Things felt grim this morning when I got up.
But, as on most mornings for the past 15 years, I started the day with a dog walk.
We met up with another dog walker and his dogs, who asked how I felt and I said: “Grim.” However, as we walked and our dogs played, we talked and joked.
After going our separate ways, our dog and I met up with another dog walker and stopped to chat. We discussed grief and family loss and the problems they create: not just losing a loved one, but the change in the dynamics of families, the different ways people react and the big hole that opens up as the ground seems to fall away underneath your feet.
And we ended up laughing about the craziness of it all: a problem shared but not solved.
For once, our dog was nagging me to come home. Usually, he wants to stay out and play, but we had been out for 1 3/4 hours.
I came home laughing.
I’m certain dogs plan these meetings deliberately, but I’m happy to let them carry on.
They brighten life more than anything else and make me smile again.