Very Sad News from the Funny Farm today - Masquerade has passed this morning. She has graced this farm for 13 years and has taken a large part of my heart with her today. It is hard to put into words how this old gal was a cornerstone of my furry four legged family and she is already greatly missed. I have not stopped crying since I found her at 11:05 this morning and I do not think I will stop anytime soon.
The morning started as it always does with me making her soaked oatmeal and spinach because she had only one worn down tooth. She loved her oatmeal and I often sat with her while she ate. This morning was no different and she was in good spirits and wishing me to move faster to give her the food. I gave her the morning scratches around the neck, rubbed her horns and a kiss on the forhead. As I left the barn to continue my chores all was right with the world.
As I proceeded with my morning - answering emails, pulling sales and hoping for a shower this morning I decided I had earned another cup of coffee. As I looked out the kitchen window I notice all the goat girls who do not have babies running in circles outside the barn. This is never a good sign so I went downstairs and got on my boots and headed their way. They ran to the fence, crying all the way - another bad sign so I quicken my pace. As I got to the gate they just about ran me over - now I am very concerned so I ran to the barn door and as I crossed the doorway I could see Masquerade down and on her side. There sat Monica (Her baby from last year) right next to her Mom with a scared look in her eyes. I moved Monica aside because I had hoped Masquerade has just fallen and was having trouble getting up as she so often has done - no this was it - at 11:05 she had passed. As I slumped next to her the tears just exploded out of my eyes. Chief came running to comfort me - he is such a kind soul in the body of a Great Pry. He was trying to lick away the tears but they are just too many. As I sat with her, Chief and Monica each one of the goats came up to check her, then me and then stood in silence. I lost track of time for a bit as the goats all said their goodbyes. I then wrapped her in a blanket and started to carry her out.
Monica ran around my legs as if to say "Don't take her", so I put her down and scooped up Monica and placed her in the pen with Mishka. They could try and comfort each other for the loss of their mother - at least that is what I am hoping for.
As I proceeded out of the gate with Masquerade in my arms - Ebony came running as if to say one more goodbye. I must admit my heart cracked a bit more with Ebony giving her a soft touch on the nose. As I walked back to the house with her in my arms I could barely see thru the flood of tears. Now I am not much for crying - in fact I HATE IT but I just could not stop... It was like a flood gate opened and there was no way to damn it up.
Once reaching the house I got my scissors and gently lock by lock clipped the ringles from around her neck. Those perfectly formed ringlets that she loved for me to tickle and run my fingers thru each morning are now sitting in a box for the time being, awaiting the time when I can touch them without crying. I am not sure when that will be but time will heal the hurt.
After gathering my strength I carried her out to the forest and found just the right tree to set her under. At this farm when a soul has passed I return it to the flow that Mother Nature has put into place - for some this might be hard but I truely believe that to honor the animal and it's life you must return it to the way it was meant to be... I sat there for a bit saying my goodbyes and thanking her for all that she has brought to my life and I hope she felt her time with me was good as well. As I walked back to the house I noticed every animal was watching me walk back with a quite sadness that animals do show if you look. As I reached the house Kasha (for those who might not know she is my soul in the form of a female Great Pry) gave me a look and again I burst into tears. Her and I sat for a long time crying and hugging. She is my soul and it scares me to know that her time is not far away.. I really do not know how I will make it thru that but today I have her with me and she is my rock.
Now the way Grace can come to terms with sadness is to WORK - I mean get out there and work till you can not move. So, I started moving bales, cleaning up poop, stacking pallets and all the while crying my eyes out. Over the years I found this starts my mind, body and soul to remember the good times and to heal from the sad times. Some folks get drunk, others eat a pound of chocolate - I do outside hard physical WORK.
After about two hours of hard labor I was ready to sit down and tell you what happened. I know it is never easy to share this with folks. Most times I feel so guilty to make someone sad but I have also learned that if I share the hard times with you - then you will understand why the simple things in my life mean so much to me. I am blessed to have each day with these wonderful four legged family members. I am so honored to care for them, to get to create with their incredible fiber they with me and my customers, to share their births and now their deaths. When folks ask me "Why did you decide to do what you do"? - it is days like this that remind me why - it is those scratchs on the neck, those kisses on the head, the tons of poop I clean and hay I move are the moments that make my life worth living. Even in the passing of a dear sweet old gal such as Masquerade I am so honored to have had her in my life that I would not wish to be anywhere else but here - even at the end.
Love, Light and Peace go with you Masquerade - I will miss you.