It was a rather gloomy start of what became a gloomy morning. I was setting at my computer and looking out the front window at the new birdhouse we had just put up. It really stands out in the fact that it is a blue color, Smurf color, with a white roof. As I was thinking of what thought to address for the log, I saw my wife quickly walk back into the house. She had been out at the chicken coup as a part of her regular morning routine. As she got to the room I was in I could see that she had been crying. She informed me that one of the chicks had died. And she asked me if I would remove it from the box that contained all the other chicks. I felt so sorry for her because she had always believed that all the chicks would survive to be full-grown chickens. It has been my experience that usually when you buy a bunch of chicks, not all of them make it to be full-grown chickens. My wife did not want to believe that and so when she saw the dead chick laying in the sawdust is hit her hard. So I went to the chicken coop found the dead chick and took it to the back of the property and gave it a burial, including a small prayer for the chick.
I bring this up because my thought for today is that when someone or something dies there is pain and grief that accompanies it. And that heartbreak must be felt so that you and I can get on with life. In this case, having chickens, you’re going to have to accept the fact that not all chicks will survive to be full-grown chickens. But that does not mean that you shouldn’t feel the pain or heartbreak if they die.
I have found that I must take time to grieve when someone or something that I care for passes away. Certainly this happened when my father, my mother and my brother passed away a few years ago. Because of my training as a policeman and my time as a soldier, I have many times found myself in the presence of death. I can remember as a soldier watching my fellow soldiers die in battle as well as viewing the bodies of the enemy’s soldiers. As a policeman I was called to many scenes where death was a part of the scenario. Whether it was death by violence or death by natural causes, each scene brought with it the heartache and pain felt by the people who cared for the person who was found dead.
After the death of a fellow police officer and while at his funeral I found myself crying uncontrollably. I was so bad that the deceased officer’s wife came over and consoled me. It was the first time that I had allowed myself to grieve over the death of anyone. I had become so hardened or use to seeing death that I’ve found myself unable to cry. I would not allow myself to feel the deep pain and experience the heartbreak brought by death. At that funeral it all came out at once. After a couple hours I felt a little ashamed that my inability to control my emotions was so fully on display. Since then I have been able to grieve at the loss of my family members and my friends. I’ve also found that I can grieve and feel heartache when someone, I do not even know, has passed away. I think it is because you know that the people who cared for that person will have to go through that heartache and grief. But I also know that they must go through this heartache and grief to be able to get back to life.
No Matter how important you were or how great you were, you will eventually pass away. Many people find themselves unable to believe that the person that they worshiped or love has died. I’m sure that all the great presidents of the United States made millions feel the pain of their death. Life goes on and you should take the time to grieve and you must get back to living. The feeling of grief and heartache can be experienced even if you’re just watching a play or television. Even the opera can make you feel happy and sad and even grieve a little in the telling of their story.
Many of us who have pets and, yes, even chickens can feel the loss and grief when they die. I know they are not human beings but we still give them our love and our attention while they are with this on this earth. Some people who have lost a pet are unable to get another pet. They do not want to go through the experience of the heartache and grief and the loss of a pet.
My thought for today is that everyone must learn to grieve and handle the pain that occurs when death appears in our life. When a husband dies or wife dies, I think that after some amount of grieving the remaining spouse should find someone else to enjoy life with. I do not believe it is an insult to the memory of the person who had passed away, but rather a way of living longer. Not everyone can get over the loss of a spouse. But it would always be my hope that they do find someone that can fill the void or create new joy.
The loss of the little chick was followed by some tears and some grieving. But life goes on and all those other chicks still need somebody to take care of them. And so my wife still tears up a little when talking about the loss of her first chick, she also realizes that life must go on. I’m sure if another chick passes away she will grieve. I’m also sure that she understands that this happens, no matter what she tries to do to keep it from happening.
I cannot stop death from invading my world on so many levels. But now I’m capable of grieving and feeling the pain of the loss. I can also wake up in the morning and know that life must go on and I will feel happy once again.
Feel the grief and then get on with life.