Lucy died at 9.25 a.m. on Tuesday, 8 December 2009. My wife and I had known this would happen, in the sense we had known it would happen sometime, for she was old and had become very deaf. What nothing had prepared us for, what nothing could have prepared us for, was the effect it would have on us as we found ourselves locked into the full Victorian choreography of grief. In our time death has been taken out of direct personal experience; it occurs off-stage, among strangers, a staff nurse intoning on the phone, I think youd better come, but theres no need to hurry, that coded instruction we all get in time, so confusing when we first hear it, so bleak after. But with Lucy there were no hospital visits, no hanging onto the clipped asides of doctors, and there was not even the shuffling factory line of cremation; this was the old emotional round, familiar only from novels now, of bedside vigil, of being there at the actual moment of death, then of burial, followed dear God, it embarrasses me to find myself writing this of talking to the grave under the ash tree. Lucy was my dog.
Death in the Family
av Byron Rogers
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