Ruthie died. I dislike the euphemisms surrounding mortality. She did not pass away, she did not cross over. Death is blunt. We who live on farms and work with animals come to know death well and learn to accept its inevitability. If one in our care is suffering, death may even be welcomed. Ruth did not suffer. All signs pointed to a very quick end for an aged goat. This is not to say, however, that I do not feel the pain of loss. Coming up short on the nose count hurts. That empty stall hurts. Not sitting with Ruth while she nibbles her way through her cereal hurts. My herd is smaller and my heart is heavier.
We have a wonderful ability to compartmentalize; it allows us to go on with our lives. Alone, it was necessary for me to deal with Ruth's body. Deb was due to arrive and I could not involve her gentle heart. In the past, I have had to ask for help and I know what distress it has caused others. You just do what needs to be done and get on with it.
Done with barn chores, it was great to look up and see my daughter's smiling face. We get so little one-on-one time, this was such a gift. Lunch did not turn out as we'd anticipated. I'd been given some fresh pork liver and I fixed bacon and onions, traditional side dishes. We found out why beef and calves' liver is sold at the grocery and not pork. It has an exceptionally strong flavor. Bacon and onions hardly constituted a meal, but some days are like that. Luckily (but hardly surprising) there was leftover pie to finish. Too soon, it was time for Deb to leave.
Linda will be here today!