Requiem for Gandalf

Nov. 26, 1993

They telephoned to say he was no more.

The laughter at the supper table died – no one said a word

and then the sounds came haltingly.

Last night – Gandalf was his name. The Grey Eminence.

Gandalf the Grey Wizard (thanks to Tolkien).

Each of us had different thoughts.

Yours, my son, the deepest and the saddest,

for with Gandalf went your youth – walks to the river,

racing along the banks, grabbing stones from under water.

How you could jump Gandi. You went up from all four legs,

like a jumping jack.

You were the best – so big, but so gentle.

Except those few times you went on a rampage

and there wasn’t enough left of the neighbor’s chickens

even to make a stew.

How frightened you were of fireworks, of bangs in general,

It went with your mild nature.

Another thread of the past has been cut.

No more future, only the past.

Remember the times –

the time you got caught in the fence

trying to get out of your run

and find refuge in the cellar

when the sky was filled with fireworks?

The times you disappeared –

only to turn up, again, in the cellar.

You had grown old, Gandalf.

Your teeth were worn, and so was your heart.

It just stopped beating.

Gandalf the Grey. The love we bear you in our hearts

is reason enough for your having lived.

May you rest in peace and remain always in our thoughts.

5 thoughts on “Requiem for Gandalf

  1. A very touching tribute – and clearly one that was due to him. He would never have understood it, but would have comprehended in other ways how he was loved and esteemed.


  2. A eulogy for a dog with such love springing from simple language and memories ❤️

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Cara Erika, I enjoy your writings very much. They brighten up these cold days. Recently I saw in one of David Perry’s mails a reference to a book you had written involving Orvieto and I wanted to ask if you could send me a link which would allow me to purchase it online ?

    I very much miss my Orvieto visits and have a firm plan to be there in 2003 ,





  4. Expiration dates— On our disorganized pantry shelves, we tend to take them as a mere suggestion. Sometimes even I have to laugh at the vintage items we find there, and even consume. According to more careful folks whom I jokingly call The Expiration Police, we’re lucky to have made it this far.

    But thanks to Erika’s “Gandalf,” when I look under the ever-burgeoning subject CONDOLENCES in the Notes section of my phone where things are less likely to expire, I stumble on this truth: There is no expiration date for mourning and grief, which have a timeline of their own. But memory and words like yours, Erika, can help.

    Envoyé de mon Di-Phone


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