It is with a broken heart that I write this. Trigger warning: death, loss, grief (that means skip this post if you don't want to deal with that)
On Friday, I had to a make a very difficult decision.
Intellectually, in the face of the data the doctor presented to me, and my own observations of Peppermint's behavior over the previous days, I believe the decision was, ultimately, the right one. Emotionally, I would give anything for more time with my fuzzy little boy and for his illnesses to have been less serious.
To say I miss him terribly would be a gross understatement.
Prayer and meditation helps to deal with the grief and this sense of loss, to no one's surprise I'm sure.
To my surprise, this hobby of ours has helped as much if not more.
On Friday night, I was at a complete loss of what to do with myself. My son had submerged himself into video games (we deal with things differently) and I had tried that but found myself feeling restless. I meditated, read, but I still felt a crushing darkness looming over me.
I don't know what compelled me to pick up some figures to paint, but I started in on it and for the time I spent, all was quiet inside me. The toy soldiers stood their ground firmly against the darkness as I toiled over their paint jobs.
There was a little feeling of guilt afterwards, for having done something enjoyable in the face of loss, but I could do no good for anyone sobbing into one of Peppermint's sweaters. And so, for that reason, I returned again and again to painting over the weekend.
I will be forever grateful for having been able to be Peppermint's dad, and for all of the lessons that he taught me. And I am grateful that I found this hobby, which, in moments of stress and grief, can provide a respite.
I'm so sorry for your loss John. I had to make the same decision with my dog Watson, he was in so much pain that I knew it was the right thing to do. And you're so right, our hobby can serve as a respite from the real world just when it's needed most. Take care of yourself and remember all of the good times that you had together.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Brad.Delete
Always a sad decision, the only time I remember seeing my dad with a tear in his eye was when we took our old Lab Brandy to the vet for a final time. Our dog Sam is about ten or eleven and I guess his time will come in the next few years....will be tough when it comes, for sure. I am glad the toy soldiers provided some solace.ReplyDelete
Thank you. My regular vet called me to offer his condolences and noted "this is the crappy part about pet ownership"Delete
It is a sad day when faced with losing a long-time, faithful friend. My condolences.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Jonathan.Delete
As a newish dog person (we rescued ours from the local no-kill shelter in August), this was heartbreaking and heartwarming to read.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Shawn. Congratulations on becoming a dog person! And cheers for adopting from a shelter. Peppermint was a stray we found cowering under our rosemary bush in a rainstorm 8 or so years ago.Delete
John, my condolences, have been through it myself on several occasions.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Michael.Delete
Deepest condolences from someone who has been through the same terrible decision.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ed. I don't know why we do this to ourselves. And yet, if an animal comes into my life needing love and a home, I can't in good conscience say "no".Delete
I am sad to hear about Peppermint. To feel needed and loved in one's final days is a blessing, and you gave him that. Finding some peace in hobby activities can help our other ways of handling grief. We'll be thinking of you.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Peter.Delete
I'm sorry for your loss.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Roger.Delete
So sorry to hear of your sad lose , our pets are so dear to use and become part of the family .ReplyDelete
Thank you. They are most definitely part of the family and are so much like children regardless of their age.Delete
Been there, too many times, my heart goes out to you. I suspect Peppermint would approve your therapy. The good ones understand these things.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Ross. It never gets any easier does it?Delete