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!!