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Why don't most people understand?

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In the last few months I have lost a lot of friends and family to illness and such. Along with our loved Sage. I have lost my Grnadma in '01 to cancer, Sage in '08 to cancer and now my Great Aunt is losing her battle with the same type of cancer. Everytime I hear the news it strikes me down even more. I was there with my Grandma when she passed and with Sage when she passed in my arms. Then before I left the shelter they had me take two dogs that I loved to the vet to be euthanized (because of aggression problems). It tore me up even more since it was two weeks after we lost Sage. But everytime I lose somebody close to me everyone always says everyone else is hurting so much worse than me. They say it's because it never seems to bother me. I don't understand how someone can think that losing family or friends doesn't hurt me as much as anyone else. Everyone always thinks that because I am in rescue and I worked at the shelter that it doesn't bother me to put dogs down or lose family. But some people just have to hide it for later. So just because you don't let it all out to everyone, doesn't mean you don't feel the pain they do. I guess I just needed to tell someone and get it off my chest. It hit me tonight because my Aunt called and said she wasn't doing good and felt bad. She's the one with cancer. They gave her two more months. I knew you guys would understand. That's why I wanted to let it out. Thanks for listening.

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AJ, I'm sorry you are going through some rough things right now. And it is a shame some folks don't understand. Especially folks that should know you. I understand how you are. I'm like that. I could be going through the worst time of my life, and few people would even know. Just hang in there. You know what's in your heart, and as long as you can look in the mirror and like what you see, you're alright!



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I understand. Just a few weeks ago I lost a good friend. We spent my oldest son's 5th Xmas together. He's 31 now. I mourned and did it in a bad way. Disappeared for a few days, worried my family- I just needed to be alone. I, too, have done the "dead dog walking" had to pick a dog from the list and they "thought" they were going for a walk, only to find out that they were in the room to be injected with the blue juice and put in a trash bag and hauled to the dump. The shelters get full. You can't fix that. There are so many owners that don't spay or neuter. Everyone wants a "puppy" and forgets the pluses of an adult dog. Life is so sad at times. We lose our loved ones, we lose our pets, we lose lovers and friends. We still go on. Linda and I have many years on you- in fact, we were born on the same exact day and year. So, we can't call each other "old" LOL. But learn from our experience, that with death .....and loss.....also becomes life! You will have a new niece, a puppy, and a new friend. Big hugs to you-


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Yes I know what you mean

My little sis is the one who can cry at the drop of a hat and when my gran died she had all the family round comforting her

she even told my mum that I didnt care cos I wasnt upset cos gran had died

of course I was - just cos you get sad in your own time does not mean you dont get sad

everyone does greaving in different ways - to me my sisters tears seemed v selfish cos that ment dad had to comfort her when he was the one hurting worst


A little observation I had - dunno if it applys to everyone but it did help me get things into perspetive


when you are young something that happend 6 months ago is a long time ago and forgotton about

as you get older you remember the bad things and lump them all together making yourself feel that the world is all full of bad things

in the past 8 years I have lost my grandad, my dad, split up from my fiance, lost 2 jobs and had to totaly retrain for a new path, lost people I thought were really good friends

I was really letting my head go down thinking this decade is unlucky

but then I realised I was just looking at all the negative - there was lots of good there too

Bad things happen, we deal with them in our own way - but when counting up our woes its important to sometimes look at the balance of blessings


And I know being told someone only has a short time to live is horrible, but you have just got to go and make the best memories with her that you can - it must be so difficult and scary for her - my dad was in the same situation but he was so strong and dignified that we just had to carry on and give him as much fun as we could when he was well enough to

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I know what you are talking about. Some of us don't emote publicly. I used to be more like that, but since I went through major tragedy of losing multiple friends at the same time, I have changed. Now I ball very easily. It is a very private thing- how you show your emotions. Be yourself and to heck with people who judge.

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I have to agree with Kelpiegirl. I have a neighbor who has a 44 yr. old husband with stage 4 lung cancer. This woman has 4 children between 7 and 17. She has had to take a leave from her job and her life now is in turmoil. Yet I run into people that comment that she is always smiling and happy when they see her and can't understand how that can be. They don't hear her morning phone calls to me when she is breaking up. She has to appear positive for her family even though she is falling apart inside. People are to quick to "judge a book by it's cover". Hang in there!

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I myself would chew iron and spit nails before I ever let someone see me cry. Does this mean I don't feel bad? Of course not; I secretly cry at commercials for animals shelters, but I would never let anyone see those tears. It doesn't mean I don't feel bad. On the contrary--I probably feel worse than other people.


