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submitted 3 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Do we just live and suffer and die?

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[-] zoostation 114 points 3 months ago

Your cat had a good life and loved you and then died. There doesn't have to be a point, there's more good than suffering.

[-] [email protected] 15 points 3 months ago

My experience has been a net negative and I don’t event have it that bad.

[-] zoostation 18 points 3 months ago

The world does suck right now. All the more reason to find something like a cat or some other thing that makes you happy to help ignore all the bullshit.

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[-] niktemadur 63 points 3 months ago

The point is to give someone vulnerable a full life, with safety and warmth.
From your perspective, time went by too fast; from their perspective, it was a long and peaceful lifetime, they were incredibly fortunate to have someone like you.

Also, there is an implicit assumption we carry around that to be immortal is some sort of blessing or state to aspire to, while it may very well be that being mortal is itself the blessing.

In my opinion, the highest tribute one can pay to a departed friend and companion is to again open one's home to another vulnerable creature and make him/her family.

Do it in your departed friend's memory and honor. If you could communicate again with them, you would let them know this is part of their proud and gentle legacy, to reduce suffering on the world - "Look what you did, by being who and what you were for me in life, you opened the door for someone else when their turn came."

This is what I have done, and do not regret a minute of it.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 months ago
[-] shalafi 48 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

My cat died April 16th, 2023. Had a few, never have another. Can I share my story? I swear there's a point at the end.

Adopted her from a local redditor, who had only had her a month. She was always tiny, but at some point, cancer wasted her overnight. By the time I noticed her collar falling off her 1.5" neck it was too late. We found her dead in the hallway the next night.

She sat on my lap every night, and that's all she wanted, simple affection. I was single and living alone, excepting a friend with benefits across the street, I was terribly alone. She was my solace, my peace. She was my friend, not an animal, not a pet, my friend. And gods how I cried because I felt I had let my dear friend down. Hell, crying now.

"WHY?!", I screamed. Why was such a blameless and harmless friend dead when I've done such evil in life?! I've tried to be one of the good guys, but I've done bad things. She had no concept of evil, she just was, and only asked for comfort. Call it survivor guilt, guess it is. But a life like hers clearly deserved more life than my tainted soul.

She didn't do any of the typical cat meme stuff, just kinda hung around. Rarely left the yard, just sat in the shadow of my truck when it was hot, chilled inside when it was cold. Always low energy, but no issues the vet could point to.

Anyway, I buried her out at my personal chunk of swamp in the boonies. Fought for 30 minutes to cut through cypress roots, but I wanted her to rest in a nice shady spot by the water. Literal blood, sweat and tears getting that tiny grave open. Didn't think anyone would give a shit, but my friends all rolled out. I'm the guy in the cowboy hat. I salute her grave every time I pass.

Mom died 2-weeks ago, on my birthday. I cried for that cat far more than for her. I get you. I feel you. LOL, I'm sure mom cried more for the death of her mountain lions than she would have for me. So it goes.

So yeah, we live and we die. Our friends and family die. Suffering? I dunno. Did my cat suffer? She certainly did for at least some of her life. But she certainly didn't after I got her. At least she was as happy as I knew how to make her.

Suffering is only possible if you're alive. Hell, we could be atoms embedded in a Jovian moon, but at least we're here to feel. And that's pretty fucking wild if you think about it. I've suffered like hell, but I've also experienced and loved more than the vast majority of humans ever will. (And if you looked at our pics, the little Asian woman is now my wife. Funny how life works out.) If I died tonight, I'd call it a win. Being alive is a fabulous gift, even though it has its downsides.

How about you tell us about your cat? Your turn OP. Step up and let us have it.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 3 months ago

I truly appreciate your story because I’ve been there. Had my best friend for 13 years - the cat who would be waiting by the door when I got home from work, who would cry out in the house if she didn’t know what room I was in. The one who was always on my lap and who slept right next to me snuggled up against me in bed at night. She was the perfect cat and friend, and even though it’s been 8 years, I still think about her on an almost daily basis.

I love how you gave your friend such a loving and caring place to rest. I’m sending you random internet stranger hugs and good vibes. <3

[-] shalafi 4 points 3 months ago

Man, I can't believe I'm still crying about a fucking cat. But you get me.

She was always there. She was there when I was so very lonely and depressed. She wasn't bitchy or loud or insistent, she just appeared on my lap when I finally sat down for the evening.

Check the videos I posted, those are people who never gave a shit about a cat and loved her dearly. I know, they came to the funeral for me, those events are always for the survivors, but still, they had words.

Glad OP posted this so we could all share, get it out some.

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[-] [email protected] 32 points 3 months ago

Welcome to the philosophy of absurdism.

Life has no meaning, nothing has purpose.

In this freedom find the space to make your own meaning and your own purpose.

