We knew the time was coming but we are still never really prepared. She was getting older. Her hearing was zero to none, her eyesight was questionable. Our family dog was getting older.
Having had pets all growing up, one thing was always present. We knew, at the end of their life, our precious pet would not have to suffer. We knew we always had the option to take our animal to our Vet and they would be able to provide them immediate comfort and have their final moments surrounded by those who love them and feeling nothing but bliss.
It is a gift, actually. One that is provided to our loved ones but actually not ALL our loved ones.
One thing that stands out for me on the day our dog turned for the worse was how quickly our dog began to suffer. Panting, overheating, vomiting. Our kids were there. I woke up to her in pain. By the time I made arrangements and got our dog into see the vet, a couple long and excruciating hours had passed. I felt the pressure to help her quickly. Get the pain over with soon. From the time we woke up until the time we said our last good-bye, it had been hours.
But, what breaks my heart, is that there are millions of people, family members, someones parent or loved one, is in incredible pain as well. Dying slowly. Instead of running around in a panic to provide immediate comfort to our dying loved one who is ready and wanting to die, they have to sit by and watch them suffer. Medicine can only do so much for comfort. Often at the expense of someones alertness. Our loved one is no longer the same person we once knew and remembered.
Day after day, it gets harder to remember who they really were, instead, we see them slowly withering away.
It is 2014. People have many rights. To vote, free speech, education. All are in place to have us safe, honoured and free. Where we are not free and honoured is when we know we are dying. We have given more honour and dignity to our animals than we have to our family.
This needs to change.
A handful of progressive European countries have taken the lead and allow people to Die with Dignity. Even part of Canada, Quebec, has passed the bill to allow Quebec residents the right to die. It works.
Now we just need the rest of Canada to have the same rights.
The Right to die with Dignity.