About five years ago our pet cat’s health was failing. Each day I observed that breathing became a greater and greater struggle for him. My suspicion was heart failure. I knew there was a decision that needed to be made. Not wanting to make the decision to put him down I had hoped the cat would decide for me and pass peacefully in his sleep here at home. No such luck. The day of the veterinarian appointment arrived and our dear pet was still hanging on. My two daughters and I took our sweet “Chauncy” to the vet and my suspicions were confirmed. The vet looked at me, nodded, and said “yes it is time”. He asked if we wanted to be in the room. I immediately blurted out “yes” not really thinking twice about what the girls would think. My assumption was that they would want to be with their buddy as he breathed his last. It was later that day or maybe the next day that my youngest daughter yelled at me that I made her go into that room. Of course I apologized because I had no clue that I was forcing her. I answered “yes” when the vet asked if we wanted to be present. I heard no protest from the girls and thought all was fine other than the heart break of losing our beloved pet. Once I had her look through the eyes of our cat her anger toward me was resolved. I asked her how she would feel if she were Chauncy on that cold metal table left to breath his last with a stranger? Then I asked if it would have been more comforting to Chauncy to be surrounded by his family that loved him? She agreed that our presence was much better for our suffering cat.
Now we have gone from losing a beloved pet about five years ago to losing a beloved grandpa just short of a year ago. Now the girl’s other beloved grandpa is so very very sick. I can’t protect them from the feeling of hurt and loss. Death is a natural part of life and it is something that everyone that loves others has to face. With the sorrow the realization of the blessing of that loved one is realized much more greatly. It is so hard to watch those you love who were once so full of life struggle. Life is so hard and somehow we need to teach our children how to embrace each moment with those we love. To teach them to be thankful for the sweet memories. To be supportive and not turn their backs when those we love need us most.
“Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
As a parent I feel a tremendous responsibility to teach my children how to truly live.