Letting go of her was the hardest thing I have ever done.
Losing a furry family member is a heartbreaking experience but it is all the more difficult when we have to watch our children go through the process. This #MemorialMonday for the #PetStoryProject, my friend Lara shares this beautiful and powerful tribute written by her college-aged son, Jacob, on the loss of their 14 year old dog, Carma.
Here is Jacob’s reflection, "Before April 25, 2020 I don’t remember a day without Carma. This past fall, as I started my college days at Virginia Tech, I knew that Carma was nearing the end of her life. After all, she was thirteen. At the end of every visit home, I would tell myself that this might be the last time with her.
I never imagined COVID-19 would provide an opportunity for me. I came home from VT on March 16th as the university transitioned to online classes. In the moment, I remember being disappointed that my freshman year had to end so soon. Little did I know that because of COVID-19, I would be able to spend Carma’s last month with her. In her final days, I slept beside her on the floor, helped her go to the bathroom, held the bowl for her as she ate and fed her out of my hand, changed her diaper, and cleaned up after her messes. I had a chance to show her how much I loved her. And what I feared each time I left to go back to VT was now here and I wasn’t going to miss it.
I knew that Carma meant the world to me. However, I didn’t grasp the depth of it until the moment we drove her to the vet to have her put to sleep. My dad picked her up out of the car to carry her in since she couldn’t walk. And because of COVID-19, only 2 of us could go in. Previously, my mom asked me if I wanted to be in there or felt like I needed to be in there. Even though I deeply wanted to, I had had time with her during the past few days and felt my sister should be the one to go in if she wanted.
As my dad and sister were walking in, I called out to give Carma one last hug. Letting go of her was the hardest thing I have ever done. As they walked away with Carma in their arms, I ran to my mom and wept. I never remember crying the way I cried that day on my mom’s shoulder. They were tears of grief and ache and pain, but also relief for her to be free. It’s amazing that a dog can have so much impact on your life. Enough to really change you."
Thank you, Jacob, for sharing this with us - it shows real strength to express vulnerability and true feelings like this.