Thank you for the comments and personal emails of condolence on the passing of my best bud Jesse. I had him cremated and returned to me. After I visit for a spell, and when the time feels right, I've picked out one of his favourite spots by the shade of a spruce tree - where he could watch to see if I came out the door and at the same time surveil his kingdom.
One of my brothers was a Buddhist. Years ago he told me he liked to think my dad was reincarnated as a blue heron.
His choice of the heron made sense to me, in the context of my father's life. (photo: wikipedia)
I don't see blue herons often on the farm. I have a pond up near the house, and another pond about half way back of the farm. Three or four times a year I see a heron at the back pond and I always smile and say, "hi Dad!" Its rare to see one at the front pond.
Two weeks ago, the week Jesse died, there was a blue heron in the front pond. Jesse and I walked past that pond 6 times or more a day doing our regular farm chores. Each and every time that entire week the heron was there. Each and every time I smiled and said "hi Dad!". Jesse passed on the Friday night and I haven't seen the heron since.