• HL Thompson, Blue Phoenix

Part 3 - Love Wins.

Updated: Jun 8

I had more time with Harvey than I ever could have anticipated. He was 18 when we partnered as Horse and Rider. I made a promise to him that day, just as he did with me. Holding my hand on his broad holsteiner chest and feeling the warmth of his powerful heart beating, I vowed to care for him until the day came that he was to transition to the other side. Harvey was a high performance hunter/jumper, a working horse, and he deserved exceptional care for all that he had given to others. I didn't fully understand what was involved in seeing him through until the very end, but I was willing...because that is LOVE. I felt honored that he chose me.


Death does not have the last Word.

“Love is stronger than death”

Song of Songs 8:6


Death does not have the last Word.


I learned in seminary

That death does not

have the last Word.

Word - language, action,

The Word of GOD,

The begotten Son,

All of incarnation,

The Eternal Christ,

The last Word

Death resurrected into

NEW LIFE!



Death does not have the last Word.


A neophyte among

Seemingly

Lifelong students of religion

Or that's how it felt...

A Spiritual Savant amongst

A mixture of religious

Spiritual but not religious

And then there was me.

Weird

Out of place 

I'll never know exactly where 

I fit in the Church

Likely because I seem to

Belong 

In the world.

Death does not get the last 

Word. 


The promise of New Life! 

Follows the fractal descent.

I still can't get the image

Out of my mind.

Was it always this way?

Large animals...it's...

More intense 

Painful

Torturous

To the humans who

LOVE them.


He dropped so hard!

God, please help me...

I beg you to help me

Understand your will for my life.


Death does not get the last 

Word. 


Every time I pass the barn

So conveniently close to home

Before...

Was now an ever-present reminder

After...

That he's gone.


He's gone.


"I'll stop in on the way home,"

Thinking to myself.

Say "Hi."

A punch to my chest.


He's gone.


It's hard to breathe.

My God!


He's gone!

The drop to the ground.

His last breath...

My God,

I BEG YOU!

How do I get the image

Out of my head? 

In the throws of pain

Its easy to forget the 

Promise of new life.

Thank you God

Source of all that is

Thank you for your Grace

That reaches deep into

The abyss of disorienting grief

And nudges me toward

Healing.

Death does not get the last 

Word


Driving by the barn

AGAIN

AGAIN!?!

A punch to the chest.

Tears.

I try to remember that

Death does not get the last Word.

My daughter is in the truck

I need to hold it together

But the nudge is strong

Gently yet firmly pushing me toward 

The driveway on the right. 


I say "Yes."

Turning into the steep driveway.

He's gone.

He's gone!


Whimpering...

Gives way to sobs.

There's the apple tree,

Where Harvey took his last breath

And he was given unto death

Soul slowly leaving his huge body

Immediately claimed by the Angels

I felt their presence 

As he gracefully rejoined

All that is.


Death does not get the last Word


My aged fingers 

Swollen again

from the corticosteroids keeping me

Alive! Adrenal Insufficiency.... 

As I walk this excruciating path

My anxious hands

Intertwine with my daughter's 

Soft fingers.

Her hands have grown. 

Flashes of the tiniest fingernails 

Growing from the tiniest newborn fingers 

Wrapped around my pinky finger...

Fresh from God.

She has an innate wisdom

Born with a gift of knowing

Empathy 

Kindness

Fierce Intelligence. 

Together we walked

Hand in hand

Through the wooden posts

Tears pouring down my face

Knees shaking on the gravel drive.

There is Kiri

Best friend, Trainer, "Wifey"

...Because we have a herd together

A woman who never gave up

When so many would have

Walked away from Harvey and I,

She stood with the courage of a

Timeless Warrior

In Harvey's mind,

We were his people.

I fell into Kiri.

We embraced shaking

As if we were hanging on

To save our lives...

Maybe we were.



Death does not get the last Word


I wanted to want Stella

A badass boss mare 

Watching her JUMP

Magnificent!

Learning to Dance Dressage...

A dream I set forth many years ago.

Kiri's horse. 

Gentle.

Loving.

Kind.

A mare that takes care of children...

The horse my daughter rides.

But a mare?


Then Stella heard my voice

Kiri opened the stall door

Stella swung herself around

And placed her

Dutch Warmblood

Dragon face 

Directly in front of mine.

Flaring nostrils took quick

Sniffs of the tears streaming 

Down my face.

Muzzle in my hair


Sniff...


She's checking me

As a broodmare looks over her foal


Are you okay?


Her eyes Intense with concern

She somehow knows

He's gone.

But how?



Nuzzling my neck...

Her huge dragon cheek against mine

I reach for her massive shoulder 

Scratching along the line of her blanket.

My hands run up the warm column of her throat

Filled with life, reminding me of

Harvey's neck In death.



And just at that moment

When my heart was

Breaking once again,

She pressed her powerful

Warmblood chest against mine 

And enveloped me completely. 

I was at her mercy

Surrendered to her care

Trusting her with my safety.

She wrapped her neck

Around me over and over again.

Bare toes in sandals

Next to powerful steel hooves

Normally Russian Roulette 

But not tonight.

No

I was laughing, LOUD!

Pressure releasing from

unrelenting grief 

Joyfully embraced 

Like never before.

Her heart against mine

She felt my suffering.


Stella comforted me in the midst of pain.

She pulled me back to this moment.

Out of the moment

That was replaying over and over

In my mind...


Injection

Rigid 

Drop


My face in her soft brown hair

The tears stopped

I felt mothered

Loved

Held

In ways I hadn't felt

in so very long. 

Death does not get the last Word


My Harvey 

My LOVE

My heartbeat

You came into my life

When I was broken

Painful divorce,

Healing brain,

So much grief.

You healed my heart,

And taught me a new way to

LOVE

My Partner.

My Equal.

Horse and Rider.




Harvey, I will never lose

The image of you dying 

Just as I'll never lose

The love I have for you.

My soul has

EXPANDED


To hold both the

LOVE


And the finality of

DEATH.


in nondualistic harmony.

You're gone.

I miss you, beyond words,

Yet I am deeply grateful

For the time I had with you,

It was so much more

Than I ever anticipated.

The Grace of God in a pasture,

Brown hair, liquid eyes and

Heartbeat that soothed my soul.



That day, in grief,

Nudged by the Spirit,

I was tended to...

Consoled

Mothered

Loved

By a warhorse. 

Stella, a mare,

Giving of her heart

To ease my pain,

Giggling...

I felt the tiny seeds of hope

Take root in the compost of grief

And...


Death did not get the last Word.

 
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