Sunday, May 3, 2020


Beauty and light above her, below her, behind her, 
in front of her, within her, and all around her.
May she rest in beauty and power.
-A blessing for EJ from Shana Robbins 4.24.2020
Etta James from 2010_8"x10"_acrylic, charcoal, pastel on paper

Dearest Readers,
Forgive me for posting again about my dear departed Etta James. It feels indulgent, as if I’m trying your patience, but I need to cover the wound. Briefly, it has been a hard, lonely week since her passing, but I eventually did something about it. The isolation and strictness of the Vermont “Stay Home-Stay Safe” Covid-19 quarantine, and the constant national pandemic news intensified my realization of how attached I am to this dog. My body gained a degree in temperature on Friday and Saturday after a walk that was too much exertion, and a few sleep-deprived nights. It dawned on me that having a ball of Etta’s hair in a jar, and her ashes in a tin on my bedroom altar was a constant reminder of her loss, and not healthy for my heart and soul.

With a deep sigh, I grabbed a spade and walked her remains to a nearby pine forest that overlooks where I live. Almost immediately I discovered a little woody bush with tiny purple flowers adorning her branches. This was it. I brushed aside the forest floor-covering of pine straw and dug an easy hole in the soft dark earth in front of “Etta’s Bush”. I poured in the ashes, covered them with most of the soil, added the clay paw print given by our vet clinic, topped everything with the remaining soil, replaced the pine straw and gave her a comforting pat. This tender send-off has eased my soul. 
Goodbye dear heart

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