We call those humans "loved ones" - we feel grief, we are bereaved, we know the words to say to one another, and the actions to perform. Why then is the death of one of the creatures of this earth, so different? We seem to treat these as "small losses," These deaths that serve as a child's primer to death. Our first touches with the grave, and all its horror.
Why then don't we, as adults, seem to give them the same credence?
Animals touch our lives in vastly unique ways. We cannot speak the same language, perform the same tasks, or even live in the same way - but we choose to cohabitate. You could all argue with me about how we've taught and trained animals to do such a thing, but for those of you who've been "chosen" by an animal, to be their family, their friend - you know that this isn't true.
This week has been one of small losses.
From the senseless loss of a pet to a poisoning, to the unexpected death of a wild creature to some unseen illness - these losses have left spaces behind in the hearts they once filled.
When you lose an animal in your life, no one will bake you a casserole. There will be no flowers, no funeral with friends to support you. No sympathy cards. We feel these small losses alone, in the small hours. We feel them when no eyes gaze longingly at our dinner plate, when no sounds greet us happily in the morning, when there is no one begging to occupy your lap.
It is a vast and palpable emptiness.
You don't just get a new dog.
You don't just not care because the animal was a wild thing only passing through your life.
You don't just move on.
The fact is, that no human will ever share an experience with you like an animal. They experience the world in the purest way possible and they share their love from places of genuine truth that no human will ever give you. Their lives are short, and their presence is multiplied in that space.
It leaves you with no words,