I've been there. Two years ago, I had to make the same heartbreaking decision over my 21 year old Karis. I was 25, I'd had her since I was 4. It was like losing a sister. I was devastated.
So believe me, I completely feel your loss.
Do you have any other animals? The first thing I did was hug my little Mika (she was my only other cat at the time).
Believe me, it does get easier but it's not an overnight thing. For months I'd spontaneously burst into tears. Even now when I think about her I feel them coming on, but it's not as instant as it used to be.
So whatever you do, don't forget about her. Remember all the awesome times you had together. That pain you feel in your chest is a reminder of how much you loved her! It may hurt to think about her, but it's worth it. Even now I'm tearing up remembering Karis, but I thank god I had 21 years with her. Not many owners get to say that and I can only hope I have the same with my other two.
Having another pet is a good distraction but if you don't already have one then I wouldn't advise getting one straight away. You can't ever replace a deceased friend and I've known people expect a new pet to be just like their old one and getting annoyed when they realise they're not.
I wish I could give you an easy way out of the pain you're feeling at the moment, but there really isn't one. Really all you have is time. The pain dulls eventually, but even now when I hear a little bell tinkle I look for Karis.
Talk to people. Don't let it eat you up inside. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, scream. And there'll be times you remember the stupid stuff they used to do (I remember being jumped on in the night by Karis who had leaped about 10 ft from a wardrobe right onto my stomach...come on, be honest, there's something's they do that are serious laugh out loud moments), and you'll feel the sides of your mouth lift. It'll happen, it may not feel like it, but it will.
If you need to talk, ill happily listen.
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