Part of my grief comes from sharing. Sharing helps me to ease through the process, and hopefully explains my feelings about life. Every life holds a value. Humans, animals, all of God’s creatures. We all serve a purpose in my eyes. This morning I said goodbye to Old Joe. The decision to say goodbye to an old friend was not taken lightly by any means. But I have watched him grow old and I have watched his body grow frail.
This winter has been kind in many ways, no brutal cold and deep snow to trudge through to get to the barn. It was a secret blessing that I was unaware of until today. It was a gift to let him spend all Summer on the lawn outside of any fences. A treat to see him curled up under the front steps every morning, and the laughs I had over him nosing into my Yukon as I was unloading groceries were the best. He trained me to be sure and bring home apples to distract him with as I carried bags into the house. It wasn’t until late December that I finally put him in barn and paddocks. The grass was gone and he needed to be in a warm barn at night.
Does it seem silly that we put so much value into our animal friends? Is it wrong to humanize a creature that speaks a different language? We learn to recognize their wants and needs and they in turn know us. As I sat in the barn this morning waiting for Dr. Doughty to arrive, I sat on the barn floor and held the head of my old boy. Their was no silence. The chickens, the Guinea Hen, and the rest of my flock created a hum. A rhythm of life surrounded us. We talked about his good long life, and decided that it his old body was ready to let go. His breathing was soft and slow.
It is the end of an era for me. Joe was my beginning. He was my friend, and so yes, today I will be sad. But he has gone to that big green pasture where he will always be full, he will become fat again and will grow a beautiful silvery fleece. Judy, my old ewe, is with for him. I find peace in his passing when think about his long life and knowing that one day I will see him again. Please do not feel sad for me. I have been blessed with this life and with it comes many ups and downs -for which I am grateful.