I went to a funeral this week. A final goodbye. The family invited me. I have been to many a burial before of other ‘four legs’ in our family, but never a ‘two legs’ one.
When you say good bye to a ‘four legs’ it’s earthy, raw, sad. There are no rules about how you do it , who can come. I remember the passing of Rory, beloved horse of my favourite ‘two legs’ . The vet came , there was a final exhale and I remember licking the tears that trickled down the face of the vet and from the chin of my favourite ‘two legs’ . The digger man came and dug the hole ,the resting place , there were more tears. There was a gathering of ‘two legs’ and ‘four legs’ as we said our good byes. For months later when all the other ‘two legs’ in our house were asleep I would go and sit at the resting place of Rory with my favourite ‘two legs’ and remember.
‘Two legs’ are complicated, the man who sold the wooden boxes told my ‘two legs’ ‘no dogs in the funeral chapel, unless he’s a ‘guide dog’ !I’m not a guide dog … well not in the way he means. My ‘two legs’ explained that me being there was what the family wanted …. what Eva had asked for ! I didn’t understand many of the words that my ‘two legs’ said after that…… but I always understand the feeling behind them! and I knew we were going to the last goodbye for Eva!
I sat up the front. Even tho my ‘two legs’ thought I should sit with her. I sat with Eva, even tho I couldn’t see her. I sat next to the box and amongst the flowers people had brought. I sat with her, like I have done each time I have gone to visit. Over the past year I have spent lots of time on and in her bed. She would tell me stories of when she was a little girl, of milking cows, collecting eggs. I know the name of every ‘four legs’she ever had. She openly told everyone that she preferred dogs to people. And when her breath grew deep and hard and that time came closer , she asked for me. Others would say ‘shouldn’t we call the doctor’, ‘what about the minister?’ But she asked for me and I was there.
The air was thick, full of ‘two legs’ emotion. I sat with her all during the service. I rested my chin on the box and breathed deeply of the familiar scent that was Eva There were lots of words ……..’two legs’ love words. I don’t have any words to describe Eva, to help you understand who she is. If I were to give the eulogy at a funeral it would be a book of smells and looks, for smells and looks are my first language . The way Eva looked at me was pure love ,and me to her. She had a way of being ……..that was just for now. Her head wasn’t full of too many things. And her scent ……..it was the scent of a life well lived, of loving and being loved, of holding on and letting go.