These days I respond to a lot of things by creating tea.
It is a constructive creative outlet, and being able to bring something beautiful into the world helps with a wide range of situations and emotions.
Grief is a particularly potent fuel for my creativity, and always has been. Being able to blend a tea with the force of it allows me to make a tangible salute to the life of the individual I am mourning.
My Raubahn pupper is the progeny of two majestic and wonderful dogs, both of whom lived with a good friend of mine, ‘The Mother of Danes.’
Not too long after her third birthday, Rook – Raubahn’s mother, slipped and fell and was unable to get back up again.
Everything was done that could be. Great distances were driven, medications were acquired… but to no avail.
They had to let her go.
This is a terrible experience for anyone who has loved a dog (or any other pet), and the effects can be far-reaching – eddying out through the people who have known you and known your dog.
My heart broke for her. And for Raubahn. He didn’t know what had happened, and there was no way to explain it to him, but it hurt so much to think that he no longer had a mom.
I hated that I couldn’t be there for my friend. I hated that such a random event had caused such a loss, and I was casting about for something… ANYTHING… that I could do.
Not to fix it. But to honor the life, and make some sort of remembrance.
Unsurprisingly, I turned to tea.
I wanted to make something that tasted of remembrance and love – and that would be a tea that could be shared with dogs, if so desired.
I began with Jasmine and Elderberries. Jasmine because it has always resonated for me as a flower of remembrance and the bittersweet mix of sorrow and love that follows a loss. Elderberries because they come from a plant thought to be a door between worlds and the guardian thereof in legend. The rosehips were a good enhancement for the flavours I’d already chosen, and they allowed for the last colour element I wanted. The near-white Jasmine and purple-so-deep-as-to-be-almost-black Elderberries are representative of the colours of her coat, the rosehips of the little pink bits on nose and feet. Hawthorn is the foundation of the tea. It is an herb of the heart, and grief and heartbreak are things you can physically feel.
Our teas made for the memory of a loved individual tend to be ChariTeas – and the proceeds from them are donated to a particular charity. In this case, Mister Tea researched a number of potential options and found this one.
White Kisses Great Dane Rescue specializes in rescuing Danes and other giant breeds. They focus specifically on special needs Danes, and on spreading awareness of the breeding mistakes that can lead to blind and deaf Danes. With Great Danes, there are certain types that should not be bred, as the infant mortality rate increases and there is also a sizable chance that there will be puppies who will need the special help and care that White Kisses provides.
The reason their mission is especially pertinent here is that The Mother of Danes had not actually intended to breed Ash and Rook. That particular pairing fell into the “this could be a really bad idea.” Luck was with her (and me), as all the puppies were born healthy, and if Raubahn is any indication, Rook and Ash made amazing puppies.
Organic Ingredients: Hawthorn Berries, Jasmine, Elderberries, Rosehips
Batch Size: 3 ounces, approximately 30-35 servings of tea
Options: Loose Tea (Sample, Bag), Teabags (Single, Sample, Bag)