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Knowing when to say goodbye

I always thought that saying goodbye to a treasured animal came when your critter was older, or perhaps ill, and you knew your time together was coming to an end.

I wrote about this in the Pet Loss Section at my website. It’s such an excruciating decision. We shouldn’t HAVE to make it. We don’t WANT to make it. And yet, in most cases, our animal companions are depending upon us to make it.

So we begin the painful process of accepting that our journey together is almost over, and, one step at a time, we begin to say goodbye.

With the sad loss of Creamsicle, the neighbor’s kitty who began visiting my yard earlier this year, I’ve learned that when a critter just disappears, and you never have the chance to look into those soulful eyes and say farewell, the process of letting go is very difficult…or at least it has been for me.

The neighbors said that most likely Creamsicle was taken by a coyote. Considering the evidence, and the prevalence of coyotes in our neighborhood, that’s probably true.

But still, I find myself looking for him every day. I peek out the window, expecting to see his orange-striped body crawling under my fence. “I’ll be right there,” I would call to him, and I’d run to the kitchen to prepare Creamsicle’s meal.

I just can’t seem to let this little ritual go, even though I know that I must. Over the years people have contacted me to purchase one of my pet loss books for someone whose critter also “just disappeared.” I always thought I understood what they were going through, but I don’t think I really did…until now.


One Comment

posted on December 4, 2009 Reply

Oh Chris…..I am so sorry. I am the woman who wrote to you about Clint Grossman. I had the peace of making the decision for him when he was diagnosed with cancer this past month, and I know the pain I feel. My heart goes out to you….maybe a miracle will occur. And maybe it already has….Creamsicle is floating and playing….so happy now where he is. Look… up! 🙂

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