The Weekly Bleat: Saying Goodbye

Farmgirl with Hamish and Rosebud

 

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

~Dr. Seuss

 

Most of the windows of our 200-year-old house afford a scenic view of the pastures and our beloved sheep. Often, during the day, I will pause for a moment to look out on our little flock, either grazing or lying serenely in a field.  It’s a simple pleasure that creates gratitude and lifts my spirit.  Sheep typically flock together, especially since they’re prey animals.  So, each time I cast an eye over the pastures, I always count to make sure I see all ten of them:  Clover, Hamish, Rosebud, Heather, Button, Fern, Olive, Daisy, Ivy, and Violet.

Sadly, from now on, I will only count nine of our wonderful woollies.  After a decade of loving care and interaction with these beautiful and amazing creatures, we will have to say goodbye to one of them tomorrow.  Violet’s front legs have become arthritic, and late last week, she injured one of them and can no longer bear weight on it.  The veterinarian visited and said there was nothing to be done to repair the leg. So, we’ve kept Violet comfortable in the hospital pen, administering pain medication for the last few days until we can both be home to humanely say goodbye and have assistance burying her.  We are heartbroken.  To many, Violet is just a sheep; however, to us, she’s much more.  She’s a sweet, sentient creature who has enriched our lives over the past ten years…and we love her.

So, amidst the serenity and joy of our little farm—there is grief.  But, that’s the essence of farming as well as being a steward of the land and the creatures who live on it. I guess it’s this juxtaposition of strong emotions and perspective on the cycle of life that often creates conflict in one’s heart and mind; however, it also forges respect, acceptance, and ultimately grace.

To each animal who has ever walked on Green Hill Farm and enhanced our lives with its curiosity, fortitude, beauty, and gentleness, I am grateful.  Not only have they blessed our lives by bringing a tremendous amount of  joy…they have taught us how to be better human beings.

 

 

 

 

74 Comments »

  1. What a beautiful post! Thank you for being such wonderful stewards of your sheep and the land you are on. Violet is blessed among all sheep that she came to be on your wonderful farm. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am sorry for your loss of Violet and it will be hard to count your sheep without thinking of her. But remember that you had a good ten years of memories with her. She was one of the lucky ten sheep that came to live on your farm.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I am so so sorry … I hope Violet finds herself in sheep heaven, where she counts humans to go to sleep and lots of fresh grass and clean fields to play around. You gave her a wonderful life – it’s the right thing to do

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My dear Tonya, I have been a way for a few days hence the tardy reading and response of this post. I am so, so sorry for the loss of Violet. I cannot imagine how hard the decision was to let her go. Dr Seuss is indeed the ideal quote …. to me he was the most empathetic of souls. I send you my warmest and most heartfelt wishes to help you through this bereavement. The hardest thing about keeping animals is surely that they are gifted to us for such a short time. Violet will rest peacefully in your hearts and he devotion to you will ever enhance your days. In her memory, this evening I will light my special candle meditate the joy that our animals bring to us. Go softly, dear sweet soul …. you bring such joy and I am sad your heart is breaking 💔

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My dear Tonya, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Violet. Part of your family, she takes a little of your heart with her. But in time you will find your heart is all intact and that she is the extra bit tucked in there keeping your safe. The hardest thing about keeping animals, loving them, is that they are with us for such a short time. Violet has passed peacefully with you both soothing her way. Go gently and in time you will smile at the memories you made with her sweet sheepy presence. I send you heartfelt and warm wishes to help you through your sadness 💔

    Liked by 1 person

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