A Good Death

I wrote Lucky’s obit the night before the end. Although I do feel it is terrible to have to euthanize a loved one, euthanasia is amazingly quick, peaceful, and a necessary release. Lucky’s long-time vet, Dr. Barb McGuire, and her tech, Amanda, could not have found a better balance of professional conduct plus heartfelt compassion. We put Lucky’s bed in the shade of the sideyard. Merri gave him his last piece of bacon. I picked him up and gently laid him down on the bed. He sighed. He didn’t flinch at the sound of the electric razor used to trim fur from his leg. We were all as ready as we would ever be. From pinprick to expiration couldn’t have taken 10 seconds. Merri and I sat with him in the grass until the animal cremation company arrived and kind Ely carted him away. That was the moment I felt the most regret – the loss felt more real suddenly — but we agree cremation makes sense.

It also makes sense that any person who is suffering beyond all hope of relief should have the option to end his or her own life with the help of a compassionate physician.

Thank you to everyone who has read these entries and to those who have written. Grief feels lonely, but it unites every living being. Death is the price of Life. Grief is the price of Love.

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