Registered: 1580168803 Posts: 7
Reading these posts has helped me a lot. I'm really struggling today because I had to put my best friend, Luna, to sleep yesterday. She had been diagnosed with mammary tumors 7 weeks ago and while I initially wanted to at least consider surgery, there were so many tumors that there would not have been enough skin to cover, so I decided not to. I cried nearly constantly in the last 7 weeks knowing that our time together was limited. I hated myself, feeling negligent for not noticing and addressing the tumors sooner, but this is what happened. In the last few weeks, the tissue surrounding the tumors began to break apart and there was blood and infection. She was on pain meds and antibiotics and I hate myself for not starting those sooner but I didn't know how bad it had become. I know cats don't show pain as we would expect and she was particularly good at hiding pain. I went back and forth on putting her to sleep sooner rather than later and opted for sooner because I just didn't want her to suffer more. I didn't know what to do. I don't know if i I made the right choice. She was still affectionate with me but I could tell she was uncomfortable. Luna was alert and she fought the vet tech when they put the catheter in and the sounds of her crying just shredded my heart. I worry that she was scared and angry when she had to leave this world. All I wanted for her was peace. I held her and she kissed my face twice but I am overcome with guilt and searing pain. I don't have a partner or children and I live alone. I have family and friends but Luna completed my heart and my life in a way I didn't think was possible, nor can I ever adequately describe. Coming home to an empty house and sleeping without her next to me fills me with dread and debilitating pain. I'm not sure where to go or how to get past this deep hurt. I made a list of things I love about her, looked at all of our pictures and videos, I sleep with her favorite toy. I am so thankful I met her and I am positively broken.
Registered: 1539391042 Posts: 43
I am so sorry for your loss of Luna. Everyone on this board understands and knows this pain. There is no perfect time, or if there is, there is no way that we would know what it is. The desire to do our best for our beloved animals, but yet not having perfect knowledge or control, is a tremendous source of guilt. But you have no reason to feel guilty. You made the best decisions you could for her with the information that was available, and that is all any of us can do. Luna was blessed to have someone who loved her so much. It sounds as if she was in pain and the future would only be worse.
The loss is also very hard. It will hurt for quite some time. Luna will always be there with you and so will the loss, but eventually you will have more control over when to feel it rather than being overtaken by it. Everyone grieves differently. In my case, it was a hard year or so. One of the things I discovered is that grief can weaken your immune system; I got sick. Be mindful of the need for self care in this difficult time. Make sure you eat right, sleep if you can, and exercise (which will help you sleep). Find a way to redirect your mind when it insists on going over and over the doubts and the guilt and the self accusations and the hard last moments. Big hugs to you.
Registered: 1580168803 Posts: 7
Thank you so much for your thoughtful and generous note. I think what you said is important and true - we can never know for sure, we can only work with the information we are given and what we know from our blessed time and experience with our pet. Every minute is pure struggle right now, but I take comfort and some peace reading the messages here. I'm sorry for your loss and I thank you again for writing to me. It means more than I can say.
Registered: 1580270845 Posts: 7
I know how you feel. My sweet Molly slept with me every night and followed me everywhere. Losing her has broken my heart in so many pieces. I, too, live alone and feel such emptiness; I don’t think others understand the grief I feel. I’m grateful for a place like this. Just a reminder that what we did was out of love for our pet even if we made mistakes. And I think they know we loved them.