Your post is filled with so many regrets. And there are so many here including myself who have them. I had a dog named Tum who I raised from a puppy. She was so young when I adopted her that she couldn't go into the sit position without tipping over. I taught her everything. She had never walked up stairs before nor walked on the side of the road on a leash. Everything was new to her. She was so pretty. I think of anything, she was a pretty dog. Her face was pretty. Her eyes and her smile. She was truly "pretty". And so so friendly. Loved everyone. And always happy. Even in her sleep she smiled. I went to a blessing of the animals once and the priest doing the blessings noted that she was such a happy dog and blessed her saying her mission in life was to be happy. I think you get the picture. When she was still a puppy, I took to her obedience training. They had a contest of over 200 dogs and she won.
She was always healthy and towards the end of her life she started for the very first time to show signs that things were wrong. I was inexperienced and viewed some of those changes as naughty behavior and would lose my patience with her. For example when her hearing started to change. I thought she was ignoring me. Mind you, this is a dog who was straight out of central casting as sheer perfection. She would never "ignore" me. But that is what I thought.
All of her life I used say "How could I have been so lucky to have adopted HER". She was so popular with others. Her life was filled with compliments from people. When I first too her to a vet, it was on a Saturday. I had just adopted her and the waiting room was packed. I walked in with her and the entire waiting room once said "Ahhhh". Mind you I did not know the people so they were not saying it for me. It was my first time there. She was that adorable. It was a thrill to be mother to such a well liked dog. But more so, she was my daughter. I have had misfortunes in life and I understand despair. To have adopted a dog that was almost unreal was such a blessing for me. I don't believe in "God" but if there is one, I was truly blessed in having her. Of all the people to get her, I was blessed out of this world.
It wound up Tum had cancer at the end of her life, but I did not know that. I viewed the changes in her behavior as old age. Losing her bowels in the house and walking slow. She stopped eating and I finally took her to the vet. The vet decided she had cancer by as the vet said "I feel a tumor" and I decided right there on the spot to have her euthanized. Afterwards I don't have to tell you I had a full blown nervous breakdown. I started to scream in the office after the needle was given to her and she lay there dead. The vet insisted I not drive my car home in my condition and a tech drove me home driving my car as another tech followed in her car to provide transportation back to the office for the one driving my car. They even said they were considering calling an ambulance for me.
As the days and weeks unfolded, I thought I would die. Mornings were horrible. I would wake up with severe chest pain. I went to the doctor and he prescribe prescription pain killers. I eventually wanted to end my life and seriously considered it. I could not believe what I had done. How do you end someone's life? I held myself responsible for KILLING MY DAUGHTER! Finally things got so bad I knew I was going to have end things. So I decided I would look for poison to take.
Somehow very shortly after that, things took a turn for the better. The desire to take poison lifted but the anguish still remained. Only it was not as intense. It was a 10 on a scale from 1-10, now maybe it was a 9. It had lessened some. I was relieved because I could not continue to live with this torture. As time unfolded, the pain lessened. Went down to an 8. You have to understand that I was as basketcase after her euthanasia. How anyone like me could improve was doubtful.
I spent alot of time calling pet loss hotlines. But it was as long way back. One night I went to a field where she and I spent alot of time it. It was 10pm and no one was there. I walked around the field calling her name and looking in the bushes for her where she used to like to explore and have fun. I was a mess. Maybe she was still alive and I didn't know it. A huge problem for me was where was she now. Who was loving her and who was taking care of her. I had pampered her so much that I was terrified she was now alone somewhere and being ignored and not taking care of. But if she was being taken care, BY WHOM? I was protective of her and was fussy about who I let near her. Now she was out of my hands and I had no idea who was providing for her. It was mental torture. I don't believe in "God" and that wasn't helping. I don't see her as being at the Rainbow Bridge romping around with rainbows and unicorns. I needed to know where my daughter was and who had her. I was furious that someone...life...could come right into our lives, my home and steal my daughter (death). I felt my girl had been kidnapped in a way because I had not given life permission to take her. I was furious.
She died in 2013. This is now 2020. We just had New Year's one day ago. I can tell you now that I am maybe a 5 on that scale of 1-10. I no longer need the pain medicine for the morning chest pains and I don't wake up tortured. (Oh how I dreaded mornings. I woke up to a nightmare.) But that part is remarkably gone.
When Tum died I was so upset that as she lay there on the floor where the vet had euthanized her.. I did something I had heard a mother do about her dying son. She had a son who was dying and as he lay dying, she told him 100 times that she loved him. She said she did that because she wanted him to have enough "I love you's" to take with him wherever he was going so when he got there, he felt loved. As Tum lay on the floor dead in the vet's office, I decided to do the same. Only I took it a step further. I told her 1000 (one thousand) times that I loved her. And I kissed her as many times. I asked a vet tech to keep track of how many times I was telling her. The vet tech left off at about 350 and then said she had to get back to work. So I took over and had the pad and pencil and each time I told Tum I loved her (and kissed her) I checked it off. And I made it to 1000. I still have the paper. I loved her so much that I wanted to give her enough love to carry here though.. wherever she was now and wherever she was going. I did not want her to be afraid.
You mentioned you are scared. I was too. You are scared because you have had a traumatic event. And trauma can cause fear. Trust me, in time you will not be afraid.
You are not going to go back to the person you were. But you will go back to a person who isn't crying all the time and can function. I worked at Best Buy and used to get hysterical driving home after work while behind the wheel. Life was terrifying to me. How could Tum be dead? What had happened?
I know you are besides yourself. But you are going to be OK.
I am so sad to learn of the passing of your girl. I know you regret not calling the vet office 15 minutes later and that you made this decision to take place the day after Christmas as OK. I know you think dying on a stainless steel table was the worst. I get it all. Trust me, you will never forget these things, but the blow of all of this is going to soften someday. By that I mean, the stinging, burning intensity won't be as strong. It will happen slowly. One step forward, two steps backward.
I am sending you lots of love. You are dead inside right now. I have hope for you.