Due to travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, New South Wales farmer Ben Jackson was unable to travel to Brisbane to attend the funeral of his aunt, who had recently passed after a two year battle with cancer. In lieu of appearing in person at the memorial, Jackson decided he would use the resources he had on hand to show his love for his departed aunt another way. Specifically, his large supply of sheep.
Jackson scattered grain around his pasture in the shape of a heart, and when he let his sheep loose, they flocked to the feed, lining themselves up in the shape. Using a remote-controlled drone, Jackson filmed the entire event, and both sent it to his relatives to show during the funeral, and posted it online, where it has gone viral.
“There was no way I could get up there and see her, say cheerio, or go to the funeral,” Jackson told the BBC.
“So I felt hopeless, helpless – I didn’t really know what to do. But because I was doing a bit of feeding already, I just decided to do a massive heart in the ground, which in all earnest, pales in comparison to hers.”
An Australian farmer unable to attend his aunt’s funeral because of pandemic restrictions has paid his respects by arranging dozens of sheep in the shape of a love heart. https://t.co/Zww0JzIVLR
— ABC News (@ABC) August 26, 2021
At the funeral, Jackson’s relatives showed the video, backed by Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
“It was one of her all-time favourite songs and… when I saw it like that, I’ll be the first to admit that it was like I had chopped a tonne of onions. It was pretty emotional,” Jackson said.
Jackson added that his aunt would’ve enjoyed how much attention the sheep heart has gotten both online and on Australian television. “She would be proud as punch to see so many people smiling and enjoying the heart I’ve made for her. It’s just love. Love’s sensational.”