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Guilt And Anger And Healing


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On Nov. 21 it will be a year since Zephyr's death. I still have moments when I'm inconsolable and just want to have him back, then Today, driving home from work I suddenly was overwhelmed and realized why ... I've been blaming myself for not pushing the vet to do surgery ... for not looking into every option I could to keep Zephyr with me .. and realize I did all I could and was blessed with one more year.

When Zephyr first had his choaking problem the vet pretty much said that he thought he might have a growth or tumor in his throat and he wouldn't have survived the surgery. Given the fact that Zephyr was 12 at the time, surgery of any kind was a risk, but to do throat surgery on even a younger dog came with such a high risk of failure the vet opted to give him medication to help his breathing and swallowing. The medication did work ...

I began to view each day after as a gift. Winter was hard on Zephyr's arthritic back legs, but with spring he seemed to be his old bouncy self without the medication. We celebrated his 13th birthday on July 3rd I began to think maybe we'd be celebrating his 14. I kept hoping for a mild winter for 2006.

His health began to decline the end of September, while my prayers for a mild winter were answered Zephyr wasn't there to enjoy it. He left us on a sunny warm November day. The sky was a clear blue like his eyes. ... today I can finally begin to heal and accept that all the love and medical genious would not have kept Zephyr here any longer than he was. I think a veil of saddness has been lifted for the first time.

Zephyr, I feel your spirit in every room. I know you are whole and happy in your spirit world. I know you are forever watchful of those you loved. You were a special gift and you will forever live in my heart. I love you and miss you.


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I'm so glad for you that you've had this breakthrough, for your own peace of mind. It often does take us a long time to get there, depending on circumstances, but also because, being the parents of our furchildren, if we take our 'job' seriously, just like parents who've lost human children we feel so ultimately responsible for their very existence. It took me all of about 5 years to come to terms (I hate that nondescriptive term but you know, I hope, what I mean by it) with Sabin's death, and it was an uphill battle the whole way. And even if you backslide at times, I believe you'll now be able to climb out of that hole much quicker, as this seems to be what happens once we've had that sort of 'epiphany' about our beloved's passing.

At the very least, your vet realized the very real dangers of surgery, something not all vets will be straightforward about, and this way Zephyr didn't go on the table, which would have been worse, I'm sure, for you. You DID get that year, and all one can say then really, is....that was a GOOD thing, and something to keep close to your heart whenever you need to. Plus, you DID realize what a gift you'd been given and adopted the best attitude ~ that each day IS a gift. That is a huge lesson in life and I believe Zephyr's the one who was sent here to teach you that.

To add impetus to your realization, I'd like to share something I'd just read in Allison DuBois' first book, "Don't Kiss Them Good-Bye". (she's the medium who is the inspiration behind the TV show, Medium) She tells of precognitively KNOWING her father was to die of a heart condition, and for quite a time before he actually did die, she tried her utmost to prevent it by sending him to the doc's, making sure he took care of himself and his heart, etc. However, nothing she did changed anything, and he suddenly passed away (because of his heart) anyway. It taught even her that some things can never be changed, no matter what we do, even if we're 'fortunate' enough to be able to see what is to happen ahead of time. Pretty interesting, isn't it?

So, after reading her own story for myself, I've come that much closer to truly and wholly accepting the idea that when it's time, it's time, period, and there's nothing anyone can do to alter that. It just makes the blow a little easier to bear, don't you think?

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