You kitty likely had a long kitty life with someone who loved them and who they loved. You created purpose where none existed for the both of you.

I am sorry for the loss of your kitty my dude, I’m sorry you’re hurting.

[-] [email protected] 20 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

This is how I've made sense of the world... Nothing actually matters so I get to choose what matters to me.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 3 months ago

nothing really matters, that's what gives our presence meaning. there is no grand score keeping, which makes things like kindness all the more meaningful.

when nothing matters, how we live and express ourselves becomes even more meaningful.

[-] Speculater 4 points 3 months ago

I said this at work, and my boss was not happy. Maybe don't spend 30 years at the same job pretending you're changing the world?

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[-] [email protected] 27 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Don't be a reductionist. If that's all your cat was and that's all your relationship was, then fine. If it wasn't, you owe it to that cat to remember all the good times you two had between when it came to life and when it lost its life. Do it for the cat.

Then, when you've finally moved past this point, realize how much joy you gave that cat. Know that you did something beautiful in letting that cat know it was loved from beginning to end. Think about the cat's perspective. Its death may have sucked; they rarely don't. Now think about every moment that cat experienced growing up and being with you. Every sense of relief that cat felt when you came home. Every wave of comfort when you gave it pets. Every moment of safety it felt when you cared for it.

I know how sad you are, and I know this is tough love here, but that's what carried me through losing my dog on Christmas 2022 and her sister December 16th 2023. We did our best. They couldn't have had happier lives. I'm glad we could do that for them. It was worth the weeks of agonizing grief for the 14 and 16 years of happiness they experienced.

[-] [email protected] 4 points 3 months ago

My dog is only 3, almost 4, but I try to think about stuff like this every day I come home from work and give him attention. I'm not crying, but my eyes certainly aren't dry anymore.

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[-] [email protected] 25 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

The point is that he got born and got to live with you for many years.

Don't focus on the end, focus on all the great moments you had together.

[-] [email protected] 25 points 3 months ago

ive had to say goodby to a few pet friends now. i dont regret having my pet friends.

we got to enjoy each others company, and honestly the pet gets the better end of this deal if their people are sound.

[-] [email protected] 20 points 3 months ago

the pet gets the better end

The one comforting thing is that my cat probably doesn't care about leaving as much as I do. He loves sleeping anyway

[-] [email protected] 17 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

were all ships passing in the night. a few get to know each other before moving on.

i just got my first dog. i hate dogs. i now only hate all other dogs. and this dog.. well, its already bothering me i will have to say goodbye.

but it reminds me of that south park episode .

[-] Zahille7 7 points 3 months ago

Butters is too damn pure for South Park (most of the time). He's probably my favorite side character.

[-] [email protected] 22 points 3 months ago

I didn't write this, but I reread it every time I lose someone I love, and it has helped me a lot. Hope it can do the same for you.

"Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks."

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[-] [email protected] 15 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Yes. Maybe enjoy things too. The universe is meaningless and we're here by accident.

The only question is what to do about it.

Anyway, sorry about your cat. I'm sure it lived as nice a life as possible.

[-] Reddfugee42 15 points 3 months ago

The universe is capricious. There is no point. You didn't exist. Now you exist. Then you won't. Try to be good and try to have fun. Eat, drink, and be merry. Anyone claiming to have a point will inevitably ask for money.

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[-] [email protected] 15 points 3 months ago

Yes. Life is a blip of mostly suffering and pain. But, within that whirlwind of time, there are incredibly warming and thought-provoking moments. For your cat, it was probably laying on your lap. Cozying up somewhere warm. Getting pet, and chasing something far too nimble to catch.

Life has genuine joy in it that makes the hard times worth it. It's through the hard times that we can find the most sympathetic and connecting moments.

I'm sorry for your loss, I'm sure your cat loved their time here, with you.

[-] [email protected] 14 points 3 months ago

If you are sad because you lost your cat, that means you loved it. So yes, you live, you suffer but you also love. Im sure you made your little friend very happy as it made you and Im sure you gave it a great life that few creatures in this planet can have. If you made such a difference on a living creature, you can do it again. Maybe that is the point of all this.

[-] spiffy_spaceman 6 points 3 months ago

Applause to you for this.

[-] [email protected] 13 points 3 months ago

Yeah pretty much. What you do in the meantime is up to you.

Pets are particularly weird because we get them knowing damn well we will outlive them. I view it as giving the little babies as close to a perfect life, and as comfortable a passing as pawssible.

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[-] [email protected] 13 points 3 months ago

It hurts. I had to put my cat of 18 years down last year and it hurt for a long while. But I wouldn’t trade having her as my friend; the end was sad and rough, but I made sure she had as good of a life as I could give her the entire time she was with me. We can’t do much better than that for our furry friends.

Hang in there friend, it does get better with time.

