I don't think you're ever really ready to make them. And even if you do plan ahead, they can still catch you off guard. I certainly felt caught off guard yesterday. I wrestled all afternoon with the options. I called Shane for help. I tried to comfort and prepare the kids when the outcome seemed apparent. But even then we were faced with choices.
Draca had developed a prolapse. We decided to take her to the vet in the morning, but in the morning it was even worse and we knew she wouldn't make it. Cyril went to the icon corner to pray for her, I was praying for Cyril. We had to decide between letting her slowly die or ending her pain. Would it be more painful for the kids to see her go slowly or to end it quickly. I admit I was tempted to just end it myself and end the kids' and her suffering. But then I wondered how the kids would feel if they found out mom had done in their gecko.
In the end Shane talked to Cyril and Cyril decided it would be best to let her go. Shane gave him a beautiful carved box he brought back from India and we made a little blanket and pillow for her. Cyril had decided the hibernation/freezing option seemed kindest, so I cleared a space for the box and we processed to the fridge.
I took the little kids to use the big kids swim lessons and Shane stayed home to assist in the burial. When we got home they were just leaving to the pet store to look for a new gecko. I cleaned out the cage and ordered pizza for dinner. In a little while they were back with a baby gecko. She/he was the most active of the bunch and the kids immediately agreed it was the one. They picked out some new housing for it and new flooring. We got it all set up and he settled in nicely. They are going to name it Draca if its a girl and Draco if its a boy. WE should be able to tell in the next few months.
The mourning continues today and I don't think we'll try to get any work done. But the kids are planning how to celebrate the new gecko's first Christmas and hopefully over time they'll be able to smile and enjoy the new pet. And I'll be praying this new one lives a long and healthy life.