Something I had to do…


Whilst it could never be described as a panic attack, it was more of a heightened sense of anxiety that would swell, threaten to engulf me and then subside as quickly as it sprang forth.  For several months now something has been eating away at me, causing me to move uncomfortably in my thoughts and distracting me throughout my days.  It has been tugging at my conscience, waking me at night (when I do manage to catch a few hours’ sleep) and building to make me more anxious each day; because there was just something I knew I had to do.  For some time I have been able to keep this nagging feeling at bay, knowing all was well but with the imminent sale of my old farm, Edgar’s Mission Mark 1, crunch time was nigh.  Because I knew full well that once I closed that front gate for the last time, there would be no way of going back.  No way of ever again stealing a silent moment under a starlit sky, taking in the wonder of the universe and seeing the crystal clarity of just what I need to do in the company of my Edgar.

Of course I know he will always be with me in spirit but the heartache of knowing that his bones would remain there in the ground, to be walked over each day by hearts that never knew of, or even cared about his glory, was too much for me ever to rest in comfort.  And the horror I would feel if I were to one day learn that the ground in which my buddy had been laid to rest had been dug up, and his bones tossed aside as garbage. And so I knew just what I had to do, my only challenge was how.

My task was not so much as taking the monkey off my back, but rather getting the pig out of the ground.  A none too pleasant a task indeed and most certainly one I could not do alone.  But I was fortunate enough to learn that there was another who too had kept counsel with a wise pig they had loved so dearly, and she too was quietly pondering just what I would do.  Echoing my angst of leaving my Edgar behind, this kind heart enlisted the support and skills of her dear husband and together we set a date to bring Eddy home.

As the digging arm unearthed the lime under which Edgar had been gently placed, we knew we had hit the right spot. Then with the dexterous care reserved for an archaeological dig, the first bone was unearthed.  My smile hit the moon as into my outstretched hand the first ‘artefact’ was placed along with the words, “He’s watching you, you know.”  Of course I knew this, Edgar would always be watching over me. “Do you know what bone this is?” the kindly voice asked.  I guess my puzzled looked showed I hadn’t fully comprehended the gravity of the find. “It’s his eye socket.”  Do you believe in signs? I have never been sure, but the pendulum certainly tipped in favour of ‘yes’ on this occasion.  I don’t think I will ever be able to convey just how I felt at that point in time, but the words relief, triumph, unity, calm and love would have to be in there.

I will forever hold tight many memories in my life and that moment will be right up there with the best of them.  Not long thereafter Edgar’s body was fully exhumed and placed in the wooden box that had been lovingly crafted for him. While he will fly forever more in my heart, he now rests in peace under a big gum tree at the entrance to our new farm here in Lancefield, doing what he always did best, sleeping peacefully.  Every day as I pass this spot I cannot help but smile, knowing my life is once again complete.  Whilst I knew this was something I had to do I had no idea of just how much it would mean to me.

I know there will be those who struggle to come to terms with why I did just what I did, for they are after all ‘just a bunch of bones’ but they are his bones.  His magnificent bones, the mechanics of my friend, my confidant and my pig, and I think in this life there are some things we do that need no justification, simply because they are the right thing to do.  My actions stand as a final act of respect and love.  In seeing the flowers that have already been laid on his grave I am reminded that Edgar will always be larger than life, he will always mean so much to so many and love will always inspire us to be the best we can be.   And so to those who still scratch their head and look at me in wonderment as to why I bothered, I know that to put the building blocks in place to explain all this would take an eternity and if indeed I needed explain I know the asker would never understand. So instead I will smile and say only this, “It’s just something I had to do…”

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92 thoughts on “Something I had to do…

    • lovely story it something I think about all the time as I have only had cats and dogs all my life they mean more to me then humans until I lived in the country 10 years ago now I think of all the pets I had that are buried in all the homes I have lived I hoped that they are still where I left them I have let new owners where they are and most say they will not disturb them It must have been hard to start what you have done but I wish I was as brave god bless you for your caring heart Karren

  1. I can entirely sympathize and empathize with your worries about Edgar’s bones being left behind. It would be the same as leaving him behind were he still with us. I am so glad you were able to move him to your…his…new home.

