Anyone have problems after losing a loved pet and leaving me behind when she goes? - AgingCare.com

Anyone have problems after losing a loved pet and leaving me behind when she goes?

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My Mom is 72 and is having a terrible time getting past our having to out out dog to sleep after 9 years of being together 24/7, We both loved that dog like family and it is hard on both of us but Mom can't sleep and she hears and sees him at night. I think she feels guilty in a way but I know deep in my heart we did the right thing it just doesn't seem like it.

She sates to be in the house and has been taking antidepressant elavil 25 mg, occasionally a valium when things get really bad.

She is worried that I have let most of my friends and past life behind to take care of her and she won't be here long.

We live together along with my grown son and thinks now that since my buddy is gone she will be gone soon and I will be left alone. I cannot convince her otherwise.

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I don't think I'd worry much about it. Mourning the loss of your dog and worrying about you may be taking her mind of the reality of HER situation. Some people have to keep their brains busy. Your mom may be one of them.

Same old rote answer: "Mom, don't worry about me. I'll be fine," and "Yeah, I miss Fluffy, too," ought to do it.
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Such very good and wonderful ideas, many of which I will use. Unfortunately we don't know anyone else with a dog and I don't think she could stand that. However I can try to alleviate her fears some. I have gotten many good ideas and so very much appreciate your help.
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Ask your mother for suggestions about what you might do to prepare for the time when you will be alone.

Tell her what preparations you are making. For example, how will you manage financially living it that house alone? Is the mortgage paid off? Or do you plan to downsize, perhaps move into a townhouse? Will you be fine on the disability payments? Do you have other income? Give your mother specific details of how you will manage. That may help calm her.

If she is worried about your social life and that aspect of being alone, give her details about that, too. "Mom, I am so very grateful to have had this time to grow close to you. When you are gone, I will be very sad and I'll miss you, but I won't be lonely. I will be involved in Son's new family. And I will go back to my interest in XYZ and start attending meetings about that. I'll spend more time with my current friends, and also meet new people." And it may help Mom to feel good if you start expanding your social life a little right now, while she can see it.

As a mother I think I can relate to your Mom. "Oh dear. Jean has spent so much time and effort taking care of me, how will she get by when I am gone? Now her wonderful dog is gone, and her son is starting a new life, and I'll be leaving her too. I wish I hadn't taken up so much of her life! I feel so bad about leaving her in a bad situation!" At least I think that's how I would be feeling in that situation.

If I were facing my own death soon, it would give me great comfort to know that my children and grandchildren were in a good place in their lives and would be able to carry on. I don't think this deep motherly need goes away not matter how old the children.

Assure her of the specific things you will do to be able to live alone. Also be candid about your fears. Be open to her ideas of things you might do to prepare. Assure her that her examples and her nurturing has given you the strength you will need in your life. You are sorry that she needed care in her later years but you are very glad to have the privilege of providing that care.
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Get some other friendly dogs to visit with her. Friends or neighbors must have a dog who can visit for the day, or look for a similar dog on petfinder.com
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We just went through similar; losing my 13 year old Golden Retriever. My heart goes out to your and your mom. I'm glad that she is enjoying the finches. Have you tried hummingbird feeders also? I've always had a mini lop rabbit or 2 for pets; they are much less work than cats or dogs; can easily be litter box trained; and are very content to sit on someone's lap to be pet. My dad has always enjoyed sitting on the sofa with the rabbit on his lap.
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Thanks for the suggestions, I can't see getting another one right now, either for her or myself. This has been one of the most traumatic experience we have been through with a pet.

Today she has noticed that the bird feeders I put up for her to enjoy has attracted beautiful bright yellow finches. She says that is her sign from our dog, so I hope this will ease it some for her. I tell her that is his way of coming back to see her.

I think she is worried about me since I am disabled and unable to work due to Lupus and Sjogrens and my son is thinking about getting married, into a ready made family. Nothing I can tell her so far has helped convince her I will be fine.

Thanks again for your thoughts and helpful ideas. One day I may adopt another fur baby but after the illness that this one went though I can't see another for quite a while. She can't hep it but she is just a natural worrier
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Losing a loving pet is just like losing a loved one. You mom is mourning her loss in her own way and reflecting on the feelings you will have when she is gone. Support each other's grief together and maybe in time, if possible, adopt a pet from a shelter. Love cannot ever be replaced, but it can be added. Sympathies to you on the loss of your beloved fourlegged family member.
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jeanelliott, I would not get a new pet at this point in time because of the medical issues with your mother as per your post and another post you wrote the other day. A new pet would need more time and attention then you can give right now.

Try to tell your Mom that you won't be left alone,your grown son is part of your household. You will know when the right time will be to bring in a new pet, nature has a way of bringing lost/stray pets to one's door step, out of the blue.
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Maybe get her a kitten? They are less work than a dog, and you wont be "all alone" with just your son. Not that one replaces the other pet, just a new addition. Maybe say you "found it" and it needs some loving! Maybe she is lonely and this will be a new easier entertainment for her?
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