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Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
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Posts: 1
Zoey, a huge white Labrador is the absolute love of my life. She passed away one year ago today. I came back from my vacation to find her buried in the backyard. I wanted to kill myself. She left me so unceremoniously. She was always there for me, even when she was just a puppy, she took care of me and fixed my brokenness. All I ever did was only take from her, I never gave back anything to her, and she made it seem like her life’s purpose was to fix me.
A year ago, just the thought of her death made me want to commit suicide, but I’ve gotten better today. I don’t want to die anymore because I found meaning in her death.
I just want to be with her right now so bad. Please please help me move on, I need to stop needing her. I know I lost the greatest thing that ever happens to me, but how do I just let her go? PLEASE HELP.

Posts: 1
The short answer is you don't. The grief becomes part of your life like learning to live with a chronic health condition. It doesn't mean you won't be able lead a full life or ever experience joy again or even love another dog again. But you'll never be quite the same person you were before. Like living with that health condition, living with grief is all about how you manage it. You can deny the condition and refuse to acknowledge your new reality and run the risk of it festering and end up potentially worse off, or on the other end of the scale, react to the condition as if your life is ruined and retreat into depression and withdraw from life. We've all heard about the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger bargaining etc)but grief is often not linear and it's different for everyone. Not everyone experiences all the steps or in the same order, and a lot of people revert back to one stage. What they don't tell you is you can get stuck on one and fall into the clinical condition of complicated grieving, where you're caught in a holding pattern. For some people, creating memorials to their pets and filling their homes with pictures can create this state for them; for others the opposite is true, when they purge their lives of all signs of their pet because they feel they "should move on" and it has the reverse effect of the intent. There are counselors out there who specialize in this and you might benefit from speaking to one. I don't know what your finances or life situation is like but help is available at every income level. You might even contact your dog's vet about it--depression is an unfortunate occupational hazard for them and they might be able to point you in the right direction.
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