Euthanasia literally translates to "a good death." It is kind and gentle.
But are you looking for something more for this important moment in your pet's life and your own? More than euthanasia...the transition of the spirit that has been an essential part of your life? Perhaps a connection with the person guiding that spirit out of the body that can no longer serve him or her?
Whether you are seeking simply kind, professional help at home for your pet, or that additional level of support to create an experience that honors and celebrates your pet's life, I can help.
In Sanskrit, apāna is the outgoing breath. The release. Why this is an important concept for the animal may seem obvious, but it's more than that. It's also an important concept for the family, to be able to find a peaceful release and a joyful acceptance of that release. Yes, I said joyful! But how can we find joy in loss and death? It's not easy, but if we are willing to see that death is actually a transition and shift of energy, rather than only an ending, we start to find joy in seeing that the decision is a positive and loving one. To take control of the decision, to pick when, where and how it happens removes some of the angst and anxiety over the idea of losing our pet. Yes, it is inevitable, but by choosing to be present, in your home, before unnecessary suffering occurs, is such a wonderful thing to do for your pet and for yourself.
And finally, what about the people providing this kind of care? It is a heavy emotional responsibility, one that some of my colleagues readily admit they shirk away from, and therefore it is so important for the veterinarian and staff involved to also find apāna and peacefulness with this responsibility. To enter someone's home and be centered for the pet and the family is essential, but to do that, we must be centered for ourselves. After a particularly stressful experience with helping a dog pass away, I got frustrated and even angry that the experience affected me so much...my hands trembled so greatly that I had to steady them on my knees and hoped the family didn't see it, as I worried it would be interpreted as a lack of confidence or a sign of inexperience, which wasn't the case. Even after I left the home, my hands were still shaking. I tried to put it out of my mind but couldn't. I shared the story with a friend (my own acupuncturist) the next week. She asked, "Brielle, didn't you say that dog was very stressed, full of anxiety?" This was true. She then said, "Well, that energy had to go somewhere. You took it."
Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled with that information initially. But when I shared this with another friend, who is a yoga instructor, she asked if I grounded myself before and after helping transition a pet. No, I'd never thought of doing that. "Well, you should. Even just for a few minutes." To take a few minutes for myself, to create a calm within my mind and my heart, knowing the emotional experience I am about to share in with my clients, my people, has changed my perspective on death and loss and how I help people.
Nothing can take away the sadness of losing our pets. But if you're interested in trying to take a different approach, see the process with a different view, I would love to talk with you.