Peetambaram Rajan, 56, of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, passed away earlier this week following an unexpected illness.
Although there don’t seem to be many facts about Rajan’s life online, the responses of people he left behind indicate that it was filled with love.
And not only for individuals.
According to the Tamil Mirror, Rajan was known to be an animal lover. Every day, he was reportedly visited by a local gray langur whom he’d offer treats.
However, Rajan evidently did more than just quell her hunger. It seems he touched her heart as well.
On Tuesday, as Rajan’s grieving family gathered to pay their final respects after his passing, they were joined by an unexpected visitor — the monkey he had befriended in life. And she was in mourning, too.
Given the trusting relationship the langur had with Rajan, it should come as no surprise that she would be saddened to learn he’d passed away.
Though, at times, there may appear to be a divide between people and other animals — our feelings of love and loss are much the same.
“There is no doubt that many animals experience rich and deep emotions,” writes animal behaviorist Dr. Mark Bekoff in Psychology Today. “It’s not a matter of if emotions have evolved in animals but why they have evolved as they have. We must never forget that our emotions are the gifts of our ancestors, our animal kin.
We have feelings and so do other animals. Among the different emotions that animals display clearly and unambiguously is grief.”