It is rainy and gray and somewhat dismal outside. It’s been that way in the morning for days now. Then the sun makes its entrance and beams throughout the rest of the day.

There is a globe light on a tall pole near my yard that has been flickering since yesterday. I imagine it’s about to go out.

It kind of reminds me of a desperate signal from sea to land in another time and place.

In a Gray Sunday Morning Sadness, I show the display on my dining room buffet of various candles and my yellow salt and pepper shakers

Of young wives, breath held and hope still beating in their hearts, waiting to see if their husbands will come safely home. When the sea is a beast of an animal during a wild and thunder-rumbling storm.

This is spring weather in these parts. Lots of storms and rain and an occasional tornado dipping down to upend people’s lives.

New Little Red House Blog Header:

Little red house blog header graphic, April 2022

I’ve been giving much thought to my blog header. I took the one down that had Gracie in it. It bothered me to do so, as I’m surely not trying to erase that precious little baby.

But every time I looked at it I cried. So then I put a generic header up for a week or so, but it wasn’t really me.

Then yesterday I worked most of the day trying to recreate the one I had of the gold chair and the cats without Gracie in it.

I put a potted plant where Gracie’s image next to Ivy used to be. But that didn’t settle well with me either.

How was I going to look at that potted plant and not see the absence of Gracie?

In a Gray Sunday Morning Sadness, the yellow chair and Ivy with plants graphic without little Gracie

So I made this simple red house header instead. The red house suits me. As does the deep green hues of nature.

A new Cozy Little House blog header graphic with a red house and tree I created April 16, 2022

What Changed Everything A Few Weeks Ago:

Sometimes I round the corner into my bedroom and expect Gracie to come out from under the bed and meow at me. She had such a scratchy-record kind of a meow.

She’d jump up on the bed and wait for me to cuddle with her.

Other times I round that corner and see her lying there dead on the carpet just inside the door.

That dismal night my heart seemed to flip-flop in my chest as I took in what was so hard to accept.

What is still so hard to accept.

How I miss that sweet little girl! My Gracie Mae.

I recall blinking my eyes and hoping that the horrible and traumatic sight before me would disappear.

In A Gray Sunday Morning Sadness, a photo of now dead but much beloved Gracie Mae

Ivy:

Ivy watches closely, and if I make a small sound that Ivy thinks might be the sound of sadness, her head rears up and she looks at me. I try hard to drown my sorrow and smile back at her.

Her bright green eyes are piercing in their intensity, begging me not to cry.

Please, I have asked the powers that be, please, why didn’t you give me more time with Gracie?

I am met with a definitive and profound silence.

I’ll never see those beautiful blue eyes again.

The Loss Of Charlie Ross:

And then I’ll see Charlie, a passenger in my car facing forward, as I took him to the clinic that final time. I still kick myself because we would still have had more time together.

But he’d been doing badly for some time, and for some reason, I chose that day. And afterward, I realized I’d been planning this day for some time.

I’d been taking him to animal acupuncture for a few years to help him with pain. It was expensive, but I’d have spent everything I had if it reset him back to a time when there wasn’t so much discomfort.

Back when he could still run like a pup and climb up the steps to the couch and bed without help.

A photo of my sweet dog Charlie Ross, ears raised and tongue hanging out, on my couch at the old apartment

A Decision That I Can’t Come To Terms With:

I berate myself all the time for having done it. He wasn’t going to die that specific day without my hand in it.

He may have had pain and a chronic heart problem, but he was still physically there with me.

I can still see my Charlie boy sitting there in my car, excited that he was getting to go with me. He loved rides in the car.

And sometimes I envision cutting my skin until I bleed copious amounts of blood, though I know it wouldn’t help my sorrow. Sometimes I want to hurt physically because I hurt so much emotionally.

Don’t worry. I wouldn’t do that to Ivy.

My sadness and grief are sometimes so hard to bear. Losses that seem bigger than life.

The Effects On Veterinarians:

How do vets do it every day? Put pets to sleep? Which has always been a hard thing for me to say. Because they aren’t really putting them to sleep.

A recent study shows how it’s affecting them.

