07 October 2015

Because Human Suffering is Redemptive

Today we had to put my sweet little Nana (Bella, Belly, Smelly, Bumble Bee, Nanny, Nana, Nina, Bellatrix, Boo, Noodle, etc.) to sleep. She's been having seizures and the vet said there was likely a lesion on her brain.

I came home at around 8 this morning to say goodbye. Since the seizure was over, she was calm and normal looking. When we went to put her in the car to take her she even ran up to me to get in.

From about 8 to 11, I sat here with her, just petting her and loving her, and getting in some final memories. I just had to keep reminding myself that suffering, for my sweet girl, was not only meaningless, it was cruel. I'm the kind of (rude) person who makes fun of people for treating their pets like children, but taking her to the vet today was one of the hardest things I've ever done emotionally. This is why God made faculties, and gave us the gift of our intellect and our will. If we only acted on emotions, Bella would still be here for my own personal comfort, and that isn't fair. I had an overwhelming feeling of having the power to decide who lives and dies. I hated it. I would have rather she been taken from us than for us to have to decide.

I just kept thinking of prison guards/executioners on death row, willing themselves to perform actions which would result in someone's last breath. I'm absolutely terrified of that kind of decision, and I'm honestly shocked that they can find anyone who will do that as their job. I wouldn't do it for all the money in the world. But there's a HUGE difference in taking the life of a person, and taking the life of a dog. A human can be redeemed. A dog has no need of redemption. And suffering, be it gruesome or cruel or involuntary, helps us to be united to Christ on the cross. And that is more valuable than gold.

After she was gone (we stayed with her through the process), I felt SO at peace. Immediately. I knew her suffering was over, and the rest was just selfish on my part. I was hugging her as she took her last breath and I felt her leave and I know she doesn't hurt any more. Occasionally little doubts creep in about what if she wasn't actually that sick and we just killed our dog for no reason, and of course I already miss her like crazy. It's going to be very hard to come home and not have her sweet face and wagging tail meet me at the door. I'm just thankful that God made creatures who can legitimately teach us about Him by their selflessness and unwavering loyalty. Every thing exists to point us to Him. Everything. Praise God. And because everything God made is good, I believe that He wants all of His creation with Him in Heaven. So for today, I believe that Bella is in Heaven with God.

Please keep my mom in your prayers over the next few weeks in your charity.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.

1 comment:

  1. This is so real. "I just kept thinking of prison guards/executioners on death row, willing themselves to perform actions which would result in someone's last breath." I never considered that perspective- very eye-opening.