On Whales, Dead things, and Happy endings

Last week we received a text informing us that a dead whale had been beached.  Normally we don’t run out to look at dead animals, but a whale is a different story.  Not often that one would get to see such an enormous, magnificent beauty in the wild, so we decided to go. 

People were streaming down the hill to get to the secluded area of the beach where the whale had been deposited by the surf.  This had happened once before in 2010.  We saw a baby humpback whale on Toti Beach, but that one had still been alive. (They later had to put it down, as it was too sick to get back out into the surf.)

This whale was huge and just as beautiful as we had imagined.  Even in its death.  Beauty.

It was sad though.  A wildlife official was there and told us that the whale was actually a “teenager” – only 6-7 years old.  There were no signs of damage to its body, so they believed it had died of a disease or of some kind of toxic substance ingested.  We watched as the surf tossed and turned this massive creature over and over.  People were climbing all over it and taking pictures.  It felt a bit wrong or insensitive to be treating this magnificent sea animal so flippantly, while if it had been alive still, we would have all been in awe and aware of our insignificance.

yet we joined in the crew of people gawking at this creature.  beauty in death.

Elise and Marae posing with whale

Elise and Marae posing with whale

By the next day, the whale had been decimated to pieces;  people coming with machetes and chain saws and cutting it up for meat, candle making, etc.  It was almost completely gone within 48 hours.

Death and dying sometimes makes us turn and look.

We, as humans, are naturally curious creatures.  I don’t believe it to be a bad part of our nature, as long as we remain conscientious of the feelings of those around us.

The post I was going to write today was about an elderly woman who has been abandoned by her family and is left alone all day with no food or water.  She is blind and an amputee.  We went to see her last week, and can only talk to her through the window, as her son locks her in the dilapidated hut they call home.  He locks her in, with no one to help her, no one to feed her, no one to answer her calls for assistance.  She soils herself and suffers from hunger and thirst all day. Alone.

When we visit, we talk to her through a window.

Jabu talking through her window

Jabu talking through her window

Last week I took pictures of her.  Pictures of her desperate state.  I was going to blog about her.  But as I was writing about the whale, and how wrong it felt to see people gawking, jumping, and treating this whale so nonchalantly, I realised I was wrong.  Wrong to “gawk” at this poor woman’s situation.  Wrong to capture it on film.  Insensitive to her feelings.  She used to walk strong and free.  She worked.  She birthed children. She laughed. She loved. She made mistakes. She lived.  Now she never leaves her mattress…  I don’t want her remembered for the state she is in now.

So I won’t post her pictures (none of them would have shown her face, but it still feels wrong.)

I will remember how she must of run and played as a child.  Just as that beautiful whale must have breached and played in the surf.

There is a hope coming though.  We have found a caregiver who is going to come and take care of the elderly woman.  We contacted a social worker who has required the son to pay the caregiver  for the time being, while the social worker looks for a home that can take her.

We hope to restore her dignity.

Not sure we can call it a happy ending but are praying she will receive the love and care each human being deserves.

Life isn’t easy, as my mom always told me.  Life isn’t fair.  Find things in life that make it worth living!  Most of those things come from giving to others.  Find ways to give.  Find ways to improve the lives of those around you.

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are — no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘carefull,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world — your mind and heart — put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.  Portion of the beatitudes from Matthew 5

God’s version of happy endings.


6 Responses to On Whales, Dead things, and Happy endings
  1. Teddy Jones Reply

    Once again your blog has moved me to tears. The lessons are so poignant and they come from a huge heart, a heart that is after God and His agenda, continue to spring hope

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks Teddy! Jabu was brought to tears many days standing outside this Gogo’s window…. as she called out for us to help her. It feels so good that we have finally been able to bring a solution to this horrible situation. Thanks for believing with us!

  2. Marian Reply

    Excellent post! Good to remind each of us to be sensitive to others. We will pray for this lady.

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks for your prayers, Mom!

  3. Lance Reply

    Quite the example of how the gates of Hell surrounding that woman’s house were taken down by Christ’s church to make way for His love. I need to be on the lookout for more gates that need removing.

    • Michelle Reply

      Lance, so lovely to have you commenting here on my blog! Thanks for being a big part of us being able to be here and work on behalf on women such as this. We are praying that she will feel the love of God through our efforts.

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