Today, we had to let our little boy go. That's how I say it, because I don't want to say that I killed him. I can't say "put to sleep," because he's not sleeping. I can't say "put down," because it makes him sound like some wild, dangerous animal that no one cares for or loves. We set him free from his pain and suffering, because to prolong it for our sakes would be cruel and wrong. And yet the whole thing feels so very wrong. I miss him so much, and hate that it came to this.
We had to make the decision that we never wanted to make, the one that of course we would make for ourselves if we could, but making it for anyone else...that's a whole other thing. And it doesn't matter how right it was, or how much my baby isn't suffering anymore, or that it was inevitable, or that we did all we could for him, more, my vet tells me, than most would've. It wasn't enough, and it's just unquestionably horrible. And I have learned once again that getting the chance to say goodbye doesn't making letting go one tiny bit easier. Watching the whole process doesn't make it make any more sense. I keep thinking that life is just merciless. People may be merciful, but life is not.
When we let our eldest dogter go, just 9 months after A died, I was still such a wreck from A's death, that there wasn't far to go in grieving for her, as well. I was already grieving; it hurt a whole hell of a lot to lose her, but I was already hurting so bad that it didn't hit me quite as hard. You can't fall down when you've been on the ground for months.
This has hit me really hard, probably, in part, because I have recovered. I spent most of the day in a stupor, or in bed, or in a stupor in bed. There's this numb place I can (evidently) go to where, like how you can make your eyes let go of focus and blur everything, I can let my mind blur it just enough that it isn't hammering me with its awful truth. I know it's there, but I'm not looking directly at it and I can breathe. And between those numb spaces, I cry until my chest hurts and my face aches, and I remember that this was how it was. I had managed to forget, to a certain extent, exactly how it felt. But grief has come back into my life again, and I know it so well. So well that I know that this is normal, that I will heal eventually, that the pain can be overcome, and that, in this moment, knowing that doesn't help a bit. It just keeps me from being scared that I will never be right again.
And yet I can't help but wonder...how many times can a heart break, before it is broken irreparably?