The sudden and unexpected death of a pet can be devastating, especially if it happens in traumatic circumstances.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon to hear through The Ralph Site Facebook group about precious pets that have died as a result of being hit by a car or attacked by another animal.
In such circumstances, some pet carers find that they experience flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for a long time after the loss of their companion.
It can be debilitating, frightening and lonely, especially if people around you don’t understand the extent of your anguish about the death of your pet.
Do know that flashbacks can be managed with time and support.
Why do flashbacks happen?
We thought it might be helpful to summarise the explanation here.
The human brain has two memory systems that help us make sense of our inner and outer worlds.
System one acts like a camera, taking snapshots of everything we see, hear, smell, touch, taste and feel throughout the day, including our emotions.
System two takes these snapshots and puts them in order, filing them in a sort of photo album that we can flick back through in the form of memories. Once a snapshot is consigned to the photo album, we know it is in the past.
However, when something traumatic happens, something that causes an elevation in our emotions, the blood flow to our brain rushes to memory system one – the camera – so that we can capture every detail of what’s happening.
The evolutionary reason for this is so that we can identify something potentially dangerous before it occurs in the future and stay safe.
While memory system one is working overtime in response to a traumatic event, memory system two – the photo album – pretty much shuts down so the brain can focus on keeping us alive.
Of course, this means that the snapshots from the camera don’t get filed away as they’re taken
This means that a traumatic event can resurface at any time in the form of flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. Many people find they have one or more triggers to their flashbacks. This might be a specific smell such as petrol, rain or
Even the briefest of contact with one of these triggers can bring all the snapshots from the trauma back into focus but as if it’s happening again rather than in the past. This is because we’re viewing it through the lens of the camera again rather than
Using this analogy, it makes perfect sense that flashbacks occur after a highly emotional, traumatic event. Our own brains want to protect us from future hurt and yet, ironically, keep us reliving a heartbreaking event, in this case, the loss of a pet.
The good news is that it is possible to overcome flashbacks. Once the event is over, memory system two eventually comes back online and is open to sorting the unfiled snapshots from your trauma. It may be a slow process but your responses to the trauma can change.
There are a number of techniques recommended to help you overcome flashbacks.
- Acknowledge and sit with a flashback
This is easier said than done, we know, but many bereavement experts recommend consciously accepting a flashbackor intrusive thought rather than trying to block it or push it away.
This might mean saying out loud that, “I keep seeing the moment when….” and explaining what you see in your flashback. Talk about how it felt at the time, the events leading up to
By doing this, you can help memory system two make sense of the jumbled snapshots that haven’t been filed. It’s a way of saying, “This goes here” and building up a complete view of what happened.
We should note that many people find this approach is most helpful when done with the support of a trained counsellor as there is some risk of the frequency and intensity of flashbacks increasing in the early stages before they become more manageable.
- Write it down
If you don’t want to talk about your pet’s passing or you feel you’re struggling to find a listening ear, it can be effective to write down what you see during a flashback and where it fits
This is a tangible way of ordering the images in your head, almost like captioning the snapshots so you can understand them later.
- Catalogue your triggers
As your flashbacks or intrusive thoughts occur – or afterwards, if that’s easier – try to step back and see if you can pinpoint a trigger. You might have lots of triggers, so be sure to keepa list.
Your next task is to challenge your trigger. Yes, you heard the car coming down the road before your pet was hit but that doesn’t mean all cars will be involved with a traumatic accident. Thousands of people drive cars every day and don’t cause a pet fatality.
Your own car helps you get from A to B, you have never driven it with the intention to cause harm.
The idea is to rationalise the snapshots so that your brain begins to understand that, although a bad thing happened on one occasion involving your trigger, it doesn’t mean something bad will happen every time you cross paths with the same thing.
- Highlight the differences between now and then (or create differences)
This approach is the equivalent of encouraging your brain to ‘spot the difference’ between a snapshot from today compared to a snapshot from your traumatic memory.
Take a moment to remind yourself that the weather is different, the season has changed, the formation of parked cars on the road is different, or that you can hear different sounds in the garden.
If walking into a room at home reminds you of your pet’s passing then you could try moving the furniture around or hanging your pictures in different places. Small changes can help to remind your brain that the traumatic snapshots come from the past, not the here and now.
