Moving in the World with Death...

I had a difficult day yesterday so I went for a walk on the beach when I had an opportunity. Edgar Allen Crow died a few hours after his most recent appointment with Birds Acre and I found out that Terry, Bug's first in home helper just died of cirrhosis of the liver. The last 8-10 months have really had a lot of death filling them. Even though the fox has been unable to steal a chicken, they are old and slowly dying. My friend Sarah Drew passed away on Easter and my grandmother Jocelyn Carlile passed away last Halloween. We have had a goose die, a few pet rodents, and now a raven that we felt so confident of his recovery.

So I went for a walk on the beach to try and allow my mind to focus on the good and allow myself to grieve for the difficulties and emotions that I had filling my brain. One thing seemed very clear while I was slowly walking along the water line – death was there too. Everywhere I looked, I seemed to see a deceased baby crab.

It was so painful to see such a small creature- so tiny and beautiful – lying still with the sun bleaching its shell.

The shells were empty- even the ones that were not broken- which most of them were not broken. It looked as if a hand had just put the crab down and they peacefully died.

Some were in different levels of bleaching- from the very soft fragile and white newly deceased crabs to the hard, crackly and even more fragile orange shells.

While I found myself crying thinking about everything. I found myself feeling so joyful. Death is so temporary. It seems so fearful because we as human beings do not understand it. But looking at these small creatures, I mourned them and my other griefs while feeling the security and certainty knowing that Heavenly Father knows all. Not one of these crabs died without his knowledge. Every one of my griefs and sorrows is known.

Sometimes, life is more certain and beautiful than we realize. Even in death, there is beauty and peace.


  1. Beautiful thoughts, Badgerdown. I'm glad you posted on my blog so I would get the chance to read them. Death is something I'm still trying to understand, and I wonder if we as humans can ever fully comprehend it. It has been a heavy year in terms of facing death for me too. I really appreciate the thoughtfulness and compassion with which you approach the subject and I am sorry for all the loved ones you've had to part with.

    Thanks for the advice too (I'm actually moving to another neighborhood this weekend, so oh well :) )

  2. I am so sorry that you will be moving and I do hope that your move will go as smoothly as possible- with lots of friends close by to help with the lifting! :-) My son would tell me to tell you that maybe another door of blessings 'with a great deal of butter on them'* is about to be opened.

    Death is really hard and I am so sorry to hear that you have been touched a bit by it this year as well. I feel almost morbid as my thoughts have kept drifting to it and I look at my friends and my farm and my family and wonder who is next- then I try to shake that silly thought out!

    I have actually commented on your blog in the past, but I never commented with my blog attached before. I found your blog three years ago after some prayer on ways to possibly feel less isolated. I was having big trouble at church with how members felt about my choices and my liberal thoughts. I thought about it throughout the day and decided maybe I should check out some blogs and see if maybe I would feel less alone if I saw others were haveing the same problems. I went o Google and typed in 'liberal mormon feminist'. A post from your blog was three down on the list and as I read it I was just so astonished. Here was a post that said exactly how I felt about a particular situation in a rather coherent way. I put your blog in my Google Reader and have follows it ever since. Last night i realized though that I was given you advice to stick your neck out and I had been very careful to keep my neck in my shell. So I figured I would take the same advice that I gave you :)

    Thanks for posting. You totally made my Sabbath morning!

  3. Sorry, I forgot to tell you what my son's comment meant. He has decided that there are degrees of goodness - not the best way to describe that. A book series he reads that is written by Kate Dicamillo has a character named Mercy who believes that the best thing in the world is toast 'with a great deal of butter on it'. My son has decided that the best blessings are those 'with a great deal of butter on them'. We get quite a kick out of it and I have started to look at some blessings and experiences that way as well. Hope that was a decent explanation.