Question: Your books, articles and blogs have helped our family through several deaths and dying situations. I just read your blog about animals. It was very close to my heart as our animals have always been a very integral part of our lives. I have had to euthanize several of my dear cats. My husband and I grieved deeply but knew that it was best for them as they were suffering (one was twelve and very, very sick with kidney failure and one was nineteen and wasting away.) What I’m writing you about is a situation that seems to be haunting us. It happened just about a year ago and my husband and I both sometimes wake up crying because of the way it happened. Molly was a little over two years old and was curled up on a table in our living room and just suddenly fell to the floor and let out her last breath. By the time I lifted her into my arms her pupils were fixed and dilated and she was gone. The vet thinks she must have thrown a clot either to her brain or heart. We have two other cats that are loving and sweet and that we’re very close to but we can’t seem to get closure with Molly. Can you offer any advice?
My daughter's young cat, Wallace, died the same way: alive one minute and dead the next. I always thought he had an aneurysm but really how he died is not the issue. That he died suddenly is what sticks with us. With sick people and animals we are aware, whether we want to admit it or not, that death is coming. With sudden death our senses are assaulted, our mind screams "why." Sudden death or what I call fast death makes grieving harder. We have unanswered questions, often guilt (although in your situation there is no reason for guilt), and unfinished business. Your unfinished business is that you were not ready for young Molly to die. We are never ready for someone we love to leave us, whether that someone is a human or an animal. I suggest you talk with Molly in your heart and tell her how much you miss her. Maybe you and your husband could think of something you could do in her memory.