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When it is time to say "Safe Journey"...

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I've borrowed the phrase *Safe Journey* from Benmax (with much thanks to her for her way with words) as to me (and my crazy mixed up set of beliefs about life after death) it is a complete truism. Each of the animals I have encountered in my life have given me lessons in life and immeasurable gifts which have brought me further along my own path in life. I can only hope that somehow I have done the same for them.

But, as the end of life nears and they begin that transition to death, I am most often left as emotionally weak and vulnerable as a small child where reason and intellect abandons me and all I know is I want, I want, I want more than anything to have them back. But, death being a part of the great cycle of life is as inevitable as the grief that rages through me when my animal dies. But, I also know that a *good death* is possible.

How do you help to make your animals journey from life a better passage for them and for you and how do you heal yourself in the aftermath?

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That is such a tough question. I think it is so much more difficult to answer when it comes to animals than it is for humans.

I guess the time to say 'safe journey' is when the quality of life has deminished. That bright light in your pets eyes fade, their gate no longer filled with youthful bounce or even any type of bounce. Their bodies and eyes speak volumes. They are not gifted with the ability to speak words but their subtle changes of behaviour, though primative or primal is the key.

We are all prepared for this, whether we want to face it or not. We know for everything there is a beginning and an end - but it's so much easier to ignore the end..until it happens and then we scramble to try and recuperate all those moments, and times we took for granted because we make believe that the end will be postponed.

I have such a hard time seeing my pets and other pets meet their end. It takes so much out of me and every time it 'happens', I wish I never knew this grief, but then I remind myself that I would have never known this love either. Love has so much power. Grief can be consuming, depleating and sorrow so filled with pain. Love conquers all. It really does. It replaces all that heaviness with light once again. Love keeps bouncing back because with this comes memories, and with memories comes gratitude and the gift to always see him/her at their highest, the moments that only we as an individual see so clearly in that film we keep tucked away somewhere in there.

I have come to realize that as I age, I am emotionally more fragile. Maybe because I became more aware of 'time'. Days turn into nights, nights into days, and the next thing you know - years have gone by. And with those years that flew,we forgot to take the time to absorb and appreciate the things that mean so much - like being woken up at 3 am to go outside. The cat night antics where the chase was on, or the clanging of the dog tags in the water bowl that wakes you up when you wanted to sleep in that Sunday. All those things that let us know that they are there, that seemed so small until they are no longer there.

The right time is on their clock. We cannot change that. It was destiny - whether young, old, illness or accident - we have no control, but what we do have (thank Heavens) is the power of LOVE to help them on their journey. A gift to end pain and suffering. To have this ability is the greatest thing we can offer.

I don't know if I have the right answer nor the proper words to express what I think this is all about. But for me personally, it is all I can express to free myself of any guilt and to ease my mind in hopes that I made the right choices. It's all I can do for my own peace of mind, and for my own sanity.

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So very, very well said Benmax, made even more poignant given your recent loss. Thank you.

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Excellent post, BenMax .....I couldn't agree with you more.

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Wonderful post Benmax.

Saying goodbye is so heartbreaking. I miss so much all the furries of my life that are no longer with me but I truly feel it is our responsibilty to honor the love and send them on to wait for us. Lucy is the only dog that I have held and things weren't quite as easy as I had expected. She did struggle a bit but I held her safe in my arms and she was so peaceful after it all was done. I comfort myself in knowing that she fought so hard for so long that she just didn't know how not to fight. I still know it is the right decision even if it wasn't a wonderful experience.

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Wonderful post Benmax.

I comfort myself in knowing that she fought so hard for so long that she just didn't know how not to fight. I still know it is the right decision even if it wasn't a wonderful experience.

LuvLucy - I unfortunately had the same issue with Suki. It was not a peaceful passing, but I as well held her. I am sorry you had the same experience. Hugs_

Again - I did what was humane as she was dying - there was no turning it around.

I console myself by knowing she is at peace and not sufferng.

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