Anticipating Grief

I recently read this post over at Grief Healing. It is about that process so many of us go through as we anticipate the death of a beloved pet.

A wonderful quote is linked from an article where a physician talks about our perceptions of death.  “The family may ask me to use my physician superpowers to push the patient’s tired body further down the road, with little thought as to whether the additional suffering to get there will be worth it. For many Americans, modern medical advances have made death seem more like an option than an obligation. We want our loved ones to live as long as possible, but our culture has come to view death as a medical failure rather than life’s natural conclusion.”

This can be even more true with our pets. They don’t have any say in our decisions, not really. We have to trust our instincts and our gut that we are doing the right thing. They don’t have voices to raise and say, “No. I don’t want to live like that. Just let me go.” They can’t set living wills or discuss what they want before hand. We have to trust that those little voices that whisper to us are correct. We also have to trust that our pets will be honest with us about what they want and not what they think we want to hear. We put a lot of stress on ourselves don’t we?

The article in grief healing addresses the fact that any pet that we are suffering through the loss of was beloved and a very lucky pet. Death is not a medical failure but a natural part of life.



  1. With our first cat together after we got married, we made the mistake of trying too long when there was no longer any hope of any recovery, and there was no quality of life. We vowed then never to let that happen again. Of course that makes it no easier, in fact I think it is harder because you become so full of self doubt, “Was I too hasty, could I have done more” even though you know you made the right and only decision.
    I still ask myself if we could have saved Eric even though the vet said he would would suffer a saddle thrombus, most likely within the next few hours. We had to make the decision for him. I would never have forgiven myself if he had died in agony. I miss him and his handsome old fashioned face so much, more than any cat before.

  2. When Maggie became ill with cancer my mom and dad were in denial and tried everything to save her. They loved her so. They can look back now and realize that they should have let go and let her avoid pain and suffering, but they couldn’t see that at the time because of their fear of losing her. purrrrrr

    They have promised all of us that they will not let it get that far and our comfort will always be their primary concern.

  3. absolutely beautiful post. We so avoid the topic of death, that there is so rarely a good intelligent discussion about it..

  4. We do put a lot of stress on ourselves.
    For our pets, we must remember to put them first,
    not our wishes first. It is hard, and it hurts and that may
    be why we pause about doing it sometimes.
    We do need to look at death as a natural part of life
    and accept it,even when it hurts.
    Great post.

  5. This was such a meaningful post. And that quote – powerful. Gives one pause, doesn’t it? It’s really different when seen through the eyes of a doctor.

  6. I am finding that many don’t even want to think about, much less say the word death. Looking back now those two weeks of hospice care were the hardest on me and Abby. We don’t have a crystal ball and we must do what our heart tells us.

  7. Thanks for this post~!!
    ~ From Michico
    Michico says she thinks a lot when that coming,
    but she doesn’t want to think anymore, but be with us and enjoy every moment with us instead~!

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