Grief Reflected in Nature

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.

4 thoughts on “Grief Reflected in Nature

  1. I can totally relate to this Lisa. Out of everything, walking away from my girls and leaving them behind in the hospital was the absolute worst part of this whole nightmare. I don’t know how my legs carried me each time. Leaving that bubble where we were a family, leaving it all behind with only a memory box to carry. Just horrendous xx

  2. Lisa, I am so sorry, I have tears just thinking about this with Skylar. She was taken to the funeral director by a nurse in the hospital but that was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and ever will. It is the worst thing any parent ever has to do. I also saw a animal show where a Hippo’s baby was attacked by a male Hippo and killed and she tried her hardest to get her baby to come back yet eventually had to leave her baby and you could just see the sadness in her face when she had to leave.

  3. That is such a heartbreaking image, both of the dolphin leaving her baby to sink and of you leaving the hospital without yours. Hugs.

  4. So truly heartbreaking to leave our babies behind. I will never forget that awful night in the hospital. Knowing Brynna was gone, but also not wanting to hand her back to the doctor because the moment I did, I knew my arms would be heartbreakingly empty…

    Thinking of you, sweet Finley, and all of the rest of us walking together on this grief road. May we find peaceful moments amidst the sadness.

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