Mourning Without Faith Can Be Difficult

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I put my dog to sleep yesterday.

If you haven’t had the experience, well, it’s terrible. It’s long and drawn out, like a nightmare in slow motion. There’s a calm, clinical explanation of the procedure, followed by paperwork, then decisions you have to make when you can barely breathe, much less think. There’s being asked questions like, Do you want his ashes?

No, I have my father’s ashes, I said. I don’t want any more ashes.

I was holding my dog’s lifeless body as the doctor went for the door. I’ll give you a few minutes, she said, and I cried at her, Ohgodpleasedon’tleavemealonewithhim. I watched his slack face fall toward me as she gently lifted him from my arms.

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