Piper's death went as well as can be expected. I fed her ribs before the vet showed up and she ate both the meat and the bones. We lay Piper down in the grass out in the yard, and it was over a lot faster than I expected. Gato was the same. There was so much anticipation that it felt like the process should have been more drawn out. We buried her out in the back yard, in an area near where we'll likely want to plant a tree this fall. Until then I plan on mounting a lantern over her grave, and lighting it once a month.
There's an absence, for sure, but in a weird way. Piper had been so intrinsically wrapped in our lives, I kind of feel like I'm not grieving enough. But then Carrie and I have both been in some level of mourning since she was diagnosed with diabetes. The initial grief then was pretty intense. We moved past it, but there was never really a moment in the past seven years that we didn't feel she was likely to pass away at any time. There were a few times in those years that she took a temporary turn, or we had trouble regulating her insulin, that it came back on me. But for the most part, beyond the tedium of regularity in feeding, she went pretty easy on us. Or at least that's how I prefer to remember it.
When we made the call that it was time to put her to sleep, that level of sadness was crushing. For the days leading up to it I managed to hold it together for the most part. There were moments, though, when I crumbled. So, yeah, her actual death came with a level of relief commensurate with having grieved, on and off, for almost seven years.
Maybe that why, less than a week after the feact, I still think about Piper, and think I see or hear her, but not as much as I expect I should. And that makes me feel guilty. But still relieved. And also glad that we could do as well as we did for her.