Many of you mentioned receiving signs from your dogs after they had passed away; rainbows on cloudy days, guidance to a new pet, a feeling of them with you in spirit even after many years. Although I come from a long line psychics and witches (my grandmother set the room on fire twice and scalded a woman's hand at her own wake), I dismissed the idea of Darby still with me in another form. The emptiness and chill in my house were so overwhelming, it would be like believing that a car with no battery could get you to town.
Every day last week I would try to explain to people what I was feeling. On Friday I used the analogy of drugs. Darby was the perfect drug for every moment of my day. My cup of coffee in the morning. My mood stabilizing Prozac. My painkiller. My glass of wine in the evening. My sleep aid. And then, once again, my cup of coffee in the morning... I am going through withdrawal from them all at once, I'd say. And it is unbearable. I must have repeated this at least four times on Friday.
That night was a full moon. I went to sleep early but woke up a little after midnight. It was the one-week anniversary of Darby's death. I got up and went into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of water. I leaned against the counter and stared through the window at the yard glowing in the moonlight. Then, with a click and a red light my coffee maker turned on. It doesn't have a timer. No coffee set up, ready to go for the next morning. Empty. But on. A power surge. Or something. It's never done that before. And even when I want to make coffee I have trouble getting it to turn on without a Fonzi bang or two. I stared at it. I flashed on my Darby-as-my cup-of-coffee analogy, and I smiled. He always was a clever dog with a sense of specificity. If he was human I'd call it wit.
I walked over and shut off the coffee maker and went back to bed. The days get easier and harder. Grief doesn't go in a straight line. But so many of you were right. Darby did send a sign. And it helped.