Friday, October 15, 2010

Broken Down

I feel confident in saying, this post is going to be a mess. My forecast for today is ~ scattered showers of tears, nonsensical hail storms, accompanied by lightening strikes of complete, and total reality!  Please stick with me, as I need your help, and advice more than ever!

I have been walking around in a fog for the past week. I wax and wane from total numbness to complete breakdowns.  I learned so much from our experience with Aviana, and yet many times, I feel I didn't learn a thing!

The only true death I have ever experienced was when my grandmother died. I was a disaster. I loved her so deeply. The pain of her absence has haunted me for years. Other than her, I have been fortunate in avoiding total loss.

Many times, I feel like a baby. I have had a fairly charmed life up until the accident. I question whether my childhood, and up, were so great, that now I am paying for everything at once.

What I am trying to say is, I have almost NO experience with death.  Throughout my life, I have avoided the topic like the plague. If ever the subject has come up, I drop it like it's hot. Nope! I won't touch it, thus avoiding it.

As Kama continues to wither away, and as the time passes that she should have responded to her treatment, I am faced with death and dying.  I am staring straight into the fact that I may very well lose her.

I am closer to Kama than I have ever been to another living thing. Yes, I am extremely close to my family, but she has been by my side every step, of every moment, of everyday. I look at Aviana and wonder how I am going to care for her without Kama.

My love for Kama is the deepest love possible. She is an angel that was sent down to me.  She has taken care of me through infertility, adoption, bonding issues, the accident, the death of Zoe, and everything else in between. As you may remember, she is my True Love.

I can't imagine one moment without her, and my heart has broken into a million little pieces over this. I am literally watching her starve to death. She has lost over 15 pounds, and her bones are sticking out.

I have canceled any, and all of my plans to stay by her side. She has never left mine, and I will never leave hers.  I just wish she would respond!!!!!!!!!

I have gone to great lengths to try to stay positive....

I have thought of the poor living in third world countries.

The homeless.

People who are not blessed with a great family.

I think of the people of Katrina who lost everything.

People who have lost their parents.

People who have lost their homes.

And of course, Christine McFadden, the woman whose 4 children were brutally murdered by her ex-husband.

I have a carousel of unfortunate people crossing my mind at almost all times.

Sometimes it just doesn't help though. Today I feel like a broken down car, lying at the bottom of the pile at a junkyard.

I need your help! I am so new at this, I need to know how the heck you cope with loss. I need to know how you get through, and continue on. I need to know.

After Kama had the best time with my dad's dog Snoozer, we had planned to rescue a lab mix. Dave is actively searching as we speak. Instead of a fun companion, all that runs through my mind now is *replacement* and we all know there will never be another Kama.

I have felt I only have enough strength for Aviana's accident, Zoe, and nothing else. My Uncle says it doesn't work that way, and I pray it doesn't.  I have a terrible feeling that this is just the icing on my crazy cake.

I am 35, and feel I have a whole lot of hurt coming in the future. How do you deal with that???? How do you watch everyone around you die???

Is this the control freak in me? Am I standing in my own way?

Please help me. I have taken the blinders off, and pulled my fingers out of my ears. I need to grow up, and learn how to do this death thing.

Thank you so much!

Often times, meteorologists are slightly inaccurate, I think my forecast ended up fairly spot on today ;o(


  1. I'm so sorry about Kama. I have a yellow lab as well and she was by my side going thu infertility as well. She made the pain less intense of not being able to conceive. She was my first "baby". Your Kama reminds me of my Athena. Just want to ruffle those ears and kiss that soft fur. I understand the love you have for her. She gives you unconditional love doesn't she? I don't have Athena anymore...she snapped at my daughter over food she found. I cried buckets of tears when that happened because I knew I couldn't take a chance of that happeneing again. She is now at my Dad and Moms who live by me but it was so hard that first week without her. I cried and cried-my husband thought I was a nut job because he didn't understand the connection I had with her. To him she was just an me she was so much more. She was my shadow. I know the pain you are feeling watching Kama. Hugs to you.

