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Snowy was getting ready to die, and she didn’t want the vet involved.  But matters were hastened along when she ate another creature full of poison, and the end came fast and hard for all involved.

Snowy showed me a rodent, weaving drunkenly across the field adjacent her house.  “It didn’t look good,” she admitted, and then we both laughed.  It didn’t.  “Oh what the hell,” she told me and then she bit in.

“Okay,” I said, “but the vet said your stomach was empty.”

“I threw it up,” she replied.  Then she showed me the particulars of rat poison, how it grabs tissue and once it’s made contact, that’s the end of the story.

Something bothered me in retrospect.  I tend to believe that things happen for specific reasons and there’s a message in everything that happens.  But this death, it was so traumatic.  What did the family need to know, that had to be delivered so violently?

As I discussed it with the client she said, matter-of-fact, “I think it brought us together in a weird way.”   The family had more than their share of chaos and the problems tended to be big ones.  To complicate matters the problems were happening all at once so the players were reduced to putting out fires, just to get through their days.

As she spoke it clicked into place.  It was a classic wake-up call, in that it brought the crazy machine of their lives to a complete stop in an instant.

In the still, quiet aftermath of Snowy’s death it dawned on my client:  life is precious and she could choose how to spend it.

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