Learning from Horses about Death

For anyone who has ever been to my mom and tom’s house, you know that our lot sits directly next to a horse farm. It is very common to take a peak outside our kitchen window during the day, and see an enormous Clydesdale grazing. I have to say it is incredibly soothing to watch those horses, run, eat and play all day long. It makes you wonder sometimes who has a better understanding of life, us or them?

I know for me, I spent a lot of time angry today about losing my mom. I think of how many horribly unhealthy, drinking, smoking, fat older woman I see scarfing down a footlong sub from subway, and it just makes me cringe. My mom was always healthy. She always exercised, watched what she ate, and was always making a conscious effort in improving herself, physically and mentally. I know it is wrong of me to pass judgment on these woman, but sometimes I just can’t help it. How dare they still be here, and my mom not!
And then I see the horses. They’re not angry, bitter, mad, or sad. I know most people will say, they’re too stupid to feel that way. Are they? Maybe they just get it. Maybe they understand the cycle, the natural way of life better than we do. So they don’t get mad when someone dies, they don’t crumble in mourning…they just continue on with the cycle of life. Despite all our intelligence, I have to think sometimes we could learn a lot from animals. Animals are in tune with the cycle of nature, they deal with death everyday, and they seem to really understand how life works. Humans seem to muddy things up with emotions, intellect, and egos. Now don’t get me wrong, emotions are wonderful things, and denying yourself them is to deny the feeling of life. But don’t forget, we’re all here together, part of a cycle, and there’s no sense in not getting out and enjoying a day grazing in the fields.

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2 responses to “Learning from Horses about Death”

  1. Heather Irvin Hauser says :

    Dan, this is Heather, from Cup o’ Joe in GV. Firstly, I thank you for inviting me to your personal thoughts. I’ve taken in much of what I’ve read for my own growth. (I’m always in search of growth….) You have truly fed me. So, thank you.Secondly, horses do feel when a stall-buddy dies. Hence the need even for stall-buddy. Horses get lonely, become attached to stall-mates, and mourn and mope from depression when they leave. They do spend days unhappy, looking and waiting for their buddy to reappear. I am reminded of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” the book that will be handed out whenever I die, one of my favorite books because of the messages I find every time I open the book. Morrie gives himself 5 minutes each morning to mourn his condition, and then moves on to live a full life and rejoice in each moment. So, it’s all about balance. But then again, I believe the meaning of life is balance (and relationships, but that doesn’t support this particular reply). Balancing acknowledging and honoring our emotions with moving on and through those to live fully.It sounds as though you are truly trying to balance these opposing feelings. I commend you, and amd learning from you, and again thank you.Shalom, my friend.

  2. James Turner says :

    I am losing a horse now to laminitis. She has had a great spirit and been a trouper through all the pain. Life is anything but fair I agree. I am very sorry you have had to lose your mother. I am sitting here in tears as it is and your story just let me feel free to let it go. I have lost my dad and a favorite dog to poisions, now a horse and all so close together.I wish I could console you with words but I cannot make them come. I will bless you with this blessing.May God give you rainbows that remind you of loveMay God give you sunbeams to fill you with wisdomMay God give you flowers to lighten your loadMost of all may God give you himself to comfort your soul.James Turner

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