One out of 6 veterinarians has considered suicide, according to studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While male vets are 1.6 times more likely to die by suicide than the general population, female vets are 2.4 times more likely, and 80% of vets are women.

June & September 2021:

That was last June. And then in September timid little Gracie came to live with Ivy and me. She was such a cuddle bug.

I figure Gracie was born about the time Charlie left this earth.

It’s been a tumultuous year for me. In 9 months I’ve lost two cherished and beloved pets.

In less than 4 years I’ve lost three pets. The first was Abi. Then Charlie and Gracie.

And my life will never be the same without them.

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42 Comments

  1. As you know, I lost Zippo in 2018, Monkey just a couple of months ago, and now Clementine’s time with us is very limited. So I too, will have lostt three pets in less than 4 years. It is awful. And Brian just lost his father a couple of months ago, too so we’ve had a very tough year with loss already.

    All we can do is take one day at a time and surround ourselves with uplifting things to do and talk to friends and family and/or a therapist who listens and understands.

  2. I love the new header. It’s perfect! I’m so sorry you’re having so much guilt over Charlie. Telling you, you did the humane thing for him doesn’t always help when you are in an emotional state. And Gracie was a shock, and totally out of your control. It’s completely understandable! I wish I could say something to make you feel better. I can’t. But myself, and every one of your readers, cares deeply about you, and we’re all here for you.

  3. So very sorry for your loss Brenda. I lost my horse, Soldier, in February, very sick, in the end decided to put him down. Yesterday morning I put my dog Roo down after nearly 15 years of him being my shadow everyday. He was constantly with me when I was home. I know exactly how you feel. He is a constant prescence, every time I enter a room, I see him. I’m devastated and try to constantly keep my mind busy or I would be a mess. Both are so very much missed. I’m lonely and heart broken and have a hard time imaging life without them. I hope we both can find some peace.

    1. Oh my goodness, Kelley, what you’ve been through! I don’t know that I’m as strong as you are. I guess we just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m so very, very sorry. Reminds me that we all have losses and pain, some worse than others. So much loss at one time.

  4. Sorry to hear of your pain in grief. The grief never changed; we do. Your grief is complicated. Grieve each loss separately by keeping a separate journal for each one could help.

    1. I guess in the back of my mind, I was thinking that getting Gracie was going to give me a cat’s lifetime’s worth of companionship and love. Charlie was old and frail and sick. But getting Gracie, I thought I’d bought myself quite a few years with her. But I was wrong.

  5. Grief is so hard and so different for each of us. It is always with us just some days better than others. May you have more of the better days of grief than bad ones. I did not know the statistics on Vets and suicide. Wow that is so sad.

    1. I can see how vets would be traumatized. People got pets during COVID but then did not have the money to take care of them medically. Having to resort to putting them down. How heartbreaking for a vet to see day after day.

  6. Grief is so hard. It’s been 18 months since I lost my son. It still hurts. The holidays always trigger tears. There are no words that help. Just to know someone else cares helps.

    1. Of course the loss of your son still hurts, Debby. It will until you take your last breath. My son died in 2009 and I miss him every single day and my heart will be forever broken. I will never be the same person. There is no other loss like the loss of a child. It’s totally backwards. A parent should never have to bury a child.

  7. Definitely some animals and some of our human loved ones leave us very altered and bereaved…pray you are comforted soon…some loss we never get over I think. Some of my “gone on” kin I still miss so much…and of course our last dog!! Grief is something we have to go through, seems each and every step of it, and cannot skip any step in the process. Hope you are trying to rest extra right now…sometimes extra rest does help.

    1. Many nights I wake up every two hours. I never sleep through the night. Never have been able to. And I take medication and Melatonin at night. I’ve been that way since I was a kid.

  8. Thank you for the link…especially when this is a sad day for you…your new heading looks very nice with Ivy in it💜

  9. I’m so sorry. Grief is so raw and has a way of sneaking up on a person. I’m an animal lover. I can’t have kids so they are my babies. I’ve always liked animals more than most people. So when one dies it’s a true loss.. It’s hard for some to relate when a pet dies because unless one fits one of those above categories then they won’t get it….how meaningful and important such sweet creatures are. Take all the time you need. Others understand and are sending love and hugs.

