By now I’m sure just about everyone has seen this story :
On July 24 this mother orca gave birth to her calf, and it didn’t survive. For over 2 weeks now the mother has been carrying her baby, not letting him sink. As she swims, her pod sometimes takes turns bringing the calf to the surface and they are bringing her food. This mother carrying her baby around is a visible sign that she is grieving and people are saddened and fascinated by it.
As a human grieving mom, I’m noticing some things about how similar this is to my journey and the journey of so many. At first that horrible sadness is ok to others. It is widely accepted and even expected. Grieving parents will be sad. But what is happening now is the news articles about this orca are shifting. It has gone from acceptable to concern and talk about intervening. Clearly people are starting to think her mourning is just not OK. Clearly she needs to eat. There is an undercurrent that seems to be saying she is not well. She needs to move on. This sadness is not acceptable. We must FIX this! The irony of this is that people don’t seem to realize that intervening or removing the calf will not fix this. Sure on the surface we won’t see such an outward sign of her sadness. But inside? She will still feel the same. In her heart she will still be carrying the weight of her baby who is gone.