Grief or Memories of Sally

March 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Grief lurks in the most unexpected places. Like the lecherous single man in the seamy bar, it leans in the creepy corners of our bodies and comes lurching out of the dim light to startle us out of our busy, happy moments.
When I get sick in the car, always as a passenger, most often on winding roads, I usually experience the unpleasant shock of the most particular smell. It’s the stench of my childhood dog, Sally, panting at the back of the car as she gradually dried out after a swim in a river or creek. On long road trips my dad would stop at some spot he had noticed while coming around a bend, never a designated rest stop with signs, toilets, garbage bins and picnic tables, never assigned social encounters with other people wearing wrinkled country traveling clothes and eating humid snacks. We would stop at his spot and get out to quietly explore a place that felt like ours for fifteen minutes. Sally was allowed the most uninhibited enthusiasm for the experience and she would run over her own legs just to get into the crisp water as fast as possible. I always envied her as she splashed, plunged, and grinned her way through the rushing stream named something like Otter Tail River or Castle Creek. On the hotter days I longed to join her and feel the rocks on my feet as I submerged myself in the clean, wild relief. Oh sometimes, we took our shoes and socks off, or gathered handfuls of water to our faces but no one was as free as the dog. « Read the rest of this entry »

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Grief for R.

July 24, 2010 § 4 Comments

Grief descends swiftly. We circle and swoop towards each other, arms outstretched, cheeks red and swollen from crying. Our mother, daughter, sister, aunt, lover, friend has gone. Is gone. Is. Gone. Gatherings occur, food is warmed, the air is soaked with the scent of grief and everyone moves slowly, allowing small escapes of low laughter in the dim kitchen light. People call. The phone is both a comfort and a wound. Words seem to drop out of our mouths like worms, and every sentence seems to echo too loudly with the obvious. There is a strong awareness of tense. She was so brave. She will be remembered. « Read the rest of this entry »

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