Advice please ...

For all your feline miscellany - any interesting stories, news or subjects that do not fit in the other sections.
Post Reply
issiandarchie+68
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 10:45 am

Advice please ...

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:29 am

Hi Guys. Well, here's the thing. Beautiful Si has gone to her new home, a lovely family at the end of our street, and we are now a totally pet free household, well apart from the spider that was on the bed this morning and it's totally enormous Dad in the hall! Anyhow,I have grieved for my losses over a long lifetime, and after the loss of my wee geezer Armand and darling Cody, I awoke every morning with a churning stomach which I was assured was part of the grieving process and as before would pass quickly. Unfortunately, it hasn't and I have suffered this horrible feeing for over 3yrs, not helped by my recent loss of beloved Gandhi. Now please be assured I am not looking for sympathy nor feeling sorry for myself, lord knows there are people with far worse problems out there, it's just a chat. So anyway, I get up and get on with my day, the anxious/fearful feeling passes.. until the next morning. I do seem to recall I asked this question shortly after my cat's demise under 'Night time terrors' and had some really kind and helpful responses which I can't locate. But surely it should have passed by now? Has anyone else experienced this 'fear' and if so, what did you do to make it stop?
Many thanks
Issi

User avatar
Mollycat
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 527
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: Advice please ...

Post by Mollycat » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:11 pm

Well, I qualified as a counselling therapist more than a decade ago and my chosen specialist field was grief and loss. One of the reasons I went into this study was after a particularly difficult loss, my feline soulmate. I'm not an expert but shall we call it my area of interest.

In a word, no. It 'should' not anything by now or any other when. There is no time on grief. There is no right or wrong to feelings, pain or joy, love or anger. Nobody else can prescribe how long you should grieve, and you of all people must not impose limits on your grief.

I'm sure we have all had someone at some time tell us it was 'just' a pet, it's not as if it was human or anything. Yet in some ways the loss of our furry friends is harder. We might have spoken to Granny every Sunday, so Sunday evenings will bring up memories and sadness. But our cats occupy every moment, from waking to sleep. They demand food, offer love, trip us up, entertain us, come in with a gift, miaow at the bathroom door, shout for some of that delicious roast beef - every corner of the house, every activity, our relaxation time, is loaded with their absence. What's the point of getting up in the morning when there's no cat to feed? How can we face sitting in our favourite chair where the cat used to instantly jump up purring, when the silence will be like a knife in our guts? And to cap it all, we can't talk, because people will judge, people will make us feel pathetic. It's their problem that they can't hear our sadness, not ours!

I strongly recommend one of two books by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the author of the Five Stages of grieving. The idea has been oversimplified and discredited be people who haven't taken the time to understand it. The two books are On Grief and Grieving, and Life Lessons. Both cover the same area and in fact share a lot of the same material, but as the names imply one is more about allowing grief to do its work while the other is more about moving on. I prefer the first but the second is lighter and more palatable to most people, though both are written with extraordinary gentleness, warmth and compassion. I don't mean to fob you off with a book because a book doesn't replace sharing conversation with real people, but EKR gives you permission to grieve in a way I can't put into words.

Yes I think in a way I get the fear you describe. I call it a gut-wrenching grief, a dread of facing the day without whoever it is that's most recently been taken out of my reach. A real, physical pain. I don't try to make it go away. It's an important part of grieving, grieving is an important part of life. It's a growing pain - an emotional growing pain. It does get less but be kind to yourself because it can make you lazy for taking care of yourself and that can lead to problems. But if you let it do its work and let those feelings have their time, they are part of your healing.

User avatar
exlibris
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:13 pm
No. of cats in household: 2
Location: Middlesbrough

Re: Advice please ...

Post by exlibris » Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:24 pm

Well put Mollycat.

If you feel like you want to express your feelings, but are always holding back, try emailing the Samaritans. Before you go "but I'm not suicidal!!!!", that's NOT what they're about. They just listen, and goodness knows I've told them about things I'd never say to my friends or family because I've felt those close to me wouldn't take me seriously, or they'd be worried about me. I've told the Samaritans some really minor worries, but also about major health problems. Because they are totally anonymous you can say things you can't say to anyone else. They will understand your grief, and anything else that is putting pressure on your life. They always reply and they never judge. The email is [email protected]

Look after yourself :)

issiandarchie+68
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 10:45 am

Re: Advice please ...