  2. I totally get it Pam – I guessed before you revealed in your story what you were up to. It brought tears to my eyes – what a lovely gift you have given Edgar – a new home and daily recognition of his mission.

  3. So beautiful, tears and a smile were on my face when I read this as I too know what it is like to miss my best friends who were animals when present on earth. The love you share for Edgar is truly beautiful and omething only some lucky people experience. I wish you the best wishes with your farm.

  4. I would have done exactly the same thing. How can you feel complete when you have left your soul mate behind. I’m sure Edgar is happy relaxing in his new spot greeting all those that come each day.

  5. It is wonderful that Edgar is once again home with you. You have definitely done the right thing Pam. Things must feel very complete around the farm now. I am sure many good things will happen.

  6. You’ve broken me up Pam.. just as I am about to lead 50 journalism students in a tutorial. Big sook lecturer, they’ll be saying. Glad he’s home forever. Phil & Jac

  7. You followed your heart, just as it should be. After all, Edgar was the start of a big change in your life so he deserves nothing but the best care, whether in body or spirit.

  8. Oh Pam, stop making me happy and sad, and happy and sad, and happy again! Very special people do the very special things that you do. It gives me some relief to know that there are some very happy animals in this country, thanks to you.

  9. I am so glad you brought him home, I understand what it means to lose something so precious and maybe have to leave behind. You are a wonderful person Pam and I would have done the same. Now you are at peace and he is always close by, more than you know. I do believe they check on us from time to time and I also believe we will get back all those animals that we loved that also loved us. They are running, swimming, having fun in the fields, rolling in the hay, playing in the mud without any pain and will be waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.

  10. I’m glad you fetched him. It would only be Edgar’s Mission in name with Edgar somewhere else. Now your new sanctuary is complete. And yes, there are signs all around us every day, if we choose to pay attention.

  11. Of course he had to come. There was no other choice for you. You always make me cry – damn you! You’ve done the right thing.

  12. Pam, you made me cry. I would feel exactly the same knowing the bones of my beloved piggy were no longer with me. You’re right that you need no justification for what you did. Just know that there are so many people with the same sensitive breakable heart for the animals as you, that more than completely ‘get it’. My life’s dream is to be doing exactly what you’re doing now. I hope one day I get to achieve my dream. Thank you for what you do. xoxo

  13. He obviously sent you the message that he wanted to move with everyone else, to the new beginning. It will make Lancefield complete.

  14. Pam for someone I have never actually met, you make me cry regularly!
    Taking the time and care to take ‘Eddies’ bones with you is so gorgeous.. it’s perfect!
    I, once again, cried whilst reading the much anticapated emails from Edgar’s Mission this month but this time my heart broke for you Pam, not an animal as per usual.
    I, for one, am extreemly glad you reclaimed the bones of that beautiful pig, he should always be with you.. (I know he is in spirit and bones are no longer required by him, but for you they mean everything and should therefor be claimed to stay with you.)
    Well Done Sweetie.
    My hopes and thoughts and endless love to you and each and every animal in your care, not to mention the brilliant volunteers as well.
    Please give Hope and extra scratch from me, her Buddy,
    Janice :-)

  15. Every time I read something that you write Pam I normally smile along with you but sometimes some of the things you need to do truly brings me to tears especially the things you have just done because I too would be feel exactly the same. As you so rightly say now every time you come and go you can rest in the knowledge that Edgar is with you.

  16. Love you Pam & All At Edgar’s Mission.
    Animals are on my mind 24/7, i can not switch it off.
    Every nite i stand outside and look at the stars & i talk to all Animals world wide, i see every star as a billion Animals that have suffered & died that day & i apologize to all of them for how horrible their lives were here on earth & that it should never have been this way, so sorry for all their pain & suffering they had to endure at the hands of greedy, evil people with no morals, i ask why & how can people be so cruel, i will never understand it. My heart is broken everyday for the way Animals are treated, it really drives me to despair, it’s the only thing that upsets my life tremendously, some how i keep going & the only thing that does keep me going is knowing that so Many Animals are saved from savage hands by so many Great Animal Charities & Edgar’s Mission is one of the BEST Animal Sanctuaries in the world, to see used, abused, sad, scareded Animals transformed to beautiful, happy, healthy beings just makes my day & helps me try to be more positive. Animals are my life & always will be. I love them all to pieces. xxxx

  17. Pam, as the catalyst for, and co-founding member of Edgar’s Mission, it is right and natural that dear Edgar sleeps at and oversees Edgar’s Mission Mark 2. When you listen to your heart, you cannot go wrong! Good on you for doing what you knew in your heart was right, and not worrying about what ‘those who see things differently’ would think! You are my hero!