Everyone grieves in their own time and in their own way. No one has the right to tell someone else how to grieve, or worse, to "get over it". No one is qualified to tell you how you feel. If someone tries to tell me how they think I feel, I tell them so. I inform them so ("Are you trying to tell me how I feel? You are? Well, you know, you're really not qualified to know how I feel. What you see is what I choose to let you see, so please stop thinking you know how I feel." Okay, it's not very polite, but with the exception of my MIL, who is never, ever wrong, it stops people in their tracks).

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Hang in there AJ, I know where you're coming from. It's been 6 weeks since my mom died. I miss her terribly but I haven't really had a 'good cry' yet. But just because I'm not teary eyed all the time, doesn't mean I'm not hurting. It just shows in different ways I think. They say time heals all wounds, and how we grieve is very personal. We know you care deeply and YOU know that you care deeply. In the end, that is what matters.


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Hang in there AJ . I can relate to what you're going through , in the the last 10 months I've lost my mother whom I was very close to , a dear friend , a uncle , my grandfather who I was very close to , my cockatiel of over 19 years , my cat Ecco and this past month we had to have my cat Loki (aka Dori) euthanized . Then last week we found out another friend was given six months to live , that is if he makes it through his operation . Not to mention the many other little things that have gone wrong . Through all this I've barely cried at all , it's not that I don't care or I'm not hurting , because I am . I just don't really cry or talk about my emotions , I deal with it in my own way and on my own time .


Hang in there AJ .

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It's hard. I know. When I was in my final year of high school I had lost an uncle, grandfather and two friends to suicide. 3 of which were within weeks of each other and my art teacher asked my why I was even at school. I replied saying I could be at home making myself more miserable or at school (which at that time I had 3 art classes and that's it) developing my portfolio and painting which was very theraputic for me at the time and most people got that. People deal with sorrow in different ways, but it doesn't make you any less caring. I rarely shed a tear, but when my grandmother passed last summer (due to questionable doctors) the sole fact that she should still be alive just about killed me, I couldn't stop. I have come to terms with life and death, it's the way the world turns, but when someone shouldn't be dead, I have a hard time dealing with that. It always seems to hit all at once and you feel there will never be an end. Especially when people don't understand that you are greiving, but in your own way. Everything will turn around for you. Life brings love and happieness, even the ones we've lost, you just have to remember all of that happieness they brought to you and remember you will all be re-united again one day!

*big hug*


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Thanks guys. I really appreciate he kind words. I have always been the one who isn't quite so scared of death as everyone else around me. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't bother me to lose someone close either. I guess sometimes people get caught up in the moment with other people that let their emotions out more. I have pretty much come to accept it and go about greiving in my own way. It's better that way anyway. I have never liked crying in front of people. Actually, I hate it.


Vickim, That's the only thing that really breaks me up too. If I even watch it I can't hold it back.

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Sounds like you react more like I do. I get cold and still. I manage to cope so well that people think I'm just fine. I kind of go on remote control. Eventually, instead of crying, I get so cold that I start shivering uncontrollably. No one except - finally - my husband seems to understand that this is not a physical cold.


It would probably be nicer if I could get hysterical or weepy or something. I just get incredibly competent. So that's what everyone expects of me. "Oh, leave that to Nancy. She just takes it all in stride." No, I just take it all inside. It's not that I don't want to cry in front of others; it's just not how I react.


With luck, you'll soon find someone who understands this in you - and loves you for it.

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Oh A.J. I'm so sorry. I understand perfectly what you mean. We are here if you ever need to talk. *sending hugs and healing vibes*

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In the last several years, I've lost a 20 year old nephew (who was like a son to me) to cancer, my grandmother, an aunt, four uncles, both parents (Mom five years ago and Dad a year ago this month), a very dear friend who knew me better than probably anyone, almost lost my husband twice (once to a major heart attack and by-pass surgery, and then again to an abdominal aortic aneurysm), and sat with a friend while her Golden, Angel, lie dying on the kitchen floor. Through all this, I've always been called "the strong one." I DON'T FEEL LIKE THE STRONG ONE! I'm just the one who doesn't fall apart in an emergency. I'm the one they all depend on to "handle things." Yeah, that's why I have anxiety attacks. When my nephew died, a "friend" actually said to me, "Why are you so upset? You knew he was dying." And then there are those people who think that after a year of "firsts without", you should be all better! I don't respond, but think that their time will come, and they'll suddenly understand what grief is and how it affects every aspect of your life, at the time, and from then on. And some people are just jerks...

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Actually I think those of you in dog rescue are the bravest of the brave and I for one really admire you and thank you for your good work.

