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8mos later and STILL can't "get over" it! HELP!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So, yes....Ashie has been gone almost 8 months and I still am finding it very difficult to "move on", so to speak. It doesn't mean that I cry 24 hours a day..it isn't like that, but all I have to really do is utter her name and I can start bawling. THAT EASILY.

We adopted two cats shortly after Ashie was gone.....for various reasons. I guess because I thought I really needed that cat-affection and I am quick to rescue from shelters (but Ashie was an "only" cat by HER standards).

While I take care of these two cats..and pet them.....etc.....my attachment was very limited to the point to where I probably wouldn't be all terribly distraught if I lost them. Don't get me wrong, that isn't what I am going to do, but if something happened, I don't think the pain would even begin to compare to Ashie. They were just being kept at an arm's length and maybe a lot of it is because they have each other and they do play quite a bit...and the one (Lucy) is very independent.

But now, Tom-Tom has become very much about ME. He wants to be by me....lay on me....gets on my back at night (the way ASHIE did)..."talks" to me....just has been pretty affectionate lately...and I Don't know what to do with that. I don't push him down....it is very bitter-sweet...but he does stuff ASHIE did....and I don't want to ever replace that...I am scared of replacing it...so I just am at a loss here.

I KNOW he needs love just like Ashie did...I KNOW that...but how can something feel really good, but soooooo painful at the same time?? I don't know what to do with this.


Please help!
post #2 of 18
I'm sorry you lost Ashie and that you're finding her loss so difficult. Losing a wonderful companion like Ashie can never be easy.

But don't worry about opening your heart to your two new friends. They're not there to take Ashie's place. They are different cats, each special in their own way and, while they may do the same kind of things that Ashie did, they are all unique.

Take comfort in the wonderful time that you spent with Ashie and add to that by building extra memories with what sound to be two perfectly adorable kitties.

Big hugs to you, I know it can't be easy.
post #3 of 18
Oooo! I'm soo sorry.

There's nothing wrong with taking your time, but don't totally close out your two new friends. If Tom-Tom cuddles with you and you start to feel yourself drift back to Ashie, start talking to Tom-Tom. This will help you keep focus on the cat laying on you rather than the one looking over you.

Honestly though, its all up to you to find a way that is comfortable for you to move on. It's not always something thats going to come naturally...somedays you decide that it is time to move on and look for ways to do so.
In the meantime you're always welcome to post on here!!
post #4 of 18
You posted about this before, and I gave you some very sound advice, which I'm going to repeat here. You need to snap out of it!

We all experience death in our lives. We all lose pets and family and friends. And we all grieve the loss. There are specific stage

* Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
* Anger (why is this happening to me?)
* Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
* Depression (I don't care anymore)
* Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)


However, it seems to me that you are stuck in the anger/depression stages and not able to move on.

You need to speak to a social worker at your local hospital or a clergy person at your church about getting some grief counselling.

Make an appointment with your doctor to get onto some anti-depressants wouldn't be a bad idea either. You seem to have fallen into a depression that started off as situational from the death of Ashie, and it seems to have gotten a good grip on you.

Taking anti-depressants is no big deal. Many people, including myself take them daily.

Once you get some counselling and get on some anti-depressants you will start feel a whole lot better.

Ashie will always be important, but there comes a time where you just have to let go and move on with your life. You can't live for what was. You have to live for what is.

You have 2 kittens that need you. Going through the motions of feeding them just isn't enough. They NEED you to love them. One of them extending an olive branch to you to help you heal. Don't be foolish and push it away.
post #5 of 18
I read a very good article on grief: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/22186226/

It changed my view of grief quite a bit. Especially this part

Quote:
Another shift in the way psychologists think about grief is that instead of viewing bereavement solely as a process of letting go, experts now contend that it's equally important to create a new relationship with the deceased. This need to form a "continuing bond" is less well accepted in our get-over-it culture, but it's increasingly seen as essential to healing.

"Grief isn't only about mourning — it's about restructuring your identity and life after someone you love has died," Prigerson says. Rather than squelching their sadness and emotions, "the central challenge for mourners is to move from loving someone who is present to loving them even though they're absent," adds Thomas Attig, Ph.D., author of The Heart of Grief: Death and the Search for Lasting Love (Oxford University Press). "Lots of people talk about closure, but that's a fantasy. Death ends a life, but it doesn't end the relationship."
Ashie is absent but she is still with you. Try talking to her, telling her your feelings. Also, put Tom-tom first. Allow yourself to pet him, to interact with him. You don't have to feel anything, just act. Imagine how happy he is when you pet him.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
THANK YOU. THANK YOU for not really judging me with this. That WAS a very interesting read...and if you think about, it is true...the relationship DOESN'T end, really...because you are still emotionally involved and have all the memories, etc....How this would compare to a divorce or something, I don't know..but , anyway.....I might have to try some of that stuff....talking to her and that. She is here....I mean, physically her remains are in an urn in our bedroom, but I haven't really talked to her.