- Lower your stress levels
Many experts say that flashbacks can be reduced by concentrating on activities that relax your body and mind. There are several strategies to do this.
- During a flashback, you might find it helpful to repeat a phrase such as, “I am at home. This is a memory” or “This isn’t happening now. The flashback will be over soon” as a way to bring you back into the present.
- We read one article where a man experiencing flashbacks repeated “Doctor Foster went to Gloucester” to himself during a flashback and visualised Doctor Foster falling into a puddle as a way of distracting his mind. Another guy played “Always look on the bright side of life” on his phone every time a flashback started.
- Some people find it effective to focus on a particular item such as a clock, chair or picture that isn’t associated with the trauma and keeps them anchored.
- Concentrate on exercises that bring your breathing under control as this will help you to feel more relaxed.
- Visualise your flashback as though you’re watching it on a cinema screen – add in audience members, popcorn, a fire exit, the low hum of chatter. You can then begin distancing yourself from the memory by pausing the film, rewinding
,fast-forwardingor even turning it to black and white. Relaxationtechniquessuch as imagining that you’re flying over the sea or through aforestcan also help distract and calm your mind. Afteraflashback, try to do something that distracts you for at least half an hour .Thismight be reading a book, watching something ‘mindless’ on TV, listening tomusic, dancing roundyour living room, phoning a friend or going for a briskwalk.
Don’t suffer in silence
As with any traumatic event, if you feel that you are struggling to cope with your feelings, especially as a result of flashbacks or intrusive thoughts, please don’t suffer in silence. Help is available.
Many people find comfort from being able to talk to others in The Ralph Site Facebook group. There are also some excellent pet bereavement counsellors. Your doctor may be able to refer you to someone who specialises in PTSD and flashbacks.
Your thoughts and feelings are normal, the brain’s response to a terrible event, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait to feel better. Yes, time is a great healer but so is support and a community by your side.
Until next time,
Shailen and The
Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support
We lost our 3.5 month old kitten on Christmas Eve. It was sudden, traumatic and unexpected. We are deeply saddened and it was super difficult to watch our hidden go through watching their pet die. She was a very spiritual animal and we loved her dearly. Not sure why god wanted her with us for such a short time but it was absolutely wonderful to have her.View Comment
I am sorry to hear of your loss, Debi. So young and as this time of the year. Very sad. I guess this was her destiny, bless the little one.
Our next blog post to be published today is on the loss of a young pet. Please do have a read of it when it is out (later this afternoon).
Thinking of you and your family,
I lost my 5 year old guinea pig a few months ago. He became ill and he continued to deteriorate for about 3 weeks before passing. On his final day I held him as he passed and it wasnt very peaceful. I have trouble sleeping sometimes because I keep reliving it at night, so I’m struggling to find a definitive trigger other than the fact I’m trying to sleep.
I haven’t spoken much to my partner about it because I dont want him to have to think about it either 🙁
I’ll have a look around the site, but are there any further articles you think would be helpful?
Sorry to hear about your loss, Alix. I am not aware of any articles other than this blog post that I can recommend. I am sure there must be some, just not on my radar. I do think that sharing with our private Facebook community and asking others what helped them might be valuable if you are on Facebook.
