Attachment Issues after a Loss

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sunshine_hugs

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First of all, I feel really bad posting this, so please try to be understanding.

Many of you know that a couple of weeks ago, I lost two tortoises....one of them, Gruffalo, was my baby....he was my early riser, up and ready to go as soon as I was....he had so much personality. My tortoise pen has been my sanctuary....it's where I go when I need to relax, or just think. I've always enjoyed watching all the babies do their thing. Ever since Gruffalo and Riddle passed away, I just don't feel the same when I go to my tortoise pen.

I still love them all, and put the same care into them, but I don't feel as attached. I don't feel as relaxed. I don't know if I'm just scared to feel the same attachment I had with Gruffalo again.

I've worked in animal rescue (mostly dogs, a couple goats and chickens, etc) for about 17 years, and have had my share of loss with animals. I didn't expect the loss of Riddle and Gruffalo to affect me as much as it has. Maybe it's because my tortoises are such a huge part of everyday. Maybe because it was so unexpected. Maybe it's just normal.

Anyway, I'm just wondering if there's anyone else who has lost a tortoise / tortoises, and felt a little detached afterward? Will I be able to feel that same attachment again? Do I just give it time?

Like I said, I still love my other little one, and they are still getting good care....today was actually my best day with them since my loss, so it gives me some hope.

Thanks for reading.
 

thatrebecca

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Oh, I'm so, so sorry. I have not lost a tortoise, but I have had the experience of losing a loved one, and can tell you that it does get better with time. There are good days and bad days. The important thing is to be present for the family you have. Sending you hugs.
 

wellington

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So sorry for this hard time your having. I haven't lost a tort, but I have a dog that was and always will be my best friend of all animal kind, including humans. She has been gone since 1993 and I still have bad days, just not as often. Another dog will never mean the same too me. However, you have to find something else in the others that mean something to you. Some thing to make you feel closer to them and to make them have that special something. Also, give yourself some more time. A couple weeks isn't that long. I know some may think its silly to feel that way about a tortoise. That's the great thing about this forum. We do understand. It's no different from loosing a dog or cat or horse, no different. Best to you. Enjoy the good times about the torts you lost, find something special in the ones you have.:)
 

Kapidolo Farms

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I've had different levels, kinds of attachments to many living things not excluding people. I don't think I ever reconcile feelings or thoughts on the passing of some, and others, I just see the cycle of life and it does not disturb me.

That strong loss and empty feeling just indicate a dedication and joy that is now gone, at least in the day to day sense. The unexpectedness does make it stronger, with animals, pets, people.

I had a close friend pass due to a second long battle with cancer, it was still a loss, but expected, and in a way there was a relief experienced on behalf of the friend, as well as seeing a lifted burden mixed with loss and grief among his family.

I've lost animals in my primary care in both zoos I worked at that really hit me hard, while later those days I would euthanize rodents for food. I find solace in thinking in Carl Sagen terms, that we are all star dust, and that we just barrow it for our lives and then pass it on to other living things.

It just is.

Will
 

Ruchonnet

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I definitely know how you feel, I had bottle fed 3 kittens by hand and at 10 months one was diagnosed with fip and had to be put to sleep less than a week later. I still love the other two the same but I wasn't as interested in playing with them as much right after it happened. I think overtime it gets easier. And I dont think its unusual to feel that way after one of them is gone. Even if you love them all the same.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Sunshine:

I'm so sorry you're going through this troubled time. I've experienced this too...where you just go through the motions with the other things you have to do, all the time knowing your heart is no longer in it.

