Fear of Dying

Fear of losing our beloved pets can be consuming. One blogger asks "How do you deal with it?"

This past January, we said goodbye to our 15 year old lab, Jessie Mae. While her passing was inevitable, the lingering sadness remains. It took me a good month to “come out of it” and out of the blue, many days, I burst into tears remembering my beloved girl and all of her wonderfulness. Forget the joy she brought us-that goes without saying.

We still have three remaining, young, healthy (although this past month has been allergy hell….with one needing ear hematoma surgery) standard poodles who fill us with constant joy, love and big, wet kisses. One has been with us just a short year-a puppy mill stud rescued last June. The other two we rescued at 12 weeks and 6 months, respectively. What permeates over my thoughts is, how will we go through this again? It seems just when you get to know them, adore them, and give your entire heart to them...they say goodbye.

I don’t think that I can go through it again.  I fear that I will fall into an emotional oblivion and never be able to function successfully without my “Little Bit”.

When I look at my female standard, Dixie, I feel the most love I’ve ever felt for any one/anything-inclusive of my husband and close family members….honestly, MORE than family members. We have an uncanny kinship that only pet owners experience; an emotional bond of love and need-for each other. Having known her since 12 weeks old, I’m particularly fond of her sweetness, her bravery and her gusto for chasing the world.  She perceives it fearlessly-a trait I admire. She’s yet to meet another dog she didn’t like and is a great ambassador for the breed. And to think she was born from a puppy mill mom who didn’t have the same opportunities.

I digress from my inevitable pain. Is there a way to work this out in my mind so I don’t focus on her death, but celebrate her life-every day? Is there a way to NOT think about this? Is there a way to prepare oneself for that fated day we all must walk? How do you handle it?

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James R Hoffa June 22, 2012 at 02:20 AM
At first, my pain was so bad, I started experiencing psychosomatic reactions - I was constantly crying and throwing up, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate and think clearly,… my mind just wanted to give up on my body and on life in general. I finally realized how stupid and selfish I was being when I realized that she wouldn't have wanted me grieving her death, as whenever I was sad, she always tried to cheer me up. So, I eventually picked myself up and started carrying on, at first more or so because I knew that it's what she would have wanted for me and later for myself. I honor her by recalling and thinking about a wonderful moment we shared together every morning when I first wake up and every night before I go to bed. I take comfort in knowing that she's in a better place and waiting until we can be re-united once more. Instead of looking at it as a part of me having died too, I began to realize that a part of her had become a part of me, just as a part of me had become a part of her. I will always be whole as long as I remember and continue to love her because that part of her that I now carry permanently resides within my heart and soul - and nothing can take that away, not even death.
James R Hoffa June 22, 2012 at 02:21 AM
I've also since adopted another shelter cat, Maggie. There's no better way to honor the memory and spirit of a beloved pet than to share your love with another homeless/shelter animal! And while they are indeed different, as I knew and had hoped that they would be, I love them both equally for who they are, as they shall forever be a part of me. All my best!
mau June 22, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Don't mourn so deeply. Save your energy for another pet who needs a loving home.
mau June 22, 2012 at 02:42 AM
It is never too soon to adopt. It is the perfect way of honoring one you hold so dear to your heart. I needed our 2nd male more for a companion than a pet to bond to. The house was so lonely. And I wanted this one to be my husband's dog. It seems every other dog we got would attach to one or the other of us. Well it turns out this one shares his love equally. You can not compare pets just like you can't compare children. You don't have to forget Daisy but give the puppy more of a chance.
Craig June 22, 2012 at 03:11 AM
Mau: Very touching story, and very good advice. Your last line says it all.


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