One day I made a connection* with a female bulldog called Hope. Jamie, her gardian, had asked me for a connection because she wanted to know if she had made the right decision in having her dog euthanized because of a cancer. Jamie was struggling with a strong feeling of guilt. Not being sure that euthanasia had been the right decision, she was suffering a great deal. When I made the connection with Hope, the first information I received was about the details of her illness before she died. My purpose here is not to go into medical situations; I just want to share my feelings regarding euthanasia and whether one is ready or not for it since many people have asked me that question.
Hope’s metastases had spread throughout her body which caused her a lot of pain and suffering. It was impossible, therefore, that she could have remained alive much longer. Hope had tried to stay alive as long as possible for the sake of her guardian who was not ready to see her depart and therefore she had clung to life in spite of her illness. Very often animals wait to depart until their guardian is ready to see them go. They don’t have the same view of departing that we have: they don’t suffer from the same anxiety and fear facing the unknown that we humans do. Once they are ready to go, they can leave their bodies.
Today, modern medicine allows sick animals to prolong their lives. Also, domestic animals share our lives much more than in the past. For all of these reasons, when they are very sick and would normally be ready to depart, they stay on because we humans are not ready to see them go. We are afraid of death, afraid of the unknown, afraid to make the decision concerning euthanasia. Do we or do we not have the right to put the animal out of its suffering? Above all we are afraid of losing the unconditional love that animals give us and to be unable to live without it.
When I made the connection with Hope, I saw that she was ready to go and was waiting for her guardian to be ready as well. Was Jamie really ready to let her go? No, we are never ready for the departure of a being we love dearly. Jamie would never have been ready emotionally, but there was a point where she was able to accept the situation: that point was when she was obliged to face the reality of Hope’s departure because Hope was suffering too much. When Jamie reached that point of acceptance and resignation, Hope was also able to leave. Somewhat like a boat tied to the shore, the point is when that knot is untied. Once that knot is untied, euthanasia is no longer a death sentence, but becomes a gesture of compassion. The boat can then slide gently into the water and float towards the horizon.
*Note: A connection is when I connect my spirit with the spirit of the deceased animal.