This feels like an execution.
Last meal: scrambled eggs
His crime: incontinence, immobility
We had such a good night last night. Fred slept peacefully on his bed. He doesn’t seem to be in pain and he is still enjoying his food so much. I made eggs this morning and we enjoyed them together.
Would it be so terrible to postpone the inevitable? Would you, my readers and friends, feel led on, duped, to have made your sympathies in vain? This is such a struggle. But, you know that.
I’ve felt you, an army of friends, wrap your arms around us and send your love. You share your experiences of saying goodbye to beloved companions and empathize with my pain. You tell me “You’re doing the right thing” or “It’s time” or “You don’t want to wait too long.” Words of encouragement and support.
I know that either way, I’m making a good choice. A friend told me that today as I shared my anguish about moving forward.
The thing is that he still eats! And, drinks! He still wants to go out for walks and sometimes he even makes it past the driveway. And, he sleeps. He sleeps so soundly. He doesn’t seem to be in pain. Am I just rushing this for my own comfort? So I don’t have to get up in the night? So I don’t have to clean up his messes? So I no longer smell his incontinence in my skin and clothing?
Nature will take it’s course. And, while I wish for a natural death, I know I may have to intervene. But, not today.
Reprieve. For now.
6 thoughts on “Reprieve”
You will know when the right time is, and it doesn’t sound like it is today. There is no reason to feel guilty–no matter when you decide to say good-bye. You know Fred better than anyone and he relies on you to take care of him. You love him more than words can say, which means you will not make a decision based on convenience (even though your post alludes to fears that you will be judged that way).
It is never an easy decision to let go of loved ones; it’s even harder when you have to be the one to make the decision about when to do it.
Trust yourself. You will know when it is time and that will be the right time.
I remain here, to listen and support you as long as you need it. Feel free to call if you need to talk (or even just cry).
Hi Riki. Thank you for your supportive comments and sage advice. I know that today wasn’t supposed to be the day. I’m armed with pee pads now and ready for the long haul. Love you back! Christine
P.S. I hope you’re finding some snow! It is rather sparse here.
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I agree with Rik’s comment above. Only you know when the time is right. If it feels like an execution to you listen to that inner voice.
There is no right or wrong decision here. Although you have the ability to hasten the process for Fred, in the end his death is not your responsibility – there is a force much greater than any of us out there and Fred is wrapped up in that love. You are not alone. Death is not a pretty or easy process – it involves pain for you and Fred. We are not comfortable in this culture embracing this aspect of life so I applaud your courage in making this difficult journey public with the blog.
Dogs do hear us – so I encourage you to speak directly to Fred, he might need to know that you are going to be OK when he leaves his body (he will never leave you) when you are ready tell him and let him know that he will always be right there by your side he needs to know that you know that with certainty.
Blessings to you, Fred and Ethel,
Creekside Critter Care
Maryellen, I love your words about speaking to Fred and knowing that he will never leave me. Thank you for reading and for sending me such beautiful thoughts. I believe there is a greater force at work here. As much as we try to control our lives, the universe has it’s own plan for us. Thank you so much for your many blessings.
The end of life is a precious time, a birthing into light – it seems as if you know this and embrace your journey with Fred. The difficulty comes when we are up against expectations – our own, or those we imagine from friends and family. Does it matter if Fred is soiling things left and right? Who cares? It is work – YES! I know this from my own experience with elder dogs, but who is judging these moments you spend with Fred? Only you. Fill your time with love and Fred will tell you when he is ready to go. He sees your soul and wants your soul to speak to him – he will reply so listen carefully.
Love and light to you.
You’ll just know. Sadly, it is that simple. I send you strength and comfort. 💙