Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
It's been 12 1/2 weeks since Herbie died. Two years ago, Belle died. It's been strange for me that I have not greived for Belle for a while. She died 2 years ago, it blew my world apart. I lost 2 ferals within a few months after that and we had all been a family for so many years. 5 of them in total and 2 others that I lost a few years before that.
I fell apart after Belle died and was so worried about Herbie. He missed her so much and then the others were gone so quickly. I've worked form home for ten years but had to take a job outside the home for 6 months. So Herbie, as you can imagine, was a mess. He lost Belle, then Cookie, then Ladybug and then me. I would come home at night and he would be laying on the back of the sofa staring at the door waiting for me. My heart was breaking because I missed Belle so much -- She was my first and though Herbie was the little man of the house, Belle knew she was #1. I was in shock at all the losses so close together and focused heavily on Herbie. I hated the job and simply quit, The weather turned nicer and so we saw more of the one remaining feral who would not come in house but lived under it. Herbie was so glad his Mama was home! It had been a year since Belle died and it was a very, very bad year with him losing 3 of his 4 friends and his Mama suddenly being gone all the time after I'd been home for so many years. Little by little he got better, and I think since a year (bad year) had gone by since I lost my Belle, and things were looking better as I saw Herbie finally get a bit better, it helped me get better. But for ten years it was always Belle and Herbie and I loved them equally. And I know I grieved for Belle hard like I am grievign for Herbie. But I have not been able to understand why I have not been grieving Belle these past 3 months and before. I guess it's because I was so focused on Herbie. When Belle died, I had Herbie to comfort me. And now I've no one to comfort me now that Herbie is dead. But these past few days, I have been thinking about both Belle and Herbie and so many memories of our years together and coming to the forefront and my pain has become intensified. Has anyone else every experienced this? That you had gone thru your grieving over a pet and then when the other one died, after awhile the two heartbreaks start to become intertwined? I have actually felt guilty that I have not felt the pain of Belle's death lately even though I remember how very, very hard it was 2 years ago. In fact, in addition to the individual losses of Belle and Herbie, I lost two of the three ferals and so it is this whole big chunk of my life that took so much time and thought and care that is rather suddenly gone. I'm just overwhelmed by the loss. Also, the funny thing is, since Belle came to me first, I alway referred to them as "Belle and Herbie" but since I started posting on this site, I've been Herbie's Mom or Herbie and Belle's Mom. I would love to hear from others on this. I am also wondering if we on this site are somehow different from others who lose pets in that we grieve so hard for so long. Herbie and Belle's Mom (or, Belle and Herbie's Mom!)
Registered: 1206744372 Posts: 174
Dear Herbie and Belle's mom:
I lost Daisy my oldest cat this past November and had 2 other cats hospitalized a couple of weeks apart over the holidays. I wasn't paying attention to my youngest cat Sherry probably because I couldn't deal with any more losses so close together. Those older cats recovered by Sherry got worse and by the time I made an appt. to taker her to the vets it was too late to save her and she had to be pts at the emergency hospital. I loved Daisy and she and Sherry were the only 2 of the 6 cats who stayed with my husband and I upstairs and slept with us. My husband brought home a kitten without asking me only 2 days after Daisy died and Sherry never went upstairs again. All of this haunts me and as much as I loved Daisy her death was mourned but not nearly as much as what I've been going through these last 2 months since Sherry died. I think that they are all unique with their own personalities and although we love them all dearly there are heart cats that you bond with more strongly. Daisy slept with me but she'd been a feral and came in when she was already 10 years old but Sherry came as kitten. Sherry would also nurse between my neck and shoulders and none of my other cats did that. Now I sleep with Phoebe the new kitten but even though I'm very fond of her, I can't help feeling that Sherry is still angry about Phoebe taking her place. I even dreamed last week that Sherry was hissing at Phoebe and that made me feel even worse. I know how much you loved them both but since Herbie and you had helped each other with the loss of Belle and the other outdoor cats you bonded a lot more strongly with him. Hopes this helps a bit. Love, Rena (Sherry and Daisy's mom)
Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
Thank you, Rena. I think you are right. With the losses I became so determined to help Herbie, and in turn, he helped me. We both missed Belle so much. In the two years we had together after she died, Herbie and I became very close. We always had been, but he had this whole busy life and I was an important part of it, but it wasn't until the others died that I became almost his whole life. For Belle, she liked Herbie and was attached to him, and she could take or leave the others -- but I was the main focus for her. She had the spot on the bed closest to me and when she died, I got Herbie to sleep in that spot. I think he knew he had to be there for me.
