So hard to make big decisions while grieving.

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    Hi all, I really could do with some advice as I am struggling to think straight. I went through a painful breakup 6 months ago. Not long before that my ex gave me a Jack Russell pup (Harry) on impulse after one of my beloved dogs died from taking a bait. I was a bit annoyed at the time as he didn’t consult me about it. Anyway that tiny little creature ended up being my whole world. I never felt lonely or unloved in the tough times that followed the break up and even thanked my ex for the best little dog ever as he also adored him.
    In the time since I have decided that I love being on my own and having my own space and don’t “need” to look for a new love. I would often tell little Harry he was my little man and he was all I needed.
    I often used to think I didn’t know what love really was after several failed relationships, but I do and I loved that dog like he was my child. ( I don’t have any human children) He would follow me everywhere and was so playful and full of life He was so affectionate and cuddly, just what I needed.
    Meanwhile, I was going through financial difficulties and realised that I had to sell my home and downsize and move out of town. All very stressful and the last thing I wanted to do. But I was starting to accept it and making plans etc. I went and had a look at a house in another town and was gone for half a day.
    When I got back home my world was turned upside down. When he didn’t greet me at the gate I had a feeling of dread. As I ran around the back calling him I was confronted by my beautiful baby dead on the lawn and totally covered in meat ants. Everything happed in a blur and I didn’t want to believe what I was seeing. He died from snakebite.
    This happened 5 days ago and I am a total wreck. I miss him unbelievably and cry every day. I can’t get that picture out of my head. Have lost my appetite and wander aimlessly around the house, wishing to be able to hold him one more time, to be able to at least say goodbye. My heart aches for him. I even wanted to die, so I could be with him.
    I told my ex the news and he broke down too. For the first time since we split up we met to bury him together. It was incredibly emotional. He stayed with me for a few hours to comfort me then got talking about how he still loves me and is very sorry for leaving me and explained how he now realises he made a mistake. He has been depressed and is at a low point in his life.
    Here is the thing, he has asked me if I would take him back and he is a changed person with a new respect for me. Before Harry died I felt happy and secure on my own even though going through a lot of stress and anxiety. Now I have never felt so alone and so sad. I have lost my purpose. ( and with that I feel guilt as I have 2 other dogs that need my love, but they have totally different personalities to Harry.)
    Sorry this is getting long but all of this grief is happening while I am in the middle of selling and buying another home and now my ex is getting in my head. I really believe him and grilled him on the things that lead to our demise. I like his comfort and company and I really need it now. He has offered to help financially get another place and start again.
    It’s all too overwhelming and I don’t know if I will make the right decision about anything while I am still grieving and feeling very vulnerable. He is at a low point and so am I. What should I do?


    Hi sultana,

    Dogs (and cats in a more general sense) represent chapters in our lives. It is no coincidence that he died right while you were downsizing/moving. And I’m not surprised that your ex suddenly wants you back. Harry was the Break Up Dog. And now his raison d’etre is done. You weren’t born to be there for the dog. He was born to be there for you. I’m sorry if this all sounds perhaps harsh/insensitive?

    What I would do is continue with your plans and take your ex back on probation. No moving in, no sex, just dating. Also see a councilor for examining what led to the demise of your relationship in the first place!! If this advice feels “off” to you, then that “No” is your true answer.



    • This reply was modified 7 years, 2 months ago by Inky.
    Kori Elizabeth


    First, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet fur baby, Harry. There is no sweeter love than that of a animal, especially when you are hurting and healing.

    That being said, when I read about your past relationship and break up, it sounds like you were (and will be) in a much better place. Even saying things like “In the time since I have decided that I love being on my own and having my own space and don’t “need” to look for a new love..”

    I want to encourage you right now. Things are hard and there seems to be no light at the end but friend, there is. No one can make these decisions but you, but I do challenge you to question, why now? If you had not lost your sweet Harry would you have contacted him, prompting a reconciliation? Would you have even wanted one?

    Not once in your post did you mention loving or missing your ex, I don’t point this out to be mean, but enjoying someones comfort during a hard time is not necessarily a reason to get back in a relationship with them. I know it is so hard right now to see the end or the future but take it slow and ask yourself some hard questions.

    I think Inky is right-if you do enter back into contact with him- take it slow, for your own heart.

    You are loved-



    Thank you both so much for your replies. After 6 days now I have started to run out of tears. Tomorrow will be hard though, the day I lost Harry a week ago. The house is so dead, so quiet I hate it.
    Inky, I can’t get my head around what you said in your first paragraph and I certainly can’t derive any comfort from it. I know you wouldn’t have meant any upset by it though. The probation idea could be the way to go.
    Kori, thank you so much for your kind words, you obviously have wonderful pets yourself. What you say makes so much sense but I also feel that if I didn’t have Harry after the breakup I may have thought and reacted differently about my ex. I had Harry for comfort and I spoilt him with all my love. I feel like I took him a little for granted at how much he helped me through. I never expected he could be gone in a instant. Damn,crying again.
    Harry made it easy for me to block out my ex and ignore all his attempts to contact me. I ignored him because I believed he still had no clue or understanding about why things went wrong and that he though I was being unreasonable and he just wanted to get me to change my mind. Now that he has finally got the chance to talk to me he has spilled his guts and is deeply remorseful and sorry for his actions and see the changes that need to be made. You are right, if Harry had not died then I still would have ignored him and never heard what he had to say. I did miss him and wished it had worked out, but Harry made it possible for me to put those thoughts out of my mind.
    We have spoken some more over the phone and it feels so easy to slip back into good conversations we used to have. I will take things slow. I am going to look at another house today and I am taking my other 2 dogs with me this time. Its so hard to not think ” if only I had taken them the first time”

    Kori Elizabeth


    I am proud of you. I think all I could say is, I challenge you to love on yourself a little right now.(Something I have trouble doing myself) I find it so easy to love others and even animals way more than I love myself. Take even a tiny portion of that love you had for Harry and do something nice for yourself. If you and your ex are meant to be-you will and you will have found a love for yourself that is contagious and healthy.

    You are stronger now than you were a week ago, and you will only continue to get stronger!

    <3 you are loved


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