The terrible grief of the Emperor Penguins

Posted in SharonSpeak on January 27th, 2011 by Sharon Feinstein

The sight of a person suffering terrible grief is an agonising thing. And most heart wrenching of all is when it is a parent mourning the loss of his or her child. In this case it’s the sight of hundreds of Emperor Penguins lying prostrate on the icy tundra of the Antarctic, a picture of terrible, pathetic misery as they mourn the untimely deaths of their chicks.
A brave photographer has captured the image of these majestic and highly emotional creatures in their tragic act of mass mourning on the Riiser Larsen Ice Shelf in Antarctica. They are all hunched over, shiny black bodies on the frozen white ice in a state of abject grief and bewilderment, some just wandering around the bleak landscape desperately trying to locate their chicks, trying to ward off the inevitable.The photographer felt it was difficult to say how and why the chicks had died, but that he’d been told by scientists that it was not unheard of. Weather, starvation, can cause this kind of pitiful, calamitous event. Looking at the terrible scene of a future generation of penguins wiped out and the total shock and horror of their parents, I was reminded of those lines which I once read and have never forgotten ——When a parent dies, you lose your past. When a child dies, you lose your future