  18. OF COURSE you had to do that Pam!! How could you not? With a few tears I read this about Edgar – after all, he started it all and deserves a place of honour in your beautiful new sanctuary.
    WELCOME HOME Edgar – this is where you belong with the beautiful woman who saved you!
    love to you all – Lia

  19. It is a no brainer, anyone with pets will feel the same. I just moved and the same thought was in my mind and may will hunt me for long time to come.
    People may argue what’s right or wrong but love is unconditional and it’s what you feel is right which matters.
    Keep up the good work, the world needs more good souls like you.

  20. Pam I am glad you knew what to do with the very special remains of Edgar. In the past I have had similar experience and saved the bones of little loved dogs. I had made a plan before burying my dear Babbie. His body was placed in a canvas or cotton cloth bag and buried in the ground, I knew just where it was. After some months when the small body had become much less I gathered up the remains in the bag. The cremation was done in something like a big old kerosene tin or drum in my back garden. When all was reduced to ashes I was able to find all the little bones – I had never realized how small and delicate were those bones. And now much later two decorative sealed tins serve as urns for the remains of two precious little souls.

  21. Your truly my hero. You are such an amazing and beautiful soul.
    Thank you so much for what you do everyday. Never change.

  22. Dearest Pam – Well done my love. All animals lovers would understand and those who don’t – I just feel sorry for. Edgar is where he belongs with you again and it must give you such comfort and happiness to have him there. Afterall it all started with him and he should be with you at Lancefield. Wishing you both many happy years together. RIP Edgar.

  23. Totally understand, Pam….my two horses are at a “resting place” near Windsor and not on my property, which will one day become a sports complex when Council action their developments plans. I could not bear the thought of them being disturbed either :)

  24. I understand perfectly. My beloved cat is buried in my backyard, in front of a large window from which I can daily look at her patch of grass and talk to her. She was my companion for many years, waiting patiently for me to finish my work at the computer so I could sit and provide her with the lap she was so fond of. There was a look of ancient wisdom in her eyes that made her different from other cats I have had in my life – she seemed to understand how I felt, and helped me through some stormy times. Your Edgar surely knows he is loved still.

  25. What a beautiful story- From reading all these comments you have many kindred spirits including me- i keep tearing up when i think about it! I hope you and Edgar and the rest of your loved ones are very happy at Lancefield XXX

  26. Pam, your story about Edgar brings a different worry to the forefront of my thoughts. Where is Frostie buried? I hope he is there in your new forever home!

  27. Pam you are an amazing person and show it in your actions towards every animal you meet.I am so happy Edgar is with you all and can be a guardian angel at the new property.Thankyou to everyone at Edgars Mission who makes this world a paradise for the animals to live in as their start in life was difficult.My thoughts and prayers are with you

  28. Dearest Pam you are the most beautiful person I ever met in my life and so long ago you have changed my life without saying a word. What you have done for Edgar is for all of us who love your beloved EDGAR’S MISSION love always Anka & Ivan

  29. Of course you had to do this, Pam… I understand full well why you did what you did. Edgar belongs at the mission named in his honor. He belongs there with you. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing, and God bless…

  30. I should know to have tissues close whenever I read what you’ve written, Pam. You absolutely did the right thing. How wonderful that he’ll be able to scrutinise everyone who passes through the new gates.

  31. You are a beautiful lady……..I read with tears, as I can fully understand you……may you be blessed with a long and healthy life…..thank you for all you and your caring helpers do everyday……animals are worth fighting for……Long live Edgar’s

  32. Well done Pam you could never leave Edgar behind he must always be with you and I am sure his spirit is looking down and smiling

  33. I love that story. It shows just how much Edgar meant to you & obviously many of us pig lovers. It makes sense to move him to the new ongoing loving home.

