Grief, and the Ephemeral Quality of Life


As many of you know, Kimm and I live on a 150 acre horse ranch in New Mexico. For 2 city girls we have acclimated more than well here and learned a lot about horses. There are over 30 horses on this beautiful land and we have been privileged to witness new babies being born – Kimm especially. As big and strong as these beasts are, they are also extremely fragile. Death is a regular occurrence here. And that is something we cannot get used to. I hope we never do.

Less than a week ago a new colt was born to Joy, one of the many mares here. Our landlady told us that the first 24 hours were a dicey time for new babies. But Justice, as he was named, seemed to be doing fine. Joy was a great mom and very protective, and he was nursing as he needed to.

Suddenly, on the third day, Justice developed a fever and our landlady gave him medication for it and he was better the following day. But we found out he had a very bad bacterial infection and died soon after. He had been so tiny, with “legs up to here”, and very playful and then suddenly he was gone.

Our landlady and Kimmie and I were devastated. Not too long before. another one of our mares had had a stillbirth and that was bad enough. But this loss hit us particularly hard.

As destiny would have it, Joy still had work to do. Another horse owner had to put a nursing mare down and the foal needed a mother. He called our landlady and shortly thereafter he was driving Joy to his ranch to see if she would accept the foal. We just got word that it looks good. With a little human help, the foal is nursing. If all goes well, life will have come full circle and Joy will have fulfilled her purpose. It’s a beautiful thing, coming from a terrible tragedy.

As our landlady, Kimm and I grieve for Justice, we cannot help but believe that this was meant to be. Justice goes back to heaven and another foal gets a chance at life. It must be a blessing!