I’m probably in a slightly vulnerable emotional state right now. Frank and I just did a three episode marathon of the final three episodes of the first season of Dexter so I’m a bit off-kilter. Not that the show is bad – it’s just intense! Jaw-dropping, awesome, insanely intense. Frank’s wondering if it’s why I chose a very blood-like red as an accent wall in our new living room, and he’s also wondering if, thanks to the show, if he’ll be able to live with it. Anyway, if you’re inclined to watch a show about a lovable serial killer (and do I mean lovable, ooh I want to do naughty things to Michael C. Hall and heck, while I’m at it, Sgt. Doakes too!) you should check it out.
So where was I? Oh, fragile state, blah blah. We just finished watching the shows, and since I’m a little ramped up thanks to them, I thought I’d read a bit of news. (Warning, this is not for the sensitive of heart. I’m looking your way, BeThisWay.) And then I came across this bit of news at CNN.com and I nearly lost it. I’ll sum it up: gorilla in zoo has baby, baby dies, mama gorilla won’t let go of dead baby gorilla and is still carrying him around days later.
It is stuff like this that just highlights for me how little difference there is between us humans and other animals. And this isn’t anthropomorphizing, in my opinion — this mom is mourning her child. It’s surely the early stages — anyone who knows anything about mourning knows that the first stage is denial, and sometimes it lasts awhile. Elephants mourn their dead, as well. They will come across bones as the herd travels, and will caress and move the bones. And then this story about a dolphin… just so sad, and so easy to relate to. I think it’s inaccurate to say that animals are like us, because it implies we are the species that sets the bar. Rather, we are no different than any other higher-order species. At least where matters of the heart are concerned.