This morning, a small young fly kept particularly close to me. It landed on my glasses. It sat on my robe. It perched itself on my water glass and sat watching me patiently. Even with my movements, the fly appeared content to just be near me. At first I was annoyed. This fly has the whole house to run around, but each time it would fly away, it came back to me, poising itself on my cell phone, or positioning itself at the rim of my laptop to watch me. The fly seemed preoccupied with me, continually flying around my face or resting on the top of my head. The behavior was strange to me and continued for over an hour.
Yesterday, in another round of missing my dog, I asked Toki if he could come visit me somehow, maybe in a dream or as a hummingbird. My parents and my grandmother have visited me in dreams briefly and it felt as though I was given another moment with them. I’ve had this ongoing hope that when we die we could come back and visit in some form of our choosing to check up on our loved ones. I use to think that “the fly” was the best choice because they only live a couple weeks, plenty of time to visit and not be stuck in a whole other cycle of life.
So as I sat here on my computer, the spot where Toki would sit at my feet ALL THE TIME, I suddenly burst into tears that this fly might be Toki. And as I did that, the fly crawled under my glasses as if to hold back my tears or catch them with its little body. I had to remove the fly with my fingers because he wouldn’t fly away. He then sat on my hands just staring at me. The fly was not afraid. Toki had watched me escort flies out of the house many times, dancing around to get them to exit out the front door safely. This fly knew.
And then I just leaned into it. I asked how he was doing. I told him how sorry I was for the failed promise that the surgery for his arthritis would fix everything, but led only to a series of bad news, and ultimately his death. I thanked him for being my best dog friend. And the tears streamed down my face. The fly sat on the tip of my finger as if to listen and I brought him close to me – and then the fly disappeared.
I don’t know what happens after we die and I’ll never adopt any particular position on that. I let the mystery be. But I also let myself believe in magic now and again when my heart needs it…