but not a stunning Chocolate Siamese like my Mocha. Nono, This teeny tortiseshell siamese..er..well...my Sig other STILL calls her a "Dairy Cow...Moooooo!!!"

Well! Kitters looked about 8 weeks old. In reality, she was better than 3 months. The runt of the litter. Had been treated for worms, ringworm (twice), lost all her fur, twice, picked on by the rest of the 'breeders' animals, all scabs. Mom says "I'll keep her if you don't want her...but no one else wants her either, and otherwise she would have just been put down or dumped off God knows where...." -Le Gasp!- Never! C'mon baby, lets go home....

I'd like to say it was instantly all better, happy ever after, finally able to let the grief go...but...the reality is, that was not the case.

I liked the kitten. Took care of it, nursed it, got it vetted...all the things a do-gooder animal-lover does. But...While I liked having her around, petting her, playing with her...She was NOT my Mocha, I felt no real bond with her for over a year. She was 'okay' but I didn't feel any real attachment or bond. In some ways, at times, there was almost..anger? resentment? Because she was there, and she was not my Mo, and and and....

Fast forward a year...Little Miss Mags is now THE baby girl. We both call her that. She -answers- to it. "Baby girl?" "Meroooowl!" "Baaaaaby girl.." "MEROWL!" lol Her wee undersized self, with personality plus, has finally wiggled into my heart. Because I was ready.

It happens day by day, month by month. You go a few more days at a time without crying. I found myself smiling at her antics, despite myself, here and there. Particularly on days I could see that she was really, finally, feeling better. It took a long time to get her healthy. You find yourself smiling wistfully at a memory, rather than breaking down in tears. Someone tells a story, and your first reaction is warmth and joy, remembering "Ohhh, I remember the time Zeus did x!" And can tell the story with happy memories, not tears. Thats when you're on your way to healing.

She hasn't, could never, replace my Mocha. She was my "once in a lifetime' Cat. But now I'm able to remember her without crying (most of the time). Look at her pictures. Miss her. Think about how very different she and Mags are, but both dear. To remember that I went above and beyond, did everything I possibly could have for Mocha, and helped her to the bridge when it was time. My spunky little Mags actually helps me remember all the good things about Mo, warmly and with fondness.

I'm not suggesting you run out and get another dog (remember, I didn't even get the kitten till 15 months after Mo passed, and even then, not by choice) The point is....time does heal. And when your heart is ready, some other furball will wiggle in there and nestle in the spot of your heart, right next to where you keep Zeus thoughts. Not replacing them, but rather living side by side with them. And making the Zeus memories all the warmer and richer for the company. Once an animal person, always an animal person And I think both your Zeus and my Mo would 'want it that way'.

Hope you're feeling at least some better soon -hugs- You're in my thoughts...

Happily owned by:
Lads (Alladin's Folly) Red Husky (rescue)
Chester the cat (humane society)
Mags (Teeny Tortie Siamese runt, too "old" to be sold at 12 weeks)
Mocha (Chocolate Siamese) At the Rainbow Bridge, I'll always miss you.
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post #15 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 06:22 PM
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I feel for you, for the pain that you are feeling right now
I have a suggestion. Please don't take this otherwise and please ignore if this offends your beliefs. I think talking to a good reliable animal communicator can be quite helpful under certain circumstances. I went through a very rough patch with my Wolfie when he was very young (there were times when I thought he wouldn't make it). I'm not good at pouring out my feelings to people but talking to an animal communicator actually gave me strength in unexpected ways. It was oddly comforting and had a great positive effect on me and my relationship with Wolfie. Maybe something like this might help a little bit?

Wolfgang vom Kolenda (Wolfie) 5/5/08 - 7/24/12 -- You taught me so much, sweet boy
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post #16 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 06:50 PM
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There are also people who do beautiful pet portraits and people say it really helps to have their pet painted and looking down at them. I think if Zeus could speak to you he would probably say "hey, every minute we had together was wonderful". A good artist can capture that look and it can be very comforting.

Diane from Georgia
Lizzie's mom
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post #17 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much!!! I read all your posts, stories and poems with tears in my ears - tears of the heartache I'm going through but tears for having such wonderful and amazing people here that understand what I am going through. It's so hard to find people that REALLY understand what I'm going through.

