“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


lily say she still here

that's maggie looking away, lily looking toward me.

up at 5 this morning, unable to sleep, i'd been fighting it for a while, the house felt too hot, but the a/c made it too cold, and the whole place no longer feels like home anyway, everything is just different, the air molecules changed because there are only my breaths now, no maggie breaths, and i just couldn't stay, my jitteriness & sadness & grief & annoyance too much to fight. so off to work, a blanket thrown in the car, my laptop, a book, a coke, and i was here in 2 or 3 minutes, downtown, no one on the streets. lily cat was at the front door, wide awake, watching the emptiness, seemingly waiting for me. meowing loudly behind the glass before i'd even opened the jeep's door. i unlocked the business door and out she flew - she never ever does this, not out the front door - and as i hauled my stuff from vehicle to building, she was around the corner, up the driveway leading to the parking area in back. i locked everything up and followed - as she headed back to me, a garbage truck went by, lights flashing, engine roaring, and lily was off into the night, away from me in an instant, but still back into the parking area, so i wasn't worried. there is a house behind us which shares the parking lot, and people live there, so i didn't loudly call for her, and it took a bit to find her, calm her down, get her back in through the back door, but i managed and she managed and i lugged in my laptop, turned off lights that are usually left on, and covering my eyes against the street lights, i fell asleep on the loveseat. i awoke to find her with me; a crowded smooshed mess we were, and i was afraid to move, afraid she would leave me, i'd grown so used to maggie's last months, any movement on my part would send her looking for a steadier place, a more comfortable spot, one that stayed still as her balancing ability faltered. but lily stayed, and for 3 hours no matter how much i tossed and turned and tried to find room on this makeshift bed, she stayed. at last awake, i fed her and settled back here onto the loveseat, and she is with me now, leaning against me just like maggie did, but not trying to push her way into my lap. she is sound asleep, her head resting against my left hand, not minding if i use it, just swimming up from her sleep a bit, purring, and falling back.

goodbye is still far away.
maggie still lives in my heart.
but lily is here,
and she is forcing me to pay attention.

i promise.
soon i will talk about something else.


  1. I'm so very sorry for your deep loss. I know so well the feelings, grief, and instability you are feeling. I see Lily too is feeling at odds and is trying to, as you say, get you to pay attention to her. These times are so difficult and know that that are those of us out here who do truly understand. Be well, in time, be well.

  2. Grief is not done on a time line. It takes what it takes and then some. It's a good thing that you are open to it and talking about it. Glad you have Lily to comfort you.

  3. I could cry only years after my doggie died and when I found this poem. It helped me heal, perhaps it may heal you also.
    You may need to copy and paste the url in your browser.
    Hugs to Lily and to you.

  4. "i promise.
    soon i will talk about something else."

    If I may give you direction, I would say Do not rush your grief. Let yourself feel it. Feel everything. Write it out. Cry it out. Hug people as they listen to you talk and sigh and sob. Let them run a hand down your back while you let it all out.

    Coming from personal experience, as you know, this is the only way to recover. You let the grief run out in its own path, in its own rhythm and waves and time. When the grief begins to dissipate, you start filling the space it used to occupy with light. Acceptance. Wistfulness, but acceptance.

    I actually cried this morning over Sofia's death, and she passed in October ... our darling friends never really leave us, and our paths to healing have no set schedule. Even with Gia now romping through our hallways and snuggling in our arms (and meowing her head off and attacking my feet every morning), I still miss Sofia. How could I not? I accept it and steer my thoughts and my gradually blooming heart to my family now, knowing that Sofia would want me to be happy. Because she was a gentle thing and a good companion.

    This is very long-winded, I apologize ... my heart aches for what you are going through, and I send you compassion and care and a ear if you need it.

    Be gentle with yourself.

  5. You spin a story and I am there, in that moment with you. That is what I love about your writing.
    And you will talk about something else, but only do it when you are ready, and not for us, because, really you could talk about anything and we would listen and because some of us have been there and it is okay. For you to talk about it. As much as you want. Really.

  6. debi...
    don't rush it....you can't rush or change or forget about or throw away your grief...it is what it is and to apologize for talking about it.....no, don't do that.

    it's yours to do what you have to do with it....you own your grief and nobody else will understand completely how you feel....it's different for everyone.

    if you wanted to swim in a tub of ice cream because maggie loved vanilla with sprinkles on top, we would say swim, debi, swim....if you wanted to make her collar into a bracelet to wear everyday to keep her with you, we would say run now to the closet jeweler and do that.....

    we are here to support you no matter how long, no matter what.....

  7. what they said. it takes its own time. ((hugs))

  8. wait. don't change the subject. i do not have my fill of maggie or your words of transition yet. keep talking, babe.

    i will keep sending love. xo

  9. You express your sadness and personal grieving process so beautifully. I don't think you need worry about writing about something else. When the time is right..it'll happen. Grief has no timeline or schedule.

  10. Pets step into our hearts and leave a hole when they leave us. I have a new one sitting here on my lap just waiting to be loved.

  11. Take your time. We will walk alongside. That's what friendship is. Walking alongside, whatever the path may bring.

  12. What can I say that hasn't already been beautifully expressed here by all of these loving friends. Stay true to your feelings and we will be there for you. Always.
    It's already been said, but it is so very true. We love you. We are here for you.
    And so is Lily. I love how she takes care of you.


come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .