Each and every one of us can recall losing someone or something in our lives that caused us much grieving. What controls how much or to what extent we grieve when something is taken from our lives? Jane Goodall discuses this topic in her essay Digging Up the Roots. She says, “the depth of our grief depends on the nature of the relationship that we had with what we have lost, not on who or what that person or thing actually was.” Depending on the situation we may grieve more over the loss of a cat or dog than that over the loss of a person in our lives. Goodall takes us on a trip through her life, explaining the relationships she has had with different animals in her life. She states that she has lost several dogs in her life which she deeply loved. After losing these ...view middle of the document...
They life their own life and do not necessarily need humans to survive. The chimpanzees do not show joy after a long absence of a human visitor as do dogs, cats, and other pets. Goodall closes her story with an interesting prospect that she has grieved more over the loss of the Gombe environment than that of the loss of the chimpanzees that lived there.
I thought that this was a very interesting essay. The level of truth that her writing carries is amazing. Not many times do I read a piece of writing like this and not totally disagree with what the author is writing. I was also able to directly relate to a great majority of the examples she used. I have lost a couple dogs myself in my life and still to this day find myself sad when I do something that I used to do with them. Even now having a new dog in my life, it is still just never the same as that childhood dog that help raise me through my younger years. I even find myself feeling grief for stray cats that quit coming around the farm or that I find dead somewhere. After feeding them and seeing them around every day, it is tough to know that they are gone.
At the same time, I have watched many loads of livestock walk off of the trailer at the sale barn knowing that within a few days they will no longer be living. I have fed these animals and cared to their health every day but they do not cause as much grief as my childhood dog. The livestock doesn’t sleep with me, sit on the couch with me, or chew up the furniture. They are a part of my life but they do not remain in my heart the same way that a dog does. We grieve over many things in our lives no matter how small or big of a role they have played in our lives however there will always be ones that cause us more long term morning than others.