As humans, we all go throw the cycle of life and death. Losing someone dear to you feels like the hardest thing in the world. To have someone so familiar abruptly taken away from you without a proper goodbye. For some of us, it feels like we will never get over this loss. The grieving process differs for each and every one of us. But one thing is for certain, it is good to grieve. Grieving is so important, that studies are showing that even certain animals grieve. One of the most documented evidence of this is in elephants.
We can not only harvest these positive strengths from the elephant but also learn from this gentle giant on the importance of grieving. At the end of the day, we will find out why many people invest in elephant cremation urns.
Grief is arguably the most painful thing in the world. However, it is good to grief. Whether it is curling up into a ball, listening to past stories of your loved one to reminisce the good old days, or even something as simple as choosing a good home for your loved one in the form of an urn.
Grieve is important in making us stronger and better prepared for the many challenges of life. At the same time, grief is also good for our mental health. When we grieve, it forces us to come to terms with our own mortality. It unlocks deep questions in our psyche that can help us to grow in terms of empathy and even spirituality. Grief will teach you acceptance, an appreciation of just how precious life is, maturity, empathy, responsibility, and resilience to cope with even worse troubles.
Humans and elephants
Countless studies have been done on elephants, revealing that these animals have personalities similar to our own human behaviour. Elephants have friends and hobbies that keep them happy, so does us, humans. And when one of their own dies, these gentle animals carry out what looks like rituals to mourn their dead. Surprisingly, these rituals were fairly similar to our own human traditions.
Different cultures and religions have different ways of mourning. For Catholics, they come together in the presence of the deceased to celebrate his or her ascension into heaven. In Jewish traditions, a member of a group stays with the body of the deceased until he or she is buried. Passages from the book of Psalms are chanted from day to night. These are only some examples of our human traditions. For every different tradition, we have different methods of grieving.
Eleanor the elephant
Surprisingly, elephants have also been studied to display what looks like a grieving ritual. On October 10th, 2003, a researcher witnessed a sad but remarkable site. A female elephant named Eleanor collapsed. The researcher noted that Eleanor looked worse for wear with her tusks broken, and evidence of a recent fall. From a different group, another female elephant called Grace came galloping towards Eleanor, trying to heave Eleanor back onto her feet. Unfortunately, Eleanor was too weak and eventually died the following morning. Grace remained by her side throughout the whole night.
To the researcher’s surprise, groups of elephants came to visit Eleanor’s carcass. According to the researcher, these groups were from a different social group. And yet, they seem to be paying respects to Eleanor. This spanned a couple of days, with elephants of different social groups coming to ‘pay respects’ to the Eleanor. The elephants sniffed and poked the carcass with their trunks and feet. Although other wild animals already have begun taking over the carcass, groups of elephants still remained only a few hundred metres away.
Why an elephant urn is a good home for your loved one
Choosing an urn is an emotional decision, but it also a way in which us humans grieve. To find a suitable forever home for our loved ones, and to get some sense of closure.
Elephant cremation urns like the ones from Green Meadow Memorials are a popular choice due to its rich symbolism. It captures all the array of heart-warming emotions and feelings for our loved one. At the same time, it also symbolises empathy, wisdom, love, and family.
While elephants are one of the largest mammals on earth, they are also the most empathetic and gentle. And from what we have learned, they care for their deceased loved ones as much as we do. They mourn for their loved ones, just like we do too.
Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.