  34. I’m reading this with tears streaming down my face, blinking to see the screen as I read and now type. You are truly beautiful and I wish all people on earth had a heart like yours. I would have to do the same as you. I’m living in a rental and I can’t bear to think what I will do when my gorgeous bunnies pass, as one day I will have to move and I also can’t just leave them. It really torments me.
    Everyday when I get an email from Edgars mission I smile even before I see it. Just knowing I’m about to see an adorable face is enough to make my day better. Keep up the awesome work and know that my heart is with all the animals and yourself and team.
    Thank you for giving these animals a place to call home and the love they so deserve.

  35. Oh wonderful! Your heavy heart will be lightened now that your dear Edgar is with you. Of course, it had to be.

  36. One of the hardest things about selling the house my son grew up in was knowing I was leaving behind my first 2 dogs that I’d gotten when I was just a teenager. I was anguished over leaving them behind and struggled with what to do. Everyone handles these situations differently and I just couldn’t bear to disturb them. I also feared that one day, the new owners will be digging or changing the landscaping and will find them and discard them. But I feared that bringing them up would upset me even more than leaving them behind and I made peace with it. Pig bless you for the decision you made for Edgar. <3

  37. Absolutely agree with you, and would do exactly the same thing-and it is that spirit that makes you who you are and leads you to do what you do-something the rest of us could only dream of even trying to achieve.

  38. Well done Pam, Edgar is resting peacefully in his new home where he belongs. I would have felt the same as you Pam.
    He was a very lucky pig, and still is because he has you!

  39. No explanation necessary! I and everyone who feels like me and you about our beloved Furbies, would never leave them behind if humanly possible. Love and hugs to you Pam. xxxxx

  40. I did the same thing recently with my two dogs..I was moving a long way away & couldn’t bear the thought of leaving my wonderful kindred spirits I dug them up & took them with me.They were the most devoted,loving ,accepting,friends I’ve ever had ,leaving them would’ve been betrayal.

  41. I can understand what you did. I wouldn’t leave him behind either. I am an Animal lover of all. All my pets have always been my children.
    I wish you all the best with your new Sanctuary. If willing maybe one day I can visit your Sanctuary. Cheers Silvya :)

  42. Dear Pam, this story resonates so much with me. Seven years ago my little cat Winnie called me from the grave at my mum’s old place which was being excavated for a new unit. I had buried her close to the fence line as I thought she would be safe there. The excavators had place the blanket containing her bones on a pile, so I rescued her and she is now buried in my present garden. I am SO HAPPY that dear Edgar is once again with you at the new sanctuary.

  43. I’m all choked up reading about your feelings for dear old Edgar. I think it is wonderful and courageous that you laid to rest the dark weight of despair about having left Edgar behind and acted on a plan to remove him before it was too late. Of course he had to come to Lancefield, to always have him with you. It wouldn’t be home without him. To some it may seem crazy, but absolutely understandable to others. In the end, none of us need to justify why we do the things we do in the name of love for an adored animal. It’s just the right thing to do. How I would have loved to have met Edgar Allan pig. God bless you Pam for your enormous heart and sensitivity.

  44. Go Pam – you are an absolute gold star/gem of an individual and your love of animals shines through every missive that hits our in box. Please, don’t change!

  45. Tears fall as I read your missive. I too would find it so very hard to do this, but thank GOD you did. Edgar understands and knows why. he is so PROUD of you love, care and extreme kindness not only to him, but to all animals who come to you, and those who will come in the future.
    GOD Bless you, Pam, and all those who work so tirelessly with you at Edgar’s Mission. Your generosity, compassion, empathy and down-right goodness has not gone unnoticed.

  46. Of course Edgar could not be left behind Just wonderful you could take him with you.
    I have exhumed a very special boy bunny to bring him to Melbourne after moving from Adelaide. It brought me much peace and comfort to have him near me furever :-)
    Love all that you and your crew do Pam.

  47. I can fully understand why you needed to do this Pam. I have never been able to bring myself to bury my darling cat Fraser’s ashes in case one day I no longer have access to the location they were buried in. That would totally break my heart.

  48. ..*tears*…how completely I understand, Pam…how I empathize and know…I have the ashes (or as I call them *angel dust*) of all my darling dogs who have gone before me…and my precious husband…with me…I could not “breathe” knowing these sweet *pieces* of my beloveds were any where but within my *space*…so I know..and how perfect it is that Edgar will be with you…with my love to you ♥

  49. One of the most beautiful and moving letters I have ever read. A tribute of love and devotion by a loving woman to her beloved animal friend. When I think of the ghastly treatment pigs receive at the hands of some humans, I marvel at the fortune of Edgar to have been so loved and cared for even after leaving this world. You are an inspiration, Pam, for the work you do for our special friends!

