Do animals grieve?

Published by Chapster on 2006/7/18 (12408 reads)

Before his human mom died, Romeo the cat was quite aware that things weren't right. As did his mom's human family, he held his own bedside vigil. He wanted to be one of those witnesses. Afterwards, he, too, spent considerable time making sense of his world.

I am touched by the power of the images I have seen of animals grieving. As a black lab prods at his life mate, his soulmate, to get up, with my own tears, I prod myself to action. I must get help. I have no cell phone and the police station is only a few blocks away. I go there and tell the dispatch officer about it, this big, burly officer. I tell him what I saw. "Two dogs were crossing the road, friends, probably kin, and one of them got hit. Both of them are in the street and the one who is alive won't leave his mate." The officer is not bored, he understands. He, too, feels the tug of this ubiquitous pain, a pain that all creation feels in the passing and death of one who is loved.

And, as I, in my mind's eye, review that day, I marvel at the beauty of all creation's capacity to love, to share in the riches of life together, and the need to say goodbye when all that we have ever understood about love is taken from us.

---All identifying information has been changed so that no person (or animal ) referred to can be identified.

Tags: grief   bereavement   elephant   dog   animal  

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