Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For Sam

It rained the day he died and we gathered around his ageing frame. Our toes curled over the edge of despair, all of us willing and able to slide into the murky depths of our grief. I wondered if he knew, if he could tell the end was near;  if he sensed the warmth that filled the room came from bodies crowding his final hour. I imagined him elsewhere - in some far away place running through fields, chasing a ball - pushing up through our blanket of human sadness and escaping to freedom acquired when someone you love finally lets go. 

In his closing moments of life, I pondered the moment that divides us from death. Mere seconds that teeter on a definitive edge and then disappear. I sat by his side and in those final seconds, I tried to see beyond time, into that void of unknowing where I tell myself some kind of comfort resides. But my vision had already blurred and my tears fell anyway. 

He slipped quietly away- no more beating heart, no wag of tail, just a few final breaths where he whispered good-bye. I looked out the window just after -beyond the fronds of a palm that swayed in the breeze. The sky was still grey and the rain had set in, and I imagined him mobile and strong and untethered, chasing the tale of his life. And when he went without fuss, all arms around him, I watched a peacefulness visit his face as he exited quietly, politely. Unleashed at last. Run little fella - all the way home.