faith, love, the friends

Barely Breathing

Be’s ashes arrived about an hour ago.  The young man who delivered them to my front door was very kind. As soon as he left, I hugged the little wooden box to my heart and sobbed. I told Be all the things I’ve said to her many times since her diagnosis but also things I wished I had said yesterday.  I wished I had looked her in her bright little eyes and said that I was so sorry to have to say goodbye, that I didn’t want to say goodbye.

The emergency room ultrasound showed a lung had collapsed on one side and fluid was building in her chest cavity on the other side.  Eight days earlier another emergency doc had tapped 600 ml of fluid from her chest.  For six days we marveled at how well she was doing. But Monday she started showing signs that the fluid was building again.

But she never lost her appetite. Yesterday she jumped and twirled when I set down her breakfast bowl. She enthusiastically gobbled it down and then stood at the kitchen island watching me separate meat from bones to make broth.  She stood there as she did whenever I made her bone broth, confident that I would hand her a morsel or two.

I put the bones back into the crock pot, covered them with water, ground the meat and started to load the dishwasher.

That’s when she started panting. That’s when she came back into the kitchen to get me.  She often lead me into the family room to sit with her.  But this time she lead me to the door that leads to the garage. She just stood there as though she was asking to go to the hospital. I called the hub. I called emergency to let them know we were coming.  They were ready with oxygen when we arrived.

The doc said she could tap the fluid again but that it would probably fill up quicker this time – in 2 days rather than 8.  That’s typically the way it goes.

And before I could say anything, my husband said, “No, it’s time to let her go.”

And that made me cry.  And it made me a little deep down mad.

A tech brought Be into the examining room, catheter already in her arm, laid her gently on the table and plugged an oxygen tube into the wall in front of it. She said she’d give us a few minutes to say goodbye. Be’s breathing was labored, even holding oxygen to her nose, and I didn’t want her to be uncomfortable one second longer than necessary. So we had the doc come in right away.

I wish I had taken just a moment though.

I wish I had turned her gently around or slid her a little back so I was in front of her – so she could see me – instead of being behind her.   I was right there hovering over her, stroking her head. My husband was behind me stroking her back. I wish I had been where she could see me.  I wish I had scooped her up and held her after she was gone. I wish I had driven her to the crematorium myself – one last labor of love.  So many regrets. It all happened so quickly.  I wish I had prayed when she was on the table and not just in the car on the way to emergency. I wish I had blessed her one last time, asked God into the room.  I wish I had asked to hold her on my lap while she was getting the injections…

She laid her head down on the table and was asleep before the doc finished pushing the propofol into the cath. Her breathing stopped midway through the injection of the second drug – the euthanasia drug. No twitching, no nothing, just asleep and then quietly gone in less than a minute.

So I hugged the box containing her ashes and sobbed and told her all those things and it was cathartic.  I’m still sobbing and it still hurts and it is pouring rain again.

It hurts so much I can barely breathe.

The turkey bone broth is still simmering in the crock pot, its heartbreaking aroma permeating the house.

Someday, when I step into heaven, Lucybee, the beloved friend I lost three years ago, will run full speed to greet me.  But the little Be will come quietly: she’ll tiptoe up, peek her head around the gate, look up at me with her sweet little face, cock her head and then wag, wag, wag her happy little tail.

Some glorious day.

img_9199-jpg

#someday

Advertisements
Standard

31 thoughts on “Barely Breathing

  1. So very sorry for you loss Julie. I so understand the title of your post…. Barely Breathing. It’s a hurt so deep that it’s hard to put into words (but you did it so beautifully here). Praying for you as you mourn and grieve for sweet little Be. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sorry to hear of the passing of your Be. It is so hard losing pets, because even though they are animals, they are a part of our family, and all our recent past is woven with the care and love of these precious creatures. Pets teach us as children to love unconditionally. I like to think that whatever the world to come may be, all our loved ones including our furry friends will remain in our hearts forever. Because we will always remember the love we encountered in this life, both given and received.

    Much love to you and your family,
    S~

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sigh. Bob and I went through a similar loss several years ago. It is amazing. How can anyone doubt the existence of God with the evidence of such strong ties we can make to His creation? Prayed for you. fellow lover of canines and their Creator.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So touching Julie and again I am so sorry for the loss of your Be and Lucybee. I’ve had to put two beloved pets down this past year and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Don’t second guess yourself though. You did the right thing under the most intense kind of pressure. Be good to yourself these next few weeks, you deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: McDonald’s has its pink slime, I have purple. | Light & life

Comment here and have no fear. If you regret it or change your mind, just let me know. I will be happy to delete it. (Unless it's about how brilliant I am, then it stays.)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s