I feel like death is happening all around me, nothing too close to home, but with people I have met, worked with, went to school with, and even with the animals at my work. When we ask the big question, "Why do people/loved ones die?" Usually people come back with, "It was their time to go." or "It just happens, everything has to die." It doesnt make it any easier. And even with my religious beliefs, knowing that it is possible to see our loved ones and friends again, it still doesnt make it any easier.
I found out a guy I went to high school with died last week. I have no idea how or why. I only knew him through association, but I was still shocked and saddened. No one should have to die this young.
An old work friend from Alaska passed away last week from an awful car wreck. I dont know specifics, but I know he was in the hospital and that his family had to make the decision to take him off life support. I only knew him through work, but I always had fun when I worked with him. It breaks my heart that when I visit, I wont see his smiling british face. :) He was a phenomenal artist.
A woman brought her dog in today. It was an older dog, 14 or 15 years, and it had a serious condition, I am not sure of what exactly, but she knew she wasnt doing well. A fellow technician and I brought the dog back, drew some blood and took her back into the room to wait for the blood work. The dog seemed fine, maybe some heavy panting, but nothing to tip us off. In a 3-5 minute time, the woman came rushing out the door as I shut the lid to run the blood, and almost in hysterics asked, "Can someone come in here?!" I ran in to find the dog on the floor, taking some very painful gasps of air, extremely pale, and laying in a puddle of urine. I scooped up the dog and told the woman I had to get her on oxygen, I rushed to the treatment room calling for help, since no one was visibly in the vicinity to help me. I knew the dog was dead, but in that moment you think that it is possible for it to be resuscitated, and all I could think about was the crying woman who just watched her own dog die. Arent we supposed to be the knowledgeable ones? Arent we supposed to know when a dog is close to arresting? By the time a doctor came, which wasnt too long, the dog was completely gone. Any hopes for resuscitation were gone. I didnt cry, but I was extremely sad, we had already euthanized 2 other dogs earlier in the day. Death comes in 3's and 7's I guess. My next step was to go calm the owner down with out relaying the message to her that her dog was indeed gone. Even when she flat out asked me, "Is she gone?" All I could do was say in a soothing voice, "The doctor is working on her now, he will be in in a minute to talk to you." Which is basically saying, "Uh ya, she is gone." After the doctor told her that the dog had stroked out, the only thing I could offer her was a hug, from a complete stranger, but it was the best I could do. I have never, in the years as working as a technician, offered a hug to a weeping owner who has lost their beloved pet. Mostly because I am trying to be professional, but am I really? Or am I just trying to keep myself from feeling the hurt they are feeling, because I know it feels so awful. It felt good to lend my empathy to her, whether or not it helped. It still didnt make it any of it any easier.
I get the whole circle of life thing and that God has a plan for everyone, but still it hurts. I think it hurts so that we can remember what it feels like to love or care. If it hurts, then we know we really cared about someone, or something. I guess I am writing myself in circles, but what I have gotten most out of these deaths is that, life happens too quickly. We always think there is going to be a tomorrow, well, maybe there wont be. Why is it that sometimes we live our lives trying or pretending to be what we arent? I know I do it. Why do we always think we will call that person we have been thinking about all day, but then push the phone call till tomorrow because they might think we are "weird" for calling just to say hi, or that we miss them? Maybe its just me who does this, but I dont think so. I want to quit making excuses, I want to quit missing out on things just because I am worried that someone might judge me. I want to make sure that the people I love always know that I love them, whether or not they are here just for tomorrow or for 80 years.
I dont mean to get all "existential angst" about it all, but I think life comes and goes so quickly that we miss out on so much, and I dont want to miss any of it.