max has been dead for 3 months now and it still isn't any easier. the grief has the same force and power. it pulls us under. i suppose the only thing you could point to as a means of indicating progress is that the grief is more familiar.
For our anniversary I made mm a book about max but rather than neutralize the sensations it's merely put contemplating him at our fingertips. There he is on the trip to Boston. There he is as a pup. There he is in the field in Western Mass.
also, on saturday we baby-sat for B & C (4 and 2, respectively) at our house. The question "Where is max?" arose immediately. They knew he died already of course but where was he? What happened to him? There he is, we said, in that box on the mantle. They inspected his ashes not fully certain what to make of our allegation that the ashes were indeed max.
That night, I dreamt of Maxwell running up to our back door. There he was bounding across the backyard, tail wagging. I couldn't believe it. (When he was actually inside it became clear that it was actually a different dog). At or about the same time, Margaret awoke to find herself ripping Max's dog tag off the chain on her neck (which she's worn for months now). She swore to wear it for a very long time and there she is involuntarily tearing it off as I'm dreaming of him (re)visiting us.
Is it max? Somehow reaching us from the golden field where he now runs, saying: that's it guys. time to move on.
to be determined...