Posted by Kim K.
We all die, said my son last Tuesday as my husband and I came
home from the vet to tell our kids that our dog, Madison, wasn't
coming home. For days I have been thinking about the fact that he
said that. Almost 7, we've really never directly talked about death
or dying with him, yet he just knew. I asked him, how did you know
that? And, he said, I just know these things.
Death and dying is something that I hate thinking about. It
scares me. Even when holding my dog's head in my lap as she died,
the fear of never really seeing her again, the finality of it all,
is just so upsetting and scary.
As for me, I can't contemplate not existing. I just can't
believe that one day I, too, like Madison, will die. My kids don't
realize my phobia of dying. I have never told them. I have never
expressed my fears or the feeling that I get that rushes inside of
my stomach when I sit and think about it (like right now). It's
just one of those things that freak me out. Kind of like how some
people don't like heights or spiders, I don't like the idea of
dying. Maybe it's vanity. Maybe it's ignorance, but I can't imagine
the world continuing without me. Regardless, I do know that just
like my son said, it happens to everyone.
In talking about our dog Madison passing away, other interesting
questions came up from both my son and my almost 4-year-old
daughter: Where is she? Why did she die? Is she coming back? Are we
going to bury her? Did she die at the dog doctor? Will we see her
again? All good questions, and in the heightened moment of feeling
my loss we tried our hardest to answer:
She's at the vet.
She died because she was old and sick.
She is not coming back.
We aren't burying her. When you die you there are a couple of
things that can happen, you can bury or you can cremate. We showed
them the canister where our other dogs' remains are (not the ashes
but the canister) and it seemed to settle their questions.
She did die at the vet.
We will not see her again.
Because she died and she's not physically here anymore.
And, then the tears...
So, now here we are days later, still talking about Mal
(Madison's nickname). Our little one keeps asking us if we miss
her. The kids keep saying how much they miss her. My other dog,
Carl, hasn't sat still for more than five minutes and is hiding in
the bathroom a lot. But, we have to live life. We have to carry on,
move forward and have even started the dialog about finding Carl a
new little friend.
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