This post is not about what you think it is, but in a sense it is about that, too.
Deciding when to let go of something that’s really meant something in your life is probably the hardest thing any of us ever do. That relationship that was so vital . That job. That career. That home or city you grew up in.
Because life is seldom clean and clear-cut. Rarely do you have an “oh, yes, now” moment. I was fortunate to have that with my father. When I told them to stop all the medicines that were keeping him alive it was pretty obvious there was no coming back from where he was. He was gone by then and all that was left was a breathing body devoid of what made him him.
That was one of the worst decisions of my life, but it was an easy one to make.
Today’s decision was not so easy. As I write this I’m an hour from the vet’s arrival at my house for an end-of-life visit for my dog. And that call was not an easy one to make.
Because she’s still eating her food and has her full personality. She even went on a walk to the park this morning. There’s this temptation to look at all she still has and want to hold on as long as possible.
But the reason she was up to that walk this morning is because I gave her a bigger dose of pain medicine #3 this morning than normal.
I’ve been fighting this decline for a couple of years now with everything I had. First was one pain med. Then another just as needed. Then pain med number two became a daily thing. Then pain med number three got added in there just as needed. Until it was also needed all the time. Then pain med number three got upped to the max as did pain med number two.
And still…Even with all of that she limps. And she’s been struggling to stand up the last few weeks. She does it. She’s a champ. A “plugger” as the old cartoons used to say.
But she’s in pain. And it’s not going to get better. She’s 9 years and almost 11 months old and part of a breed with a life expectancy of 8-10 years. (And I checked, that 10 is the end of the range, not 10 years, 11 months, and 30 days.)
She’s had a good life. She’s been a great companion. And I owe it to her to give her a good end. To not push it so far that all she has at the end is suffering.
Others would likely make a different choice, would want every single moment they could possibly grasp. And I’ll admit, there was a part of me that wanted to just keep going until the choice was made for me. Until she just didn’t wake up one morning.
But she deserves better than that.
As a good video I found discussing what to do in this situation described it, we’re in the roller coaster stage right now with ups and downs. At one end of that path is where it’s mostly good but at the other side is where it’s mostly bad. And we were getting closer and closer to the mostly bad end.
It’s never easy to let go. I think maybe people and pets are easier to let go when that time comes than other things in our lives. (Although still incredibly difficult.) At least with them we know there’s a finite time available and that it goes in only one direction.
With other things…
It can be easy to hang on another day or another month, try this, try that, try the other thing until there’s nothing left to try.
But then you finally give up and get out and look back and think, “Why did I wait so long???”
Anyway. That’s a decision for another day.
Today I’m going to miss my girl. A lot. But it’s time.
One thought on “Time to Let Go”
I remember deciding not to put Jasper Cat on a dramatic regime that would have given him a few more tolerable months before there were no options.
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