6/7/09

Letting Death Happen Naturally


I have never felt stronger about letting death unfold naturally as I do now after watching Duncan die such a peaceful death.  I am so glad I did not choose to have him put down. He was not in pain, just did not want to move....eat or walk....

He stopped eating his regular food about 3 weeks ago and only drank water that whole time until his death. Of course we tried offering him all sorts of bacon and chicken....but he would not eat.....he had made up his mind and this was the beginning of the end. 

We did not know what was going on with him so we took him to the vet immediately and they could not find anything wrong with him. They gave us antibiotic pills and we were sent home. A week later we took him again and they only found a small lung inflammation and again were given meds and sent home.  The third time we took him to the vet, (a week later) we were referred to a specialist and it was only then after $2K in medical bills that we find out he's terminally ill. Once we know he's dying we take him home. 

That night in search for ways to keep him comfortable, I read online how dogs feel bad disappointing you and will often hold out on dying trying to please you....they mentioned it was important that if he's dying to verbally release him and tell him it's okay to go...

I immediately go upstairs and tell him I love him, I hug him around the neck, take in a full smell of his musky yummy fur and then say, "It's okay Duncan, if you need to go....it's okay, we love you....and will miss you, but if it's time to go....go."  The next morning he looked unusually good, his ears were up, his eyes bright....I left for work in a rush....he dies 2 hours later, laying down by his bed as if he were napping.  

After 3 weeks without food, he finally gave himself permission to go....he did not need to worry about us anymore, I reassured him. Of course, I miss him terribly, but I also feel satisfied that he died peacefully, not in cage, not in fear, not away from us, not with pills being shoved down his dry throat, no needles........he died in HIS home, surrounded by the people who love him....he died a peaceful death....without fear or pain.....I truly feel blessed to have given him that space and time to allow this process, that is wiser than us, to unfold unfettered. 

I can only hope and wish that when my time comes there is as much respect placed on giving me the time and space to allow this unknown thing called death to happen naturally......what a beautiful gift to give a loved one...I wonder now if I too will just know....and think" This is my time."  Only time will tell....

4 comments:

  1. I cried many tears while reading your post. So much love and respect with every word.
    Our dog is just 4 years old and I hope we will share many years with her, but at the end, I'll remember your words about letting go.
    Thank you!

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  2. Duncan is BEAUTIFUL. I have also had to go through something very similar to this and it is not easy. We now have a five year old yorkie pup, Brighton, that we love more than anything. We make sure to enjoy every single day that we have him here with us!

    Brys website is www.superbry.com
    Check it out.
    Maybe it can help cheer you up.

    Much Aloha,
    Lisa

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  3. tears welled up in my eyes as i read this post. i went through something very similar with my beloved Ophelia several years ago and i still miss her terribly. duncan was very lucky to have such a loving family who loved and respected him enough to let him go when he was ready. kudos to you. watching ophelia die was one of the hardest things i've ever had to do.

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  4. I thank Lisa and Persuede for their words.....I miss him so much...today was a bit easier b/c I was too busy...

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