Samantha: It's often hard for us.. we react in a variety of ways to certain pressures, and a death in the family is perhaps one of the hardest things for us to deal with. Today, we had to put one of our cats to sleep. Minou had been wasting away - and at an alarming rate in more recent weeks, and we tried everything we could to look after her, but there wasn't anything more we could do.
We never deal with death well. It is a rather horrific experience for us, because as a group, we have our own doubts and fears about death. So, each time it happens, there's a strange mix of reactions, and who gets the most public reaction depends on what the conditions are. At our grandfather's funeral, things were subdued, at our great grandmother's funeral, there were hysterics, and this was no different.
We'd prepared ourselves as best we could over the last week, knowing that she wasn't healthy, and that she wasn't going to get better - it was more about how long we could stave off the inevitable. Unfortunately, while we had hoped for 'weeks' or 'months' , we got 'days'.
The hardest hit was our little brother, Daryl. We had tried our best to look after Minou and make her feel as comfortable as we could the last few days, giving her extra cuddles, holding her in our arms, and letting her sleep with us in bed when she was inclined to. Today had been a good day for her - she was energetic, she drank her water, and she was extra affectionate. This, of course, made the finale a lot harder for us, because she looked like she could have gotten better.. though her weight said otherwise. She'd gone from 3.2 kg to 2.7, and she would only lose more weight if we delayed - she was already skin and bones..
When we made the decision, we were bracing for it.. but we should have looked away. When they put the syringe into her, Daryl screamed at us.. you're killing her! and we couldn't take it. Kit felt extra guilty at that point, and we just broke down. He still hears that now, from time to time, and it's very hard on him. And then of course, there's the memories, and wishing there had been more time.
No. We don't take this very well at all.. and we're not looking forward to having to do this again in the future. This time however, I have to say, was better than before. The staff were understanding. They took their time with us. They talked with us when we needed to make the hard decisions, and they gave us space when we needed our privacy to grieve. They gave us options, unlike the staff with Kitty, and this helped, I think. We're getting Minou's cremains brought home, and we have a special place for them.
Kit joked that it is almost Shinto, keeping her ashes in a small box on his desk. I joked to him that we could get a shrine ordered, and keep her with the shrine - but maybe it isn't so much of a joke after all. She's with the kami now, isn't she?