I watched a bumblebee struggle for some of its last moments today.
It seemed as if she (I checked the internet to verify the little creature’s sex for purposes of narration) had run out of the energy required for flying; she was still trying to make it across the driveway on foot. I stepped inside for a moment, and when I returned, I saw a bird quickly fly away from where I had just seen the bee. Checking to see if my new acquaintance had just been eaten, I found her lying on her back, legs and stinger frantically moving. I could not tell if she was trying to defend or right herself, but I am fairly certain the struggle I was witnessing was to stay alive for whatever purpose was ingrained in her mind (or genes).
Death was imminent in this moment. I questioned the struggle with reason; if the bee is dead in two minutes either way, why does it matter for her to defend herself? Does she know she is going to die? Is she in pain? Conventional wisdom says that if an animal is mortally wounded and in pain, to “put it out of its misery.”
I felt that ending this bumblebee’s perceived physical life, however humane the method, would cheapen its experience of death – that my intervention was unwarranted, no matter the impending result of this moment. This moment was sacred, and I did not want to impose man’s self-entitled authority in applying his pseudo-knowledge toward improving creation and diluting the honesty of life. The earth has had enough of that.
She’s dead now. Whatever that means. As is the inevitable end (so we’ve come to expect) for all of us, whatever life force existed in that body is gone – and the body will soon be gone. Unless something supernatural happens, each one of us has to face the veil of life’s end. We will struggle and feel pain in this life, and our last struggle will end in surrender. I feel the conviction to confront this moment in an honest and authentic way, as it is our last experience before we finally pass into the unknown.
There is freedom in surrender, even in the presence of pain.
I do not know where she has gone, but that bumblebee put up a rowdy fight for life today.
صلى الله عليه لها