Upon waking, William's first question yesterday was how Bay was. Was he better now? Breaking the news to children can be difficult, and I tried to soften the blow. "No, I'm sorry, he's not. He didn't get better."
"You mean he's DEAD?"
I flinched. I hadn't yet told Anna, sleeping in the next room, although she likely now knew, and the blunt reality of it was hard. "Yes," I said, "he's dead."
William wiped away tears as I explained that he couldn't get better and was now out of pain.
"But, what will you ride?" he asked, concerned immediately with the practical matters. More than likely, he was remembering the rides Wm and I often took in the summers, double. I said I didn't know, and wasn't ready to worry about it yet.
Later that day when visiting friends and re-telling details, William piped in, "Bay's DEAD."
In some weird way, his matter-of-fact words helped me.
Today brought sunshine, warmer weather, and I sat on the porch. I looked out over our overused pasture, now horseless. Our other three horses have gone for training and we have only the two miniature horses left. I realized how much my identity is tied to the way we live, devoting money we could have used for a bigger, fancier house and instead having animals and land to care for.
I sat down on the grass, and Roxie, the filly from this past summer, remembered that she used to sit in my lap and somehow, managed to roll her 250 pounds onto my outstretched legs. She then rolled over, splaying her legs in the air like a dog while I rubbed her belly. My heart still hurts for loss of Bay, but other animals are ready to be loved and I must move on. It will not be easy though.
I thank all of you that wrote with your condolences. They meant a lot to me. One friend's words were particularly comforting to me:
The connection that we have with our animals can be so deep that it is a type of spiritual communion. And that spiritual communion means that God is present as well. Read Isaiah 11:1-10 for a description of what it will be like when God’s kingdom is here- it is going to be full of animals.
My loss of Bay and Easter overshadowed Chickin Lickin's happiness in the birth of five chickies. They are 1/4 Aracauna, 1/4 Cochin and 1/2 Black Silkie. Should be an interesting mix.
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