Saying goodbye to a loved one is not an easy process, but memorialising them can be a helpful way to process grief. One Australian sheep farmer recently used his herds to express his feeling and sketch a special monument to his aunt across his fields in Gurya, New South Wales.
due to pandemic restrictions Ben Jackson could not attend his aunt Debby’s funeral who passed away after a two-year battle with cancer. However to find a way to grief, Jackson used his herds to created a sheep “heart” as an expression of love and grief.
The heartbroken Jackson was disappointed after he was unable to visit his aunt before she passed away and that he also couldn’t attend her funeral due to local pandemic travel restrictions. But seeing that he couldn’t attend the funeral in person, Jackson wanted to send a video message to her funeral in Brisbane. “At those times of grief, you feel really helpless, you don’t know what to do, what to say.”
Jackson thought it best to make use of his herds skills seeing that he had previously experimented with “shaping” the herds into the names of his favorite bands. He decided to form a heart design for his aunt.
Ben and a mob of singles organised a tribute to his Aunty pic.twitter.com/R33SuN6YoK— James Jackson (@guyrajack) August 24, 2021
You may wonder what his trick is. To shape the herd of ewes (many of whom are pregnant), he lays down grain in the shape or design. When the ewes are released they hungrily run to munch on the grains, which leads to them forming the desired shape. Jackson captured video of the feeding ewes from above using a drone as the heart appeared from the herd.
The video of the “sheep art” heart went viral in Australia and around the globe with the impressive and touching tribute speaking to many struggling with grief.
“It took me a few goes to get it right…and the final result is what you see…That was as close to a heart as I could get it. I just hope that when I did it, she was having a peep through the clouds and was able to see it.”