Letting Go Misia

Misia
Summer 2000 – June 15, 2017

I’d left work and met the vet at my home at 1. My wife had just said goodbye and left. Misia’s muzzle was moist and smeared with her lipstick. I sat down next to Misia who was laying on her cushion in the living room. I cupped her chin in one hand and stroked her face with the other as the vet gave her the first shot of sedative/pain killer. Misia and I were face to face looking in each other’s eyes. I was overwhelmed with sadness that this was our last moment together. After about twenty seconds, her eyes slowly closed, and she relaxed fully into my hand, peacefully sedated. We waited ten minutes, then the vet asked if I was ready. Unable to process things, I paused to brace, then told him to go ahead. He inserted the iv into her rear left leg, then began the drip. I felt her breathing, one breath, two breaths, three breaths. She stopped after her sixth breath, exhaled, then gave a little shake. The vet took his stethoscope to her side and listened. He leaned back and looked at me. I asked him if she was gone. He nodded, and said he was sorry. He laid her on her side, and Misia exhaled again one last time. I put my head down and lost it. I became aware of this image of me, viewed from above, sitting cross-legged in front of the cushion with my head bowed, crying and shaking. I looked up at her one last time, saw her laying on her side with her beautiful, pink tongue drooping from her mouth. I went to my kitchen, propped myself on the counter, and let the waves of emotion wash over me. I could not bring myself to look at her again. It was as hard as I knew it would be.

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Author: eric@ericschuurman.com

Father, mechanical drafter, former musician.