I never really thought about whether or not animals mourn until a few weeks ago when Steve and I were watching a program that has forever touched my heart.
Did you know that dolphins grieve?
We watched as a dolphin gave birth to her baby and brought it to the surface of the water so it could take its first breath. After a few minutes of her repeatedly nudging it to the surface, you realise her baby was still born. You could feel her increasing sense of urgency as she carries her little one up, as though just willing it to breathe.
I was in floods of tears, because I can relate to that helpless feeling. The one where you don’t want to give up on your baby, but eventually realise that there is no hope left.
According to the videographer, she carried on the pattern of nudging her baby upwards for hours. And then there came a point when she realised that there was nothing else she could do. She had to leave her baby to sink into the depths of the water. She had to leave her baby behind.
If you search on YouTube, there are several videos of dolphins mourning, including some of dolphins carrying their dead babies on their back in a sort of ritual. Pining.
Leaving Finley in the hospital was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Walking away from him when my heart and my soul and my body were screaming at me to nurture him and to take care of him. I believe that a mother’s instincts are one of the strongest forces on earth, and to walk away from your child really goes against nature. You could see it in the demeanor of the dolphin, and I can feel it in my heart. You aren’t supposed to outlive your children and yet the sun still rises and sets, and life carries on…somehow.