Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Daily Dose of Guilt

After the death of a pet many owners will struggle with powerful and suffocating feelings of guilt. I know I did. Guilt was a daily part of my life. I felt guilty because Molly died from an irreversible kidney disease that I was totally unaware of and I kept asking myself how I could not have known she was sick. I felt guilty for putting her to sleep, even though it was the right decision. I felt guilty over every toy I didn’t buy her, every time I didn’t take her with me to run errands and all the things I did wrong. Instead of focusing on all the positives: all the love, toys and happiness Mike and I gave Molly, I was stuck reliving all the mistakes.

My guilt was almost impossible to overcome. In fact, I still struggle with it. Sharing my feelings with others and talking and writing about Molly has helped. Talking to our veterinarian, Dr. R. helped. He reassured us that nothing we did caused Molly’s disease and that we did everything, within reason, to try and save her.

I know Molly lived a wonderful life and she would be sad if she knew I carried around so much guilt after her death. Even with that, I’m not really sure what the best solution is for overcoming guilt. I think the passage of time helps the most.

I try to remember how happy Molly was and what she meant to me and if that doesn’t work, I take a deep breath and think about all things she did that made me laugh.

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