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(43 Posts)
grizelda Sun 11-Sep-16 19:07:28

My DH died after 58 years of marriage and 5 years of his increasing dementia. 4 months ago my 14-year-old dog died, and I find that I am grieving more for her now. I am wracked with guilt, knowing my DH is so much more important than a dog, but can't seem to help myself. Has anyone else had these feelings.

kittylester Sun 11-Sep-16 19:16:59

What a terrible time you are having. [flowers
I think your dog's death has brought back all the feelings you didn't allow to show when your husband died.
You feel how you feel so just allow yourself to feel it. There are no rules for this situation.

Irma Sun 11-Sep-16 19:27:46

So sorry for your loss, I think your dog buoyed you along, in a way, following your husband's unfortunate death, your dog filled a gap, then you found yourself alone and grief has descended for them both.
I do hope you feel better soon.

Swanny Sun 11-Sep-16 19:38:52

I expect you were grieving for the loss of the husband you knew long before his death grizelda. Dementia can take away everything but the breath over time, it is such a cruel illness. Your dear dog was your companion and your support during those last 5 years and it is natural to grieve for her now. Please remember them both fondly and with no guilt flowers

Tegan Sun 11-Sep-16 19:38:55

From the minute we first have them our dogs are with us pretty much 24/7. We probably spend more actual time with them than anyone else in our lives and the gap they leave is enormous sad.You actually lost the person you were married to a long, long time ago and she was probably your rock during that long drawn out bereavement. You also don't get the sympathy from people when a pet dies, unless they've had it happen to them and understand Hugs and flowers. On no account be hard on yourself over this.

hulahoop Sun 11-Sep-16 19:53:49

Grezelda don't feel guilty because your oh had dementia you would have felt him leaving you gradually over the years and your dog was probably a great comfort to you so don't be hard on yourself ?

Luckygirl Sun 11-Sep-16 20:06:11

Don't be wracked with guilt. Your dog will have helped you to hold things together after your OH died, and now this loss is triggering so much emotion for you - but none of it should make you feel guilty - just human, like the rest of us.

My mother died of a dementia illness and I grieved her loss many years before she actually died; we had already lost her when she died.

Your canine companion was there for you and now that you have lost her it has suddenly brought you up short.

You need to be kind to yourself - grieving both your losses is quite enough without adding unnecessary guilt on the top. Take care flowers

Anya Sun 11-Sep-16 20:25:59

You lost your DH bit by bit over the 5 years. I expect there were many tears shed during those years. You will have grieved in your own way.

And now your lovely dog. It's just all become too much sad

ninathenana Sun 11-Sep-16 20:43:22

I agree with others. I have always said I lost mum about 2yrs before she actually died. Your dog must have helped you in the time leading up to your husband's death. I can understand how you feel.

Lona Sun 11-Sep-16 20:55:31

Griselda flowers I am so sorry for your double loss, allow yourself to grieve without feeling guilty.

Eloethan Mon 12-Sep-16 01:07:59

Griselda I'm so sorry you are feeling so sad. I hope you will heed the very wise words on here. Please don't feel guilty. Your dog was a great comfort to you after the death of your husband and it is understandable that you miss her. It doesn't take away from the feelings you had for your husband.

Like everyone else on here, I wish you well.

grizelda Mon 12-Sep-16 12:18:16

Thank you all for your kind thoughts.
At 85 this last problem seems to have knocked me harder. I know life has to go on, but I feel I have been cheated out of part of my life that should have been used coping with getting ready for coping with old age.

Judthepud2 Mon 12-Sep-16 14:40:28

Grizelda just what everyone else has said about your dog helping you through what must have been a horrible and difficult time for you as your DH gradually left you. Dogs are such wonderful companions who seem to understand their owners' distress. Allow yourself to grieve for her without any guilt. She was with you for 14 years. Of course you are going to miss her badly. My heart goes out to you. ((Hugs))

jenn Mon 12-Sep-16 22:26:34

So many of us understand this feeling as we have lost loved ones to dementia, such a slow ,sad fading of people we love and the loss of a pet that has been part of our lives.
Today I have made the decision to make the dreaded call to the vet.16 years ago I took on 2 pups.Ginty had a stroke a month ago and now Molly is fading fast.They have been with me through my son's wedding,birth of my grandson,their move abroad,my divorce , the loss of my parents and only sister and my retirement!
Every day they have been part of me and been by my side for the ups and downs of life, a constant stream of love and amusement when things got grim.The house is not the same without Ginty and will be so empty when she goes.They leave a huge hole in our lives when they go and anyone who has had an animal for so many years knows how hard it is.

Tegan Thu 15-Sep-16 01:22:19

I'm sorry to hear that jenn sad.

millymouge Thu 15-Sep-16 05:48:48

Jenn how I understand what you say. Have been there and will go again sometime soon I am afraid. Bereavement takes many forms.

vincent19 Thu 15-Sep-16 13:27:39

Jenn sending you lots of cuddles and love x

vincent19 Thu 15-Sep-16 13:29:23

Gizelda I'm sorry for your double loss my thoughts are with you x

Alima Thu 15-Sep-16 13:32:10

The dreaded call to the vet is the kindest route Jenn. Many of us have been in the same situation and know how you feel.

Anya Thu 15-Sep-16 14:00:09

When I had my two lovely dogs put down in 2002 (April then December) I swore I'd never love another as I'd loved those two.

I did replace them after a while as I couldn't stand the hole in my life but I said I was NOT going to let myself become wrapped around their furry paws. Fat chance hmm

Now 14 years on I again have two ageing and much loved dogs.

My point I'm sure you take. You've given your pets a happy and loving home, a good life. That's all we can ask. My thoughts are with all those who face sad decisions and the loss of a furry companion.

GrandmaMoira Thu 15-Sep-16 21:54:59

I'm sorry for your loss. I found that when my husband first died I didn't grieve much, it was a relief after he was so ill. The grieving was stronger some time later, so maybe you would have grieved now anyway, it's just much worse because of your second loss of your dog.

jenn Thu 15-Sep-16 22:26:46

The beds,blankets,bowls,leads and toys are washed and packed away and the house is soooo empty.
I'm trying to be sensible and not rush into anything but life without a dog....
For now my horse has to put up with a lot more hugs and cuddles, much to his disgust.

Tegan Thu 15-Sep-16 22:34:05

Oh, I think he'll understand....

millymouge Thu 15-Sep-16 22:48:21

Jenn You will know when the time is right I am sure. The times DH and I have said that perhaps we don't want to go,through it all again. But you gradually start to,think of all that they give you and know that you can't manage without one any longer.

Ana Thu 15-Sep-16 22:53:12

But is it fair when you're getting on a bit yourself? That's what would worry me, unless I knew for sure that a close friend or relative would take him/her on if anything happened to me.