It is young visitors A and C who come to call on Zoe, our old dog. They had her do a couple of tricks then grandpa showed up with breakfast. They disappeared next door in their PJ’s. So cute. I got hugs. So did Zoe.
Zoe’s friends are in from another state for a sad occasion, their great grandmother passed away yesterday. The funeral is today. I don’t know what they know about death or funerals but hope they ask a few questions. These rituals have always been a mystery to me.
Zoe has offered, if events go long, to play with the kids. I said OK as long as I can “snoopervise.” Too bad my husband is not here, he’s made the kids balloon animals with great grandma in attendance.
Recently I wrote about a childhood neighbor who asked “what are you?” A six year old girl, a student, “no, what ARE you?” I didn’t even think of it. I was Catholic. She was Protestant. We came to that situation with armed guards, horses, SWAT teams when a soccer match was on in Scotland. Rangers vs. Celtics. They had a parade that marched below our windows and I think every police officer in Scotland was there to make sure there was not a ruckus. Ask Gordon Ramsay.
A and C’s family are Jewish. I looked up information, and the florist did as well and said that if this is the location where the family is sitting shiva it is not appropriate to send flowers. While there’s a mezzuzah on the door frame I do know that they’re reform and wanted to give this lapsed Catholic’s condolences. K saved Zoe’s life, it was the least I could do.
Yesterday I went to a great flower store and even though it was not 50% off Friday I brought my own vase and picked up a few spring blooms. I’d heard the reception would not be here but at the nursing home. When I got home there were flowers from great grandpa so I felt OK to leave them across the hall.
At my age, having two kids under ten years old knock on our door to visit our 12 year-old dog is fantastic. They gave their Aunt Dee a hug and put Zoe through her paces. She was so excited after our walk she asked for Precious, her only toy, and gleefully squeaked it. She’s now possessing it in her sleep, happy that her friends have returned for a day.
Death and dying are universal things. How we go about ritualizing them is personal. I spent an entire week halfway across the country with my mother eight years ago. She said these words and these only, to me. “Get me some water, please.” My gift to her after she died was to have her body removed and use her eye tissue to help another. My family fought me all the way but that’s what she wanted before cremation.
In the end, we do what we need to do. She had walked the breeding seeing eye dogs for a decade. Dee