Years ago, when I first started selling my cards, I went to a wonderful little shop called Sweet Spirit Candles. The owner used a small pendulum, which she hovered over each card, to decide which ones to purchase from me. I was so fascinated by this at the time that I had to get one for myself. I still have it. A solid brass pendulum hanging from a brass chain that is about the size of a large olive. I’ve tried to use it from time to time, but I’m afraid it requires a certain stillness that I don’t possess. Yet.
A different pendulum is swinging this week.
Highs, lows, highs and lows. It was swinging pretty wildly at first but has since settled down. Now it is a gentle swing hovering directly over my precious little Sassy. I find myself wishing there was magic in that imaginary pendulum. Or that I could find my tarnished brass bauble and breathe some magic into that one. But there is no magic. There is only what is. And what is, is heartbreaking.
Her body is struggling to fight this beast that has taken over. Fluid is filling her chest cavity as fast as we can tap it out. The tumors are growing, the mass in her stomach is pushing on her lungs and other organs, and she is declining rapidly. We all had hoped for a more optimistic, lasting benefit from treatment, but it has advanced too quickly in her little body. This cancer is a tiny, strong army with guns. The treatment is a much smaller army, carrying crystals and prayers. No contest, says the vet. It is time to talk about the hard things. And so we talked about the hard things.
Listening to her gurgling tummy and her labored breathing is different now. Now, I listen harder for anything that sounds like distress, because we love her too much to let her feel pain. Now I hold her little paws and stroke her little face knowing that she needs us to help her. Knowing our time is short. Knowing that it won’t feel any more right today, than it will in a week, to be making this decision.
It’s letting her go.
I know there are words :Euthanasia.
Phrases: putting her to sleep.
It feels only that we are letting her go on ahead.
I’m trying to see it like letting her off the leash at the dog park. Watching her with her new freedom as she keeps her own pace, explores new places, makes new friends. I can give her that. I can give her that and feel okay with myself. I can give her that knowing she’ll be in such good company.
And she’ll be waiting for us someday.
Wanting a treat.
With Red Dog firmly in her mouth.
It’s going to be a hard week. I was reminded to ” surrender to it “.
” All will be well and all will be well and all manner of things will be well ”
( Beautiful. Thank you for the reminder, Gretchen. )
And she will never be lost, and will keep reminding you. In gassho.