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A Precious Gift

November 16, 2009

23rd Oct 2007

grasses_and_frost250I held a life in my hands the other day and watched helplessly as it ebbed away.

It was a good day to die. The sun was bright without giving out much heat, the early morning frost still liyng on the ground in patches – slow to give way to the weak rays of the sun.

There was a stillness in the air, too. Being a Sunday, there was no noise of distant traffic . The only noise to disturb the quiet was the sound of my voice, muttering soft words of comfort.

I watched the breathing become more and more shallow. There was an occasional rally, when the head would lift and turn in my direction and our eyes would lock.

I felt the tears welling up in my own as I saw the trusting look in those eyes. I felt helpless. There was nothing I could do now to change the outcome. All I could hope for was to ease the pain of passing – to provide some warmth, some comfort, to banish fear.

For 20 minutes or so I sat in the garden clutching this precious life against my chest, the dogs lying at my feet, until the last breathe was breathed. As the tears flowed freely, I tried to console myself that at least I had been there at the end. That I had been there to witness the crossing over. That my intervention had at least spared her the agonies of a cruel painful death at the hands of her tormentors, their vicious beaks stabbing at her eyes and exposed neck as she lay exhausted, all strength to fight gone, in our back-garden. I hoped I had eased her pain and suffering and made her last moments peaceful – that I had allowed her a dignified death.

Time is a precious commodity. One of the most valuable presents one can give to another – is simply our time. To be there to share their triumphs and their defeats. To be there when they need us. To help ease their pain and suffering.

To be with them as they prepare to leave this earth.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 16, 2009 1:21 am

    I’ve got goosebumps. How lovely and touching. Duncan, you truly surprise me at times. Tell me please, which of God’s creatures was this that you held?

    • November 16, 2009 4:05 am

      A pigeon, YnB

      She was being attacked in our back garden by two rooks.

      I thought they were pecking a rag at first until I realised it was a bird lying in the grass, wings splayed out, all energy gone while two of them stabbed at her.

  2. November 16, 2009 1:45 am

    Beautiful testimony, you are doing such a wonderful thing here.. for the Mrs, for your children, for those of us following along… I hope that when I’m in a similar position I can do the same. And, I guarantee you I will always remember the inspiration you have provided here.

    • November 16, 2009 4:17 am

      Thank you for those words, DF.

      The Internet is a wonderful creation. When Mrs D was diagnosed with lung cancer we spent hours reading up on the disease. We also came across support Forums for patients and carers, and blogs written by people in a similar situation to ourselves. The latter were a great help to us in preparing us for what was to come. I hope ‘our story’ in turn will in some small way be of help to others who find themselves in a similar position.

  3. November 16, 2009 2:03 pm

    Oh stop it, you lot….

    It’s most unseemly for a bloke to be caught blubbing into his lunchtime pint err… sandwich.

    • November 16, 2009 3:15 pm

      You darn alcoholic midget!

      P.S. I was blubbing too …. but I aint eating or drinking.

  4. November 16, 2009 5:56 pm

    Keep your own sleep up duncan…

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