Thinking of you,
I lost my sitka a week ago, he started having siesures, 4 in an hour. It was 10 pm nite before thanksgiving, I am having a hard time. I close my eyes I keep reliving it. I go back in forth from guilt to helpless. I think maybe he was sleeping not dead. I know I sound crazy. The flash backs won’t stop. I should of known how to help him. I feel like a piece shit. I just want my sitka back. I can’t work or come out of my room. He died in my room. His death has triggered my pstd from my childhood. That I thought I was past. Can a new traumatic experience trigger old?View Comment
I am so sorry for your loss. Last December 4😰, we lost our beloved doggie who was 4yrs old after her 19th seizure. She was on medication as she had thick blood and it has been extremely hard to cope. I’m trying really hard to think in terms of what a good life we provided for her instead of dwelling on the trauma it was to see her have seizures. Also, my husband said each alive being has its luck and its health. Your Sitka had its luck to have your love but health is not something you could control. You always did the best for your beloved Sitka,View Comment
I held my dog cowboy as he died very suddenly and unexpectedly. He just stopped walking and seized violently all I could do was hold him. It’s been at least 5 years now and recently my other dog whose now old herself later down and just didn’t get up and it set me into a panic thinking it was happening to her and I started crying, I still am because it brought back memories of cowboy. She was fine but it made me realize how much that day affected me.View Comment
Thank you for sharing your story, Hailey. It is a valuable insight for us all into how we never quite know what will trigger a flashback. I am glad to hear that your other dog was fine and remains with you. Warm regards, Shailen.View Comment
I just lost my furry best friend of 12 years 4 days ago. She was my world my baby girl. Always by my side. I now find I have trouble when coming home. I start having a panic attack half way home. She died of a sudden heart attack in our bedroom while we was getting dressed to go out for dinner. It was most awful thing to watch. I have trouble now everytime I walk into the bedroom. I get an overwhelmed feeling. Heart starts beating fast I lose my breath and start shaking. I try to ocus on something else but the feeling overwhelms me and I just lose it. I literally hate this pain in my heart. I miss her so much..View Comment
I am sorry to hear this, Stephanie. No doubt the way in which you lost her is and will make your grief more painful and complicated. I hope that you will find the blogs here and the information on our main site of value. If you are on Facebook and are not a member, please join our private group here. The group is full of like-minded pet carers who will understand and support you. The group is international and so there is always someone there to listen, day or night. Thinking of you at this very difficult time. Shailen.View Comment
I also have trouble coming home and staying alone when my husband goes awayView Comment
I watched my 10# doxie get killed by a 120# Dobie for just crossing an invisible line in the ground. She was 12 yrs old, diabetic w/cataracts and couldn’t see well. She also had vestibular ataxia (drunken dog syndrome). I spent 24-7 catering to her needs for two full months before the neighbor dog killed her. I can’t sleep, or even get through the day without her. What can I do?View Comment
My family and I had a traumatic experience a month ago of a very graphic death of my 16 year old cat who was not ready to go, my mum is getting serious flashback and it’s getting worse, any advice on how to help someone, it’s beginning to worry me.. thank you xView Comment
Condolences on your loss. Please share the information in this blog with your mum. She may also find it useful to share her experience with our private Facebook community and if she wants to connect with someone there are some options here.
My thoughts are with your family,
Hi my 19 year old cat died 9 days ago. She was fine up until 4 days before she passed. Her breathing seemed laboured. The vet said she may only have a couple of weeks and did offer to put her to sleep there and then but I asked if I could bring her home overnight so me and my children could spend time with her. She seemed settled and relaxed at home for 2 days and not at all suffering. Then suddenly she went into respiratory arrest and it was the most horrific few minutes of my life and I can’t get over it. I miss her so very much and the guilt of not putting her to sleep sooner is killing me. I keep reliving it over and over. She was literally my shadow and I’m broken.View Comment
So sorry to hear this, Amy. It is very difficult. A lot of people struggle with guilt and regret after their pet dies. I can appreciate why your situation would make that more pronounced. And then dealing with the shock of what happened at the end and the flashbacks. I hope that in time you will be able to focus on grieving her loss without these other complicating factors. Shailen.View Comment
