Went out with carrots this morning to see the donkeys and spread some hay for them an hour early. Jack brayed when I opened the door. Jenny not in sight. I took it she was in their shed. She came out after a few minutes of hearing me talk to Jack. No baby followed her. I waited. No baby. All night long, every time I woke, my mind was occupied with the baby. I was thinking it has not been growing. It has been slow and distant the last few days. I was thinking about seeing if I could get some donkey or horse formula from the vet early this morning, the reason I got up early. I've wondered from the beginning if Jenny had enough milk in her udder to feed a baby. I opened the back door to the shed, and there on the hay I'd put on the floor, lay donkey baby asleep, not breathing. My heart sank all the way to the ground. More sorrow for Jenny and Jack and sorrow for me over them. In a death, I tend to mourn for the sorrow of the living, including my own loss, rather than the one that went on, who is ok.
Jenny is eating her morning hay. She brays from time to time, calling for her baby, goes to check on it, it doesn't move. She returns to the hay while baby sleeps, brays from time to time. Jack is standing around like he doesn't know what to do. I think about the bat symbolizing death and rebirth differently from how I thought of it yesterday. I interpreted the "shaman death" had already happened while it was yet to be. Now, it is a matter of digging a grave and carrying the baby to the grave and covering it over with dirt. I've put so many of my friends in their graves, I already know the worst part is throwing the dirt in, hearing it hit my friend's body and keep on shoveling. I do not want to dig another grave, but will do it. My heart weeps for Jenny and Jack, again. The other hard part is I have to tell y'all about Miss Ed leaving the body while hearing Jenny and Jack bray for their baby to wake up.
In a way, I'm grateful to be so well acquainted with the sorrow of grief. In childhood I was terrified of grief. I'm grateful now because I know I can take it. It hurts so bad that without the experience of much sorrow, it would hurt worse. And I don't ever want to get to the place it doesn't hurt. I've even learned to embrace the pain as my gift to the one who gave me joy for whatever the span of time, eighteen years, twelve years, ten days. Returned to the house with a heart full of sorrow and a head full of thoughts. Can't do anything until at least later in the day. Turned on the laptop, went to facebook, and one minute before, a facebook friend who lives in town had messaged me about a young dog, a lab mix, saying it was a smart dog, which I already knew it would be. My last dog, Aster, was a lab mix. A dog any smarter than Aster would be too smart for me. My mind was sufficiently blown. Already at least one major decision to make, and a few others, and a decision about whether or not a dog thrown into the mind-heart salad of the day.
On the phone with my friend Carole this morning, I went over reasons I cannot have a dog in this time of the life, then reasons I would want a dog, reasons I miss having a dog, and saw the scale tip heavily toward the dog. I must make it a point to self to walk daily. I cannot go for a walk without a dog. I love walking with a dog and despise walking without a dog, unless I'm going someplace in walking distance. Even then, it's better with a dog. My muscles are losing tone really badly, girth filling out really badly, I don't exercise at all. I call walking through the grocery store exercise. Talked to self daily for a long time about taking a walk, and never do. Too boring. I need a dog. Feeling like to go on as I am going becomes more unhealthy every day. I don't want to be a feeble old turd staring at the nursing home ceiling with a roommate watching Fake tv all day and night, because I didn't walk when I easily could have. I miss having a dog in the car sitting beside me, either curled up or watching scenery go by. I miss riding with a dog as much as walking with a dog. A dog will shake me into motion and be a friend, protector for Sophia. Amazing. Death and rebirth simultaneous.