Parking Lot

Planned, written and edited with a thirty five minute time limit using the following quotes as inspiration. 1. Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.

2. That though the radiance which was once so bright be now forever taken from my sight. We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind.

3. The five stages - denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance - are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost.

4. It's sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.

I have been dreading that sound. That horrible, piercing, clicking sound. It normally wouldn’t bother me in the slightest but today is different. I’m not too sure exactly when in the last twenty minutes I had become acutely aware of its inexorable approach, but it has brewed inside me an unrelenting anxiety that I can’t overcome. I can feel my heart racing. My mouth is dry. And now, as the car rounds the final corner and the building comes into sight, I know the end is near. With a gentle rock and a faint thud, the car enters the parking lot and I become fixated on it. I can’t look away. A hand materialises around it and pulls.

Click Click Click Click Click Click. The application of the hand break sends shivers down my spine. I’m nauseous. I’m lightheaded. I don’t think I can do this. Dad looks back at me from the driver’s seat with a face of concern, tears beginning to well in his own eyes. This is it, there is no going back now. I open the car door to my right and step out into the parking lot. I close my eyes and draw a deep breath of the warm spring air, collecting my thoughts.

It’s not the first time we’ve been here in the last few years. First there were stomach problems, that was three years ago. She had no appetite, we tried anything and everything to get her to eat but she wouldn’t. We took her in and she didn’t come out for three days. They said her stomach was twisted, it must’ve been agonising for her, but she made it through.

Everything was fine for a while, she seemed so full of energy, so full of life. We would spend hours together in blissful ignorance of everything else in the world. Then, six months ago she ran out of energy. She wouldn’t play like she used to, wouldn’t run, swim or jump with joy at the opportunity to get away from the house.

Again we took her to get seen and they confirmed the worst. Cancer, an aggressive kind that they suspect has been spreading insidiously without symptoms. There was nothing we could do except wait. Wait until it became too hard, too much to handle. Of course what they meant was to wait until it becomes too much for us to handle, she was still the same happy, cheery lass she had always been. She loved life from the moment she became a part of our family four years ago.

I open my eyes and look back into the car at the other rear passenger seat. Tears flood my eyes as I look down at my best friend, my source of comfort. She looks back up at me with that innocent, canine smile. Confused and intrigued she is able to sense my emotion, but unable to comprehend the meaning and gravity of it.

I smile back at her and invite her to jump out of the car. She stands with weak legs, but driven nonetheless, still wanting to please me with this one final act that will ultimately lead to her own departure from this world. I help her out of the car and grab her lead, gently directing her into the vet for the last time.