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:06 pm

Thanks for taking the time to post your thoughtful responses guys, but honestly, I'm fine, that's why I posted in GC rather than Bereavement. As for 'not being able to express my feelings', well, I have always been fortunate in being able to do that in grieving for all my losses, both animal and human over the years, I have been shown nothing but kindness, compassion and generosity of spirit. DonnaK recently wrote 'I feel blessed' and I know exactly how she feels. Don't be offended Mollycat, but I simply don't hold with the philosophy of 'it's their problem if they don't understand'. We simply do not know what is going on in other peoples lives, what heartache or pain they are suffering. But I respect your opinion as, In turn, I don't know what have suffered, how people have responded to you. But you have shown me kindness in trying to help, offering advice and I am grateful for that. I think, with encroaching age, this minor but horrible morning fear will stay with me, it hasn't disappeared as quickly as in times past, but it also hasn't killed me yet. I read one of EKR's books some time back Mollycat, might be worth a second reading. I have also been dipping into 'The Art of the Good Life' by Rolf Dobelli, especially chapter 18 headed ' You can change yourself but not Other People' which struck a cord with me. Ah well... we soldier on...and pour another glass of wine. Incidentally, the spider and it's ginormus dad are still here, better not sleep with me gob open tonight!!

Issi

issiandarchie+68
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 10:45 am

Re: Advice please ...

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 4:13 pm

exlibris wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:24 pm
Well put Mollycat.

If you feel like you want to express your feelings, but are always holding back, try emailing the Samaritans. Before you go "but I'm not suicidal!!!!", that's NOT what they're about. They just listen, and goodness knows I've told them about things I'd never say to my friends or family because I've felt those close to me wouldn't take me seriously, or they'd be worried about me. I've told the Samaritans some really minor worries, but also about major health problems. Because they are totally anonymous you can say things you can't say to anyone else. They will understand your grief, and anything else that is putting pressure on your life. They always reply and they never judge. The email is [email protected]

Look after yourself :)
Thank you Exlibris, I do hope that whatever illness ails you has passed and you are feeling better. 'Minor worries', those are the ones that keep us awake at night aren't they? Seem to loom large, grow arms and legs then prepare to fly out the window! I'm lucky in that I've always been supported but have kept the link you gave me, after all, none of us know what's around the corner do we?

Issi

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Advice please ...

Post by Mayday21 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:03 am

Hi Issi that’s what I love about this site folks so understanding & helpful no matter what. You’re in my thoughts. If you feel like a couple of weeks on the other side of the world let me know. I just need notice to get the house in order. :lol: Vivian & The Famous Four from Oz.

issiandarchie+68
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 10:45 am

Re: Advice please ...

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:01 pm

Why thank you Viv, you never know, I might just turn up with my little red spotted hanky carrying my meagre possessions, tied on the end of a stick. Reminds me of a longstanding friend and work colleague, lovely woman, who planned to visit her brother and his family, long ago settled in Australia. Oh she made us ssoo jealous, a hard worker, she waxed lyrical about the sunshine, the food, the chance to spend 3 weeks by the pool recuperating. She sighed with relief as she stepped off the plane... to be met by her brother and sister in law, brandishing an itinerary of activities, the first of which was climbing Sydney Harbour bridge the very next morning! She arrived back at work a good stone lighter, greyer of hair with bags under her eyes you could have used to carry home the cabbages. Did we laugh and tease her? What do you think, of course we did, we are not very nice people. But my friend being sweet of nature, she soon forgave us after we being taken out for a wine and pasta filled evening and oohing and aahing over her photos. But you wouldn't do that to me would you pet? You would soothe my troubled brow, waiting on me hand and foot while I lay happily covered in the contented Furry 4 from Oz. :)

Issi

User avatar
Mayday21
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 835
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:44 am
No. of cats in household: 4
Location: Australia

Re: Advice please ...

Post by Mayday21 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:38 pm

Hi Issie believe me whatever you felt like doing .. and I’m not good with heights so climbing our Storey Bridge for a view of the city & river wouldn’t be on the agenda. Perhaps a drive to the beach where we could sit & have an ale or a wine overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As for your friend, the jet lag wouldn’t have helped :lol: Harper loves visitors!! “Look at me, look at me!” Vivian & the Famous Four from Oz.

Post Reply