Saturday, 22 October 2016
Saying goodbye is never easy. It is hard enough kissing our loved ones off in the morning, hoping that if the day goes well that we will see them again at dinner time. Saying goodbye forever is a different ball game altogether, and sadly over the course of the last year and a half, I've had to do it 4 times. In all incidences I have been involved in the individuals care and treatment plan, and I have had the responsibility, alongside professionals and family, in making that call. The call that signifies the beginning of the end. In the case of my Dad and brother, devastatingly nothing else medically could be offered and it was a slow, agonising (for us) period of days watching them reach peace. With Tuff in January, and sadly this week Maite, the responsibility has been solely laid upon my shoulders, and quite frankly the enormity is soul destroying.
I feel like the Harbinger of Death.
Making the tough choices I know is part of being a steward of our animals lives, but the self doubt, the questioning, the bargaining for an alternative is desperate and paralysing. No different to any loss I know, but with an animal there is no opportunity to ask them what is wrong, we find ourselves interpreting symptoms, behaviour, test results, and professional advice... and amidst the chaos of information overload, there are our own emotions. The love we have for these living breathing partners with a soul. A soul so giving they forge a partnership with us in the first place, and you question yourself even when the inevitable decision has been made, right up to the final moment ... and then your brain just crashes... and in your head there are silent screams of 'NO!' as you comfort your friend into the next stage of life......death...and are hopeful that with that transition, they are finally free.
For us however, that is when the pain begins. Relief accompanies it, knowing we did the best we could and knowing that our loved ones, be they equine or human, knew love.
Peace? Well that's what they now have, and we can be hopeful we might have some too.