Thursday, August 16, 2007


Grief is a funny thing. We all react differently to the death of a loved family member or pet. Although I had worked in medicine in acute care, we often didn’t have time to think about how people reacted to a death but when I worked in palliative care, it was part of the job.

I’ve long been interested in death and how different cultures think about it and treat it. Back in college, I recall taking a humanities course called Death and Dying, so my interest went back pretty far. But it’s not really something people like to talk about so it’s hard sometimes to be interested in a topic that’s taboo for many.

Our family has experienced several deaths in the past four years or so. My husband’s father passed away after a three-week illness, our golden retriever died of cancer, my brother took his life, our last two guinea pigs left us and then, on Monday, my heart dog – Oscar – died. I know that the death of a guinea pig isn’t on the same level as the death of a brother, but it’s a loss. To me, it’s another soul that has left this earth and it’s a soul that my children loved, so their pain at losing an animal hurts my heart.

The house is a lot quieter these days. I listen for Oscar’s tags, the click-click of his nails on the floor, the thud as he jumps down off my son’s bed. I remember when Rox died (our golden), I often saw him out of the corner of my eye. I haven’t had that with Oscar yet. I often felt comforted by those imaged visions of Rox so I wonder why I’m not experiencing it with Oscar. Maybe it’s too soon. Or maybe it won’t happen.

Oscar was a funny dog – he loved flowers. One time when he got loose, I caught him because he had stopped to smell some flowers. Silly dog. So, now there is a big bouquet of beautiful flowers in the window sill where he’d go and show the neighbourhood how scary and frightening he looked. Silly dog. I miss him.

News for Today:
High-risk women not undertaking prevention for breast cancer: study
Ambulatory oxygen rarely a benefit in COPD patients without resting hypoxemia
FDA Warns Adults About Medicine for Kids
Few obese adults get treatment plan from docs
Mild Heart Attacks Are More Likely to Kill Diabetic Patients

1 comment:

Terrie Farley Moran said...

I am sorry that you have suffered so many losses in recent times but I am glad that you take to time to recognise your grief and work through it.

How said it would be for any living thing to die and not be mourned and missed.