Lillie and Gma

Our dog, Lillie, talks to me.  Or rather, she thinks to me.  I never see her lips move.  As far as I can tell, nobody else can hear/feel/receive her.  I’ve even stopped looking around, to see if others perceive anything odd.  I just think back at her.

For example, last week, when we dropped her off at my sister’s house (so Lilly could play with my sister’s dog, Xena, while we were at my grandmother’s funeral), the dogs began to chase each other around the house.  I mentally snapped, “Lillie!  Calm down!  We’re getting ready for a funeral here.” 

She trotted over to me, thinking, “But I’m happy to see Xena!” 

“I don’t care,” I thought, “we’re grieving.  This is not the time or place…” 

Didn’t I lie by your feet all morning?” Lilly interrupted, “didn’t I put my head on your thigh when you were crying?”  I acknowledged she had.   “So, that was a time for sorrow; and seeing Xena is a time for joy.” 

“You can’t just jump back and forth like that,” I protested. 

Didn’t you all come back from dinner last night laughing and happy?” 

“Yes, but we had been sharing memories and stories, and you can’t be sad all the time.” 

She didn’t say anything for a moment, letting me realize that I’d made her point for her.  “Grief is an important process,” Lillie finished, “and like any good friend, I’ll go there with you, as often as necessary, for as long as it takes.  Also like any good friend, I’ll be there to help you out of it.  So, are you okay?” 

I admitted that while I was still sad, I was no longer as angry. 

Great.  Then how about a nice belly rub?”

 –by Rev. Chip Roush, printed in the “Flash” of the UU Congregation of Grand Traverse, on 10 July 2008.

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