Monday, February 20, 2012

The hardest thing

I had to dig my first grave yesterday.  Joey and I borrowed an extra shovel and together we dug a hole in the back of our pasture to bury our dear Phyllis in.

We tried everything we could think of to make her better, but both veterinarians we talked to told us that once sheep are down like that, they usually don't get back up.

There were a few times over the past few days when her eyes seemed brighter, her ears perked up, she licked the molasses block, and we held onto to a tiny amount of hope that she would get up.  But after five days, we had to put her out of her misery.

And so together we dug a hole.  And we talked about the hamsters we buried as kids.  And how our suburban upbringing did not prepare us for what we had to do.  And how this was the life we chose for ourselves, how we have to have a certain understanding of what goes into raising livestock.  We talked about how some people may think we are a couple of city kids playing pretend farmer, but what we were doing certainly wasn't a game.  We didn't want to stop digging.

What happened after we finished digging was the hardest thing we've ever done, together or alone.  We both cried as we shoveled the earth back into the hole.

I'm glad we did it together.  Neither one of us would have had the strength to do it alone.


  1. Oh Whit, I'm so sorry! I was completely hoping she would make some sort of miraculous recovery.

    But, at least you have Patrick around to keep the Phyllis legacy alive :)

  2. Yeah, I'm glad we have Patrick. And maybe he'll give us a lamb just like phyllis.

  3. Oh my heart aches for you. I know just how hard this is. I am so sorry.

  4. I'm sorry Whit. I'm glad you and Joey could both be there.

  5. Awww RIP P. My mom misses raising sheep especially this time of year. I was going to show her your pics of Patrick and it will make her happy.

  6. I'm so glad you and Joey had and have each other. I'm sorry to hear about Phyllis' death, but I'm glad you're bearing it well.