dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Grief and Comfort

Pushing a boulder uphill.

That's how it feels.

Not that this is going to be a wallowing post. I promise. Well maybe a little bit. It's not that I've not experienced grief and loss before. I have. But it never gets easier.

The response to my blog was tremendous. It went viral over FB and then beyond. That post have over 10,000 hits. That led to lots of people getting in touch. And it opened me up to some who were looking to add to my pain. I had to put on the comment moderation feature. I'm glad that I did. Some 'comments' were so awful that they left me shaking. It would be easy to focus on those and let the whole experience make me bitter. But I refuse to allow that. It would be a dishonour to Steele who's approach to life was one of optimism and confidence. And it would make me a lesser person. I do not want to do either of those.

So let me tell you about the incredible generosity of spirit offered by friends, family and perfect strangers. Some have shared their stories of similar loss, not to take away from my experience but to let me know that they understand. Two friends came by on the one week anniversary of his death to make sure that I was not alone.  We have received flowers, cards, calls, emails and hugs. A woman I barely know sent me a painting that she did of Steele. It is incredible. But I can't show it to you because it's off being framed.  I cannot begin to list all the small kindnesses and love shown to us. But I am grateful to everyone.

Ed has been my rock. Despite his own pain every time I turn around he's there trying to look after me. I was unable to sleep - I keep reliving everything every time I closed my eyes. My doctor gave me some sleeping pills which are helping. Being able to sleep makes it easier. The daily chores of work, barn and house help establish a rhythm.

There was a special gift under my tree from a dear friend.

Steele in a SnowGlobe

Another friend sent me this poem:

Requiem for a Spanish Horse       
The eyes tell all
bold blood of ancient breed
gazing out in curious joy
fringed in beauty and
as deep as a starry night sky.

Quiet respect flows through that great heart
beating within the curved chest,
bonded horse and woman
woven, golden thread by
golden thread,
through daily patient persistent intent,
and love,
and action.

Those eyes are closed now
the heart is still
and we as the human halves
of this equine equation
must suffer the curse of memory
and rage at the broken bond
and stories stolen from us too soon -
too soon.

Yet comfort comes in unfathomable form
A dream, the hour before waking
an endless herd of joyous galloping,
beautiful horses
tall and small,  all colours and shapes
and breeds
wheeling by
and there in the centre
our boy, our beautiful perfect boy
mane flying,  tail plumed, carefree bucking
in a prairie of scented, flowing grass -
There were people, too
some astride, some running beside
no saddles nor bridles needed
in perfect balance and harmony

There in the centre,
our beautiful, perfect boy

solid and whole.

Day by day my heart is being eased by the love and friendship of those around me. 

Thank you. 


  1. It never gets easier. You're so right. I'm so sorry that there are cruel people in this world and that they are trying to hurt you, but I'm glad you're ignoring them and keeping on keeping on. I can't wait to see the painting of Steele. I still think about you guys constantly. I really hope you had a great Christmas with family and friends to comfort you. *hugs*

    1. my family and friends have been wonderful. I hope you had a good Christmas

  2. Eg eautiful poem and snow globe. You are blessed with friends and family who care about you. It is hard and the pain will lessen with time but you will never forget your special boy.

    Please ignore the cruel people who don't even know you. I have no idea why people feel the need to add to your grief. Feel better.

    Hope you had a good Christmas with family and friends.

    1. thank you. You are right- ignoring them is the only way

  3. I was crushed when my first horse died. It took me a long time to even be around horses without crying. Just give yourself time. I'm glad you keep coming back here. I hope your blogger friends help make things a little easier to swallow.

    1. I totally get that. I know that there's no avoiding the pain, I just have to work through it

  4. I think of you often. Take care of yourself. Xo

  5. I'm glad the positive responses outweigh the negative, although the fact that that even has to be said is ridiculous.

    Please do take care of yourself, and reach out when you need to.

  6. Although we have not met, I find myself thinking about you and Steele every day - and hoping that, one small step at a time, you are moving through the process of grieving. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was blessed enough to have a "Steele" of my own once. What I did not get the chance to share was that, some years after his death, I dreamt of he and I one night and relived one of the best rides we ever had...so real I could feel him between my knees, could hear the drumbeat of his hooves, had that unspoken conversation that runs between the minds of a special horse/human partnership, could smell the warm, wonderful scent that was so uniquely his...when I woke, my pillow was soaked with tears, but I found my boy alive and well in my heart that day, and he has remained there ever since. I hope, and believe, Steele will return to you in a similar way. And while it will not make things right, it may allow you to slowly move forward and regain your joy in these marvelous, magnificent animals. I sure hope so. Take care.

    1. thank you for that. I am happy that you had that chance to ride your boy again.

  7. Beautiful heartwarming poem. Made me tear up a bit!
    I had to put down my lovely gelding Blue in 2008. I didn't grieve, I bottled up my sadness and a few years later it hit me hard. It sounds like Ed is taking wonderful care of you at this difficult time.
    Sending a million hugs from Canada. <3!


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