I have just gone through something similar. 18year old cat developed breathing difficulties last week, found to have massive amounts off fluid around her lungs, heart. She was in the vets for ages in distress, like yourself they said option was to let her go. I asked for them to try draining & she perked back up. But it was very temporary…. I had to make the heart breaking decision to help her pass on Tuesday 20th July. I stayed with her, but she fought it & it was horrible. I miss her very much – she helped me through some very hard times. Her sister is still with us and Im wracked with worry for her as she was the one with issues not Bru. I am so broken, so sad.View Comment
Biggest hugs to you all
I just lost my 3yo toy poodle. I came home and she was dead. The vet thinks it was from a snake bite as she was healthy and normal before I went to work. I feel guilty and traumatised that she died alone. She must have been so scared. She was my baby and I miss her and not sure how to get through this grief.View Comment
We lost our beautiful four month year old kitten this week. She was found malnourished on the street and we fostered her and her siblings, when they time came to home her, we couldn’t let go. I fell asleep with her between our legs and woke up and to find her dead in our small garden, attacked by something in the night. I feel so guilty for leaving the back door ajar. I wish She hadn’t been alone. I can’t stop seeing her alive and dead all around the house. I can’t enter the kitchen, come home, or open the fridge without huge dizzying panick – the hardest part is how this stress brings home the reality of the missing of her, a constant reel of moments, good and bad. She is so so missed.View Comment
about over a month ago, i lost my childhood cat. we knew it was coming to an end because he wasn’t starting to get very weak and lose weight and just would simply not use the bathroom without one of us taking him to his box. one day, we washed him up because he had food all over him from when we force feed him, he had red speckled spots on his stomach. we took him to the vet and he was put down. i constantly replay the flashback in my head or replay that day in my head. it hard for me to talk about it to anyone because i’m suppose to be over it by now. i cry randomly and my boyfriend understands, but i know it’s hard for him. i’m also in an ecology class that talks about animals dying a lot and it makes me instantly go back to the day everything happened. it makes it hard for me to focus on things too. everything gets tuned out and all i can think about is the day.View Comment
After midnight today I lost my baby Max. He was a beautiful smart, funny and sweet dog. He was always there for me everytime I felt alone or when I have mental breakdowns. He died in my arms, puking then having seizures and I keep having flashbacks of it. I can still hear him struggle. I can still hear my own screams and sobs. It was so unexpected but honestly I am still thankful I got to be there for him. I hope he watches over us and is somewhere out there happy and safe. I still am a bit in denial, sometimes I feel like he’s just gonna show up with his ears perked up and his tail wagging while he does his silly turns. It hurts, but I’m trying to tell myself that he is okay now. Run free Maximus. I love you.View Comment
Yesterday morning I saw my 4-year-old french bulldog puppy get run over by a car right in front of me. Even though it was recent, I keep seeing the event replay in my head nearly 24/7. I feel as though it was my fault. I was trying to get them away from my dad so he could get in the driver’s seat (as we were leaving our holiday accommodation and they were excited to go for a drive) to drive out of the garage so I moved my dogs onto the grass and they were very hyper and excited and she ran onto the road and was hit by a ute going about 50. I try to distract myself but nothing is working. I am only 16 years old and I am really struggling with all the trauma, it is really overwhelming. Fortunately, she is still alive but is very very sick with bleeding lungs. She has no broken bones so we got very lucky, she didn’t actually go under the wheels but rather bounced off both sets of wheels and was being tossed around underneath the car, it was a disgusting and traumatic scene. I don’t want to see her go, I will carry the guilt of not being able to stop her running onto the road for the rest of my life. Vets say she is doing good but she is very very sick. I don’t know what to do or who to speak to because my whole family feels the same, including my 12-year-old brother and his friend, my 14-year-old sister and my pop. I’ve never experienced anything like this and don’t know how to act. I love my dogs more than anything in this world and I can’t believe this has happened. You never think it would be you until it is. I’ve been praying for Betsy’s recovery and it’s most likely she will live! I feel better now that I have written it all out. Can anyone recommend anything to help?View Comment
Sorry to hear this, Maddie. I hope that Betsy continues to recover. Hopefully, when you have her back home, time will do its magic and you will start to have fewer flashbacks or guilt about what happened. It is very difficult to keep them safe 100% of the time while allowing them to enjoy life too. I believe that Betsy knows how much you love her and will not have any bad feelings towards you. Thinking of your family at this time.View Comment
We just lost our beloved dog last night. A coyote took him into the darkness. My daughter and husband heard his last cries. I keep checking the door to see of he’s on the porch. I keep replaying in my head how scared he must have been and what happened to him out there in the dark.View Comment
We are so broken.