  2. I AM SO SORRY!! All I can say , no one is an expert or ever gets used to the loss of a loved one. I also dont like even thinking when the day comes I may lose someone very close to me or even my two precious chihuahuas that have been with me thru it all - they are more than our furry little friends, they are ALWAYS there for us and the love they have for us is so UNCONDITIONAL-- they are truly God sent!
    I deal with unexpected tragedy - with LOTS of prayer!! For strength to get me through and the hope for understanding it all. I know there is a higher power, watching over all of us, even our precious little angels. Feel your feelings, cry it out, scream, whatever it takes for you to come thru this.
    My heart goes out to you! I had a scare not too long ago with my little bo bo dog, I looked at Jon and said I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!!
    We never truly are -- :(
    I will pray for Kama and you -- God is there, lean on Him for comfort.
    XOXO Mayra

  3. i'm sure you have read/heard this poem's one of the ways that i cope with's my comfort to know i am not alone even at the bleakest moments

    Footprints in the Sand

    One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
    Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
    In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
    Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there were one set of footprints.

    This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints.

    So I said to the Lord,

    "You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
    But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
    Why, when I needed you most, you have not been there for me?"

    The Lord replied,
    "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you."
    Mary Stevenson

  4. i know and understand the emotions you are reeling with right now.........our 'animals' are not just fluffy furry creatures, they ARE FAMILY.

    unfortunately i am not good with the coping skills needed to accept such a loss.....i find myself compartmentalizing & micromanaging the smallest of things so that i never have to face that big empty.

    i can handle the 'stuff' that needs to be find a way to just do it without thinking. everyday you have to get dressed, eat, feed your family, bathe, everyday have to function they are counting on you to do this

    kama came to you for a reason. her purpose was to be there for you when you needed her most. she would not desert you now if she thought you would be unable to make it on your own.

    the only thing i can say about death is that it happens, you can not stop the inevitable. but more importantly you can not let it stop you....

    ((((HUGS)))) i'm still praying for a miracle

  5. I do know exactly how you feel...and it doesn't get any easier as the number that you lose grows larger. I wish that I had some magic words of wisdom for you feeling that you have had enough to handle for a lifetime.

    I can only tell you a story. Just over a year ago my siamese cat Simona suddenly became ill. A couple of days at the vet and many tests later she passed away during the night before an exploratory surgery. Several days later I realized that the Nutro food my four cats had been eating was recalled because of a supersized portion of zinc...that was placed on the shelf for six months. Subsequently a second cat became ill but did make it...and much testing was done on my surviving cats. An eight month battle ensued with the Mars company that makes the pet food.

    I did not think that I could make it through this time...with news interviews and constant fighting with the company and vet visits. I was in tears daily. We did end up adopting sister siamese kittens from a son felt like you that it was a replacement and was very angry. When we discussed it...we thought of it as having an opening in our home to share our love with a homeless pet that didn't have a home or anyone to love him and as long as we have that empty spot that we had enough love to share with Simona and the new pet as well. It was bittersweet but also brought my children joy. It was a very difficult loss for them.

    I'm sure your heart is breaking beyond words.....and Sweet Kama will let you know how she is going to do and if this journey is too much for her. I pray that Kama responds to the treatment soon and builds many more memories with you.

  6. Jen,
    This is terrible news and I have no words that can possibly tell you how to handle. It's ok to feel sad and upset and as always you have such a way with words and expressing yourself. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and your family and sending good healing vibes to Kama. Your buddy needs to make it through this. You both need each other. Praying for Kama's miracle.

  7. It never is easy. You'll survive this. You've already proven to yourself just how strong you really are. There is nothing to say about losing a pet other than it SUCKS. It's like a punch in the stomach when you were expecting a hug.

    The best that I can offer is to love her the best that you can right now. Brush her, pet her, do her nails, give her doggy massages. Tell her how much you love her. If she does have to go, at least she'll go knowing she is loved. I pray that this isn't her time. I really hope it isn't.

    It's okay to be in a funk when stuff like this happens. Cry it out. You'll feel like you're going to explode, and just when you think you can't take anymore...You realize that you can. You need to cry so that when you're ready, you can smile again.

    I still go out in the backyard and catch myself expecting to see Hawkeye. I've woken up and gone to the living room expecting him to be on the couch. That was the first time I've had to decide as an adult to euthanize a pet...and it sucked. I had to have Adam do it...he had to be strong for me because I wasn't. Emma keeps a picture of him by her bed, and she sometimes starts crying out of nowhere for him. As much as I miss him, I know that he's not suffering. I like to think he's off somewhere playing fetch. No matter how bad this sucks, it will eventually feel better.