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[-] [email protected] 11 points 3 months ago

The point is that the grief you feel from losing your cat is a tiny sliver of the grief in the world, being felt by all the people sustaining the loss of death.

And that’s on the best of days: a world full of suffering.

But we’re also on the brink of world war, and a hundred other disasters that could cause just as much death, and just as much grief and hopelessness from the people who survive.

So, it may sound bleak, but now that you have seen some of the deepest pain, the meaning of this life should be clear: to do everything in your power to protect as many people as possible from the feeling you’re feeling right now.

Take your own suffering as exactly the pill needed to get you up and moving. You’ve been given a glimpse of hell. And, with that, understand your job is to prevent hell on earth.

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[-] [email protected] 11 points 3 months ago

I'm sorry about your kitty. I had to put mine to sleep last Monday and man the first 3 days were rough. I miss him so much now but I'm getting better every day. You will too. It never goes away but it gets easier. The point of it all is to give your kitties the best possible life and never stop loving them. Here is my old man Stanley.

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[-] [email protected] 10 points 3 months ago

You gave your cat years of love, how can all that be meaningless? It will be a sad day when my 19yr old buddy passes but I'm grateful for his love everyday and happy I can love him back. Death is inevitable but life is what you make of it.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 3 months ago

I am so, so sorry for your loss. I understand how you feel, and I'm sorry that I have no words that can help. Nothing can replace them.

We do a little ritual for ours on the Day of the Dead; I don't know if it helps. I guess it makes me feel a little better the rest of the year, setting time aside to remember the good times.

I'm sorry.

[-] [email protected] 9 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

I haven't read through comments yet so I may be redundant.

Hey... So sorry. Pets are a personal relationship. That loss is a grief just like any other. It's hard because others don't have the relationship to that individual that you have.

Grief is something you carry through life. It isn't linear, but it does get easier. Grief will come in waves. You'll be fine and then it hits you out of the blue.

Do we just live and suffer and die? Well, yeah. But we also love, and get excited, and feel, learn new things, explore. We fall in love; we experienced heartbreak. We have moments when we notice the light coming through the leaves in the forest, or the sound of water on rocks in a creek, an interaction between a grandparent and young child, the smell of a newborn's head, that first time a cat settles in your lap, coffee when no one else is awake, the first sign of success in a new hobby, I could go on and on. So many things. Observations that have a visceral yet intangible emotional reaction. So so many things.

Let grief make you tender. Let grief remind you that everyone will deal with it in different ways. You can connect to others through vulnerability. Don't let it make you hard or resentful; there's so much beauty and love in the world. There's so much love in the personal relationship with a pet. There is love you can't describe.

Engage with the grief. Don't bottle or avoid it. Feel it. You're grieving because of the depth and complexity of the relationship. That's totally okay. That's healthy. It's gonna hurt. It hurts.

I'm so sorry you're feeling this right now. Take your time and feel it. Don't feel like you ever have to let that go. That's life.

Live, suffer, and die? Yeah, you could say that, but it's in the most beautiful way, and there's so much in between.

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[-] [email protected] 8 points 3 months ago

Do we just live and suffer and die?

Largely, yes. As far as we know, there's no grand purpose nor reason of being. We're all just floundering about, trying to answer the fundamental questions of existence for ourselves. There may be an objective answer, however, which is why I do what I can to push humankind in the direction I believe is most likely to result in that discovery - even though my significance is only comparable to that of an ant.

Regarding your loss, specifically, I was in a very similar boat ~12 years ago. Honestly considered just riding into the sunset in search of Bob Ross, at the time. Today, I'm extremely glad to have stuck around to raise another cat who loves me beyond anything I ever thought comprehensible. In short, when life as a whole sucks, there's respite in the moment. When the moment sucks, take respite in the whole of life's experiences.

[-] [email protected] 8 points 3 months ago

This is one of the reasons I don’t want to own a pet

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[-] [email protected] 8 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Well if this isn't the most beautiful thread I have seen on Lemmy.. thank you everyone. I'm not crying!

[-] SpaceNoodle 8 points 3 months ago

You shared love and joy. Soon it will be time to share more love and joy with another that's in need.

[-] june 7 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

I lost my dog on Wednesday.

I’m in the mud too feeling the same things. Yesterday morning I was ready to never get out of bed, to just dehydrate and die. I didn’t move until my whole body was numb. It felt like the universe had given me my reward in her spread out over 10 years, but kept tally of all my sins and unleashed my punishment all at once directly on my soul. It was ash in my mouth and salt in my eyes, unbearable and searing pain. Until my partner came over to check on me because I was non-responsive by phone. They bodily got me up, they made me drink water and eat, they got me out of bed and into the shower. Through all my sobbing and wailing and despair they held me and told me it’s ok, that they loved me. They loved me on purpose and took care of me when I couldn’t do that for myself.

