How does one prepare to say good-bye to someone that you know does not have long on this earth? I have gone through this with my dad and my chocolate Labrador, Calla and now I have to prepare myself to do it all again with Hannah. There is no script and each is different whether they are two-legged or four-legged they are still part of our family and so very hard to say good-bye.
I am not a very religious person, more spiritually I guess one could say about me and I do believe that their spirit will live on in your heart and soul until you take your last breath. I think about the people and pets that I have lost in the past and try to remember how I prepared myself but it's all a blur. I have never had to deal with anyone, person or dog, with a brain tumour and at first I wasn't sure how to handle Hannah.
I have a friend who send me an article on Anticipatory Grief. I have never heard of this before but it hit close to home. Anticipatory grief is when you know there is going to be a loss but it hasn't occurred yet. The impact on your life is endless and unfortunately the closure to this grief is death. I find myself at times so overcome with sadness that it wears me down. Anticipatory grief is normal but what you go through while dealing with it is not.
The hardest thing so far is coming to the realization that there is no cure for Hannah and making that oh so difficult call to her vet. It was a decision that both Craig and I came to as we do not want her to suffer or be in pain, it's the last gift we can give her. I guess the deciding factor for me was when she started loosing her balance and falling into furniture or falling down our two stairs, I would hate for her to injure herself badly. Some days we have to physically help her up from a fall. Her seizures are more frequent and we cannot increase her medications as she is at the high end dose. She sometimes hides in dark places and has seizures when being touched which is so difficult on us as we want to love her up. I truly do not think it's a great life for a dog.
Hannah has been a great dog these past 13 years and I have done whatever I needed to do for her to make her life wonderful. I will not have any regrets just extreme sadness when we have to let her go on May 26th. We will have four weeks left with her and we will enjoy every second we have together. She will take her final plane ride in May and I am hoping that we can get her out to enjoy some warm spring weather in Manitoba when we arrive there.
I leave you a few of my favorite pics of our Hannah Banana.
My beautiful girl
Always loved diving off of Nana & Papa's dock
Best sleeping position
Basking in the warm sun after a swim
Blitz is amazing with her - as you can see she is leaning on him
and he is standing there 'holding' her up.
My first and possibly my only selfie of us together