Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Black Dog of Grief

Well, kids, I knew that this time of year the river at Stamp Falls would be raging, and I thought to go and take some pictures to show you. It felt a little incongruous to be doing such a thing, while the Middle East is going up like a tinder box, and Japan - along with the rest of us - skirts the edge of nuclear catastrophe. Also it was the first time going there without Pup, first time since his death in January.

For the last eleven of his fourteen years, this was our favorite local outing. When we missed the beach too much, it was the wildest spot we could find here, and we went often, the two of us,
in perfect harmony.

Pup was my companion through our happiest wilderness days in Tofino. He embodied the wild for me, and it is there that I miss him most of all. I reflect on the people who have lost their loved ones and their whole world, this past week. Some of my grief today is for our woefully suffering planet. But I admit my tears and wolf howls this afternoon were all for him.

Since Jasmine's surgery in November, she has been unable to go more than half a block from home. So it was the black dog of grief who walked with me today, my first time alone
along the river.

Dancing river,
wild and free,
it is hard
to see your beauty,
when he is gone.

But I still need
your wildness
to survive,
and so I must
continue to
walk on.

Roaring river,take my
low, keening
wolf howls
and some tears,

for now the
black dog of grief
has come
to stalk
my years. 

Singing river,
carry my howls
of love and loss
to him
like a prayer,

bring back
his answer
to me
on the
evening air.


  1. Sherry,
    This is a wonderful tribute to Pup.
    A difficult walk for you, both alone, and yet with the spirit of Pup, nearby.
    The right kind of settting, to take this brave walk, without your boy today.
    I'm quite sure, his spirit was close to you Sherry.
    Thank you for sharing your very private moments and photographs.
    Best wishes, Eileen

  2. Lovely post, Sherry.

    Grief is a wound only time can heal.

  3. Sherry, a beautiful tribute on what must have been a very difficult time for you.
    You are in my thoughts my friend.


  4. Forget the whole wide world for a while. You miss Pup.

  5. These photos are so beautiful and it fills my heart to know that such pristine places exist. I also hope that soon you will feel the presence of the black dog of Joy, who walks in your shadow: such as he was in life, Sherry, so he is in death.

  6. Good morning, Sherry. The walk by the river is beautiful, with a delicate melancholy. Perhaps you are not watching that water flow alone - now that you have taken us there.

  7. Thank you, kind readers, for your warm words. I did want to show you the beauty of the river, to remind us all that it still exists, in this struggling world. It goes on in spite of us. Kerry, I love your words about the dog of Joy. Yes, as he was in life, so he is in death. I must remember that.

  8. This post enc apsulates life... wild, rugged, undeniable beauty sidled up to intense sorrow. We are amazing creatures who can take it all in and keep walking.

  9. I know Pup's answer is that he will never leave you in death any more than he did in life. Like the dancing river, his wild, free spirit will carry you along towards joy once more...


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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!