Road Kill?

Margo, don’t read this post.

I am still processing and assimilating the changes and shifts from my Uluru Wellness Adventure. Insights will start to come through over the next couple of days, I am sure.

However, after we left Barcaldine on Sunday, we realized we needed to go back to get some petrol. It is funny the way events become connected throughout our lives. A Sliding Doors moment; if we had risked it and kept moving forward, this would not have impacted our lives. It was the only sour moment of the entire trip.

As we left Barcaldine for the second time, an oncoming vehicle hit a kangaroo and left it lying, anguished, in the middle of the lane.

We are animal lovers. Our animals are worshipped like gods and spoiled rotten. This scenario was only a notch down from us hitting the roo ourselves; the only aspect to reduce the trauma we both felt.

We stopped. We leapt from the car. Two city girls with no idea what to do, but with an urgency to do something for this defeated animal.

I instantly put my hands up, sending energy, speaking in soothing tones, as I approached slowly. Blood was pooling in the roo’s mouth and dripping from the side, its left leg immobile under a shaking body. Margo was shielding the roo from potential oncoming traffic.

We knew we needed to move the roo from the road. In truth, we knew we needed to euthanize the roo; a kangaroo with a broken leg cannot survive the pecking crows and vulturistic hawks always lying in wait of road kill.

Thankfully, a car with P plates pulled over. The young girl asked me the condition of the roo and then told her male friend to get his knife.

My heart stopped: would I be able to witness this. Did I love animals sincerely enough to be able to put one out of its torment and honour its life with a humane death?

The young male pulled the roo, by the tail, from the road, out of the path of oncoming traffic and a sure squashing. Another car pulled up and looked at the roo, he told us there was no hope of survival and it was kinder to kill it. At this point, I thought that was under control. He left.

The girl was pregnant, and decided she could not slit its throats in case the roo attacked her. Their attacks can be lethal, this much I know. Her friend said he had never used a knife and didn’t feel confident that he could do it without causing more pain and anguish.

I could not do it because I did not know how. I also could not wring its neck because I did not know how. I have been carrying guilt about not being able to euthanize the roo.

I have focused on the benefits and drawbacks for every aspect of this situation, and have been dissolving the charge as much as I can. Quite clinically, I have appraised what was realistic and what was not. I feel that I am mostly at peace with it.

Road kill is inevitable in the outback. I was surprised that with over 7000 kilometers travelled in a Hyundai i30 we did not come close to hitting an animal. This was the closest.

I have always said a ‘prayer’ for the souls of road kill that I have seen on the side of the road; in the last two weeks I think I have said more prayers than I ever thought would be possible. Seeing an animal in their last moments of life on the side of the road humanises the experience to a much deeper level.

It really forces you to confront who you are.

It would have been hard to watch the roo die, but I think it was harder to leave it partially alive. I sent it healing until I felt it had passed. It took about twenty five minutes, maybe a bit longer. My energy and my mind were with it. I thought helping Harry was hard; this was next level.

When you see so much road kill, it is easy to become desensitized. But, what I know for sure, is that every being deserves to live and die humanely, being honoured for their service during this lifetime, and nobody deserves to die alone.

I still feel a little guilt. I wish I had known how to humanely kill the roo. But I didn’t know how. The drawback to trying would be the infliction of more trauma. Epiphany. Just now.

Last year, when the investigation was finally over, an early investigator wrote in their report that I was “self-serving”. This has stayed with me. Self-serving strongly suggests to me that I gave no thought to the implications of my actions for others, and this was so not true. I think I became paralyzed because I was thinking of others.

This was my test. This was my chance to dissolve that charge. Self-serving, in this case, would have been to try to kill the roo so that I could assuage my guilt. Thinking logically, this would have caused more trauma to the roo.

There are times when I am self-serving. That’s not a bad thing. There are times when it is vital to be self-serving, and there is nothing wrong with that. This was not one of those times, and the action that resulted in the investigation was also not one of those times.

I was not self-serving. I was terrified.

But, I have grown and I have learned since then.

I was calm in the face of this situation. I did what I could do. And, that’s enough.

I am no longer the abused child living from a place of fear. I am a strong woman living from a place of love.

I am grateful and I am blessed.

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