Recently I watched a television documentary about penguins. I admit that I was not watching closely, since I was busy in the kitchen at the time, so I missed a lot of the details. One segment was really heartbreaking, though, and it brought me to tears. A young, curious penguin wandered off and ended up in the territory of a neighboring group of penguins who battered and pecked the young guy to death. Shortly thereafter, as the penguin gasped it’s final breath, the penguin’s sibling came upon him, stood over him and then sprawled out over his body. The announcer said something about how the scene indicated that penguins grieve over the loss of family members.
Nature programs are often difficult to watch because they show the brutality of animals in the wild. Of course, the brutality of humans is well documented also, and we are – supposedly - civilized, whatever that means.
Watching the grieving penguin reminded me of the many stories we hear, at Pets Remembered, of how pets in the home react to the death of another pet. People often talk about a change of behavior, sometimes referring to a change in the pecking order, but often referring to an apparent sense of loss by the pet or pets who remain.
It’s another reminder that loss is loss, and whatever loss we or those around us have experienced, life is never quite the same again, and we need some time and space to adjust to our new reality.