Actually, we're two weeks past it, but the pain still numbs us.
We had to put our 4 year old sweet dog to sleep a few weeks ago. And while I wrote about it furiously on my personal blog (it's a three-parter), I just couldn't share it here.
I have NEVER witnessed such grief out of my children. Ever. The weeping cut my heart in pieces. I felt their groans in my bones. The hurt and despair when we learned the awful truth, that cancer had taken up residence in Scout's abdomen and had continued to spread . . . to every organ . . . was so immediate, and thick ,and raw, that I seriously wondered if they/we would recover.
But, of course we all would.
At that moment, however? And during the last hours we spent with Scout before the procedure? I wasn't sure. This was new. For all of us.
A little dramatic?
Not this time.
I am now part of a special club. And if you are part of that special club, you too know the pain of which I speak.
Only during that worst day, the pain was unspeakable - for truly it was hard to speak. And yet:
George and I had serious parenting chops that day.
How we communicated to the children.
The ability to comfort them while we were falling apart.
We showed them how to make mature, and yet hard choices on Scout's behalf (that being to euthanize rather than have her live in pain or possibly die at home - risking her hiding and being alone in the end). We encouraged them to harness a courage they didn't know existed in order to sit next to her while it took place. We literally surrounded our dear pet as she passed. The end was sad. But the end was also perfect.
There is no parenting textbook for stuff like this.
Still, I give us a "A+". And so did the kids. And that felt good.
Because losing Scout felt, and still feels, so very bad.
Joline Pinto Atkins is an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage and can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, Workingmother.com, and is the founder and a contributor at Daily Fast Fuel. Joline is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 11 and 7, who are both named after authors. Addicted to fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising and P90X'ing, and longs for good books, vats of coffee, and an endless supply of buffalo wings - which she will not share with you. So, please, do not ask.