But now, grieving the both of them together is almost too much for me to handle.
Registered: 1193533588 Posts: 991
First let me give my condolences for your loss of your ferals and of Herbie and Belle. Losing so many so close together is so difficult.
When I lost Molly, I returned to thoughts of my wire hair fox terrier of 15 years, Cricket, whom I lost just 7or 8 months before I got Moll. I went over how I had cared for her (or not, to my way of sometimes thinking), her last days with us, the circumstances surrounding her death. I was guilt laden because I thought I had been a better mom to Molly than to Cricket. I knew more; I was better educated in the ways of terriers. I went through weeks of torture as I relived my tremendous grief over losing Cricky. I hadn't mourned her for better than 8 years. We had Moll for ten years. So most of the time with Moll was without thinking about Crick.
I too sign myself as Molly's Mom. When I think about it, I'll sign Molly and Crick's Mom.
Someone told me here that one loss will bring alive memories of other losses. I think that is true.
Hope this helped. You are not unique and you are not alone.
Registered: 1206414832 Posts: 196
Oh, how I wish I could just go back to the beginning, knowing what I know now. There are things I would do so differently. Unfortunately, all the knowledge we gain about pet care we learn "on the job" or afterwards. Sometimes I think I know more than some vets about certain aspects of pet care, health and treatment and prevention. But I learned too late.
Registered: 1165673356 Posts: 10
I don't believe Sherry is angry because Phoebe has "taken her place" which is impossible. It took me several months to find Clancy and when he died I knew I would eventually want another male cat. I assumed it would again take me several months but we found the right cat after one week--Tigger. Tigger is quite different from Clancy but we love him for who he is and his unique personality. I mentioned to my then-husband that I felt guilty getting a kitten so soon. I had barely begun the grieving over Clancy but if we didn't adopt Tigger, somone else would have. My then-husband said, "Clancy's not upset about Tigger, he wants us to be happy." I remember one morning Tigger got into Clancy's favorite spot and Clancy's ghost came and made Tigger move.
Registered: 1205715660 Posts: 763
Dear Herbie and Belle's mom, I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. I do think it is normal since you have had so many losses in such a short time. One loss will bring back memories of the others. How they were similar, how they were different, what did I do wrong, who do I have left now? We transfer our love to those that are left and still need us, as we need them. I have 5 cats now. I'm paranoid about Mr. Meowgy's sister. I watch every little move she makes or doesn't make. I couldn't bear losing her as she is my connection to my beloved Mr. M.
You never forgot your Belle, you were just focusing on Herbie because you were worried about him, afraid you would lose him too. Perfectly normal I think. Some people, like us who come here, feel emotion more deeply. It is harder for us to accept change. Others do not feel emotions as strongly and can move on with their lives more readily. Sometimes I wish I was like that. Sorrow and grief can take a toll on a person. It is on me and I think on you too. There is nothing we can do. We will have bad days and really bad days. We have no choice but to accept this sad fact. I wish I had some magic words but as you know there really aren't any. I wish you peace and comfort. Donna, Mr. Meowgy's mom
Registered: 1208639458 Posts: 115
I am so sorry you are feeling so much pain with the losses of your beloved pets.It seems so unfair when we love them so much and then they are gone that we must suffer just because we miss and love them so much.we do suffer because we do love them so much so its the price we pay for caring however unfair that may seem.You loved belle and herbie so much and it shows in your words.You helped me so much when i posted about putting my 161/2 year old chewy to sleep and i wish i take away the pain you are feeling.Just know that you loved and cared for them so much and they will always be with you in your heart.Your bond cannot be taken away just because they are psychically gone.It is natural to think of others we have lost especially when you have lost so many in a short time.When I lost my chewy i also have a pug who i kind of put aside as most of my attention was taking care of chewy with her ailments, after chewy died i was crying on the floor and my pug came over and licked away my tears as they came down.It is normal to pass on our love to another and it is not any disservice to the ones we lost when we show affection for another.We always will love our beloved and that relationship will always be there but we can still love and care for another without feeling like we betrayed our beloved.Your babies are very lucky you spend so much loving time with them and you will meet them again someday.Take care of yourself