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  • Writer's pictureCrone

A nice thing to find

...after a day of toil.


I've made that sound bad. The toil was in the service of the Wildlife Trust. It was good fun, actually... and really hard work! Very hot and a lot of vegetation to clear. I had a tool called a 'slasher' and was slashing. I told one of the people about my Viking dream and he said that I did indeed look like a Viking. So, hey, result!


I came home and spent half an hour chopping vegetables, 45 minutes with the dog in the park and an hour writing about Saudi football.


But, in the course of the day I came to realise something. When a person dies, a lot of people express a lot of sadness. I am not sure what I feel. I miss the person if I spent time with the person. I can sympathise and empathise with those who are left and who were very close to the person. I worry about the person experiencing pain or despair in the later stages (one friend committed suicide five years ago, left three children... and I had not been in touch for ages). I am aware of my failings as a friend. Why didn't I do more, care more, make more effort when the person was alive? I feel guilt for being a bad person in the past. Or not a good enough person. But the person is dead and I can't feel sad for them. They are not feeling anything. If they did have hopes and dreams, those hopes and dreams are as dead as the person - it's not like they can be sad about not having done those things. So, I am ambivalent.


When I see a dead fox on the road, in contrast, I tend to cry out. Last time I screamed rather hysterically.


Today I realised that for people, plenty of people are doing the sadness thing. The person's life is honoured and regretted and celebrated and everyone says how special they were. When a fox dies, it is a thing. The person who ran her over might not even care. Its cubs, if she has them, can't mourn really - though they might well die. She is an it and its life is meaningless. I feel I have to do all the mattering for those who are not seen to matter. You pigs, cows, sheep, chickens; you goats and camels and foxes and rabbits; you unwanted dogs and cats; you badgers and hedgehogs and birds on the roads; you unnamed unknown denizens of the world, I mourn your passing. I grieve. I honour you.


Your life mattered.

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