This is a lovely free service to those who have lost a pet. It helps as you struggle to work through grief. http://petloss.com holds an online candlelight service with prayers every Monday evening.
Our precious Ella passed away in a pet ER at 11:45 p.m. on April 7th. She would have been twelve in May. This past year she had developed numerous health problems and when--as a retired registered nurse trained in emergency medicine--I realized her breathing was agonal, I called the ER and was told to bring her in. An Xray showed the lining of her little lungs was filled with fluid, making breathing difficult and putting pressure on her heart. Even withdrawing the fluid from her lungs didn't relieve her struggle to breathe. Her weight had dropped from 13 pounds last September to 9 3/4 that night. She had developed arthritis, blindness in one eye, pancreatitis and carcinoma cancer in her bowel, and we learned how few medications are available to help sick cats.
The last few days she hadn't been herself, had lost energy. We thought the long cone collar she wore because she had scratched her blind eye was weighing her down. Instead, it was the fluid buildup in her lungs and pressure on her heart.
When the vet said they probably couldn't save her but did we wish CPR, we burst into tears and shook our heads. "Let her go."
We needed her, but Ella needed to be relieved of her suffering. Her precious life was over. I scratched her head and neck as I had done so often because the collar irritated her and she couldn't scratch or groom herself. Then I kissed her coat and touched her one final time. My husband said his goodbyes, and we left the room.
I think only animal lovers can understand the depth of grief humans feel at the loss of a pet.
Our grief is easing. The times when it feels unbearable--and nothing seems to remove the image of her small, vulnerable body stretched out on that treatment table--are fewer. Last night my husband dreamed of her. This morning I looked at the window where she often sat to watch the birds, and said, "Hi, beautiful kitty. We will always remember the bright joy you gave us. We will be okay."