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Thursday, December 3, 2020

Universal Grief

My horse Reanna and Me
2008 or so 
At my Farm in Northern California

It took a special book for me to start reading again after losing Scott. The Radiant Lives of Animals by Linda Hogan is awakening feelings and wisdom I have shared with animals since I was a child. The passages that are speaking to me by Linda Hogan, A Chickasaw poet, a novelist, activist and essayist are her experiences and reflections on how animals experience grief.  

Sharing her memories about her horse Misty who lost her foal during birth, she writes:

"I didn't know horses cried, but on the way back, and for days after, Misty wept. Tears fell from her eyes. I knew she cried from grief. She looked back each time she dropped manure, as if it might be the foal. She still awaited its birth, until finally she realized she had no movement inside, and no small life would ever come from her."

Reading this passage, I am reflecting on how many of us close ourselves down, not wanting to feel the depth of our grief and our loss. Some of us skim the surface, not touching down, just trying to power through so we can get on with our lives and function. Not allowing for the process to naturally unfold or in many cases not able to allow the grieving process to take us into the mystery of what is.

So, why is it surprising that many of us would deny that animals grieve, that they also feel a great depth of feeling, and experience loss too.

I am thankful for the work of Linda Hogan and more women who are writing and illuminating on what we are missing when we overlook or don't see what is going on in the world around and within us.


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