  8. Cancer is awful. The thing with our beloved pets is that we can let them go in the kindest way possible. I found golf ball size tumors in my 8 year old collie just days after Christmas
    (4 years ago) I was afraid to go to the vet as I knew what they would say. I finally went and they confirmed my worse fears. I brought my Hershey home to my 2 babies and we loved him with all his favorites..yoghurt, cheese...When he stopped being hungry, I took it as time to let him go. He was an angel dog, and I still miss him 4 years later. You are strong. You will do what is best for your Kama.

  9. Jen,

    I felt like you a few years ago. Life had it's ups and downs, but death wasn't one of the downs I had faced yet, except for family pets. We had a golden growing up that needed to be put to sleep and that was soooooooo hard. But it paled in comparison to standing at my mother's bedside as she slipped away after suffering from a massive stroke. My youngest son was only 5 months old. Heartbreaking doesn't describe it. Then just 2 1/2 years later my mother in law lay dying, wasting away from lymphoma that she had courageously fought for over 3 years through multiple relapses. I am only 5 years older than you. I feel too young to have no mother left to watch and love my children-I had my grandmother when my first son was born! Now my littlest one has no recollection of either one of his grandmas, and they loved him so much-he was the last grandbaby on either side of our family.

    All this to say, is that I get through it because of my belief in Jesus and the knowledge that we will see them again in heaven. I can trust in the "why" because I know the "Who" who holds me in His hands. He loves me and my Mom and MIL far more than I can comprehend. He sees the big picture when I only get glimpses of parts of it. He loves you too, so much. He loves Aviana and He loves Kama too. There is a scripture reference that comes from Matthew where Jesus says, "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows." [Matthew 10:29-31] I don't know why all this is happening to you right now, but I just wanted to offer an answer to your question as to how to get through it all. I have been there and suffered so much loss in the last 10 years (more than the deaths of people close to me). I trust Him. I take one day at a time. And I remember that this life is not all there is if you believe in Jesus. And I count the blessings that God has given me and thank him, even when the storms rage. Praying for you through this storm,


  10. I've been praying for Kama since I read your first post about her health. Less than two years ago I lost the love of my life, a black lab that I refer to as the pooch. In August of that year, she was at the ocean with us, jumping waves and confusing onlookers when I said that no, she was not a puppy but was over 10 years old. A few months later I had to say goodbye. She went from near perfect health to the end so quickly - a cancerous tumor attached to both lungs. We chose to skip treatment because of her age and the likelihood that it wouldn't work anyway. She had been the only stable thing in my life for those 10 years she was with me. The pooch was my college dog in my less than responsible days, weeded through loser boyfriends with me, bonded with the man that was to become with my husband as I did, and was with me through infertility and welcomed home my two sons from Guatemala. And then she just wasn't there anymore. She was the first loss I ever experienced. I would randomly start crying for months and my boys (then both 2 years old) would ask immediately if I was sad because of the pooch. One day I found myself in the fetal position in the laundry room thinking I could never breathe again. Whether we like it or not, life does go on. Whether we believe it or not, loss does get easier in time. We just have to have faith. We eventually did get our "replacement" dog, a great chocolate lab... but she can never replace the pooch. I love our new pup, but it will never be the same love I had for the pooch. And that is okay. Those special relationships may only come around once a lifetime, and I am honored I got to experienced one.

    Give Kama some love from me. Keep loving her for every minute she is here. Try to save the grief for the future when you actually need it.

  11. I don't have any advice, I don't think. I think we all find our own way. I thought I lived a pretty charmed life, too, until my 50's when two good friends died very close together. Right after I turned 60, both my parents died, very close together. They're deaths were almost easier because they'd both lived about 90 happy and healthy years.

    We're not promised anything more than today so today you should do what another friend said....heap lots and lots of love on her. Of course, you're going to be so sad, but you won't have any regrets.

    I may have said previously that I do fostercare for newborns and I've said good-bye to 124 of them. It's often very hard, but I know the next one will bring their own special joy. They're never a replacement, but they keep me very busy until I fall in love. Maybe that'll work for you. I hope so.

    I don't know you in real life, but I have such a soft spot for you and your family. I wish you lots of love as you navigate this difficult time.


