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Monday, July 8, 2013

May I Go?

Do you think the time is right?
May I say goodbye to pain filled days and endless lonely nights?
I've lived my life and done my best, an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond, and set my spirit free?

I didn't want to go at first, I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now to a warm and loving light.
I want to go, I really do; it's difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can to live just one more day.
To give you time to care for me and share your love and fears.
I know you're sad and afraid, because I see your tears.

I'll not be far, I promise that, and hope you'll always know,
That my spirit will be close to you wherever you may go.
Thank you so for loving me. You know I love you too,
And that's why it's hard to say goodbye and end this life with you.
So hold me now just one more time and let me hear you say,
Because you care so much for me, you'll let me go today.


by Susan A. Jackson

I saw this poem on Facebook, and reading it immediately brought me to tears. This poem doesn't just speak of the loss of a beloved companion, but for me, it reminds me that my dear, much-loved dog Mila will soon ask me the same question.

My other dogs always let me know when they were ready to get their angel wings. My first, a little 11-pound dog named Patches, sat on the bed and looked at me in such a way that I immediately knew that she was asking to be released from her cancer-riddled body. Most recently, golden retriever Gage collapsed during a walk and just a few hours later was discovered to have metastasized, inoperable cancer. 

So now I must wait for Mila to tell me when she has had enough. For a dog that is nearly 15 years old, she is in pretty good health, aside from hip dysplasia and arthritis. She gets a couple of kinds of pain medications every day, but sometimes she stills seem uncomfortable. As much as I want to travel, I am staying close to home so I can spend as much time as possible with Mila. And when the end does come, I want to be with her, holding her and kissing her head until the very end.

Someone once said that one way to know when it is time to let a beloved animal companion go is to list three things that animal enjoys. When the animal is no longer able, or no longer wants, to do those things, then it is time. For Mila, eating, exploring our large back yard and going for walks are three things she loves. So far, she still enjoys all of these things, although our walks are slower and shorter now.

So until Mila no longer enjoys her favorite activities and she tells me in her own unique way that it is time for her to go, I will treasure every second with this sweet old dog.