  50. I totally know where you are coming from and I’m so glad he is resting peacefully at the new farm, I read this with tears in my eyes but with joy in my heart, thank you so much for sharing.

  51. Amidst tears and goosebumps, I send love and complete understanding in what you have done for Edgar. He is with you and
    All that you believe in, perfect in so many ways.
    To have that friend to help you with this mission was beautiful
    Love and blessings to you all.X

  52. Even if you been unable to take Edgar’s physical remains with you, Pam, he would still have travelled with you in spirit. It’s wonderful, though, that his grave is there at the new premises and he can be a constant reminder to all of us of how, when, why and for whom Edgar’s Mission ever came into being. It must have been a very difficult task as well as a comforting one, though. I look forward to greeting Edgar again one day.

  53. Pam as usual I sit here with tears streaming down my face….what a kind caring soul you are….your compassion is boundless and Edgar chose well when he chose you. Looking forward to Piggy Paradise’s completion very soon.

  54. Pam your story was so touching, it made me cry. Edgar will always be with you, in his new home and in your heart. May God bless you always.

  55. I think it is wonderful what you did and 100% agree that it was the right thing to do… he will always be watching over you and the wonderful staff and people who come to visit Edgars Mission…

  56. I understand this so much. My spirit animal, my lovely boy who died when I was just in primary school, was laid to rest under a stand of trees in our property. I’ll never not regret not standing up a bit stronger when workmen came in to ready the ground for subdivision in a neighbour’s field and bulldozed the trees, and my lovely boy’s remains with it I assume.

    Last time I visited the area where we lived, there was a house, right smack bang where he would have been. So I guess, I have to be content with the fact that he’s with me in spirit.

  57. So Beautifully Written Pam! I am so glad you had the Hearts & Hands willing to help you get this mission complete. You are Completely right when you say It was Simply the right thing to do. Welcome to your new home Edgar. As I tell my pets as they are about to pass “Heaven won’t be Heaven if you are not there”. ..Together forever xx

  58. I totally get it. We know that the bones are not our loved ones. But it’s about honour and respect and the physical link that we have to the spirit that inhabited them. I’m the same with my Leanne who died last month. I can’t bear to think of her bones buried somewhere where she can be exhumed and treated with the love and respect that everyone deserves. But I found out that her ashes can be buried with mine when I go, so she’ll always be with me, and she’ll never be the garbage on the rubbish tip. It’s symbolic but completely reasonable and a testament to the great love you had for Edgar. Thank you for loving him in such a tangible way. (P.S. Leanne was my darling cat who died of cancer of the jaw).

    • Oops – I did a mis-grammar –
      what I meant to say was…

      I want her treated with the love and respect that everyone deserves.

  59. I totally get it. It was right and it just had to be done. I’ll be putting flowers on his special spot soon. Have been thinking of doing that for a long time, but now is right :)
    Love n hugs

  60. Hi Pam. I so understand. I had a little budgie who was the light of my life and my best friend. Because she was small I was able to bury her in a pot so I can move her with me wherever I go. I would never think of leaving her behind. I say this with tears rolling down my face. I miss her every day. So I understand that you would want to move him with you. What you do in Edgar’s name is the most wonderful gift anyone could ever give…

  61. What a wonderful testament to a dear friend, to be able to bring him with you. I’m so relieved that you were able to move him and that your decision has given you peace.

  62. Sympathy, love and tears for you. I so understand your decision. My baby “Porkchop” was put to rest last October, and he will be forever in my heart, but not with me. As my tears fall for you; I am selfishly reminded of the days with my boy. I love reading about what you are doing, and hope to be able to visit in the future.

  63. There are no explanations necessary. I would have done exactly that. I lost one of my first hens recently and I had her cremated. She now sits in my kitchen, a place where she spent her last weeks, fighting a losing battle. I would never have tossed her body aside, nor left her behind. Bless you for what you did. It was the right thing to do. Bless Edgar’s Mission and you, Pam.

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