The pain of grief echo's our love for the one's we have lost. The more we love, the more we grieve.
It's times like this that I wish I didn't care so deeply, then it wouldn't hurt so much.
We are not given the same allowances for the loss of a pet that we are the loss of a human family member. Regardless of the strong bond you may have shared with your furry friend, you will not be given any time off to come to terms with your loss.
It is expected we will outlive our fluffy companions, their life cycle is considerably shorter than the average human. This makes it easier to accept their death as it is an inevitable fact of life but acceptance and grief are two very different things.
Max was only 9 years old, equivalent to a 55-65 year old human I guess. He was off his food and a bit lethargic for only a few days. The vet examined him, jaundice and dehydration were the only obvious physical symptoms, his liver was the probable issue. Prognosis? "Good, unless it's a tumor, which seems unlikely given the sudden onset of his symptoms."
A large cancerous tumor was the last thing I expected to be told after his ultrasound results came in.
Less than 5 hours after our initial consultation I was giving the nod to the vet to end his life. It was an agonisingly gut wrenching moment but I knew, without a doubt in my mind, it was the right thing to do. He purred happily as I stroked his neck, then slipped away, just like that.
This was my first experience of euthanasia.
I have watched people suffer their end of life with pain and indignity. I wonder why, as a society, we give so little regard to the death of a pet, but so much more empathy and value to their quality of life.