Black, speckled with gray,
tufts of fur lay dormant, pooled and dusty in the corner.
Children’s leftovers coat the kitchen tiles,
cleaning time delayed.
The air is silent,
tags hanging on the hook,
no longer jingling as you pace.
In the morning, slumber lingers.
Dusk and the deadbolt’s tightened,
no longer fastened in night’s darker hours.
The cushion is folded, resting in the little available crevice.
Bowls of food and water sit full,
unable to be discarded just yet.
It is always hardest on those left behind,
those who must press forward;
The ones experiencing the void that presence used to fill.
Now clenched fingers that grasped fur
fold to praying hands.
Whispers echo on the walls
with knees bent in salted pools scattered on the floor.
Now we mourn but as hands tick
memory’s recall balms the rifted heart.
We then go forth from mourning
to share stories of life’s present with other comrades;
together, entertaining dreams, envisioning eternity of
tossing balls and a reunion with our friend.
*Unedited because I just can’t think of how to properly express this dichotomy of grief and joy; a life well spent, life lost, but a life now eternally without pain. Rather, the time to sit and ruminate on a proper craft might bring increased distress. Instead I’ll pour out emotion, leaving it there at the foot of the cross; a pleading prayer to heal a hurting heart. As such, I might continue the work I’m called to rather than dwell in sorrow.