Loss and absence in death

Chris Chinchilla
4 min readJan 6, 2024

We had to put our 17-year-old cat to sleep last week. First, why does English have such terrible words for this action? “Putting down”, “putting to sleep”. They are both terrible ways to describe such an action, but I’m not sure I have any better ideas…

I make no apology that I am pro-euthanasia, and while the rules are changing in many jurisdictions around the world, I think the decision to end a life should be on par with the decision to create a new one. I am thankful that we, and yes, I realise the power dynamic we have with our animals, have the free choice to end the suffering of the animals we love.

I have a tiny immediate family, so death has never been a major factor in my life. Aside from my Mother dying when I was so young, and I barely remember her. So I guess this means that the rare times I had to face it in adult life stick in my mind more. This recent experience brought two of the most prominent death-related memories in my life.

The first was when my grandmother died back in 2009. My Grandfather had already died in 2001, so their house was now unused and needed to be prepared for sale. Having to clear out the home of someone who has died is a harrowing experience. You quickly realise how much of the stuff we own, at the end of it all, for most people, is worthless. Some items have memories or personal value to the person who died or to you, but what do you do with them? Not all of us live in large homes with places to store things that we will maybe care about in the future. But, sadly, for the…

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Chris Chinchilla

I explain cool tech to the World. I am a Technical Writer and blogger. I have crazy projects in progress and will speak to anyone who listens.