How is it that we arrive upon these dark moments in life? When you feel outside of yourself, watching. My quiet sobs seem to be coming from somewhere else, hot tears burning my face until I can’t even see. I don’t care, this cannot be real. I remember thinking over and over. These dark moments have come before, thankfully there had not been many, but never have I had to make such a decision along with it.
I had begun this journey so innocently. I feel anger boiling inside, wondering how I could have been so stupid. I have had many cats in my lifetime. Every one of them died peacefully at home. I so wanted this for my dog Panda Bear. A black and white Akita, she is so beautiful. I stared at her. I couldn’t lift my eyes. I didn’t want to inadvertently meet Dan’s eyes. He wanted something from me.
The vet comes in again. Why does she keep coming in here? I want to scream it. I can’t look at her. I feel their eyes burning a hole through me. I am sitting on the floor, in the same spot I have been for the last few hours. No, can’t say it. I can’t even form the thought of how I will ever even be able to say it. She mentions they will be closing soon. Go away is all I am thinking. They keep coming in here, asking if we have made a decision. What are you people asking me to do? I know what they are waiting for, I won’t do it. The vet leans down towards me, this doesn’t help. I don’t want anyone to touch me or look at me. I just want to be left alone.
She is getting agitated and is trying to hide it, but I can hear it in her voice. She wants to tell us, we can’t stay all night. Instead she says they could clean her up and we could take her home to decide in the morning. I hate her for this. Now what, do I take her home, cry over her all night. Make her feel that she is causing me all of this pain. When she is suffering and I have made this about me and my inability to say it. Now I am backed into a corner.
Dan made it clear to me; I had to look him in the eyes and agree to put her to down. He was not doing this to be cruel to me. He needed me to say it. The decision was clear for him. He couldn’t have me feel resentment later, thinking we should have waited, blaming him. He wanted me to be ready. What he doesn’t know, is that I will never be ready. This action will haunt me for the rest of my life.
With my back against the wall, there was nothing left to do. I would need every last ounce of strength that has ever existed to be able to do this. The last thing I did before I said it…I felt her ear, rubbing what felt like velvet between my fingers. I swore I would remember this, this one thing, the feeling of her soft warm fuzzy ear. I would hold her and tell her I loved her, that everything would be ok. It was a lie; my body feels numb and cold. My heart was about to turn black.
I know now, I waited too long, but would I have made the same decision all over again. It doesn’t matter I won’t ever have to make it again. I am never getting another dog for the rest of my life.
The next few months are terribly difficult. I would pull up into the driveway and I would catch her out of the corner of my eye. There she was clear as day. When I looked again, she was gone. The sick feeling sinks back through every single cell in my body. Tears would well up in my eyes again. When would I tire of this? How long would it go on? She is not there. Why do I have to keep being reminded this way? Why can’t I just know she is gone, move on, let go. I wonder if I love things just too much. My soul intertwining with the things I want to hold on to, until I can feel them in every breath. That is what loss feels like, that connection we make in our hearts, it’s severed. The love you always felt would just be there, but the energy is now somehow different. You can feel how it’s different, like part of you is gone.
I think it is hope that tortures us. One of our greatest strengths and at the same time our greatest weakness. No, she will never greet me when I arrive home with her full body wagging.
Your dog makes you feel special every single time you find each other again. No matter how long you were gone. The smile it puts in your soul. ~ A Girl and Her Lion – Part 2