Wednesday, August 20, 2014


That is the tree underneath which Dolly and Buster are buried.
Today was the day.
The vet came out and we laid the dogs up on the table and he gave them their shots and I held my hands on them until they quit breathing and that was all. I told them they were good dogs, I kissed them, I told them to go on now. And they did. They were born together, they died together, right there, together. As peacefully and easily as the first sleep they took at their little mama's titties after they were born. And I was there for that moment, too.
I cut Buster's sleeping blanket up into two shrouds and wrapped them in tidy bundles and Mr. Moon dug their grave under that tree and there they lay.

Of course I cried. Of course I did. What sort of a person wouldn't? And the vet was so sweet and he kept saying, "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," and I kept saying, "No. It's okay. Thank-you."
And he said, "Not that it matters but I think you all made the right choice."
"It matters," I said. "Thank-you."

And then I had to rush on out of here to go to Kathleen's. 
She has decided that she is through getting treatment. Done with that part of her life with cancer. And she asked hospice to come today to meet with her and her husband and some of the ladies who will be helping. Carolyn, Pat, Marcy, Jan. All of us whom I know from the Opera House, which is, in fact, where I met Kathleen. 
I got to the meeting late and Kathleen was on the bed, regal and funny and sure and lovely. All of us ladies sat around the bed and her husband was there too. The nurse asked the questions, answered questions, did her little exam, we all chatted and some of us (mostly Kathleen) cracked jokes and Kathleen signed the papers and thus, this dance has begun. 
Bless hospice. Bless them. Bless them. Bless them. 
They will probably send someone out this very evening to do a "tuck-in." They are on-call every moment of the day and night. They will handle all of her medical needs and probably a lot of other kinds of needs too. 
Bless them.

And we ladies, ah, we shall bring food- and all Kathleen wants, as far as we could pin her down, is yogurt and fresh fruit. And oh- maybe some pinto beans and cornbread? I think we should cook Bug food as well. And we will. And perhaps we can help with a little laundry, a little tidying (although Bug appears to be an incredibly tidy man), maybe even a little napping with Kathleen. Her bed is very large and comfy. Whatever. Whatever needs to be done. 

You can read what Kathleen had to say this morning HERE.

All of her life, Kathleen has been the one to do for others. No matter what was needed, there she was. When I was in the midst of my most horrible anxiety, she would come over and sit on the porch with me, telling me stories that I didn't even need to follow, just talking as if I were normal, and then she coaxed me to her house to make soap and then she brought me chickens and...
Like that. 
And I can't even imagine what all she's done for others. It's not like she really talks about it. But. Now it is time for her to do us the favor of letting us help her.

When the hospice nurse asked her today what it was she mostly wanted, Kathleen said, "Peace."

I hope we can help her with that. But I also hope we can make her laugh. I know she'll make us laugh. 

That is not in doubt. 


It's been a day. And now I'm washing rugs and pillows, throwing stinky things away. I gave the last of the dog food (not much) to the chickens. I am going to soak a pot of pinto beans tonight. 

And it's odd- as sad as some things have been today, there has been relief and there has been release. There has been acceptance and there has been laughter. There have been I-love-you's and kisses. 

Here we are. Let's wring all the goodness and joy out of that we can, okay?
Let's not be afraid to cry and for god's sake- let's not be afraid to laugh. 
Let's not be afraid to ask for help, let's not be afraid to offer it. 

Let's not be afraid. 


Love...Ms. Moon


  1. Oh. Thinking of you. I keep picture Mr Moon snugged up with Buster. You did the right thing. And Kathleen. I didn't realize. Damn. Yes, Hospice is amazing and you all and of course her. I remember your beautiful soap.

  2. Letting the dogs go a peaceful death is such a hard thing, twice I have been right on the verge and they both died before we had too. I am sad about Kathleen also, I know she doesn't want to be in pain and hopefully hospice will be good for all involved. Gail

  3. I am welling with feelings, for your dogs and for Kathleen...I read her post...peace is golden.

  4. Oh Mary, I am so sorry to hear all of this. Life can be so hard and tragic at times but like Jimmy Buffett sings some of it's magic too. And it sounds like Kathleen was a very special person to have had in your life and you in hers. And dammit I can't quit with the Buffett quotes but he gets it so right...if we couldn't laugh we would all go insane. I know since Ben's death the friends that have come over and made me laugh have truly saved my life. I an holding you all close to my heart and wishing you peace.
    Love, Angie D

  5. What a day! A sanctified and holy day!

  6. Oh Mary. What an emotional day. I wish I could sit with you in silence and just hold your hand. Lovelovelove.

  7. Mary, sometimes I wonder how we humans survive. We are born into a world where we have no idea which way to go and yet we somehow survive. We manage to find a way to keep going even though our hearts break over and over and over. What would we do without love? Loving our cats and dogs. Loving our family and friends. Loving people we have never met that live in different countries. Love.

    This little quote is from a Muppet movie but in my opinion, more profound words were never written.

