Witnessing Death


December started off with my dog having a severe bladder infection which led to the discovery of her lymphoma. This was the first moment I realized I might lose her. I began to recognize she was older. I guess I was denying it because I was afraid of the loss I would feel.

I knew the day I feel in her with her that I would one day feel great grief from losing her. I dreaded it and certainly didn’t want to think about it. A part of me prayed that when she was ready she would peacefully pass when I wasn’t looking. I didn’t think I could handle the pain of witnessing her death. That moment seemed to be presenting itself.

For weeks I encouraged her to fight because I loved her so much and wanted a few more years with her. During that time I did as much as I could with her not knowing how much time I had left. I read to her, kissed her often and sat by her side for hours even as I was working. I even declined all invitations and to spend Christmas with her

On the night of Dec. 27th she was really struggling. She just wanted to lay on the balcony and barely move. I was trying to encourage her to go to the bathroom on the doggie pad out there but she wouldn’t do it. A friend came to visit us and my dog showed no sign of excitement. Throughout the month she went from bad days to good days to bad days again. It was a bit of a seesaw. I wanted to remain hopeful but I was also afraid.

That night after she vomited and I cleaned it up I had a heart to heart with her. I said, “Bella, if you want to go I will be alright and if you want to stay I will fight with you. I respect your choice either way.” I kissed her on top of the head, told her I loved her and then I went to bed.

I woke up before 6am and was afraid how I might find her. She was still breathing but had peed and pooped all over herself. I was relieved that she finally went to the bathroom even though she made a mess. The vet said this would happen due to the treatment she was on. I cleaned the balcony up and sponge bathed her. I called the vet and she recommended a tea i could make to calm her stomach. I told Bella I would be right back and I was going to buy her some tea to help her feel better.

I went out down the hill and grabbed what I needed and as I was returning I passed through the park. To my surprise I noticed the baby black swans had hatched. I took a moment to watch them exploring the world for the first time. It was so exciting to see new life.

When I arrived home Bella had pooped again. So I cleaned her up with tenderness and compassion. She then vomited a little which I cleaned up immediately. That’s when she stretched out her legs as if she was waking up in the morning ready to take on the world again. My heart skipped a beat to see her have energy. And then she passed away. I could feel her energy transition.

She waited for me to be there with her before moving on. I was so afraid of that moment but instead it was a beautiful experience to witness. It was the most precious gift she could give me. Of course I felt deep sadness AND I felt relief. She wasn’t suffering anymore. In one day I witnessed both the beauty of birth and the beauty of death. It is a day that will always stay with me. That day is like a piece of art with all the colors in it.

I no longer feel afraid of witnessing death. When someone chooses to be with you as they transition it’s an honor to witness that transition. I also believe it’s okay if someone chooses to transition by themselves. Neither is right or wrong.

Oh life is full of beautiful moments that sometimes we are so afraid of witnessing.

Much Love & Light,





Kerri-Ann Appleton, Energy Alchemist