Where She Walked, God Followed
Our dog died. On November 11th Little Miss K. went her own way, and I lost track of the path we shared.
For three months I’ve been trying to write something, and I still don’t know how to start. I don’t even know what to tell you other than she deserves to be left alone without any detailed explanation. Her pain is gone, that’s all.
We spent thousands of hours together, side by side like two amigos sharing every moment. From north to south, conquering mountains and claiming forests, every day, and every week. Now I have lost my rhythm and can’t seem to take one step without her.
I’m born and raised around animals, so I know death never leaves life alone. And we’ve had many dogs coming and going, all of them special in their own peculiar way. None of them like Kajsa. And anyone who’s ever met her would tell you the same thing. This spotted little girl was a mystical miracle maker. There’s no doubt.
But death is a strange thing. It’s definite, yet it leaves you with something. It’s an absolute silence with the echo of life. An echo that sometimes will surprise you. And the last three or four years we’ve been listening to its repeated and ringing sound. It’s been years of funerals, not birthdays. Some of them close, others distant. Still, none of which compares with the passing of this dog.
While those that have passed brought thoughts about life, love, art, travel, purpose, and time, this pressed pause. Like when a record stops playing, and you just get lost in the silence. Everything that used to fight its way to get heard seems to be on hold. All the tiny voices and made up arguments. All the songs yet to be written, the movies yet to be made, and the stories yet to be told. All of them, silent.
Now, I sometimes get up to kick the buzzing fridge in an attempt to make it stop, even though it never really works. And I find my self deep in adjusting the radiators, tuning the knobs, so the water doesn’t make that annoying whistling sound. I sit completely still until my back aches, rather than listening to the squeaking sound that fake leather makes when I move. Every sound turns to noise, and it bothers me. Not because I’m embracing the silence, on the contrary, I hate how it makes everything louder, but because I’m desperately listening for a lost voice. And everything else gets in the way.
I hid her green leash in the cupboard coming home from the veterinarian that same Sunday night. Just in case. And I stuffed her favorite toy behind some books on the shelf and put the rest of her stuff in the attic. I pushed the big potted plant where her bed used to be and poured her food in a plastic bag for anyone who might want it. On the following Wednesday morning I dared to walk out to the park, telling the morning regulars that their dog’s spotted playmate won’t come around anymore.
The first week I even aimed to keep our morning routine of coffee and dogs in the park, but I haven’t returned once since that final Wednesday. Sometimes I go for a walk, like a forced mission to break the status quo, and some nights I realize I haven’t been outside since the day before.
On occasion, I go running. But that has always been my own special thing. I tried to bring her now and then, but after our return to Stockholm, she never really understood why. “Why do this, when we used to run the Tramuntanas?”
One might think I’m in a terrible state. And maybe I am? Maybe I’m pushing grief away afraid of the awful noise it makes? Maybe I’m hiding from life in my haven on the fifth floor? Maybe I’m waiting for God to return?
Or maybe I ask too many questions?
Maybe God is too busy with her now? Maybe she had to go? Maybe he needs her magic, and all I have to do is wait until his healing is done? Maybe she’ll tell him one day that I need my rhythm back? That the voices in me need permission to speak?
Or maybe I’m refusing to let her go?
Right now I don't have any answers. Right now, I'm not even sure about the question. All I know is that she's not with God, God is with her. Because where ever she walked, God followed.