Today has been one of those days where, while prepping lunch for Jamie’s group, I accidentally counted seven portions instead of six. And, earlier this week, I counted out chow bags for seven before I caught myself and had to remove the portion I had accidentally made for Jody. Little things like this happen almost every week since last May, but sometimes they’re more frequent.
When I sat down a little bit ago to start writing my blog, I didn’t expect to start writing about this. Even though it’s mid-February and still winter here in Cle Elum, WA, the sun has been out all day and the temperature currently sits at 43 degrees. There is a bit of wind to remind us that it is still winter, but the chimps have been taking full advantage of the sunshine. We were able to do a lunch forage for Cy’s group today on the Bray and Terry, Rayne, and Gordo went right out to enjoy it. Honey B is still healing from her recent procedure and is recovering well. Jamie’s group has been mostly lounging in the warm greenhouse, where they can be in the sun and out of the wind. All that to say, it’s been a really lovely day.
I’m no expert on grief- I don’t know how best to work through it or why it commands our attention on certain days over others. Maybe she’s been more on my mind lately because we’re creeping up on the one year anniversary of her passing, or perhaps it’s the stress from worrying about Honey B during her recovery. All I know is that, sometimes, grief isn’t content to stay hidden in our subconscious.
On April 27th, I wrote a blog about the quintessential spring day- foraging, perfect weather, Negra yelling at crows to get away from her forage, etc. I didn’t know that it would be my last blog featuring Jody, without also featuring the deep grief of missing her. She was a dear friend and we miss her every day.
The loss of a friend like Jody runs deep. I wonder if the fact that today feels like an early spring gift after the dark of winter is what brings up the absence of her presence. My mind says that she should be grooming in the greenhouse, walking on the hill, and enjoying the warm sunshine with her family.
At first I thought I would delete all that, because it feels quite somber. But, grief thrives in isolation- does it not?
Plus, I think it would be a disservice to Jody to not write of her, despite the vulnerable nature of grieving, both when we are sad from missing her or when we are happy and reliving the 15 years that she had with us here in sanctuary.
I’m a firm believer that it’s our responsibility to not only care for the individuals that call CSNW home, but to advocate for them and share their stories as far as we can. Jody was a remarkable person and the world is better off for knowing her and her story.
So, maybe, as we approach the first anniversary of her passing, it would be nice to share in some comfort & community. Share your favorite Jody stories in the comments below and let’s remember her, together.
Photos from today’s February-Spring-Day:
Annie, Missy, & Jamie looking out to Young’s Hill this morning after I gave them access:
Negra and Burrito, sharing a barrel during breakfast:
Gordo, enjoying the sunshine in the greenhouse:
Rayne, being absolutely perfect:
Terry during today’s lunch forage, running back with a mouth full of grapefruit: