I have struggled so much this year with heart rending grief. I have been on my knees, literally, night after night and day after day, howling to let the physical pain out of my heart, sobbing like a small child at the loss of my friend, comforter, mother in a past life, horse. My hands have ached to stroke her body, feel her under my hands. I want to smell her, touch her, see her, look into her eyes . . .
Her death and my huge, uncomprehending loss, has shattered all my beliefs, fractured my spiritual compass and left me adrift on a sea of grief so huge and deep and wide that it has felt like I could never navigate my way to calmer waters.
It’s been a year since she went so lame and we realised that we were nearing the end of our incredible and healing journey together. A year since I began begging on my knees for her not to leave me and started trying to get my head and heart around the inevitable. A year ago we were dosing her with herbs, performing regular bowen and reiki on her, carrying her food and water to her, and beseeching angels to heal her. A year ago she was still here. Big and beautiful (even though she had lost so much weight), fluffy with cushings winter hair that we were combing out daily, wise, patient, kind, always so happy to see me, always such a wrench to leave. She was on the other side of the property and there was no way she would be coming home although I wanted her where I could see her all day, every day. In only a few short months she would be on the other side of the veil . . . I oscillated between great hope and conviction that we could heal her and bone rattling grief and fear that we could not and a parting of the ways was inevitable . . .
I can’t begin to articulate what she means to me. My strength, my rock, my safe harbour, my great love, my home, my friend . . . a quarter of my life has been spent loving her, learning from her, basking in the happiness of being near her . . .
We have struggled over so many things, not least being my fear of riding her and her unwillingness to let me. Now I know that battle was so unnecessary. My greatest happiness was in simply walking beside her on the path, lead rope in hand. We were such good companions, had such a sacred connection, were true soul mates.
And in the end I had to betray her (or was it serve her?) by releasing her from the pain and suffering of this earth-bound life and into the world of spirit where she could run once more, and do her funny little half rear, and be free in the realms of stars and angels to move onto her next spiritual task.
And, still in shock, to watch her burn and to rake up the remains day after day to keep her burning while the pink petals rained down where she had lain in peace at last.
And then the pain started. Not to have her, hold her, see her, love her. Not to have her sweet, forgiving, loving heart reaching out to mine. To never see her again except in my imagination and the realms of spirit. And so she has walked with me and beside me in spirit, has watched me cry and always she whispers:
‘Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.’
And I scream back WHY? I want to know why she left me, abandoned me, wanted to leave me? Why did she want to go? Why didn’t she want to stay when everything was just about to get so good. Ben was going to start riding Tinkerbell, and we could all have fun together – my original family and the new . . .
I lost my faith as my heart shattered. I could see her, can see her, beside me, but I want her in this realm with me.
Noot long after she died I saw so clearly that she had been my Mother in India and I had died as a child and broken her heart which helped my mind in its travels through the wasteland of grief, but not my heart. And then a month or so ago I saw just how amazing the universe can be – how she chose to come back to earth for another turn in order to find me, because I was lost, and suffering, and rootless and need to find my way home. And how she chose to come as a horse because she knew my damaged childish heart longed for a horse and that a horse would bring me peace. And how events conspired (which I railed against at the time) to bring me back ‘home’ to England where I found her and somehow knew that we belonged together. And how fraught and tense and difficult our journey together has been as I struggled to control her as the horse she was and she strove to teach me patience, and kindness and love, knowing I would need them for when I was a parent.
But I couldn’t see what she could. I didn’t know then what I know now. I cursed and fought her time after time and now I miss her so much. I didn’t realise that every day, every moment, was a gift beyond price.
I was so lost when she found me. So confused and loveless and sad and needy. She knew I needed a family and so she prompted me to buy Tinkerbell and Phoenix and fly my family back to Australia with me (thank you Allens – you have blessed me beyond belief). And together we looked for home. For somewhere I could settle and love and be loved. Everywhere we went I found a bit more love and another family – Attunga, Kangaroo Valley. Until at last she led me home to the banks of the Ellenborough River and my place, my country, my heartland.
And she oversaw my meeting with Ged, my marriage, Ben’s birth, my depression and its eventual lifting. And then her work was done. So she left me. So much richer, so much wiser,, so much more loved . . .but alone in my pain at her passing.
Can I learn to trust the machinations of the universe, seeing that? Can you?
One day we will meet again. As Richard Bach says in probably the most wonderful book ever written ‘Don’t be dismayed at Goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.’
Farewell, my darling girl – most beautiful girl in the world – looking forward to the moment when we meet again. I love you . . . thank you, thank you, thank you x