“If you could only know, I never let you go. And the words I most regret are the words I never meant to leave unsaid, Emily.” -Julie and the Phantoms
This upcoming week is always the hardest week of the year for me, no matter what I do. Maybe it’s just the fact that suddenly it’s been seven years without me realizing it, or just because it’s another year without Eclipse being here on her birthday which used to be my one happy day during this extremely hard week, or just it being 2020 in general, but I haven’t been able to get Hazelnut out of my head for weeks. Maybe it’s just everything in general.
I know that they say even when we lose someone, we never really lose them. I know that that might sound cliche, but I also know that it’s true. I also think it hits harder every so often. Grief isn’t something that one can control. Even if it has been seven years, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still hurt. It doesn’t mean that every time I think about that night I still find myself on the borderline of having a panic attack. It doesn’t help that only a few days ago I realized the only solid memory I have left is that night. It’s the one thing that I don’t want to remember, and yet it’s the only thing left.
I know to some people it might seem weird to be this emotional about a cow, especially after seven years. That’s the thing about being a farmer, especially for me. There are people in the world who only see farmers as heartless because they do not understand that everything we do is actually taking care of our cows. For me, every cow that I own that I brought with me to the county fair and every cow that came after has a connection. Especially when something so tragic occurs; something that no normal fourteen year old should have to see or ever see, and it changes the course of my life forever.
I’ve lost other cows since Hazelnut, and for a very long time I haven’t known which one was the worst. But every year, I always dread the days and weeks leading up to Halloween. I still have nightmares and panic attacks almost every time I think about it. That doesn’t go away.
Sometimes the tragic things in our lives change us. But, we can always chose to let it make us better. That’s something that I put into my senior comprehensive project that I’m working on as I close in on my final few weeks of being a college student.
I think that more than anything has made me reflect on things that have happened in my past, since another thing is coming so close to ending around the same time that Hazelnut did.
Tragedy hurts. Seven years later, it can still hurt. That’s what love is. Sometimes you love someone or something so much that you never let it go. Even if it’s a cow.