And I know I have posted about this before, but now going on 8 months, I thought things would be "better", so-to-speak. And it is..don't get me wrong..but it is hard to even say her name without getting emotional and I REFUSE DOWNRIGHT to change the wallpaper on my cell phone of her.

I do pet Tom....and I let him lay on me...but I just don't what to FEEL about it, either...I need to come to grips with that, too....




Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
I read a very good article on grief: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/22186226/

It changed my view of grief quite a bit. Especially this part



Ashie is absent but she is still with you. Try talking to her, telling her your feelings. Also, put Tom-tom first. Allow yourself to pet him, to interact with him. You don't have to feel anything, just act. Imagine how happy he is when you pet him.
post #7 of 18
I'm sorry you're still struggling with the loss of Ashie. I know how you feel. I wish I had some words of comfort to offer, but I think the others have already mentioned what it is you need to do to move past this. If you're having a difficult time with this, some counseling might be in order, and possibly even some anti-depressants. I hope things get better for you soon..

~KK~
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by carrie640 View Post
I REFUSE DOWNRIGHT to change the wallpaper on my cell phone of her.
You don't have to. I lost my beautiful Petunia 4 years ago, but her picture is on my home page so every time I open my browser I see her and remember.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carrie640 View Post
I do pet Tom....and I let him lay on me...but I just don't what to FEEL about it, either...I need to come to grips with that, too....
That is why I'm thinking you should concentrate, not on your feelings, but how Tom is feeling. I think you will grow to love him when you are finding that you aren't replacing Ashie, just opening your heart more.
post #9 of 18
Maybe Tom-Tom senses your loss and it is his way of showing how he wants to help fill the void left by Ashie. Take care of yourself.
post #10 of 18
Sweetie, it's taken me YEARS to "get over" (i.e. be able to cope on a daily basis) with my mother's passing. You have lost a family member, and IMO it's no different in terms of your emotions and the healing of your heart. The difference is that I won't ever get another mother. You have the chance to open your heart to another kitty, and love them and let them love you and have the same impact on your life as dear sweet Ashie.

You have to consciously accept that no one will ever, EVER take Ashie's place in your heart. But you do have room in your heart for others. The reason I say that is because there is a big gap between what you consciously know and what your heart accepts. But that gap can be bridged as long as you know it in your mind.

I don't know what you believe about Ashie and how much influence she still has in your life and surroundings, but the first thing I thought of reading about Tom-Tom was that Ashie is telling him what to do. She knows how much you are hurting. She sees you in pain and missing her, and no matter how much she wants to be with you, she can't. So she's doing what she can to help your heart heal a little, and that is to send you another one who you can love and who wants to love to you like she does. So she's sending you a message - she's still there, but she wants to ease your pain through Tom Tom.

I don't know if that will make it easier for you and Tom Tom. But just know that there is no timeline for your grief. You and Ashie shared a love and a connection like none other you will ever have. You can't replace it even if you wanted to. And it will not be disrespecting her to allow yourself to love again.

Take care of yourself, Carrie.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post
You don't have to. I lost my beautiful Petunia 4 years ago, but her picture is on my home page so every time I open my browser I see her and remember.

That is why I'm thinking you should concentrate, not on your feelings, but how Tom is feeling. I think you will grow to love him when you are finding that you aren't replacing Ashie, just opening your heart more.


I think everyone has provided wonderful advice. But for me this really hit home.

The beauty of love is that it is infinite, and there is room in your heart for all of them if you can find a way to let your new kitties join Ashie in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I don't know what you believe about Ashie and how much influence she still has in your life and surroundings, but the first thing I thought of reading about Tom-Tom was that Ashie is telling him what to do. She knows how much you are hurting. She sees you in pain and missing her, and no matter how much she wants to be with you, she can't. So she's doing what she can to help your heart heal a little, and that is to send you another one who you can love and who wants to love to you like she does. So she's sending you a message - she's still there, but she wants to ease your pain through Tom Tom.
....and when I read that Tom Tom was doing the same things Ashie did, this was exactly what first came to my mind.

I hope you find some peace and healing - for your sake, and for your kitties' sake.



