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Journeys to Peace

Providing end-of-life care and bereavement care with distinction

It will feel bad, but that doesn’t make it wrong

Our human experiences train us that if we expect something will feel bad, we try to avoid it. This is an excellent protective mechanism that keeps us from making dozens of mistakes a day. We know running out of milk will ruin a busy workday morning; dreading that possibility, we stock up ahead of time or make a late night trip to the grocery store to insure the morning goes well. We know we’ll regret being overtired so we reign ourselves in and don’t let another episode start playing of our favorite tv show when it’s already midnight. Throughout our life experiences, we look for options, figuring that if we anticipate something will feel bad, we must have another choice we could make instead.

But death isn’t negotiable. And grief will accompany death, with certainty. And so when facing the decision to euthanize a beloved pet, we know it will “feel bad” and our brains start to question what our options are, what else we can do, how we can avoid this bad feeling. It is very important to recognize that delaying euthanasia is rarely the right plan. Even though the experience will be sad and the grief will be painful, that instinct to think