Driving home last night with the Family, we came around a curve and saw several cars pulled over to the side of the road. It was very dark out, and my eyes are not as good as they once were in the dark. I slowed down as I approached, as as I got closer, I could see there was a dead deer in the road that had just been hit. As I steered the car around the deer I could see the poor animal was still alive. Horror overwhelmed me, as I knew I could not leave the poor suffering animal laying there like that. But what could I do? I stared out my car window into her eyes, and sent all my love and blessings for her to no longer suffer. I knew this was all I could do in this moment.
I exited my car to go to her, and at that moment I saw her take her last breath.
At that moment I experienced such sadness, yet at the same time joy that the animal was no longer suffering.
I walked over and put my hand on the sweet creature and gave my love once more.
A few moments later, a young man came over to help me move the animal out of the road. After we got her to the side of the road, the young man commented “Anybody want some Deer Jerky?”.
I merely looked up at him in awe that he could say such a thing. I guess my expression must have spoke volumes, as he then said he was only joking. Softly I replied, “I know”. Before I left, my Wife and I stood over the Doe and gave our love and blessings once more. I reached down once again to lay my hand on her. And I truly felt a beautiful spirit. Although her physical body had died, her gentleness and nature was present. I have never experienced anything like this before, but it was as though she thanked me.
I returned to the car to find my little girl crying like a baby. She was understandably so shaken by this.
I held her and told her it’s OK. I told her “Honey, all things are born and all things die. This was this animals time to die.”.
I doubt this was enough comfort for her, but it was the most honest loving way I felt I could explain it.
She was very sad the rest of the way home, but she surprisingly recovered pretty well after that.
Perhaps my words were the right thing to say. Perhaps she understands this is the nature of all things. Perhaps better than I do.
As I meditated later in the evening, thoughts of this event came and went. Life and death, and what is after.
I came to no conclusions or epiphanies, believe me. What I do know is that before I was born and after I die, are very similar. I don’t ever worry about where I was before I was born, so why would I worry about where I go after I die?
This brings me right back to now. This moment is the only thing that counts. The past is an illusion just as much as the future is. No matter how hard I may try, I cannot see tomorrow. That’s just a fact.
So how will I handle my own death? Will I see the joy in it that there is an end to physical suffering? Will I be sad because of my attachments to the ones I love?
I have no way to answer that right now. I do know that both things exist in my mind right now.
So in closing, I thank the Deer for the gift she gave me. For sharing it’s breath with me, it’s beauty, it’s gentle nature. She taught me and gave me so very much.