Nine months have passed. A gestation period for us all. Sparkey's body has been in the ground for three seasons and is entering its fourth, returning from whence it came. As for Sparkey's spirit and soul, they are in places of which we can only dream.
The other day, Mary and I were recalling a very memorable 40th birthday party which a friend of ours had in Vermont back when Sparkey was a robust ten-year-old. No dogs were allowed in the house, but this group of Vermont country homes were situated such that lovely rolling hills and a pond separated them, and the dogs from each home were free to wander the intervening land most of the time. Sparkey and Tina joined the friendly pack of about ten dogs immediately, and they played and ran and frolicked for hours in the green meadow grass, stopping periodically for rest, satisfied panting, and a brief check-in with the more sedentary humans.
Talking about this party and the incredible time that the dogs experienced brought to mind what Dog Heaven might look like: rolling hills, perfect flora and fauna, just enough sun and shade, plenty of clean water, tasty treats, and an abundance of dogs with which to play. I hope that this is what greeted Sparkey at the end of his journey, and that the pleasure of that adventure is great indeed.
As for us here on Terra Firma, life in its physical manifestation goes on. These nine months have seen great adjustment on our part, as well as reconciliation with, and acceptance of, the reality of Sparkey's passing. We will not let the memories fade, but the pain does indeed begin to lessen, leaving in its wake a wistful longing for that which was, even if only for a moment of contact and mutual recognition. But we are satisfied with the full and satisfying life that Sparkey lived, and count ourselves as especially lucky to have come under his watchful and loving gaze during his earthly sojourn.
So, letting go some more, and accepting some more. Grieving a little more. And letting go again.