I buried a goose today. I don't know if it's Juan or Rosalita, but I know there is one lone goose in my yard now where before there were two. And yes, I know they aren't my pets, but I have so enjoyed their daily visits. They have made me belly laugh with gander jousting and dog taunting. I love when they come all the way up to the house and stare us down with their intent, beady eyes as though demanding an explanation of why we keep mowing down their fodder.
They have brought me joy. So when one turned up dead on the lawn, I mourned. As I dug I thanked God for all the silly and wonderful ways He fills my life with beauty and laughter. I don't take it for granted, and it made me sadder than maybe it ought to be part of such a sudden and violent end to such a simple pleasure.
A greater writer than I wrote a brilliant essay on the death of a pig, and later went on to pen one of the most wonderful children's stories of all time, featuring, you guessed it, a pig. Named Wilbur.
Occasionally I throw around the idea of writing something more than this, and then life gets twisted and crazy and nothing I say comes across at all the way I ever intended it, and then I think I don't want to write again at all. Ever. But it sure seemed a dishonor to let something like the passing of a dignified and loquacious companion occur without proper notice.
So to my feathered companion I say:
I didn't invite you into my life, but I was very glad you were there most mornings with your dignified, swaying waddle and your strident wake-up call. I enjoyed your graceful flight and your somewhat-less-graceful landings next to my sea wall. You didn't demand much, just some un-mown grass and that I get rid of that dog you kept hissing at through the windows. Thanks for making me laugh and just for bringing a little lightness and beauty and fun into my every day routine. You were noticed, appreciated, and esteemed by me and my girls. We'll miss you.