Monday, July 6, 2009
On Death and Dying
My parents found out today that their 'second' child- their dog- Jessie has cancer. She has been barking more frequently, snarling, and even snapping occasionally the last few weeks. My Dad took her to the vet this morning because she wouldn't put any weight on one of her legs, yet she would still wag her tail and get up on the bed to be with my Mom who recently had surgery. Jessie was brought into our family the year dh and I got married- she is to turn 12 next month. She has been given a week to 6 months; my parents were given signs to watch for increasing problems that will lead to having Jessie die a more dignified death and to stop the suffering. Jessie is a beautiful black lab, the second one that my parents have owned and will be the last. We won't be seeing her playful tail wag when we come to visit, she won't go crazy when dh (whom she absolutely adores, and always has) shows up even if she just saw him 5 minutes ago. She has been given pain pills to make things easier-but it won't be any easier for the rest of us left behind. Dad set cremation arrangements and Mom has a box picked out. It has already been discussed that some of her ashes will go to special places that she enjoyed. We will have walks to remember and playful puppy memories- but I know that this is going to be difficult for my parents, especially my Dad who stays home during the day with Jessie- his best friend is going away- today I saw both my parents cry as they discussed the findings and the options. It is going to be hard for all of us- but we know when the time comes it will be best for Jessie as no one should have to suffer or be in pain. I believe that animals and children go to a special place when they pass on- so I know that Jessie will be with our Angels playing in the sunshine chasing butterflies and dragonflies. Playing fetch until she drops and have an endless lake to swim in- until we see her again she will be happy. I have been reading about Buddhism lately and I know that Jessie will have a good rebirth- she has made so many people happy in her lifetime. It will be hard to let her go, but I know that she will know when the time is right- she is a lady and will let us know when she is ready. Until then we get to enjoy her being with us and hopefully the pain meds will make it easier for her and she will at least be comfortable until it is her time to go and be with the Angels.