    1. I don’t know why today has been so hard. Was yesterday too. I added a graphic of Ivy to the little red house. Made me feel a little better.

  10. So very 😞 sorry…We miss our babies too…sometimes I swear I hear a meow or catch a glimpse of a shadow…on a different subject could I get the info for the pet hair remover you talked about..for my daughter…hope you have a brighter tomorrow..blessings always💞

  11. Brenda, my heart breaks for you reading your words. I am so sorry this all happened to you. You should have had many more years with Gracie. Love on Ivy lots, that will help. Please take care.❤️❤️

    1. Ivy is now with me in my chair. She stayed back in the bedroom sleeping in her cat tower most of today. I think she senses my sadness, though I try to keep from showing it around her.

  12. We care about you and Ivy, Brenda, and please know that we all wish we could ease your pain over these losses. Most of us have been there too.
    Like the little red house header. Agree that the one with the plant in place of Gracie would just be too painful.
    Mary

  13. I was just looking at a 8×10 photo of my precious orange tabby, Snickety, yesterday. I had him for about 3 years after he adopted me and he’s been gone almost 5 & a half years now.

    The day I had to let him go at the vet’s, he was sitting outside under a tree and looked directly at me a long time. He basked in the sunshine that day, something he loved. Although he had cancer, he looked good even after he stopped eating.

    We both loved hanging out together outdoors but he was an indoor cat. To me, he was The Best Cat in the Whole World. He had such a mellow, loving disposition. Nothing ruffled him except riding in a car.

    The last week, he crawled up close at night though he had never been a night cuddler. Even though our time was short, it was sweet.

  14. Grief is such a personal journey. I’m like you I take a long time to grieve. Take as long as you want. No one should judge. Just remember she is still with you and watching over you. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Yes. I so agree.
      Grief is very personal Brenda. There is no right or wrong way to get over the/your pain of loss. Especially when a pet dies way too early.
      I’m sorry for your loss of Gracie Mae.
      The anguish 😧 is real. I know first hand regarding pet loss. Been through it many times.
      When adopting older pets, there’s very little history of their past lives. A guessing game of sorts. You take a chance, rescue a homeless pet and try to do the best for yourself and the pet.
      We adopted many sick abd unwanted pets. 😔
      Tried our best to give each a better life. Doesn’t always work out though.
      Lots of grief in-between.
      At least we tried our best.
      Would do it all over again.
      Except for now.
      We are seniors. Just too old to rescue a pet.
      My heart breaks 💔 because we cannot help.

  15. I once read, a question that someone asked another. What is the hardest part of ownership of a pet. The answer, as we all know, “Is saying Goodby”
    Little by little, Brenda, it is going to get better..
    Hugs, from WI

    1. So very true and so real.
      Painful.
      I always had that problem. Entering the vet’s office knowing we’d never see our pet again. 😢

  16. Brenda, the loss of a pet(s) is so incredibly painful. I miss my girl Munchen every day, after 7 years I can look at her sweet face and not cry. Take all the time in the world that you need to grieve for these sweet fur kids. They brought you solace, love and so much more and you did the same for them.

    I hope that you have a nice afternoon with the sun streaming in. Happy Easter.

    1. I think of this sometimes. I have loss 8 animals in my life. 3 in one year. I am 66. It is always so hard! But they were so sick. I couldn’t imagine not having loved any of them. Like you I gave them all the love and care that I could. I think that they were happy that someone else got to have a good home once they were gone. Hopefully I will see all of them again some day. They each taught me something that I could use on the next one. I still cry for them some days. I have had the suicidal thoughts also. But I think that they made me what I am today. A stronger person. I don’t know if any of this makes sense.
      Hugs my friend.

    2. We all care and understand! We all feel your pain and sadness and want you to know we are here for you to express your sorrow! Praying you have a better day tomorrow! Love the new header!

  17. I’m not going to try to leave “words of wisdom” because Brenda, this is your journey. Just know that I understand and care very much. Gentle hugs!!!

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