I stayed around for the season of grief. I couldn’t leave when they needed me, though I wasn’t sure how to comfort them. Miss Molly took the loyal spot, sleeping at the graveside.
Tanvi tells me it takes time. Time is something that’s tangible here, in this dimension. I’ve lost its grasp unless I play music, and then the notes and rhythms ground me, connecting movement to moment.
Bach buried nine children; he was intimate with grief. I played the partitas. Lucas listened, and Otter sang along. I thought it helped, temporarily, at least.
But Lucas wept in his sleep.
It was he who discovered, when he woke before the sun, the best balm for the grieving heart, love.
Mochi missed her mate.
But she still had her companion.
As sorry as her weeping eyes, her laughing ones sparkle bright. Who received the most comfort, the man or dog? Love brings solace to both.
Crackers followed Lucas to the field where he painted the line that marched across his life: all these passings.
The next afternoon when Lucas and Dustin headed down to the cove, I blew along beside them.
We found an intelligent female boxer. Dustin liked her all right, and Lucas liked her a lot.
She was hungry, dirty, without a collar.
“She’s a stray,” I whispered to Lucas. “You could bring her home!”
He thought about it.
By the time he opened his eyes to ask her if she wanted to come with us, she’d trotted off down the beach, and she didn’t come back when Lucas called.
And that’s when we met Chloe.
The elegant collie trotted up to Lucas and sniffed his hand.
Doggies! she said. I think that’s when she fell in love with Lucas.
She jumped up to him and whispered in his ear. Take me! I’ll follow you home!
Lucas loved her back.
And when she came bounding through the garden to play pounce with Otter, we all laughed so hard that we forgot, just for the moment, that we’d ever felt sad, and then we felt that tired sting around the eyes, but our smiles pushed it back.
We’ve got Chloe the Collie to make us happy now.