You will often hear us use the phrase ‘our sanctuary family.’ This isn’t something we use lightly; we feel we get to ‘know’ many of you through the stories you share and how you open your heart. Together we have built a home for elephants and welcomed them here to heal, to find joy, to love, and ultimately, to die. This journey creates a meaningful bond through the highs and the lows. A couple of days ago, we lost a very close member of our sanctuary family. She is not someone you would know from our mention, because she wasn’t the kind of person who wanted that kind of attention. There were a lot of details of her life she didn’t share with everyone, so out of respect for how she lived, we will continue to honor that in her passing.
What we will say is that she was sweet, quite charming, one of those people that brighten your day and somehow always remained positive. She generally didn’t share her own words because she felt others expressed theirs better. What she didn’t realize is that emotion leads to eloquence- when you speak from the heart, the words are always beautiful. What started as a casual acquaintance over molasses, became a friendship I truly enjoyed. She was extremely dedicated to the elephants and freely gave of her time to help GSE grow- setting goals and never failing to meet them- for the elephants. When Ramba was finally coming home, she said she lived her rescue, and she meant it.
One thing that brings us peace when elephants pass is that they seem to know it’s coming and seem to not only accept it but, at times, almost have an excitement about it. They say goodbye to friends in private individual moments, become lighter, more rumbly, come closer to their humans as if also trying to let them know. There is a grace to their death that makes it all a little easier. Our wish for our dear friend was that her last moments were filled with the same love, wholeness, and accepting. And maybe that she was welcomed with a rumble or two. We will miss her, we are grateful to have known her, and the elephants were blessed that she shared such a big piece of her heart with them.
Photo in her honor- sweet Ramba with her gremlin ears- her itchy scratchy belly ears.