I look at his pictures - still sitting next to me on this table and I look into his eyes and I know - I really, really know deep inside that he would not want me to be this sad. He was the happiest when I was happy. I am trying to hold onto that. I am trying to do as he would want me to do - be happy. It will happen. I have sooooooooooo many wonderful - absoultely beautiful memories of my boy. I look at his pictures and wonder how a dog could be so PERFECT - so intune to what my family needed and to my feelings, how could he be so protective yet so so so gentle. I look into his eyes in these pictures and can not believe he is gone - truly gone. He's not supposed to be gone. He was the last one I spoke to before going to bed - the first one that greeted me with his giant head ploped next to mind on the bed. He would always step all over my feet with his gianormus feet because he was so excited to see me. Even up til a day or two before he passed. Just a few days before he passed he was playing hide and seek with us - so full of life. He had a check up 2 or 3 weeks before he left us and was in such good shape. To call him a dog....doesn't seem to do him justice - dog isn't the right word.

I was trying to explain to a friend of mine how I felt about him when we would go out. If I was taking him to the vet or park or wherever and I would open the back of my truck and he jumped out - I would just stand there with him and I felt like this ray of sunlight shone right down on us and this heavenly music playing in the back ground. I felt sooooooooooooo proud to have Zeus as my dog. Everyone always said how beautiful he was and how stunning he was. ... And they are right - he was. And that's how I'll remember him - always. It's just so hard to say goodbye.

I liked The Journey! Thank you! I don't really have a special spot for Zeus - every place is special - every room has about 20 pictures of him. My bedroom has his ashes, favorite stuff animal, collar and more pictures. In the front of the house is his memorial tree that has some of his ashes at the base. He LOVED to look out those front windows - so I thought that was a good spot to plant his tree and sprinkle some of his ashes.

I am going to make this an early bed night. I'm starting to have a bad night again like last night. I know it will get easier with time. I just wasn't expecting it to get so much harder first. .... I turned my head to look at his pictures here..... My God - what an absolute perfect soul. I am so lucky that he was in our lives. I will see my hero again one day - and we will never again be seperated!!! I have to go to bed before I spend the whole night crying again.

Thank you all so much for your amazing help! It helps to know that there are people that understand my pain. Thank you!!!!

I hope I can hold it all together when we hopefully bring home our new family member this weekend. Zeus will give me the strength, for him - I will be strong.

This is one of my favorite poems of all time...

We Have A Secret

We have a secret, you and I

that no one else shall know,

for who but I can see you lie

each night in fire glow?

And who but I can reach my hand

before we go to bed

and feel the living warmth of you

and touch your silken head?

And only I walk woodland paths

and see ahead of me,

your small form racing with the wind

so young again, and free.

And only I can see you swim

in every brook I pass

and when I call, no one but I

can see the bending grass.

Author Unknown

Mom to furkids Thor, Athena, Apollo and Hera.
Waiting at The Bridge...
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Belle, Zeus, Skylar, Bret and Babe
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"To be upset over what you don't have is to waste what you do have".
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post #18 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-20-2010, 11:56 PM
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Linda, I am sooooo sorry for your loss. I wish I had some magic words to ease your pain. Many cyber ((((((((hugs))))))) to you...

GSD's Chevy, Shya, & Leilah
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R.I.P. Bear Bear (Chow) and sweet lil Kenji (GSD)

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
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post #19 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 12:55 AM
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Please, do, remember my story. While bringing a new animal, particularly a rescue animal, on board, can be something for you to focus on, to partially, but never really, 'fill the void'. While you're doing a totally selfless, wonderful thing, for another animal....it's not Zeus.

Please don't feel bad, if you feel no bond, no attachment, no connection, to your new guy, right away. Even if it doesn't happen for months. It WILL happen. When you are ready. It may not, and honestly probably will not, be the bond, love, connection you had with Zeus.

But in the meanwhile, this new dog is an outlet for you to focus your energy on, to comfort you when you cry. Another being that needs help. Try to focus, and hold onto that. Don't resent 'new guy'...because he is there, and your Zeus is not. Its not his fault (easier said than done, trust me I know.)

And. When you are ready? Maybe it will have taken 'new guy' just as long to get over his/her fear/issues/mistrust. And when you're both ready....new critter will wiggle its way into another place of your heart. Never Zeus's spot. That is his, and yours, and yours together, alone. But a new part, all this new critters. Maybe a spot nearly as close, or maybe a spot somewhere in between, but its spot, all its own.

And when you, and new critter, are both ready? You will know. You will smile. And it will be a good thing

Best wishes, always.

ps. Looking forward to pics!!!!

Happily owned by:
Lads (Alladin's Folly) Red Husky (rescue)
Chester the cat (humane society)
Mags (Teeny Tortie Siamese runt, too "old" to be sold at 12 weeks)
Mocha (Chocolate Siamese) At the Rainbow Bridge, I'll always miss you.
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post #20 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 02:05 AM
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I am sorry to hear about this, I have been hear a few days but that doesnt change the fact that it even makes me sad and made me teary eyed.. I am very sorry
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