This morning I received word that an elder horse named, Sweet William (Will), who I’ve provided massage to for the last three years is going to be euthanized by his person. He’s getting more frail and is now 30 yrs old. She doesn’t want him to pass away in his stall. This happened to another horse long ago and it was very traumatizing getting the body of the stall.
I’m in a deep state of sadness and wondering what I can do for ceremony and handicraft to honor him, and his owner, for letting me a part of his world? One little girl at the barn showed me the braid she keeps with her, made from the horse hair of her little pony who passed away. That looked like a very tender way of remembering the pony.
It’s strange to be raised in this western culture where death is always kept in the background, out of site. It leaves people like myself adrift trying to create a sense of connection and honoring the relationship with death. This is one of the reasons I joined AODA, to help me be part of an understanding, compassionate, and wise community in times of need, and for inspiration! Thank you so much for your ideas. Below is a photo of Will I took last summer after making him a daisy chain crown.
When a pet passes it’s important for me to honor their passing and remember that my sadness is understandable but it’s their time to move on and focusing on their life and respecting their need to go is what is most important.
That said, I usually leave food out for my pets that have passed for some time after. I also welcome them to the home by speaking their name, and remind them that they have a home with me as long as they need it. I also think it can be unhealthy to maintain a connection for too long, so it just has to be a flowing situation.
I recently had a dog pass, a dear friend and ally, I kept food out on the mantle for months with a tuft of her fur…it was the most I could do to honor her and what she gave.
I hope you are finding peace in this difficult time.