Chatting With Lexi: On Death


This week we are putting our cat, Jack, to sleep. He has been dealing with a thyroid problem that hasn’t been correcting itself and has left him a shell of himself. It has been a long time coming but it is definitely time. My wife and I were worried about how Lexi would take it, though, and for good reason. She is emotional over the small things. How would she deal with the impending death of her little buddy?

We found out Monday night.

Heidi: You know that Jack has been sick for a long time, right?

Lexi: I know he takes medicine.

Heidi: Well, sweetie, the medicine isn’t doing what it should be doing and Jack isn’t getting any better. Do you see how thin he’s gotten?

Lexi: I guess so. Why isn’t the medicine working?

Heidi: Well, he’s getting older and sometimes things don’t work when you get older. We’ve tried everything we could and we had to make a difficult decision.

Lexi: What do you mean?

Heidi: I mean that we have to put Jack to sleep.  And we’re doing it on Thursday.

Lexi: What do you mean, putting him to sleep?

Heidi: I mean he’s going to die, sweetie. There’s nothing else we can do. He’s hurting.

Lexi: We can’t let Jack die! Noooooo!

Heidi: It’s already decided, honey. Do you want him to be hurting all the time like he is now?

Lexi: I don’t care. We have to keep him. I don’t want him to die.

Heidi: We don’t want him to die either, Lex. We all want to see him get better be he’s not going to. And I wanted you to know before it happens.

Lexi: I’m not going to let you put Jack to sleep! He’s our cat!

Heidi: And the best thing to do for him is to stop his pain, sweetie.

Lexi: Why? Why can’t we just let him be in pain as long as he’s still alive?

Heidi: That’s not fair to him.

Lexi: Is Cleo going to die too?

Heidi: Not right now, baby. But she’s not sick like Jack is. And you still have a couple of days to give Jack treats and let him know you love him. He’ll appreciate that.

Lexi: Death is so not fair. Hmph.

Heidi: It’s definitely not fair. But that’s the sad part about life. People and animals we love die and we have to deal with it.

Lexi: I wish you hadn’t told me that Jack was going to die.

Heidi: Would you rather you came home on Thursday and Jack was already gone?

Lexi: No.

Heidi: You’re growing up, Alexa. I wanted you to know so you can take this time to say goodbye instead of you finding out after the fact.

Lexi: Death sucks.

Heidi: Yes. Yes it does.



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