Depression about saying goodbye to a pet

gerbilord

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Recently I've been getting really scared and upset about the thought of having to say goodbye to my loved ones. I've never lost a pet/person before so I don't know how I'll cope. I've been crying in the evenings so I don't get the sleep I need.

I don't want to talk to my mum about it because she just makes me break down into tears in that very lovely way mums do.

I'm scared that the gerbils could have as little as a year or two left, they are my first pets and I don't think I'll ever be able to love something as much as I love them. Even just the thought of their death makes me cry for hours - how on Earth am I going to cope when they truly leave me?
And how can I say my last goodnight to Frodo or Sam? (guinea pigs)

I've read through the bereavement guide on this forum a few times, it is really helpful but doesn't ease the pain.

I'd love to know how other people have gotten past this stage into the happy stage where you just accept the inevitable and do not feel like crying yourself to sleep each night and do you have any tips on feeling less sad?

It's especially hard during covid-19 because I can't just hug one of my friends - I haven't seen most of them in 7 months. I feel alone in my thoughts.

I feel silly posting this here with strangers but I'm really hoping someone can help me out a little bit.

Thanks x
 

Sweet Potato

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try to focus on the joy they bring you. It sounds as though you could really do with speaking to your doctor to seek some sort of CBT or counselling. It's not easy but it is a part of owning a pet. if they were with us forever the time we spend together just wouldn't be as special. I have to admit it does cross my mind from time to time and I have to admit it stops me from wanting any pets with a short lifespan or adopting older animals because I know that it's not something I deal with well. that said if it's interfering with your day to day life then you definitely don't just have to deal with that. there are things you can do to make this easier (counselling, speaking to your family) for now I suggest making notes of the good times you have with your pets keeping some sort of record of the cute things they did that made you smile and just enjoy that. any time you start to dwell on the "what ifs" change what you're doing and do whatever it takes to distract yourself. your brain is trying to punish you, don't let it. I also find it helpful to have a bit of a plan (this might not work for everyone but I hate the uncertainty of what happens and this helps me to not see it as a big black hole) this plan might include; what you would do with the body, your favourite photos you might put up as a memory, if it's a guinea pig what rescue you would turn to to find a companion for your remaining pig and anything else you find yourself dwelling on. I have this written down and hidden away so I don't have to worry about it because it's there for me to turn to when the time comes, now any further worrying is getting me nowhere and just needs to stop.

COVID has made mental health a real struggle for so many people you're absolutely not alone and there are plenty of charities and NHS services available you just have to make the first move.
 

Claire W

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Aw bless you. I agree that may be speaking to a counsellor or doing some CBT sessions may help.
When the time comes, just remember that the pain you feel at the time will eventually ease. We all deal with grief in different ways and you will find your own coping mechanism.
Try and enjoy the time that you have with your pets and loved ones x
 

Merab's Slave

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Please don’t feel silly posting here - you’re not and this is a good place for support.
Loss is part of life and none of us know how we will react when we lose a person or a pet that we love.
Grief is part of loving - we don’t grieve when we haven’t loved.
Grief is a process - this means that it doesn’t last forever.
The person or pet will always be missed and have their special place in our hearts, but the actual grieving will pass.
One of the best ways to deal with grief is to build many good memories during life and enjoy the moment, every moment.
These are the things you will hang onto when you do have to deal with loss.

Every loss is different - each person, each pet is unique and so we grieve differently for them.
There is no easy way to grieve but this is part of life and we support each other through the rough times.

Try not to anticipate grief - enjoy today
 

gerbilord

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Thank you everyone for all your kindness and advice.
I have started a diary of all the amazing and funny things that they do, no matter how significant (yesterday Frodo was sitting on my lap on my bed whilst I was reading to him and he let his leg out behind him while lying down so I took a little note of it afterwards).

I think I might start a thread in the "your photos and videos" part of the forum so I can post any videos of them whenever I catch a cute moment, or write down something they did that made me laugh, so then I have it forever and can look back at it when they're gone.

Merab's slave: I am trying to balance how much I think about their passing and anticipating the grief - I don't want to deny the fact that at some point they are going to go to Rainbow land, but I also don't want it occupying all of my thoughts... It's difficult to not block it out entirely but if I think about it then it makes me very upset.

Do you know how much it would cost for some CBT sessions? I read somewhere that it cost between £40-100, in which case I really don't have enough money. And are they sessions which you have to go to? (as in in-person) Just I think I'd be uncomfortable during covid times to go somewhere unnecessarily.

Maybe I can find some alternative - after my gcse in October I'll be a lot more free so I might be able to have an hour chat on a video call with my friend every now and again (if they're free and willing obviously) - they used to have 3 gerbils and all have now passed so they might be able to talk me through some things that helped them. I feel I'd be able to open up more to them than a therapist as I've known them a long time and they would know what I'm going through.
 

Sweet Potato

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judging by the fact you mentioned GCSEs I'm presuming you're young enough to access child and adolescent mental health services (CAMS) through the NHS just ask your GP for what's available in your local area. going to a private doctor for any medical or mental health service is always going to be expensive but there will be something available through the NHS but there may be a bit of a longer wait. speaking to a professional is always a good idea, conversations with friends are great too but neither can replace the other.
 
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