And that’s it. That’s the purpose. The point. Love. Grief is always hovering there right next to love we experience, but would you trade a single moment with your cat to avoid this grief and pain? I certainly wouldn’t. I’ll take this a hundred times over for the love I experienced for and from Mercy. It’s why we do this to ourselves when we bring a pet into our lives knowing every minute of the journey that it will end too soon. Because they fill a hole in our hearts and make our lives brighter. Even though right now it feels like there is no light in the world, you need to realize that it only feels dark in comparison to how much light they brought. It’s like being in a bright room and suddenly the lights are cut and you’re blind. I promise, our eyes will adjust, we’ll see again, we’ll breath again, and eventually, all we’ll remember is the love and warmth.

All we have to do is survive this, right now. Let it wash over you, honor them with your grief and pain, but don’t let it control you because that’s not what they’d want. Your cat would want you to continue to find the light, to find joy, and to find love. And you have to stick around for that, and you have to do it for them. You’ll do it because you loved and were loved and will love again.

The point is love.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Still you got to love, didn’t you? Love always leads to heartbreak. But at least there is love and those small moments between the two of you that must have been incredibly precious. That’s all there is to life, I believe.

Edit: trust me, there are worse ways to live. For example, life lived chasing illusions such as money, fame or power.

[-] Bytemeister 7 points 3 months ago

Life is a brief glimpse of awareness between two infinite voids of non-existence. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have a purpose.

I'm sorry for your loss.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

I truly believe that events have no meaning until we impose meaning on them. It is our work, as humans, to do so. It is the essence of creativity, of being, and of life itself. Meaning doesn't comes prepackaged, no one can provide meaning for you or me. There isn't "true" meaning out there for us to discover. There are meaningful answers we can provide, after wrestling with the event itself.

Your cat existed for a purpose. Perhaps it was to show you love and companionship for a time during this difficult life. Only you can say. But honor the creature you loved by finding the meaning in its life. It lived for a reason.

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[-] [email protected] 6 points 3 months ago

The universe exists and is beautiful. We exist to appreciate and explore that beauty. It sounds like you had wonderful experiences with your cat and both you and your cat benefitted from your shared time. It's important to remember that getting that time and those memories were worth the pain of parting.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 3 months ago* (last edited 3 months ago)

Maybe not for you, but for some of us, we would help to look into Buddhism and its Four Noble Truths.

Very simplistic tl;dr is that

  1. All life involves suffering.
  2. We suffer because we want things to be other than the way they are.
  3. We can become free from suffering if we no longer want things to be other than the way they are.
  4. The Eightfold Path can lead one to reach 3.
[-] DrDominate 6 points 3 months ago

We live for no other reason than that we can. Against all odds, in a universe that wasn't trying to make us alive, we became more than the sum of our elements that compose us: to be the thinking and thriving things that we are - for as long as we are. Life itself is an act of defiance against the universe, but ultimately playing by it's rules with the understanding that we can only do so for a finite amount of time.

Your cat too was one of those defiant and emergent souls that used the universe as it's playground full of strangers, bullies, and friends alike. Never forget that which it did not know: that its time was short but miraculous in the grand scheme of a universe borne of chaos but twinkling with unexpected life.

[-] [email protected] 5 points 3 months ago

This life is what we can make of it, with a harsh overtone of constant surprises - some wonderful, many terrible.

It's that dichotomy between the darkness we grow calloused to, and the lights we find along the way that bring hope and meaning into our world.

It's hard to face the end - either through our own eyes, or the eyes of those we love... But I think every darkness can be the setting for something else to come.

I've lost enough loved ones to know they're sometimes the only lights I can see in the darker times. None of this helps explain the terrible nature of death, but I think it helps sometimes to know they aren't truly gone to us.

When they leave this world, I think they can actually end up being more powerful because our minds reach out more than ever to connect with their memory. In this way, we are never truly alone, and we always have a light to carry.

As for the immediate grief, I always turn to one of my favorite quotes on the subject:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. Therefore, trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.

Khalil Gibran

[-] Cyberflunk 5 points 3 months ago

You need https://youtube.com/@Exurb1a in your life. Profound thought like yours, performed with irreverent style.

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[-] [email protected] 5 points 3 months ago

the entire existence of all living things is the struggle. some thrive, some don't.

but we do it all for the good days. if it was all good days, we wouldn't appreciate them like we do. the darkness gives meaning to the light, and the bad days give meaning to the good ones.

i'm sorry about your cat. it can be rough to lose a loved one. but that doesn't mean there won't be more good days.

[-] Boiglenoight 5 points 3 months ago

I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for giving your cat a good life, and I hope they gave you memories to cherish too.

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this post was submitted on 01 Feb 2024
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