Trigger warning: death, bodily fluids, cremation mentioned.
Banjo will be cremated either tomorrow or Friday. I’m wrestling with a decision: Do I visit him one last time?
I was with him as he died. A process that continues to traumatize me, albeit with less intensity, six days on. I can’t write about that just yet.
I held his face as he died and spent 20 minutes with him afterwards. It doesn’t feel like it was enough.
I think this may stem from a regret of not running after my great-grandmother’s car to say goodbye to her one last time. And then not being able to visit her in hospital. My grandparents decided it was best for me to remember her as she was. I’ve never been 100% glad they made that decision for me.
Saying goodbye to my dog feels very unresolved. The crematory said the vet kept him in a freezer until they collected him yesterday to bring him to the crematory. Since yesterday, he’s been in refrigeration, so there may be some fluids leaking from his head and rear end. They would do their best to clean him up…
This is the closest I’ve been to death, up close and personal. I don’t know how bad it could be.
My head is saying don’t go. My heart is saying if I don’t go, I will regret it. My head responds with, “What if you are further traumatized by what you see?” My heart replies, “What if it brings closure?” My head doesn’t have a response, and starts thinking about how I would plan childcare around the over-an-hour-long journey to the crematory tomorrow.
I am conflicted. I don’t have a lot of time to make this decision. I wish I knew someone else who had visited their pet and lived not to regret their decision.