grief is the price we pay for love

so i just realized its been close to a year since if been on here. yikes.

for lack of time and content, i’ll repost something i put on facebook back in december.
here goes:

Grief is the Price we pay for Love.

a co-worker had that quote up on her page today, and although for different reasons, its totally applicable.
as a zookeeper, i’m faced with the reality that nothing is mortal; in life there is a 100% death rate and when working with animals, i’m likely to outlive most of them. this year has been a tough one, more recently in the last 6 weeks. working with a group of 50+, i’ve done my best not to get attached to my animals. alas, these guys are amazing and have better
personalities than some people ive met, so not getting attached to anyone is impossible. i dare you to come spend 30 seconds with me and walk away not in a better mood.

ive got a handful of “favorites,” and these last few weeks i’ve had to say goodbye to 2 of them. i’ve grown up with pets and had to say goodbye to pets, and that is hard. for some reason, this was worse. these guys aren’t pets; they’re co-workers. they’re buddies. they’re educators. they’re friends. you see them more than you do most of you’re friends, and spend just about as much time with them as you do family. you devote all of your energy to their well being, most of the time going above and beyond your quote job. when it comes to the end and you know there is nothing else you can do and all of your energy and passion has failed that friend, its soul crushing. i had the…well, i guess you can say “privilege” of being there when both of them died (one of them in my hands) and i’m glad i had those last moments. i’d like to think that a familiar face at that moment was a relief for them, and i’m happy to know they’re at total peace.

my boss was listening to NPR last week and heard an interview they did with zoo staff at the

National Zoo…the staff discussing exactly this point. Their feelings, the reasoning behind those feelings, and how
they move on. its refreshing to hear other keepers talk about the same thing that we are going through right now. if you’ve got the time, give it a listen or read the transcript. it gives a lot of insight to our world and tosses some points at you so maybe you’ll understand a bit of our passion.
to my sweet, sweet Bright Eyes and my beautiful and so crazy Princess, i love you both dearly and think of you often. i see pieces of you every day and you’ll never be forgotten. rest in peace girls…im sure heaven has plenty of noses to pick and boys to display at.

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