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Discussion Starter #1
I didn't know where to post this - I'm crying so much I can hardly see the screen. I thought I was moving on. I thought I was getting better. Only breaking down 3 or 4 times a day instead of 15-20. I sit here and re-read my posts on when I posted about getting ready to say goodbye to Zeus - after we put him down - the pictures I posted. .... I'm sitting here with a huge picture frame of his pictures next to me. Looking at all the pictures of him with the kids - remembering he was with me for EVERY important moment in my life. My marriage, he welcomed every child I had into our home, he was with us every time we moved into a new house, he was my protector when my husband was away with the military and work, he was the one that made me laugh like the time I put him in the car - went to go around the other side to get in but Zeus locked himself in the car. So I called the cops to get him out and when the officer used his flashlight to try and get him out, Zeus kept going after the flashing and hitting the button to lock the car again ....I could go on and on. I look at all these pictures of him sleeping with the kids, sitting patiently with them while they ate - waiting for them to drop something. But he would NEVER take anything from them. I'm looking at the picture of when I took a picture of the 4 kids and at the last moment as I said - "say cheese" and I went to snap the picture, Zeus stuck his head infront of the camera and took up most of the picture. That's my boy! Oh God I miss him!

I can't seem to let go. It still seems unreal. It's been over 3 weeks. When will I move on??!! And why does it seem to be getting worse instead of better. .... I guess I'm just having an off night.

I'm sitting here sobbing and sobbing and when I was so upset Zeus would come to me - put his head in my lap and cry himself. He would actually cry until I stopped. I just can't seem to let go.

I guess I've been keeping myself so busy so I couldn't keep breaking down - I let myself slip up tonight and instead of doing laundry, dishes, cleaning after work - I just got the kids ready for bed and sat down and was just looking at my pictures of Zeus. It's so hard to say goodbye. I still hold his bag of ashes. Morbid to some - normal for me I guess. I guess I'm still in so much pain, I'm just having a bad night. He's not in pain anymore and that alone should make me feel more at peace - in a way it does - a big way because he out of anyone, did not deserve to suffer - I guess I'm just having a selfish night and I am thinking about myself too much and not the fact that he's not in pain anymore. I just miss him so much! :(:(:(:(
 

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Hey Linda,

First of all... big, big, big hugs from all of us to you.
Answering to your question (or pathetically trying to)...I don't know if one really lets go. Our heart just gets numb with time I guess. It's been 3 years since we lost Sidney and just today, on our way back home from our Wed night program at church, I was saying to my husband how much I still miss Sidney. My new shepherds are amazing and I love them dearly. I never, ever compare any of my current dogs to the ones we lost. It's not fair to anybody: the fallen hero, us or the new puppers. But even with 3 dogs running around, being awesome GSDs all the time... I still miss my Sidney. And I still feel that guilty pang of "what if?" for putting him down at 12 yo with his severe spondylosis that finally took away his hind body mobility and control.

It is hard to say goodbye but in the other hand you have an amazing history together, great memories and that legacy never goes. Don't be hard on yourself. It's a lifetime of love and it will take time to heal. It never really goes. The skin just gets tougher I suppose.

Again, super hugs from all of us, 2- and 4-legged alike. I'm sure Sidney and Zeus are having a ball together.
Love,
Ana
 

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It is a very real and deep grief. I hear what you are saying. A year later, I cry less but I don't think it hurts less. I have given myself permission to feel it. What a profound bond and love...

now crying myself..
 

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Thank you!!! :hugs: I am so tired - exhausted - eyes swollen - burning ... yet I can't sleep. I have to get up in a few hours to go to work - I don't understand how I can be so tired and can't sleep. Grieving - ... it's such a hard thing to deal with. :(
 

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Linda, please don't be so hard on yourself. You are NOT being selfish at all by feeling the pain. Yes you know that Zeus is not suffering now but you are still allowed to grieve and feel your pain. I am sitting here balling my eyes out after reading your post and it has been years since I lost my beloved dogs. I think you just have to do what works best for you...keep busy if you feel able but then also allow yourself times when you can cry. I am sending you a big virtual hug too. Take care.
 

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Linda,
Having been in your shoes, I can understand how you feel, my heart goes out to you.

All I can say is that you never forget, but it gets easier everyday.
My 1st Weimeraner Gabriella died 6 years ago and I still cry when I think about her dying in my arms, but I know that I did the right thing to end her suffering.
You did the right thing, and it's ok to cry and grieve.
 

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i didn't even get thru ur whole post when i had to reply. first of all LOTS OF HUGS TO U!!!! secondly though i haven't gone thru it yet with my current one, i'll have u know i did go thru this with my first ever GSD when i was growing up. and that has hardly gone away and i am 40 + now! people don't understand, to most they are dogs! which they are but they have no clue about how they have filled gaps in life, sometimes dare i say better than friends, children parents etc. so no use explaining to them. pain will go i promise in time(maye be a lot of time maybe not that much) and memories will be ur treasure, ur secret. so enjoy ur treasure and secret because only a few of us are fortunate to have them.
love and take care
 

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Linda, you never let go, you just don't hold on as tight. Sometimes you just have to let them walk around in your mind for a little while, as you did last night. As time goes on you will remember them with less sorrow and rejoice in all of the good things that they brought into your life.
 

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Crying now myself...I feel so bad for you. I am so sorry. I hope nights like last night become fewer. But I know the pain will never stop. I think time is the only thing that helps. But time takes so long....
 

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When I lost my niece I joined Compassionate Friends. They are for parents who have lost a child. I learned from them that there is NO CORRECT WAY to grieve. You do what feels right for you and helps you. When I lost my Summer (had to put her down and the vet wouldn't let me stay with her) I did not let myself grieve. I totally put it out of my life and went on....it came out much later and it was not a good thing. Don't deny your feelings and don't let anyone else tell you how to feel. Only you know the bond you had with him. Perhaps this would be a good time to think about honoring him in some way. Did you have a ceremony? Would you like to start a group for grieving pet parents? You could help lots of people and honor your best friend. I will be thinking about you.
 

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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
 

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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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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
 

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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...
 

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I feel for you, for the pain that you are feeling right now :hugs:
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?
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you all so much!!! :hugs::hugs::hugs: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!!!:wub: 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!!!! :hugs:

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​

 

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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...
 

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Hrm.

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!!!!
 

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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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