Is a mother's love unending?
As I mourn for and with the mother orca, Tahlequah, in the Pacific Northwest, who is risking her own life, desperately clinging to her calf a full two weeks after its premature death shortly after birth, it is apparent that her love is quite literally unending, as she is either unwilling to allow her child's life to end, because she believes her child is still alive, or she is unwilling to allow her mourning to end. Their story can be read via the link above.
As a fellow mother, I am suffering pangs of heartache, sorrow, and agony with and for her. I cannot fathom the depth of her grief, given the intensity of mine as a mere observer.
Tahlequah is giving all of herself for her calf's life. As mothers going about the daily work of motherhood, we can all relate to giving all we have so our own children survive and thrive. While most of us are not on the brink of literal death as we do so, sometimes it can feel as if motherhood is sucking the life out of us. And yet, we carry on. For our children. Because a mother's love is unending.
It is moments like this that remind me that a child is a gift. A child is an amazing gift. A child is the most precious gift. A gift to be cherished. A gift to be loved. Unending. When motherhood becomes challenging - and it does - we mothers need to summon everything we possess - physically, mentally, and emotionally - to press on to help our children survive and thrive. Mother orca is a role model for us all.
Death, the literal end of life, cannot end a mother's love for a child. In this time of sorrow, may we all allow our unending love for our own children to bring us joy - unending.
P.S. Baby orca, may you rest in peace, knowing your mother's love for you is unending. Mother Tahlequah, may you find peace, knowing your baby feels your love, and that the love you share will be unending.
author of "JOY"