It took me almost a year of pushing myself to do the things I knew I had to do, before I realized I was starting to enjoy it again. And eventually, one of the other animals had worked his way into my heart and made it all worth while again.
 

sibi

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I lost a baby boxie. I had him for 4 months ever since he came out of the ground. I loved his loving eyes and playful ways. I just didn't know enough about baby box turtles and in my ignorance, I put a heating pad in his enclosure. I never knew he was dehydrating because he always had a tub of water available. One morning, I found him dug in on top of the heating pad. When he didn't greet me like he always did, i picked him up and he was dead. The heat killed him. I burst out in tears and anguish. That was almost 7 months ago and I still cry over my baby boxie. But, with the passing of time, he has become more and more of a pleasant memory than a heartache. Just focus on all the good times you had with them at their pen. There will always be a sadness, until some other special tort grabs your heart...and it will. Things will get better in time.
 

Tom

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I think your feelings are totally normal. I have been there. Stick with it and in time it gets better.
 

sunshine_hugs

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I'm on my way to bed, but just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has written. This is something I can't talk about with my "real life" friends, because I don't know any tortoise people, so no one seems to understand.

It makes me feel better about my feelings to know it's fairly normal, and things will get better. And like you said Yvonne, right now, I mostly just going through the motions with the other ones.

And I like your thoughts, Will. Great way to look at things.

Anyway, just wanted everyone to know I appreciate you. Thank you.
 

Mrturtle527

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I am so sorry and you are right no one other then those here can really understand, I am asked all the time why I love my torts as much as I do... People don't get it if they are not either human of fuzzy (I have those also). I do think it will get better, but you won't ever be able to love another like you loved them - transferring of feelings isn't possible - but you will love the others in their own way and in time. This is normal - I love all my children differently as well as each on is different in their needs, behaviors, and own capability to love back. Torts are the same :).
 

AnnV

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I am so sorry that you are struggling with the grief of this loss. I could tell right away that you were very fond of the two you lost.
I have had many animals all my life, dogs mostly, but a number of birds have taken a piece of me when they passed. I have been totally at peace with some of the deaths, and been torn apart for lengthy periods with others. Losing them prematurely, especially a baby, is the worst. I had to euthanize a 4 week old puppy once and although I knew him just a short while, it just about killed me. I still think about him in his tiny grave, with tears in my eyes, 18 years later.
I know what you mean about distancing yourself. I think it is a knee jerk reaction. It will pass and you will find joy again. It is just hard getting through it.

I hope you can find peace soon.

Ann from CT
 

sunshine_hugs

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It really made me feel better to write things out...just to share my feelings on here, where you guys understand, and to hear your stories.

You've all made my day better! :) Thanks.
 

yagyujubei

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Pets have the unfortunate habit of dying. Dogs die, cats die, tortoises die. Every pet I have ever owned with the exception of my current ones are dead. Get yourself a couple of new ones, remember the lost ones fondly, and enjoy life. You're still alive...for now ;-)
 

TommyZ

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Hey Sunshine,

I would say that you are being quite normal. There are no guidelines for grieving, no rules or regulations. What i can say is, time heals. Every day itll hurt just a lil less, till one day, the hurt is gone and the good memories remain. Hang tight and keep talking to us if it helps ya, were always here ;)

Sent from my SCH-I535 using TortForum mobile app
 

Kirin

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I'm sorry that you are hurting and missing your babies.I lost my baby Daisy(7 months). She was my first tort and every morning I had to hand feed her; she was not a healthy baby from the day that i brought her home. She passed away Easter Sunday night. When I was cooking dinner for my family I noticed she was not right. Took her out and did all that I could, as I was cooking dinner for my family. I held her on my chest and she put her head on me. I knew she knew that she was my baby and I was her mommy. She passed that night and I didn't think that I wanted another baby. Then Sheldon came along and I came back. Now Thor is here. I just wanted to say in time your heart will heal and your spirit will be back. Hang in there and so will your babies, they know who their mommy is and they love you no matter what!
 

Pokeymeg

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I think it's totally normal... I've been there many times...as im sure most of us have. As an animal lover who always has pets, and therefore has had to part with them, I think this is a completely normal part of the greiving cycle.

Of all the pets I've lost over the years, I don't think any of them hit quite as hard as when I lost my baby hermanns.... it's just something about these funny little shelled creatures, they know how to dig deep into your heart :)

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