Monday, July 2, 2012

Honoring the Process of Death

I am pet sitting in West Hollywood this week.

It is the most unusual job I have had in awhile because one of the dogs is getting ready to transition. Or is she? That is the moment by moment decision. I watch her to see what messages she is giving me. Is she in pain? Is it time?

Penny is 13 years old. Blind. Arthritic. Hip dysplasia. Every step takes effort. She sleeps most of the day and after eating dinner and one quick walk to go to the bathroom, she whines on and off for 30 minutes or so and finally falls into bed for the night.

I know I must be patient and honor her journey. Making the decision is conscious. Life is precious.

Waiting at the elevator this morning, I looked in the full length mirror across the hallway. Looking at Penny and Maddie (the other sweet doggie in the household) and looking back at myself, I was reminded of how many times I have made this decision. My first cat, Peanut Butter over 35 years ago. And in the last few years, our 12 year old Golden Retriever, Mac and our 18 year old, white cat, Cooper. There is a point where you know it is time. It can not be rushed. It must be honored.

Looking in the mirror, I also remember making a decision 19 years ago. The decision my husband and I made to turn off the life support for our 19 month old son.

Conscious. Courageous. Honoring.

Yes. I have the experience, the wisdom and the courage to hold this space. The owner will be home tonight. I feel that Penny is waiting for them to return.

Today I wait...

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