After I wrote about my way-out-of-my-comfort zone "project" (aka "a book proposal"*), our dog Jubi had a bad seizure.
I found him on the floor by his bed next to a mini-pool of saliva. As I stroked his head and chest while cleaning up, he lost control of his bowels - three times.
We decided to take him to the veterinarian after dinner. When we told our girl, who has known Jubi all of her life, she welled up, and wailed.
She wanted more time to say "good-bye" to him. "Why can't he stay alive till I'm in college?" "God raised Lazarus, why can't he let Jubi live?"
All good questions. I held her close. Tried to answer her questions (as best as I could) while affirming how sad she was feeling.
I reminded her of how he surprised us, and rallied several times in the past two years. But I knew where her ache was really coming from...we lose part of our heart when we say "good-bye."
We love, and we give our hearts away. It is no surprise that losing our loved one hurts like crazy. I couldn't take away her pain, or mine.
It is not part of God's original plan. I long for the day when God keeps His promise of a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21) and no more tears.
Saying good-bye is never easy, and we never ever have enough time with a beloved person or pet. (Thinking of the victims of the Aurora shooting, friends ("Pam," and "Laura"), and other recent tragedies.)
Any parent will know how hard it is when your child cries...body-wracking sobs, and for a long time. God and Jubi heard her, because he got up from his bed, and walked again...after being unable to for the past hour.
We prayed, and told her we would wait a day, but if he had another seizure that night, we would have to take him to the vet.
He slept through the night, and woke up full of renewed energy. God blessed him, and us with what would be a wonderful final 24+ hours.
I was cleaning up after dinner in the kitchen, when our girl told me: lots of saliva was coming out of Jubi's mouth.
Thankfully, we have a small space, so I ran to him, and placed both hands on him, and spoke to him until the seizure was over. Our girl now knew why we would have to take him to the vet. She still fought it, understandably.
For the past several months, my friends (bloggy & in-person) and I have been praying for God to make it very clear when was the right time. We never walked this road before, and we didn't want to say "good-bye" too early, or too late.
God answered all of our prayers. Thank you! Although it was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do, I also felt God's peace and presence.
Thank you, friends, for your prayers and kind words before, and after we said our teary good-byes to Jubi. He was part of our family for over 13.5 years, and he was my "first child" as I struggled with infertility.
(Jubi, as a puppy, shortly after we adopted him from the animal shelter... about 10 lbs...at his adult best, he was @ 60 lbs.)
We are grateful for all God taught us through caring for him, and for all the joy and laughter he brought us. He inspired many silly jingles/songs over the years.
Who knew a dog could unleash such, ahem, "well-hidden" talents?
My husband said we loved Jubi even though he was a stinky and demanding dog. Jubi was also very patient with kids and their curious hands.
He liked to kiss kids, and eat their cookies if they put them too close to his mouth. Happened once at a church picnic.
We have been looking at old pictures of Jubi, and remembering his quirky ways. Before he went deaf, Jubi always tilted his head sideways, and looked at you when you talked to him. Seriously. I think he was trying to understand our babble.
My husband, who very rarely cries, bawled with our girl and me. In short, we allowed ourselves to do the work of grief.
"When you enter into grief, you enter into the valley of shadows...It is painful. It is work. It is a lingering process. But it is necessary..." H. Norman Wright, Recovering from Losses in Life
- If you or someone you know is going through a season of grief, may I recommend the book quoted above. H. Norman Wright is a certified trauma counselor, and he has helped people affected by 9/11 and Katrina. In the book, he talks about the loss of his son, and also his dog.
It is full of practical suggestions, such as writing a form letter that you can give to family and friends after you have lost a loved one so you don't have to go through the trauma of repeating your story. He also gives ideas on saying "good-bye" when a loved one dies suddenly. If you would like me to write a post on grief recovery, let me know, and I will write one sometime in the next month or so.
Finally, will you join with me in praying for those affected by recent tragic events here and abroad? Thank you.
I have missed blogging, and visiting my friends. Thanks to all, who kept in touch via email or Twitter. You were and are a blessing!
How do you deal with loss? What helps you in the grieving process?
If I can pray for you, please tell me via my contact page.
* P.S. I did not finish my book proposal before the She Speaks Conference, which was a week after we said good-bye to Jubi. I hope to share more about how God showed up at the conference in a later post. Not what you think... (guessing here/wink)
Love this inspiring miracle in one Aurora shooting victim's life... read the story and be amazed and blessed!
Just read this thought-provoking post about the Aurora shootings...
Linking with sweet, and gifted friend Laura for a play date
and giving thanks with wise Ann
and talented L.L. Barkat
and the amazing Jen
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012.