“After they’re gone, loved ones have a way of remaining with you, like the thick silence that settles after an unwelcome question. Even what should be happy, relieved thoughts become heavy and fraught.
She always hated when I sang. I always took it as an editorial comment, but I sang anyway — and prepared for the onslaught. Today, as I was doing dishes, I started singing along with the song playing in my headphones. About 30 seconds into the song I stopped and looked around. That was usually about how long it took Sadie to appear out of nowhere and start attacking my ankles and shins with claws sharp enough to scratch diamonds.
She wasn’t there, because of course she wasn’t. I thought briefly about turning the music up and singing loudly, since I was free to do so without fearing the painful, annoying, and often bloody consequences. Instead I stopped the song, pulled the headphones off my ears, and continued washing the dishes in silence.”
© 2014 by Jennifer R.R. Mueller