Unbearable grief of Fluke & Harry's passing
Although I've not posted many comments, I have spent many hours reading all your experiences in the hope I'll find some form of peace and reason.I think I need to apologise in advance of the length of this post. I am venting !!!
As those of you who have read my initial post will know, I lost both my golden retrievers just 17 days and 15 days ago. It was such a massive shock as when I took Fluke to the hospital, I never imagined he would not be coming home with me and for him to die the very next day, followed by his brother Harry, continues to break my heart.
Fluke's brother Harry took ill the following day and joined him in hospital (with what they thought wasn't related to Fluke's problem). They were side by side in their beds, it was a heartbreaking sight. Their passing has wrenched me apart. First Fluke then Harry to pass a couple of days after was, and still is unbelievable, inconceivable.
Both my boys were or so I thought in pretty good shape for their age (they were brothers from the same litter). How could I have missed something, I spent all my days with them, I should have noticed something. I was so particular about the food and supplements they received, ensured they got their exercise, given some much love and cuddles, people (not dog people) thought I was obsessed. Fluke had actually been seen only two days prior and got a pass from the vet. The vets actually said how fit he was for his age.
We took Harry in the following day, and spent some time with my Fluke, who looked ill, but the vets gave no indication it was so serious, (they were querying infection/pancreatitis but all the bloods came back within normal limits). I spent some time with both boys that day/evening, but had to leave, it was getting late, and they didn't allow owners to stay on. Fluke passed that night at 1am in the morning, they didn't even phone me. I wasn't with him, he was alone apart from his brother Harry (who must have known what was happening, they were so close, it worries me that this had an impact on Harry's condition). What upset me the most was that they didn't even ring me. I found out at 7am when I rang for an up-date on both boys.
I immediately set off to the hospital. What about Harry. On arrival I was informed by the vet that they had found Harry to be anaemic and said it looked like chronic bleeding and that he needed a blood transfusion. They also said he had passed a malena (black stool) which confirmed their findings, although they weren't sure were the bleeding was from. The strange thing was that Harry had not passed any black stools prior to this. They did an ultra sound scan and said he had a suspicious area in his stomach either ulcer or cancer. Only an endoscopy would give them a definitive answer. I wasn't sure for Harry to undergo an invasive procedure, especially after Fluke, but they said I had till after the week-end to decide.
I took Harry for a short walk outside of the hospital that day, just to spend some time with him and connect once more, and give him loves and cuddles. Eventually I had to leave, and would return the next day. I did with my sister and her family for support. When we arrived he was different again, totally subdued, did not even lift his head, he was laid down, didn't get up to greet us, it looked as though his abdomen was swollen. He was dramatically different from the day before, what was going on? I was horrified, not Harry too. The main vet came in to see us, he looked solemn, he said Harry had had an enormous loose malena that morning. I almost collapsed, none of us could believe it !!! As the afternoon passed into evening it was evident Harry was seriously ill. I and all the family surrounded him with kisses and cuddles and talked for hours with him, recounting his various escapades. I thanked him time and time again for all the love both he and Fluke had given me and how they had kept me going through some very dark days. I think he had just given up, I believe he didn't want to carry on without his soul mate, Fluke. Harry passed away that evening, very quietly, surrounded by his family, with a lovely prayer being said to send him on his way to Rainbow Bridge, and hopefully to meet his brother Fluke, and his sister Simba who had passed 3 years previously.
This has had such a dramatic effect on me, they were my life. I still haven't been able to return home, it was our home, me and the boys, how could they not be there. I have tried to return with my daughter, just a couple of times shortly after my boys passed, as I had to collect some clothes etc. It was awful, I completely collapsed and couldn't stop crying and shouting 'why, why'.
I have found great comfort in reading all your posts about your beloved companions, but still feel guilty and question my decision to take them both to hospital in the first place, I thought I was doing the right thing. Maybe if I hadn't they might still be here.
My sister and her family have tried to help, but I think only like-minded people can understand the depth of my grief and guilt. They just tell me I'm making myself ill. I just can't help it, it was just me and my boys, as I don't have a partner and have been off work ill for 3 months, so they have been with me 24/7. I would of done anything for my boys. My doctor has told my family I'm having an extreme bereavement reaction, what do they expect !
I have been left, lonely, guilty, and traumatised. I only hope that being able to voice my feelings will help. Its an actual physical pain, an ache deep inside. Can any of you wonderful people give me any advice to help me try to come to terms with this terrible episode in my life. I want my boys back.