"Kerri, wake up."
I wake, turn in bed, and wait.
"Kerri, get up. Come walk with me."
I leave my bed, get my shoes, and go out in the backyard. I see the sidewalk going around the edges of the yard, along the fence. I remember a labyrinth, and I begin to walk slowly.
"The time for mourning has gone, for now."
"Was that you, Lord, or me? Was I jumping ahead, or do I just know it's time to stop mourning for now because of the way you said my name? I can't tell." I come to a tree swing, and I stop walking and sit down. I quiet myself, and listen.
'Get up, come walk with me,' I remember, and sit with that for a while. The afternoon light is dying, the pecans at my feet are dead, the trees are bare.
I get up and walk some more. It's true: mourning is done for now. "They're dead, Lord. Chester's dead." I cry.
"I know, my child, I know." God's voice and presence are soft and loving, so caring.
I sit again and God reminds me of the new pack I have now, new tribe, new group. I remember the ones that are gone: the dogs, former students. I wonder how long this present situation will last, what will come next.
God lets me wonder. He lets me know he loves me.
I go back into the house and open the door from my room to the rest of the house.