My beautiful Saint Bernard, Orion was recently diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, he was limping badly and eventually didn't put any weight on his leg. I took him in for x-rays and was horrified to discover he had a tumor on his leg bone and that the actual bone broke. I was not expecting this. I thought I would have him and his unconditional love for years to come. It was not meant to be.
We took four days to be with him and say good bye. In this time period I spent every moment I could with him. The rest of life didn't matter. After the four days we had to let him go, we didn't want him to suffer like his siblings and mother had suffered before him. We loved him too much to do that to him
I've been asked several times how I am, and the real answer is, I don't know. And I'm Ok with that. I don't know how I feel, about a lot of things actually. And I believe there's freedom in not knowing.
This is what I'm experiencing. The last four days of his life, the time between diagnoses and the actual death was a time for me to be 100% present with him. I barely left his side. I lay with him about 22 hours out of the day, I just wanted to be with him and experience the last bit of who he was, and he was wonderful.
The actual passing wasn't pleasant, he didn't want to go, I could feel it; he would have stayed with me forever and suffered if he could have, because he knew I wanted him there.
In the days since his death and physical departure of my life, I've had a lot of realizations: For about four years now, I've been like a mother waiting and listening for her baby to cry out, my body has been in a state of tension, and I wasn't even aware of it until he was gone. I suddenly realized I'm so tense, and I'm waiting for something, my ears are open and I'm waiting for him to call me. I was on guard for him. Listening, always listening. And i would drop whatever I was doing and run to him...
I realize how often he gave me an opportunity to take pause in my day and have a cuddle. I miss that.
I walk by his room, expecting him to lift his head and acknowledge me, and beckon me with his eyes for a snuggle. I haven't cleaned out his room yet. There's really no hurry. But I have removed two of his beds in the house, and I noticed how I still step over these beds that aren't there any more...
I've been living, being present in what is right now. I realize how I used to stop myself from accepting invitations, and when I was out, i was always in a state of tension because I was concerned he would need me and I needed to get home. We had a very codependant relationship. It was all love.
I know he's around. One day, I was working in the kitchen, and I heard this tap tap tapping, I couldn't figure it out. It was his cooling coat, draped over the dutch door, the plastic buckle on the strap hitting the door in the wind. Later the door slammed shut several times. I even put stuff in front of the door to keep it open, and it still slammed shut!
I'm not moping. I feel a sense of relief for him, and for me. Brian pointed out, he had probably suffered for four years, after four years of surgeries. So I feel relief for him, that he doesn't have to have pain in his legs anymore. Then Brian said, "You know, you've been carrying him around for four years." Which I did. Every time he had a surgery, I would put the sling on him and we'd go out for pees and poos and whatever else he wanted... So we are both free from that. And I have to be really conscious of not feeling guilty for feeling free or relief, becasue it really is for both of us..
Orion was everything to me. And I miss him. But I'm happy he's relieved from pain.
I love you monkey, thanks for sending me all the signs. I've been looking for you in them.