Yesterday we made the decision to have Jack put to sleep. A decision. A choice. He could have gone on for weeks or months I suppose. Unable to get up and down on his own. Limping across the floor and panting each time we lifted him and took him outside. Barking and fretting for hours each day from his spot on the floor. Jerking from pain during dressing changes. Could have. But now he won’t have to.
His quality of life was such that I know I’m not supposed to feel guilty about it. The decision was painful but the experience was almost cathartic. He wasn’t the Jack we had known anymore, though he remained the Jack we loved until the very end. The grieving process has been a strange mix of terrible sadness (I’m quite certain the sheer volume of tears I cried yesterday would match any other major life event, my dear grandmother’s death included) and relief.
I find I miss his physical presence the most today. The house is quiet. There are no bandages to change, food to prepare, pills to give, or barking to appease. Instead a big gaping hole exists where a loveable goofball named Jack used to be. I’m sad. I don’t know when that overwhelming feeling of sorrow will begin to fade. It’s just a dog. Except he wasn’t.
Happy thanksgiving my love. I can’t be there to visit you today but your friends did stop by, as I am sure you know. I am so glad they did, I hate to think about no one coming to see you on the holidays. I love you and I miss you so much today. Thanksgiving was always our favorite holiday next to Halloween. A day we could set aside and remind each other how much we loved each other and how thankful we were to share our lives and family. Today will be a rough one for me.
Today is going to be hard as it’s our first Thanksgiving without my dad. I’m very thankful for all the years we had with him and what an amazing father he was.
I’m thankful for my remaining family and opportunities, like today, to spend time with them. Monkey especially loves my 16 year old…
I hate that when someone dies people always say “we Lost him/her.” They aren’t lost. I know exactly where they are. They’re dead. In the ground. In an urn. They’re dead. Don’t tell me they’re lost. I don’t want them to be lost after they die. How is that comforting? Telling someone their loved one is “lost”. I don’t want them to be lost I want them to be free and happy and satisfied with their new life in heaven or whatever. So don’t tell me they are lost.
“Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.”
-Mary Elizabeth Frye
The poem they read today at my Grumps’ funeral. So sad. But so beautiful. Miss you Grumps, take care up there.