    "Let us always love each other
    Lead us to the light
    Let us hear the voice of reason, singing in the night
    Let us run from anger and catch us when we fall
    Teach us in our dreams and please, yes please
    Bless us one and all"

  8. I am glad that the vet came out and said it was time. No matter what the animals touch us in ways that are deep and primal. And you saw them through the circle of their life from birth to death. That's good.

    I read Kathleen's post. I feel scared and sad for her. I hope that there will be peace.

  9. Damn. What a day. You did do the right thing and even though you were ready for those dogs to go you are still caring enough to have felt something. Your heart is a gift.

  10. what a day you have had. My heart is full for you. Sadness, relief, peace......... love and sadness all rolled into one day and in the days to come. Love to you on this day and in the coming time as you help Kathleen and soak up the emotions you are feeling and living and sharing. I'm babbling, but only because I understand and wish I could express the love I'm sending your way a bit better. You understand, I know you do.
    Much love
    Susan from Ca.

  11. Bless hospice. Bless Kathleen. Bless you. Bless the sweet ending you gave those dogs. Bless help, and acceptance and release.
    And bless this blog that sends out so much love and wisdom.

  12. Well fuck!
    Sending you warm Canadian hugs. Keep them or pass them along to someone who needs them. Much love to you.

  13. Well, I'm crying a bit all over again. Beautiful post. You're so damn beautiful, Mary Moon.

  14. You gave your little dogs a good life and a good death. And I wish your dear friend peace. Peace. Peace and love.

  15. As difficult as it is - and oh my, is it ever hard!! - you just told us that death is part of life and that when we are not alone, we can face it.

  16. You had a day where you shone with grace, that's for sure. All my experiences with hospice have been stellar. It sounds as though your local group is no different. Being able to be with our pets as they go is the most godawful privilege. Congratulations and I'm so so sorry. Thank you for sharing this day with us out here on the internet.

  17. Peace to you, Kathleen, and everyone.

  18. Oh Mary. I don't have the right words. The dogs, that was huge, so sad and so tender, and yes, it was time. You did the hard thing with love.
    But Kathleen. So heartbreaking and unfair. And here you go again. Hugs to you. Xxoo

  19. Even when the time is right, it's so hard to put those little souls to rest. But it's the right thing to do, we know this much at least. Everything is so tender at these times and you are holding it all inside you in the best possible balance, it seems. Much much love and peace to you and everyone, all of you out there.

  20. Oh, Mary. I'm glad your dogs have gone peacefully.

    I'm so glad Kathleen found such good medical support and friendship and love in the last few years, and lived her life so incredibly fully.

    I'm glad she's not afraid to say, I have had enough treatment. I'm glad she is so surrounded by love and care. Amazing. I'm sad for you all, but it all sounds so positive. It's amazing that she gets such choice.

    I hope you're ok. hugs to you xx

  21. Well, so, this was not a happy post. But it is part of life. I know a few others who opted out of treatment for cancer that would only make their lives worse, not better, wanting their end days to be more peaceful.

  22. Bethany- Of course you remember the soap. I have known you so long. Thank you for being here.

    Gail- Hospice is wonderful. I kept thinking my dogs would just...go. But they did not.
    You were lucky with yours.

    Big Mamabird- She is such an inspiration, isn't she?

    Angie D- We do have to keep laughing. I mean, if we can't, yes, insanity will occur. Thank you for holding us close.

    Nancy- Exactly! Sanctified and bona fide.

    Angella- I imagine that very thing so often. Thank you.

    Birdie- I'm not sure I've heard that song but you're right- it is perfect. Thank you.

    Syd- Don't be scared. It's all going to be okay. I swear it. I mean- none of us gets out of here alive. Kathleen is able to be so fully present and she is not unhappy. Thank you for your kind words. Always.

    Jill- I didn't think I'd be as damn sad about the dogs as I am but I am and that's all there is to it.

    Susan M- I do understand and I thank you for those words.

    Denise- Oh honey. Thank you. And bless you. A million times.

    heartinhand- I'm going to keep them AND pass them on. How's that?

    Elizabeth- Nah. Not really. I'm just doing what we all do, you know?
    But thank you. You mean so much to me.

    A- She will have those things. I am certain.

    Sabine- I don't know how I'll face death. Not nearly as bravely and as full-hearted as a whole lot of people do. I'm sure of that. I hope I have lots of love with me, though, when it happens.
    I would wish that for all of us.

    Kizz- Howdy! Thanks for coming by and for commenting. I appreciate that. I hope you come back soon. You understand.

    Sylvia- And to ALL of us.

    Mel- Well, what IS fair? Not much, if you ask me. But we take what we have, what we're given and we just do the fucking best we can with it, don't we? Love you.

    Ms. Vesuvius- And back to you, sweet girl. Back to you.

    Jo- It is so wonderful that she has had so many good choices and she has used them most wisely, I do believe. I will be okay. We know that by now.

    Ellen Abbott- The time comes when it's time. I do believe that. Not necessarily to die- we're all going to do that. But to live on our own terms.

  23. Wow. What a day. To face Kathleen's changes and decisions and the dogs all at once. You are right to ask that we wring the positive out of such situations and events -- the end of suffering, the letting go.


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