we just lost our 6 month old puppy a couple days ago. he seems to have eaten a toxic plant. we were always paying attention to him because we knew he ate random things on the floor, but we got distracted for a second and he seems to have eaten something. he threw up a couple times and we didn’t think much of it, because we thought it was for eating our other dogs food. the day after when we woke up he was really sick, and after a long day at the hospital, he went into sepsis and died. after hours waiting to see him, when the hospital allowed us to spend time with him, his heart rate and oxygen started declining as soon as he saw me. i watched him die as he struggled with the tube down his throat. i cannot stop having flashbacks of his tiny body laying there with a blank sight. i feel so guilty and so sad his life was so short, and in such a horrible way.View Comment
My cat was in stage 2 kidney disease (4is the worst) and she had some senility. I was willing to help her—staying home with her and not rushing to put her down but my husband had recently retired and wanted to travel. He already went to florida for a week without me because I wouldn’t leave our cat—she had terrible separation anxiety. I blame him for us having to put her down. How do I get over that??View Comment
my dog passed away at a younger age. she was the only one who really loved me in my house. my parents made me feel worthless saying how i am not good enough, but she made me feel loved and gave me a will to live. we did everything together. now that she’s gone i keep thinking about the way it was. i get unwanted flashbacks of the day she passed and knowing i would be alone without the one i truly loved who reciprocated that love back. my parents didn’t want to take her to the vet even though i bugged them for a while to acknowledge her sickness. my dad even got angry with me when i was crying because i knew something was wrong. by the time they helped it was too late and she passed away the same day he got angry with me. i wish i could be with her. it’s painful being so alone without your soulmate. i cry everyday still without her.View Comment
I lost my 3 year old apbt on Thanksgiving this year. I bottle fed her from 4 weeks old due to circumstances with the mother.. I watched her grow from a tiny little pup to a beautiful healthy adult.. We had so much fun together I have so many memories with her. I am a single man with very few friends an not much family… So she was really all I had in this world that made me happy.. Unfortunately the day before Thanksgiving I left for work never thinking in a million years that she would grab my bottle of vitamin c with zinc gummys…. But she did an chewed the bottle until she got into it an ate them all…. When I got home that night she seem fine I sat on my sofa with her watching TV an fell asleep not knowing she had got into those gummys… (this is so hard) later that night I woke up to her vomiting an I immediately went into panic.. In my panic I finally walked into my room and seen what she had eaten an my heart dropped… Zinc poisoning.. I immediately called my vet to no avail it was Thanksgiving an he was out of town I frantically tried to find an emergency vet nothing anywhere near… As all this is going on my baby girl is getting worse by the minute it seemed.. I’m not going to go into detail on what all I had to watch my baby girl go threw before she passed away in my arms later that day.. The flashbacks I have an the extreme overwhelming guilt I feel I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy… I would give anything for just one more day with her.. She was all I hadView Comment
It’s been 2 days since I lost my dog. He was 11 yrs old, died due to old age with untreatable organ complications. Seeing him all bloated, legs and lips swelled, could barely walk, stand, and could only eat lying down hurts so much that the places he used to sleep and walk in brings me agony.View Comment
Yesterday when I woke up I even thought it was him barking outside, coz he used to do that, trying to go out the gate. When I saw his bowl, I cried again. It’s difficult to stop thinking those painful moments and I don’t think I’m good with fully accepting his death. I can say this because 5 years ago, we also lost our 6month old pup, she died of parvo and the vet couldn’t do anything about it. She suffered for 3days pooping blood (a lot of it), wouldn’t eat nor drink so we had to syringe fed her. That time was also very tough as I was the only one capable of caring for her (highschooler) as my mother was out of town due to work and my siblings were very young (in elementary) that time. It was really really really hard when you really don’t know what to do. I cared, cleaned, fed, and monitored for her until past midnight, then wake up early to check on her again before going to school, then worrying sick as she’d be left home alone, suffering. Then on the 3rd day before I went to school, I noticed her drinking a lot and ate her food voluntarily, so I thought she was beginning to be okay, but then later that afternoon in December, as I was ready to go home, excited, I received a call from my younger sister, and there I knew, she died. Since then, everytime I remember her, especially those bloody days she suffered, I cry my heart out, even to this day, and as I’m typing this. Is it maybe because I was young back then? or because it was the very first time I witnessed a dog suffering from parvo and that I have no adult to help me care for her so I could only do so little?
Now, the pain has doubled as I’ve lost another. All I remember is their pain and suffering, for me it’s hard to think of those happy memories anymore. Does this mean I am unable to move on? Am I really traumatized? Is there anything wrong with me mentally? or emotionally?
I’ve tried to assess myself and sadly I haven’t done most of what the site have mentioned, except now I started to share what I’ve been through with my pets deaths here, to not suffer in silence. That is why I’m sorry for this long post.
There is nothing wrong mentally with you. When our doggie died last December 4th (you can see my reply in this blog about it), we were heartbroken but little did we know the worst would come weeks after and now… as we are having awful flashes of every seizure she went through plus waking up in the middle of the night with feelings of anxiety.
