Well this is not the story I was ready to tell. Mabel has been slowing down for quite some time. If you have been following along for this blog series, I have been documenting moments of Mabel’s end of life journey. To hear the background of Mabel’s journey, click here.
Mabel’s recent decline happened suddenly over the last few weeks. We noticed she stopped eating her treats early last week and I knew right away that something was wrong. She loved treats. She wasn’t supposed to have them due to elevated kidney levels but we figured that she turned 19 in March and deserved treats in her old age.
She quit eating on Friday and by Sunday was hiding and clearly ready to go. My heart was not ready. I have been preparing myself for this day since Goku died a few years ago….but I was not ready. How do you say goodbye to a best friend? How do you make the call that she will take her last breath? I was not ready even though she was.
Caring Pathways was able to come out a few hours after my call. Mabel seemed agitated by my staring at her and clearly did not want to be touched so I busied myself by washing dishes and tidying up the house. I checked on her every few minutes….she was laying on the stairs with her head hiding in the corner. I sat next to her for a moment and told her everything I needed her to know. I thanked her for choosing me. I thanked her for not leaving my side during my miscarriage. I thanked her for being my light during depression and anxiety. I told her I loved her and that she was my best friend…and that there would never be another Mabel in my life.
Mabel took her last breaths on her favorite blanket with my husband and I holding and petting her. Dr. Stacee was amazing and sweet and I thank God she came.
I watched as her chest slowly quit rising and falling. I scratched her ears in her favorite spot. I told her I loved her. Her heart stopped. My heart stopped. Mabel had a rough start to her life but ended being the best friend I have ever had. Nothing can replace her. My heart is broken. It will take time to heal.
Mabel, I love you sweet girl. Tell your brother hi and have fun with all of our angels. I miss you.
About the Author
Mandi Browning is the Grief Support Specialist at Caring Pathways. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in thanatology (death, dying and bereavement). Her heart is to help and guide you through this end of life journey of grief with your precious companion.