Our squirrel died. Of course, it wasn't ours. We just lived in his territory. Sharing a space, not coming too close. Yesterday, we were, for the first time, a meter away. He was laying quietly on the ground, breathing slowly. Alone, barely moving, still conscious of his surroundings. We brought hazelnuts, also for the first time. And for the last time. We called for help, but of course, there is no answer to death.
We saw hi so many times - and his companion - running quickly through the garden, from one pine tree to another. Sometimes, he would let birds know who was the guardian of the great tree. Now, the head barely moved, as a handful of hazelnuts lingered next to him. Already shelled, ready to be savoured. I said my goodbye, but what did he hear? The darkness came and he was dead.
His life was seen, honoured, and appreciated. I am grateful, oh so grateful, for all those precious glimpses of his life.
Was it an accident, a disease, old age, that ended his life? The squirrels moved in before we did, they knew the place so well. There were no visible wounds. Perhaps it was all the toxics we, people, insist on laying on soil, plants and insects.
Because I don't know, I can only imagine and pretend it was just ageing. His partner is still in the tree, and didn't come down because it is too busy taking care of their babies. They will miss daddy, but they are a beautiful family of strong explorers. Soon, they will be running, from pine to pine tree, quick as their father.
We buried the squirrel, under his tree, his home. He will be remembered, cherished and will continue to be a part of this forest to be. And we will continue to make this space a clean and safe haven for his family, and other friends who want to celebrate life, and pure love.
Does it make any sense to be so sad over a squirrel? He wasn’t a pet, and so many animals die, as a part of Nature's cycle. Never will I want to raise mammals as farm animals, I tell my husband, preemptively. That is very branch-of-life-ist of you, honey, he answers. And it is. But these animals need their mothers, and their milk. And raising mammals inevitably messes with these needs. And I'd love them, most likely, as I loved this squirrel I never really got to meet. How would I then go through their death on a regular basis, intended or not?
We do all have to go through others' death, though. Perhaps this is part of why it hurts so much.
So, instead, I shall aim for any animal we care for to have a happy and open life, like this squirrel had.
Perhaps this sad magic experience, can light the way as we move forward. The squirrel left a legacy, and it will take time to fully unveil it. Thank you.