It is called love and broken heart… our minds need to process this in the best way possible and that is through nightmares and bad memories at times. I think it is like what a grief specialist told us when my dad passed away 10 years ago: ”you have to cry through grief to overcome it”… after it, you would still love and feel sad when remembering the hard events, but that’s because we are human and have a mind that doesn’t forget.
So, no, there is nothing wrong with you mentally. The day we went to pick up our baby’s ashes at the vet’s, I read a sign he had there: ‘until one hasn’t loved a furry one, a huge part of the soul remains undiscovered’. We are lucky we have the heart to love furry ones… keep in mind you gave your doggies the best life possible and you did all you could. Remember too the good memories… you will always love them and miss them, but you will have the satisfaction of having done all the best for them.View Comment
My dog died unexpectedly yesterday. She was fine the day before. There were fireworks that went off that night a frightened her a lot but they ended. The next morning she was gone. She was so healthy and full of life. I’ve had pets died from cancer or old age and I mourned for them but felt they were now at peace. I can’t stop crying for my sweet girl. Because it came out of the blue I’m just devastated.View Comment
I am so sorry for your loss. I’m struggling too and as I try to find help out there, I came across this video about pet loss… Not everything will apply to you, but some things the speaker said helped me a lot… https://youtu.be/TkJGhQANjZoView Comment
Just lost my kitten Leo, he was only 4 weeks old and it was about 2 days ago he passed on and just today that I buried him because I just couldn’t do it. It was a sudden and slow passing, he struggled to breath and was meowing time to time trying to catch a breath. I don’t know what caused this to happen, we think he got sick or something in his lungs I don’t know but it was an hour after I found him and him trying his best to breath and me trying everything I could to save him because I don’t have anyway to get to a vet or money, he dragged himself to his mom and I helped him get over there once I realized what he was trying to do and once he got to her he relaxed and just let go. Another one of my cats who takes care of the babys too was trying to wake him up and it was so soo sad and I wish I could have done something but I’m just a kid I don’t know what I’m doing and it sucksView Comment
We lost two of our 4 legged children a year and a half ago to a house fire to this day it haunts me so badly that I find it hard to preform normal daily tasks. One of the dogs was my daughters emotional support animal to which he would go to the coast with her when she would ride her horse along the sand and ocean waves and Hudson would run along side her and jump between her and the horses neck and they would ride down the beach the three of them . Hudson and his younger sibling were Siberian huskies and more importantly they were my kids my grand dogs as I referred to them being I had no grandkids and was perfectly happy with them being my granddogs . They both were tragically taken from us in a house fire being no one was home . I normally would have been there but was covering a delivery route for one of my drivers so I put all the blame on myself because had I not of covered the route they would still be here today. My life before the accident was really good I would golf daily go to the gym interacting with people and really enjoying my life but now it’s all I can do to work to have a purpose to want to live . I have even contemplated taking my own life it’s been that hard on me and more so on my daughter. To add to all of this my ex wife has been diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer to which my fear is what’s my daughter going to do is she going to off the deep end and how can I help her when I myself am in such pain I feel like I have let my daughter down as a father. We prior to this we’re so very close we would sing our favorite song together in the car to where now we harldly speak to one another and have become so distant that I have no desire to want to go on with my life. I don’t have the answered I once had I don’t have the determination and the want to live as I use to I just can’t get over the loss of my two kids to the point I don’t care about anything anymoreView Comment
I lost our 8 week kitten this week, I say lost we had a decorator in wallpapering our hall way and as she was getting off the ladder the kitten ran towards her and she stood on him he started shaking and blood was coming out of his mouth or nose I’m not 100% sure. I quickly grabbed him and rushed him to the kitchen and it seemed like he was chocking on his own blood so I tried to clear his mouth with water but it didn’t seem to do anything he then calmed down and just stared at me and cwtched into me like he normally did and then the light in his eyes just went out and he just stopped moving. I knew there and then he was gone and I just continued to cuddle him into my chest tucked into my arm stroking his head. It happened so fast and I keep thinking back to it and it doesn’t seem real, like I don’t understand how it happened, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Now ever since I keep having flash backs and images of him, cuddling, playing, just random everyday stuff but it’s the actual moment and just after that’s hunting me I can’t shift the image of him and the blood and I worry that he was in pain and scarred and he looked to me to protect him, it’s tearing me apart and it feels like each day it’s getting worse and worse and I can’t think of anything else.View Comment