Over the years I've wanted many things and generally, they were just for me. A new computer or cell phone, the newest piece of tech or something nostalgic. There's usually something behind the want, like something that drives me to learn or something that makes me look back and smile. Yeah, it was generally aimed at making me happy in the end and I suppose this year is no different.
All I want for Christmas is for heaven to be real.
I can feel eyebrows raising at my statement but it's true, I've never truly believed that there is something more following the final time we close our eyes. I have grown to believe that my perspective of the world is most likely a side effect of being alive. What was there before I was born? History proves that so much has happened before I came into this world but from my point of view, before my earliest memories, nothing. Not pain, not happiness, not loneliness... just nothing, less than nothing actually because there is no way to perceive the nothing because there is no you. So, to me, logically it makes sense that after we no longer have life in the brain that developed that sense of self-awareness, that we go back into the nothing that we came from. I know it sounds grim. But to me it is all that ever really made any sense.
I've never been overly religious. I was raised to keep an open mind and was never forced to accept any religion. As an adult, it made perfect sense why the human race would need there to be a higher power and more to come when tomorrow doesn't. Why we would lose any reason to want to build a better life and be a good person if when our light flickers out and our perception of everything that ever mattered to us would just have no 'self' to recollect them. To me religion was a way to encourage people to be good in life; to prevent punishment in the afterlife. The word of God could be used to make people pause before doing the unthinkable because, who wants to burn in hell, right? Be good and good things will come, be bad and pay.
So, I have always only half believed that there was a chance that the people I have loved were actually watching over me from some ethereal existence. Sure, I know that each of them would have hoped to in life but in the end, I know that there is a strong possibility that physical remains and memories are all that is left and only the living can acknowledge their existence.
So, why do I hope I am wrong?
I have lost so many people that I have loved. Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Friends and even Pets that I loved dearly. They have all passed for many different reasons but today one has passed because I had to choose for it to happen. It happened so quickly and without the luxury of a day or two to consider the action. Now I am having the worst time coping with this loss as I have so many doubts about what I have chosen for her.
Roll your eyes if you feel the need and, if you have heard me over the past couple of days you may be tired of hearing me talk about what happened and may feel that I am overthinking this but, I can't put it down.
A life that depended on me was failing. It's been coming right along but without enough warning, I was forced to choose to end that life to spare her suffering.
I know the responsibilities of caring for pets and I agree that it is cruel to force that pet to endure illnesses and inabilities to enjoy life just to continue having your companion in your life. That would be selfish. But I have this nagging thought in the back of my head that screams at me "What have you done!?!" and I can't silence it. Now I need to know that I didn't just take away what little time she may have had left that could have brought her to the point of accepting that it was all ending. I mean, animals know that they are dying. They instinctively try to distance themselves from loved ones when it happens, and I believe that they know when they are saying their last goodbye when it comes. I've supported others in being kind enough to spare their pets of the pain and distress that comes from a tiny little body failing. So why should it bother me to have to make the same choice? Why now do I imagine that she didn't know she was saying goodbye, just goodnight; and now she never will.
I had my cat put to sleep when we learned that her kidneys, liver and pancreas had failed her. She was getting weaker, but she was still very much herself. I chose to have her pass away in my arms, on my terms and a part of me feels that I sent her into her last sleep without her even knowing that she would never wake again. Even worse, based on what I have always accepted as realistic, I sent her back into nothingness. She just drifted off into the sleep that never ends and most likely is dreamless as how can there be a sense of self in a dream if there is no more self?
So, for Christmas, what I want more than anything else is to be wrong! I want to believe that there is a better place that I sent my furry little Angel and I need to know she's happy and not hurting. I want her to know that I made the choice that didn't just spare her pain and suffering, that it sent her to a place where she could be whole and happy and feel the enormous amount of love I developed for her in the short time that I knew her. Not just fell asleep in my arms as she has done many times in the past, expecting to wake and never even realizing that that expectation was made impossible because of my decision.
Because if I am wrong, then I sent her to be with all the other people and animals that I have loved. Because if they have been watching over me, they know how hard I tried to make what life she had left when we found her happy and full of love so it can continue there with them. That's all I want, that's all I hope for and, that's what I want for Christmas... Nothing else.