I am so very sorry you've lost your wonderful Molly - and so very sorry you're in this dark place.
I think that depression is one of many challenges people can face after the death of a beloved pet – real depression, not the kind that is tied up in grief, but actual clinical depression that so easily takes you over if you’re hard-wired that way and have had to struggle with depression in the past. Now, with this depression, it seems you've distilled the twelve years of love you shared with Molly into a very distorted and very hopeless picture of your future. So, please try to hear me, and know that I really do understand and want to try and help you.
Acorn, you've lost more than your beloved best friend, you've lost part of your identity. Your grief isn't just for her but for that part of yourself that you believe died with her. For who are you if you're not Molly’s parent, caring for, sharing her trust and total devotion? The truth is, you don't know, just as I didn't when my little dog Fiona died. I lost her and I lost myself, just as you're feeling now. I stopped eating, stopped sleeping, and I looked like hell because I was in hell. What's the point, I asked myself?
I tell you these things to let you know that these feelings are normal, understandable, EXPECTED. You can’t be the same person you were when your beloved little girl was with you. But what absolutely did not die with her was the love, the care, the ability you have to bond with another creature so deeply and so strongly. You had these things inside and Molly benefitted from this, and so did you, as you created a special and unique relationship that you thought could be forever. But now the challenge is to take her loss and try to transform it into a powerful foundation for what lies ahead. And there is so much ahead, I promise you with all my heart.
Molly didn't create you and she didn't create the heart that loved her. She simply came along and drew out all that lived inside you. You were a team, a family, you came together as a package and now just one of you is left to move forward. It's unbearably frightening and devastating because you literally cannot connect to a life that doesn't have her in it. Like Fiona was for me, Molly was your heart and soul, and to try to make sense of her loss is breathtakingly impossible at this moment.
So, what happens now? I truly wish I could tell you. I believed with all my heart that I would simply never recover, never be happy, never find peace again. I KNEW that I alone would be the exception to the rule that people do move ahead, do find life and love again. I know that's just how you feel now. You truly believe that this suffering will be forever because you cannot find the answers you need to get through the next day or the next week. At this moment you're stuck, frozen in time at the moment Molly died. For a variety of reasons, you've not been able to move beyond the early stages of grief and it's becoming a chronic condition. All thoughts concerning Molly, her life and her death are negative. You've changed your perception of yourself from one of a 'good parent’ to a terrible person as you micro-analyze the authenticity of the life you shared with her. Twelve years of shared love have become the foundation for a bleak and dark future. It's not true, but your depression and grief want you to believe that it's true.
Acorn, it was Molly who died. You did not. And if you're to regain your peace then I cannot imagine it will be without Molly. Talk to her, ask for her help and guidance to become, again, the person she adored. Tell Molly that her example of living life to the fullest is worth copying because she showed you how. Tell her you miss her, you want her, and that you'll never let her go because her love is such a positive influence, not a trigger for negative thinking. Allow yourself, even for a moment, to imagine what you would have wanted for Molly if it had been you who left. Your thoughts would be of hope that Molly would thrive and find her footing without you, because she deserved that happiness.
So do you. And I believe this is what Molly understood, too. You’re too special, too important, to let the love you have to share stop because of Molly’s passing. If it takes some kind of counselling or external support to help you get there then do it. Molly was a light, and arriving at a place where you really believe this can chase away the darkness. Maybe, someday and when you’re ready, you could bond again with another pet because that capacity is inside YOU – it didn’t come from Molly. But you’re nowhere near ready to think about this – and you don’t have to, because you need to allow Molly’s light to lead you out of the darkness you find yourself in. She’s left you, but I know she hasn’t really left you – you get to keep this love, this relationship, forever. From now on, every smile, every moment of peace, every good friendship or relationship, will come from the place you and Molly created – because that’s what she has taught you, and this truth can never die. She gave you what you need to move forward.
Take a deep breath, feel my hand in yours, and know that your future is every bit as important, and worth it, as your past. Molly would expect no less of you, and she’d be right. Please write again, I’d love to hear more about her, who she was, what made her so special to you. I am thinking of you right at this moment, and I hope you can feel every ounce of support and care I have coming to you through this note. You matter.