Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Scarlett

Today my husband and I did something together that taught us a lot about being a couple and standing together. We had to put down one of our flock, a sweet chicken named Scarlett. She had developed a condition that put her in lots of pain, and there was no remedy for her. She was unable to eat properly, and was lethargic. We decided that for her own peace, that it was best to end her suffering. It would have been a long, painful death of starvation to let her die without assistance. We did all we could for her medically, but had run out of care options. We chose today, a sunny fall day, because it was peaceful and quiet and without fear for her.

We chose to separate her vertebrae, which was recommended to us as the most pain-free and rapid way to humanely kill a chicken. We both held her gently, and talked to her and thanked her for her kindness. She never panicked or was scared. We very quickly performed the kill, and held her while she twitched for a few moments, and then was still. Adam did the actual neck breaking, being strong and swift, making it an instantaneous death. You could see the life there before, and then it was gone.

We both felt deep sadness, but also enormous relief. Our poor girl had suffered enough, and it was peaceful to see her leave that body that held her tied to this world. She was a very kind chicken, and we loved her. We had spent much time making sure we chose the best method to help her out of this body. We both discussed the different methods, made sure we were together on all steps, and prepared well. We made sure we were in complete agreement on all parts, and that we understood each other perfectly. We wanted to avoid botching anything, we wanted seamless and perfect harmony. We created it, and we felt that our decision was right on all sides.

We both sat together afterwards, and watched the leaves drifting off our cottonwood trees in the front yard. We talked about the fragility of life, and the finality of death. We talked about that life essence that is there, and then it's not. How you feel the tear between the body and the soul for such a brief moment, and the universe fills it in, abhorring a vacuum. The body remains, and will become other things, but the soul...who knows? Scarlett had a life essence. She had a personality. She had funny moments, and hard moments, and they made up who she was. That something is no longer here, but I, for one, cannot believe it was for nothing. I will never be able to say where it goes, but for me, I know that no matter how brief, each essence means something. I have a feeling I won't know where it goes till I go there myself, but I am content in the feeling that my essence is not nothing. We are all something.

1 comment:

  1. This was influential. I just moved to a new place to nanny and they have chickens. Reading this inspired me to visit them and talk kindly to them, which clearly influenced the little boy I nanny and we had some sweet moments. I learned that their netting to keep owls out was broken and was able to fix that and some others things, so really your chicken's life helped others.