Love and Loss



Tom B (Year 12)

 My heart screams with a voice of rage. A voice of agony. I can’t understand why the world would strike at me again, taking away what I love most. I just can’t understand. 




The sweet, lulling aroma of lively foliage danced through the fields, a graceful morning awakening to my tired soul. Home. I too danced, brushing Sally’s beautiful mane, feeding Tom’s four hungry stomachs, and taking in the peaceful, comforting feeling of uncut grass brushing up against my leg.  


But nothing could surpass my love for my best friend, Sam. 


Sam was a gift to me from my mother, just before she passed. It was nearly my seventh birthday, and yet, I was too young to realise what was actually happening. But as I watched Dad spend more and more time away from home, and waited longer and longer for Mum to “be okay”, and return from the hospital, I began to realise she wouldn’t be coming back. 


I vividly remember one night, laying on the patio with Sam. The night sky above mirrored the deep beauty of his fur, an artful canvas of love and loyalty. Crisp night air settled on my tongue; a taste so serene it seemed fantastical. I spoke to Sam that night, told him everything I was feeling, the highs and lows. He didn’t reply, but I knew he was listening. I just knew. And as we spent the night there, I felt something that I hadn’t felt in a long time, since Mum left. True, unconditional love. 


As time went on, I began to understand that she chose Sam to teach me the lessons she couldn’t teach me. His soft, furry coat showed me the comfort and safety found in a warm embrace. His short, stubby tail was like that of a fuse, a reminder that life is short. It can explode into chaos at any moment. And his beautiful horns, arched back like palms in the wind, showed me time and time again that nothing, no matter how strong, can hurt you if it is left behind you.  


Part of me believes that Sam was actually Mum like she had been granted a wish by God to come back to Earth and speak to her child. Another part of me tells me I’m crazy, and that Sam was just a goat, given to me for no other reason than to relieve the emptiness of a maternal void. Then there’s a really small part of me that doesn’t care. Being with Sam made me feel like I was dancing on a white fluffy cloud of safety, and that was all I needed in a world where part of that feeling was taken away from me.  


I remember Mum always used to say that the goat was her favourite animal. She thought they were so peaceful, happy, and relentlessly loving, and I don’t think this could apply any more to Sam. He was my light in every darkness, the rose on every thorn, the smile on every frown from my childhood. Sam, if you’re watching me now, I want you to know I love you, and I’ll never forget you, as long as I live.  




A tear rolls down the side of my face as I close the screen in front of me, waving goodbye to a time capsule of emotion from my younger self. I gaze up, closing my eyes as the distant tinkles of wind chimes echo from the corner of the patio. A whispering breeze speaks words of comfort to my fearful mind, a love letter from Death to remind me that all is well, even in loss.   


“You ready?” Dan’s calm voice comforts me as he places his hands on my shoulders.  


It seems funny to have a funeral for an animal, doesn’t it? I can’t really mention any conversations we had, or the funny things he did at Dan and my wedding, or the holidays we’ve been on together, but, funnily enough, I still feel the same way I did when I realised Mum was gone.  






It was as if my mother’s love had been matched.