This weekend, I read about a baby elephant that "cried for hours" after being attacked and rejected by its' mother. That led to other references to "do animals feel" stories. Of course we feel. There is a very thin line between ya'll and us.
I feel like all the grief I'd gotten a handle on since the Old Woman's death has come flooding right back . . . with some differences . . . but grief is still all consuming.
Intellectually, I understand that suicide is something one person cannot prevent another person from doing if they truly want to kill themselves. We might delay it. We might argue against it. But a person who has come to the place in their lives where life is not worth living is very different from a person who just wants it to change.
Still, I can't help but spend hours and days mulling over in my mind . . . couldn't something have been done, by any of us, to help our friend see out of his fortress of pain? He was loved, but didn't feel it. He was respected and admired, but didn't know it. He assumed he had no impact on our lives, but he's left a big gap that will never be filled back in. Surely, one of us could have said or done SOMETHING . . . anything. . . to give him reason to believe that he mattered? While I know that each of us is responsible for our own lives, I also truly believe that we are our fellow animals' keeper. When you hurt, we should feel it. When you are tired, we should share the load. And, when you find peace, we should be glad.
I know the answer. But I want one that is tidier. One that results in him not being miserable. One that gives him back to my life. I'm selfish. I know.