Laurie
post #12 of 18
Quote:
I don't know what you believe about Ashie and how much influence she still has in your life and surroundings, but the first thing I thought of reading about Tom-Tom was that Ashie is telling him what to do. She knows how much you are hurting. She sees you in pain and missing her, and no matter how much she wants to be with you, she can't. So she's doing what she can to help your heart heal a little, and that is to send you another one who you can love and who wants to love to you like she does. So she's sending you a message - she's still there, but she wants to ease your pain through Tom Tom.

I believe this. I thought of posting a similar response, but didn't know how to say what you've just said, valanhb..

After I lost Foxy & Damian, both in the space of less than two years, I was hurting pretty badly, and swore to myself I would never love another cat like that again. Then I adopted Maverick, and he was doing the same things as you're describing, Carrie - trying to love on me, and trying to get into my heart. He would try and burrow under the covers with me - just like Foxy & Damian used to do - but I didn't want to "accept" his love for fear of getting hurt again. But his persistance eventually prevailed, and not only did I end up loving him too, I loved him with all my heart. His love for me, and my love for him, didn't erase what I felt towards Foxy & Damian, but it helped to ease the pain. And eventually that pain was replaced with fond & loving memories..

I believe that Maverick was sent to me for a reason: not as a "replacement" for Foxy & Damian, but as "savior" - so to speak. Foxy & Damian were trying to tell me that it was okay to love another furbaby through Maverick, and that he would help ease my pain through his special love. I know that sounds corny, but I believe it's true..

You'll never forget your precious Ashie, Carrie, but you can make new loving memories with Tom-Tom if you let your heart go..


~KK~
post #13 of 18
I, too, had terrible depression issues when my soul-mate, Spooky, died. I got Cleo about 3 months after Spooky died. I really didn't feel much affection for her though, even though she was a snuggly cat. Then she was diagnosed with renal failure when she was 6 months old...the same thing that Spooky died from. It caused me to really bond with her...my search to find treatments, and implementing those treatments, brought me much, much closer to her. I love her totally, but that hasn't replaced the heart bursting love that I felt for Spooky. It compliments it. That's the wonderful thing about love...there's always room for more. Your heart just expands to include more love, it never takes the place of, or lessens the love that's already there. My heart goes out to you. I will keep you in my prayers that you will find some peace in your heart, and that your heart opens up to the opportunity to love your new kitties, because they are there to help you heal.
~~~Hugs~~~
post #14 of 18
My goodness, I can imagine I would be in the exact same state of mind i I ever lost Trout

I have not been in your position yet in my life..but I am so sorry and I can't imagine how it must feel. I think your bond will grow with the new ones as time goes on
post #15 of 18
I did that same thing! When Glitch died I thought I would never love another. After losing one in 2005, and 3 in 2007 I was pretty sure it was impossible! Then I got Eek, and I was keeping him at arms length until he got sick! Then he needed me and My heart kicked in overtime!! I know he can't replace Glitch, and I have a tendoncy to compare him to Glitch, so I have to watch myself! Then the other day when I felt myself pushing him away again, he started doing some of the stuff that Glitch did, and I had the opposite reaction as you did, I was totally in love all over again!
It brought back such good memories! I still have Glitch as my wallpaper for my computer and my phone, and he will always be my baby! I still talk to him all the time, I can't seem to help myself! Even though he's not here Im so sure he can here me! When he first left he use to come to me in dreams, I miss that. At the same time I have two wonderful new cats who need me to love them! You dont have to let go of Ashie, EVER, you just need to leave a little room in your heart for your new babies! I agree that Ashie is telling Tom-Tom how to get your attention! She's trying to tell you its okay to love again! She wouldn't want you to take her dying out on all the other kitties!
good luck!!
post #16 of 18
The most wonderful thing about love is that there's always enough of it to go around. You can hold as many people and animals in your heart as you want -- there's plenty of room in there.

In fact, giving your love away only multiplies it, and you have even more than you started with.

But somehow, you have internalized the idea that to love any other cat is to be disloyal to Ashie, to diminish her in some way... and I think at this point, you really are going to have to get some counseling to get past that. A good counselor can really help. Please go!
post #17 of 18
I'm sorry for your loss. Nothing will replace your sweet Ashie but it might help ease the pain a little more if you embrace the love Tom is giving you. I hope everything works out for you.
post #18 of 18
Maybe your Ashie sent Tom Tom to you to comfort you.

As for "getting over it." I don't think you ever do get over it. I sometimes find myself crying over pets I've lost DECADES ago. It does get easier to cope as time goes on, but you never totally forget, and you shouldn't. But for your own sanity, if you just can't get past it at all, maybe you should consider grief counseling? I don't know if that sort of thing helps or not, but it probably wouldn't hurt to try.

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