I don’t normally do this kind of thing, because I feel that the innards of my family and life are not fair subjects for a blog. But we have recently had an event in our lives that I think holds some lessons worth sharing, simply because it is so common yet so difficult.
The other day our dog, Sadie, was hit and killed by a car. She was an unusually sweet dog, and we loved her dearly. I was the only one home — Louise was at a conference hundreds of miles away, and Nik was away at the state arts high school he attends in Minneapolis. The death was mine to discover, mine to address, and mine to pass along to others in the family. It was not a good day.
After I talked to Nik, I wrote him an email. I’m going to post a version of it here because I think it has something of value to say about art, tragedy, and growing up. It is a letter written from a father to a son who has found a calling in the arts.