The funeral for my nephew was held by a creek. All-day long, their dog had been running around the whole farm area. As the service started, he still was. As the cremains fell into the spring head and began to wash down over the moss-covered rocks, his running ceased. He came to the creek, stuck his nose in the water to sniff, then lay down and stared at the spring head. He stayed fixed and staring and whining, eyes full of pain until it was over and we all left.
As we left, he kept his head down until we climbed the hill and he had to raise it to walk with us. You could see the pain in his eyes. They had walked that land together in the past.
This essay was originally published on the Alliance of Hope Forum for Suicide Loss Survivors by member Gloria Heller, and reprinted with permission.