My mom and sister told me at the beginning of this week that our dog (Squealer) was not doing so well and that she was going to be taken to a vet as soon as they had enough money to do so. So my sister made it happen and the doctors basically said that she was on her last legs and that she could pass on at any moment. Her kidneys were beginning to fail and she was on dialysis.
On Tuesday afternoon on my way to Stockholm, I hitch-hiked. It was one of those rare occasions where I got a ride from my doorstep straight into Stockholm. The lady that gave me a ride didn’t talk at all. I was slightly relieved. I was not in much of a talking mood. She played classical music the entire way; I found myself just sobbing the entire way to Stockholm. Without interruption or judgement, I cleansed my soul in that little car. Releasing.
It was almost as though, that silent lady, she entered into my life at that specific moment to give me time to mourn.To feel. To drop the invisible, yet heavy, sandbags from my shoulders. I knew somewhere within me that Squealer was not going to make it.
Anyway, today my sister asked me to be available to skype at any moment.
So around 5:30pm I called her and they were at the vet. The whole family was there. She was lying on the table with a tube up her nose and a cloth covering her tummy. I could see she was in a lot of pain. I called to her and she raised her head, and responded with a squeal. She appreciated that in some way I was there to bid her farewell.
The doctor then came in to give her the medication that would send her off painlessly. I know my family, especially my sister and mother, had a hard time deciding this. But the realisation that she was in so much pain and that all her organs were shutting down one by one caused them to reach the decision of putting her out of her misery.
It was calculated that although she was 14 years in human terms she was actually between 90 and 105 dog years of age. An old lady.
As she was being injected my dad was stroking her. I think my dad was her favourite person.
She passed on and I just saw my sister walk towards my dad and embrace him and hug him. My dad was sobbing. So was my sister.
I have never seen my father that torn up and emotional. My younger brother and my mom were in the background with swollen eyes and tears tolling down their faces. It was particularly difficult to see my younger brother struggle so much.
My mom didn’t say a word. Understandably.
So yes, a hard hard day it was.
I miss my family and this afternoon really made me see how much I am missing out on by being away from home, but also highlighted this part in myself that prefers to be away because I don’t want to feel so much. The part of me that would rather not feel is still there. But it was in hiding today. Thankfully.
She was the first pet we ever had and it feels like I have lost a family member. One that never demanded anything, that simply gave love and affection and was a companion at all times. Always ready to be there. Also very perceptive to our emotions. She somehow knew whenever one of us was having a dark and difficult time (emotionally or healthwise) and she would naturally just sit with that person all day. Just there – offering silent strength, support and love.
A soldier, a queen, a pillar.
A little furry doggy. A ball of energy and love.
I never EVER thought that I would be this devastated by the death of an animal. A dog. Our pet. Nor that it would bring the family together in this way. This article delivered some solace, peace of mind and sanity to some seemingly insane emotions.
We will miss you Little Miss Squealer. Thank you for bringing love, brightness , laughter. playfulness and gentleness to our family.
It has come to my attention that there is a wide range of people who read my blog. From all over the world. Going through all sorts of things. So I thought to myself “to include this would be harmless” —> I found this while searching for something to reassure me that what I was feeling was not silly. I was not over-reacting.
There is a poem at the end of this page which , according to me, could apply for any kind of grieving. I have included it below. (Thanks to my beautiful room mate and friend – Caitlyn Oberg – for introducing me to this song today)
A POEM FOR THE GRIEVING…
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there, I did not die…