It comforts me to know there are such good people in dog rescue.


In wildlife we do have to frequently put animals down. But it is different. They do not look to us.


It is sad in a different way. I deal with alot of tragic things with wildlife and it does make me feel hopeless some times. But I do my work, there are so few of us, and not many young people coming into it.


The fawn someone took from its mother and fed soy milk so it scoured and died.


The harbour seal pup that dies because the sound is so polluted it gets navel ill.


The stellar's sea lion that someone runs over with their boat, then shoots.


The poor tramatised wolves that people get illegally.



But we do not get such a large number of animals such as the dogs and cats rescues get.



Then I have to remember the good people that have come out and helped. Putting up fencelines after the storm of 06


Feeding sick abandoned wolf pups every two hours for days on end.


Doing field work in all weather to get information on wild animals that are preying on livestock then moving them.


Offering their boat to get me and my equitment to find an injured seal or bird.


The trials we experience make us better people. They show us who we are.




This has always helped me.


When I was a child we had alot of folks die in my family. My Granny told me look at the grass. She said,


'Grass comes up green and bright in the spring, then in the summer grows to its perfection and gives its seed back to the land.


Then in the fall it too grows dry and withers, and makes the beautiful sound with the wind.


Then in the winter it goes back under the snow to lie quiet. Then the next spring it comes back again like spring will be forever.

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Wow what a thread.


I am the opposite of most that are responding. I am hyper-sensitive, coined phrase by multiple people in my life. I "over react" which is kind of a hurtful thing I've heard quite a bit. I've been this way all my life starting with crying when I saw old people or homeless people or animals that looked lost. The uncontrolable nature of it has gotten better but with animal stuff, I still can totally sob. When it comes to animals, the floodgates of emotion open wide. I've also had someone tell me I have the gift of "empathy". I have felt like John Coffee in the Green Mile at times. But I only see empathy as a gift, if you can do something with it, as opposed to just letting it consume you. So for me, the crying on the spot uncontrolable blast of emotion has really been quite annoying. My good friend likes to tell me it's why I am an artist. I am a sponge that soaks up all the *crud*. Even stories on the news will get me for days. This emotional response does no one any good-it improves nothing-it can get in the way.


My sister is the opposite and has commented that sometimes she can't cry when she knows she 'should' or even when she wants to...


So people like the OP and others on this thread have the real gift and that is strength, courage, self control. You see the need and that's what you act on not the emotion.


bc4ever said

Through all this, I've always been called "the strong one." I DON'T FEEL LIKE THE STRONG ONE! I'm just the one who doesn't fall apart in an emergency. I'm the one they all depend on to "handle things." Yeah, that's why I have anxiety attacks.


Not falling apart IS being strong. Thank God for people like you. I can imagine why you get anxiety attacks b/c you are strong--it's a tall order isn't it.


With my trials with Shep and some shelter volunteering I have come to learn, I need to work where my talents are not neccessarily where I want to be within rescue work. I want to be with the dogs-where they need exercise grooming, time, affection, interaction and socialization--at the shelter. But all I do is cry, choke back my utter sadness and try to talk myself that 'its all good' and then I will lay awake thinking about them all and then the anger comes in... its exhausting. I get so frustrated with myself. Now I know, I really see emotions as tools and as 'talents'. So I help with fundraising, donations and whatever else I can do that isn't at the actual shelter. Its wimpy but its something.


Anyone who does rescue, down in the trenches with all that rescues involves, are truly my heroes.


OK so I can't see how anyone can be critical b/c someone is crying or not crying! Of course people deal with stuff their own way. To me NOT crying and falling apart only helps said situation and to think that b/c a person isn't publicly displaying grief doesn't mean they don't feel it, is pretty ridiculous... as if there are only 2 ways to react. To me, when I see people being strong, still able to smile and function in the face of really sad things, thats a great gift.


The things that Tea listed...I can't imagine working with these situations and the world wouldn't survive without you.

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Thank you


But its people like you that enable me to continue.


I have a wall of letters sent to the project that people have written to us over the years. I look at it when I get discouraged.


I will add yours too!





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Wish I knew why, but I don't. Everyone thought I was nuts today because I was upset that one of my patients died. I wasn't crying or anything, just really frustrated. I guess it hits me harder right now because one of my family members has end stage cancer and another is very old and frail. I keep thinking I want to move somewhere pretty (mountains) next year, but then I realize how important it is to me to be close to family. Too many people take what they have for granted. You are just more aware than most of how tentative and precious life really is. Don't worry about what they think, just be grateful for what you have.

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