Coping with Loss

When you want support through something scary or rough, and help pulling yourself together and getting through, this is the place.
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We ask that users looking for general, ongoing emotional support post in this area of the boards, and that you use this space to both ask for, give and receive that support primarily from each other, rather than from our staff and volunteers. As a staff, we simply are often too overextended with all we need to do in running the organization and its services to do that for extended periods of time, and one of our main aims of our community at the boards has always been to facilitate peers to better be there for each other.

Users often report that they have no in-person peers they can talk to or seek support from: we want this to be a space for online peer support and somewhere everyone can get some practice asking for, getting and giving support so that doing it with people in your lives feels more doable.

Please remember that neither staff, volunteers nor your fellow users can provide or replace mental healthcare when that is something you need. Users struggling with issues like anxiety, depression, abuse or physical health issues are strongly encouraged to seek out qualified, in-person help with those issues in addition to peer or staff support.
Digdawg
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My Awesomeness Quotient: I love my pets!
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My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: USA

Coping with Loss

Unread postby Digdawg » Wed Nov 04, 2020 10:06 am

Hi Scarleteen.
Last night was traumatic for me. Election aside, I watched my cat die. His name was Dean. He was playing and bouncing around and being himself, and then he just started seizing on the floor. He didn’t have any conditions we knew about.
I don’t know how to cope with this. I lost another cat, Clyde, back in February, but she was 19, and it was just expected that she would go soon. Dean was only about four years old, this was just so sudden. I was quicker to accept Clyde’s passing due to the circumstances surrounding her death.
It feels like I had a giant chunk of myself ripped away from me. We plan on burying him later today, it was too late last night to do so. Some support and kind words would help.
Thank you

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
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Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Heather » Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:44 pm

I'm so sorry to hear this, Digdawg. I have dealt with sudden pet loss like this a couple times now (and sudden human loss, too) and my experience is that it's so, so painful and really devastating. To have that happen on last night, no less, sounds just awful.

I get how you're feeling, and I understand. With any kind of grieving, it's always such a unique path, but I think one of the few universals is that doing what we can to just let ourselves have and feel our feelings is usually very helpful. Do you have the space to let yourself just feel how you're feeling, just for today, to start? Can you be okay in not being okay like that for a bit?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Digdawg
not a newbie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:13 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love my pets!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: USA

Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Digdawg » Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:29 pm

I was able to take the day off from class today. My professor understand when I emailed him, and let me know which chapters of our textbook we were going to focus on.
We buried him earlier. My boyfriend came over before work to help. I cried the whole time.
I think I’m okay with not being okay right now. I can’t go back and fix it, I did everything I could to love him and keep him healthy. And it hurts, and that’s okay, because that solidifies to me just how special he was.
I’ve been spending my day just trying to make it. I think that’s all I’m going to be able to do for a while.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
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Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Sam W » Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:23 am

Hi Digdawg,

I'm glad you were able to take the day for yourself, and that your boyfriend was there to support you. I lost a pet a similar way this year, and I think you're absolutely right; at the end of the day, the fact that you loved him and took care of him is what matters, even if the loss hurts something fierce.

How are you doing today?

Heather
scarleteen founder & director
Posts: 8509
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:43 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know every word of The Lorax by heart.
My primary language: english
My pronouns: they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queery-queer-queer
Location: Chicago

Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Heather » Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:28 am

Just checking in on you, Digdawg. I hope you're hanging in there. <3
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Digdawg
not a newbie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:13 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love my pets!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: USA

Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Digdawg » Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:57 pm

I’m very sorry, I had class yesterday and today was my boyfriend’s day off, so I went to see him.
I’m doing a little better every day. It’s still fresh, and hurts really bad, but I feel like it’s sunken in that he’s gone. I talk to him, either at the tree he’s buried under or to objects I feel are connected to him, like the fur I cut off of him. I mostly let him know that I love him and tell him about my day like I did when he was alive.
I’m involved in paganism and witchcraft, and am a particular fan of tarot cards. I found a spread online that helped me understand what I was feeling and how I connected with Dean. There was a card in that spread that was meant to describe whoever had died, and I pulled The Hermit reversed. The Hermit represents isolation, introspection, and safety. Reversed can mean coming back out into the world among other things. It’s fitting to me, because he was a very social cat, he enjoyed being around my family and I, and was the opposite of a hermit.
My boyfriend showed me that he had ordered a stuffed cat that looks pretty similar to him. He’s done this before with my other cats after they’ve passed. I know it’s not Dean, but at least he can sleep next to me again, in a way.

Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 7249
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
My primary language: english
My pronouns: she/her
My sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:05 am

Those all sound like really wonderful ways of healing and looking after yourself (and what a lovely gesture from your boyfriend). I'm a fan of tarot too, and I'm so glad that spread helped you so much <3

Digdawg
not a newbie
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:13 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I love my pets!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: USA

Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Digdawg » Mon Nov 09, 2020 10:59 pm

He’s wonderful, he gave me stuffed animals resembling the other cats I’ve lost in the past. I intend on dressing the one that represents Dean in a bunny hat I had bought for him to wear (that he did not enjoy no matter how handsome it made him). I may need to alter it for a smaller head, but it’ll keep my hands busy while also giving me happy memories of him.

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
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Re: Coping with Loss

Unread postby Mo » Tue Nov 10, 2020 5:34 pm

I think that sounds really lovely. I'm currently dealing with a lot of grief from losing my beloved cat to cancer at the end of September and I've found myself doing a lot of thinking about ways to honor her that feel meaningful to me. I'm glad you're finding some ways to continue to feel connected to Dean and your memories of him.


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