“Let Us Be The Whale”–A Grieving Mother’s Request


This summer’s story of the orca whale grieving her calf evoked powerful emotions in the humans who watched her.  People everywhere are marveling at the innate connection that this whale has with her offspring.  It is nature in its most pure and simple form.  I agree.

As a grieving mother, my heart bursts forward at the sight of this brave mama demonstrating her incredible love for the baby she has lost.  I relate to this mama whale so deeply and I am not alone in my response.  It seems when animals display such “human” emotions, humans are capable of such empathy.

I wish it was in our instincts to regard other humans who grieve with such compassion and empathy.

I love that we have an ability to connect with animals, but I have witnessed so many humans held in disregard when they try to openly grieve the child they have lost.   When a mother continues to discuss her stillborn child or a father mentions the child he lost by name, people respond by shrinking back.  We avert our gaze in discomfort when we should be opening our eyes to the bravery of such love.

So, while reading the reactions of those so touched by this mama whale and her incredible love, I had a thought–let us be the whale.

Let us be the whale.

Honor us as we carry our babies after they are gone. Marvel at our commitment to them. Take notice of our grief.

Let us be the whale.

Recognize that we are acting on our instincts. Acknowledge the bond between parent and child. Stand in awe of the powerful ties that nature creates.

Let us be the whale.

Allow the beauty of our mourning to wash over you. Regard us with the same wonder. Bask in the majesty of our love.

Let us be the whale. 

Photo by Chiara Cecchinato


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