  12. Hey Jenn. Sending you cyber hugs and healing vibes for Kama. I want to share one strange example of love and loss. Maybe I'm strange or different, but this is what has happened to me.

    I was sucker punched by the sudden loss of a dearly beloved pet that meant the world to me. I couldn't leave my house for three solid weeks, I thought the grief would kill me. I functioned only as necessary and just let the tears try to wash the hurt away.

    I lost my father, too. It broke my heart and I wept for all the things we'd left unsaid and all the future conversations that could only happen in my prayers. Again I tried to let the tears wash the hurt away.

    Here's the strange part. Today, I can talk about my Dad, share the laughs and the memories, without tears. It's all okay now. But my pet? Not so much. Talking about him, even yet, brings tears to my eyes and a deep ache to my heart. The thing is, I lost him almost 30 years ago. My Dad passed away just three years ago.

    Both of them loved me unconditionally. Both of them were beyond dear to my heart. I don't know what it is about the pets who become like a second skin to us. Another heartbeat. It's a special kind of bond.

    Whether you lose her soon, or have her around for another dozen years, Kama is going to be held securely in the dearest, closest part of your heart forever more. In there, she will live as long as you do.

    Cry it out. Let yourself grieve when you need to. She loves you as much as you love her. That's a gift beyond all human comprehension. Hugs to you.

  13. Hey Cuz,

    I went through this exact thing with Katren a few short months ago, so I know exactly how you feel. You are not alone.

    One thing you have to realize is that Kama was with you for a reason, to help you through the good and bad times in your life. She has helped you through alot, and she has done her job and done it very well. Now its your turn to help her, to do what she wants.

    I am crying as i type this remembering what Katren helped me through and also what you are going through.

    I have some stuff for you to read to help you through this. I will either snail mail it to you or e-mail it.

    A new puppy or dog wont replace Kama, but will help you through this and alot of other things in life. Cooper didnt replace Katren, he never will, but I love the little guy with all my heart and he is helping me to remember the good times I had with Katren and is also there for me when I do feel sad about losing her. Take your time though, get a dog when you are ready.

    Please remember that Kama was with you to do a job, she did it and did it well. She will tell you when she wants to go, honor her wish and stay strong. Be there for her.

    I love you Cuz,

    Steve Remedios

  14. Jen, I am having my own issues with similar situations and I don't know that there is an answer. Every day I pray for guidance and to do the right thing. Kama know you love her, how could she not? Just help her to be pain free and stay together until the end. As for the replacement dog, my thought is take some time to grieve first. And for Avi too. It seems like she would be confused if Kama was gone and another dog was there. Maybe let the situation stablize a bit first? My heart goes out to you. There is never an age where loss becomes easier. It hurts no matter how old or mature you think you are because we love them. Stay strong and know many people pray for you and yours.

  15. Oh Jen~

    My heart goes out to you because I remember this situation for us 11 years ago. My two "girls", rottweilers, who had been with us through all our infertility struggles, who basically taught us how to be parents died sudden suddenly within weeks of eachother. I too had very little expereince dealing with death at that point. I thought I was insane and a little "baby-ish" for grieving(without much dignity, I might add) the way that I did. I couldn't believe how it affected me...but I found that even though I couldn't face it well I managed to find the strength to keep going. There is no right or wrong way to cope with this situation. Kama is such a vital part of your life and watching her this way will test your strength and sanity more than you think possible. But you are very strong- you may not feel that way at times, but you are. Most importantly you asked for help dealing with this..I didn't and many poeple try to cope on their own. Admitting you need others is the only way to work through times like these. Being "grown up" about these types of things is overrated in my opinion. Let yourself be weak and needy because that's what friends are for!
    I wish I could give you a great big hug!!!!

  16. I can so relate to your feelings for Kama as I lost the love of my life, Daphne 2 1/2 months ago after 15 years of devotion. My Daphne was the love and light of my life. We were together before I met my husband and she was with me through all of the rough patches, husbands cancer, my infertility and finally pregnancy with Jack and then adoption and she loved Jack and Maya so much. Do you know what Daphne did? While I was pregnant with Jack, she would rest her head on my belly every evening, even before I was showing. She did this for 9 months - never before and never after. I felt like she was sharing her love and nurturing with Jack.
    I hope that you have more time with Kama because no doubt she is ultra wonderful for many reasons. I am praying daily for her, for Avi and you.