In Memory of Tucker Bear

Taylor and I received a text this morning upon waking up that Derek was taking Tucker’s ashes in his urn for a memorial of his best friend. When they got in his car, turning on the radio, as if decreed by God and Tucker, Pearl Jam’s “Sirens” sang to him.

“It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead.
If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace
By which we live our lives with death over our shoulder
Want you to know that should I go,
I always loved you, held you high above, true.
I study your face, and the fear goes away”

Of course the next song played on the radio was “Smile”. Tucker was talking directly to Derek through Eddie, Jeff, Stone, and Matt.

“I miss you already… I miss you always
I miss you already… I miss you all day
This is how I feel…
I miss you already… I miss you always”

Taylor had been distraught for much of the week. Even before I learned the news of our four-legged friend’s passing, he knew. I’m sure he and Tucker had a whole conversation in the spirit world of what this would mean ever after. For the first time all week, the sun was out.

After the text this morning, Taylor and I joined a buddy of ours and his dog, a beautiful 85 lb pit bull named Miles. Miles was a puppy, only a year and a half; and he and Taylor were buddies. He knew Taylor had lost his best friend; and so he decided to lead us up the Headlands where we normally hiked. However, this time instead of going straight, we turned right, up onto a hill that would lead us towards Tennessee Valley (a couple miles away, the beach that Derek and I spent on one of our first days during the week last October, when we were in search of Zen).

We played in the clearing, both Taylor and Miles chasing after sticks. Soon, we walked back down a hill and there all of a sudden in our view was a non-denominational cemetery. In the three years we’d been here, we had never known there was a cemetery within a twenty minute walk from us. It made sense that today would be the day we would find out. It was beautiful. The grass was green. Beautiful statues and headstones and flowers adorned the space on the hill. While Miles stood behind with his owner, Taylor raced from one headstone to another. In my mind, he was looking for Tucker, stopping every so often to offer up his prayers.

“You may be gone for now, Tucker Bear.
Friend and brother
Forever and ever.
You will never be forgotten.

I will take care of your papa from afar
And sometimes near
Wherever I am,
There or here.

I will cherish your memory.
And when it’s time for me to join you
On that Rainbow Bridge to Doggy Heaven,
I know that I will be welcomed with open arms
By you and my other brothers and friends.

Meanwhile, have a good laugh and have a good play
With Jackyboy and Kalib and Fozzy
And Harrison and Bailey and Libby
And every other friend and brother that belongs in our fraternity.

I love you Tucker Bear.
Cannot wait to play with you again.
And this time, I promise
I will never bite you again.”

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