Sawyer was 9 years old when Connor died. He was ready to go out for their afternoon walk and Connor was nowhere to be found. So, like any good friend, he went to go look for him. Connor wasn’t in the bathroom, or in his bedroom, and Sawyer was starting to worry.
“Connor! It’s time for our walk! Where are you?!” he called out. It likely sounded differently to untrained ears, but you get the idea.
There was no reply.
Sawyer went back down the stairs and into the kitchen, where he found Connor.
Connor was lying on the floor. He inched closer and nudged Connor to wake him.
But Connor wouldn’t move.
He tried again, and nothing. Sawyer didn’t understand. He noticed that Connor smelled strange, but he didn’t care.
Maybe Connor was taking a nap. Sawyer liked naps too. So he snuggled in next to his best friend and waited.
Connor’s sister came to the mortuary alone to make his funeral arrangements. The service was going to be very small. Connor lived a simple life, and didn’t place much value in anything flashy. He never married and didn’t have very many friends, and rarely reached out to his family. I remember her being very quiet and reserved, only speaking when absolutely necessary.
On the day of Connor’s funeral, I greeted his sister at the chapel door, only this time, she wasn’t alone. She had a beautiful golden retriever with her. I bent down and rubbed his head, “Look at this sweetheart! What’s his name?”
“This is Sawyer.”