Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good Death

It is often referred to as "Death with Dignity “,” Mercy Killing” or the “Good Death” as these are gentle sensitive descriptions of the term Euthanasia which originated with an ancient Greek doctor of noble status. The name sounds so clinical and matter-of-fact while not displaying the slightest hint of compassion, humanity, or sympathy. I've always despised the word, never referring to it in discussions on the topic of pet loss, and have absolutely never linked it to my departed friend hence Erin passed away or departed this world. While I'm not a proponent of the name, the act itself when applied correctly is a humane dignified method of ending an animal’s suffering as is often the case when age, disease, terminal illness, unforeseen accidents, or human neglect are involved.

"Dogs do not have many advantages over people, but one of them is extremely important: euthanasia is not forbidden by law in their case; animals have the right to a merciful death."
~ Milan Kundera

As I reflect upon that fateful day, it seems the decision was quite easy considering the topic of discussion was the most important thing in my life while arguably my reason to live. Erin's right to a gracious transition surpassed any selfish thought I entertained and while I’d have given anything to spend more time in her presence, it would have been incredibly wrong to demand that of her. There's no remorse or second guessing in my heart, just satisfaction knowing Erin's best interest was served until the very end. Our animal friends deserve a pain-free dignified ending whenever possible but too often humans’ self-serving nature takes priority and in the end, the animal pays the price with unwarranted suffering.

While I'm very open to discussing Erin's life, her exploits, impact upon others, and our beautiful relationship, I refuse to convey what transpired in the final stage of her life. I deeply feel it will disrespect her memory and betray the trust she had in me, thus only a select few friends and my mother have the intimate details of our final time together. Those people are folks who loved Erin for years, friends she absolutely adored and most importantly, those who could recognize and respect the sanctity aspects of our final moments. Be assured, it was a beautiful sacred ending between two loyal friends, a lovely final chapter to our fairy tale story.We should all be so fortunate to go gently into the night feeling the warm embrace of love. RIP Erin!!


  1. I can't even imagine how difficult it must have been for you David, to let Erin go but you thought of her comfort and that's commendable. We all should have someone who cares so much for us. Erin was very fortunate. RIP Erin!!

  2. I can't believe I'm reading this ( after discovering your invitation to blog connect ) when I'm facing this very decision with a cat. She showed up barely able to walk yesterday, and I'm now facing taking her to the vet to see what has happened. It's likely I'm going to have to choose to have her put to sleep - so sad indeed. We adopted her years ago when she showed up abandoned. She's been a great pet and I am sad thinking about missing her.

  3. @Sulekkha Thanks for the kind words and it was difficult but a decison that had to be made in Erin's best interest. We are the animal kingdoms keeper and we owe it to them to kind even in times of grief.

    @Jennifer Thank you for following my blog and I'm very sorry that you're in a similar position as myself. I'm sure you will be brave and do what's best for your angel kitty. As I've discovered, our broken hearts mend with time and while I'll never forget Erin and wish I was by her side, I absolutely made the correct decision. Please msg me if you'd like to chat. Take care!!


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