The Mud of Us

by Ashley Makar | March 30, 2024 |

Grief calls for outlandish acts of love.

In swells of grief I address the dead as you. Over 12 years ago, my dad called from the ICU, with fluid collecting in his lungs. Before we hung up, it was as if he mustered all the wind left in him to say, “See you Saturday.” By the time my flight arrived in Birmingham, his heart had stopped. For forty days, I wrote him a letter everyday. Whenever my words faltered, I scrawled See you Saturday, over and over.

I’ve only seen tears fall from my dad’s eyes twice: when his sister died, and after our yellow lab mix Sandy passed. In my dad’s Egyptian culture, men don’t grieve pets. He called my Alabama grandmother to ask, “Is it ok to cry over a dog?”

Sandy’s ashes sat on

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