Thursday, November 30, 2023

Thoughts On Loss



I have a personal faith that every living soul is created physically and spiritually, and it comforts me.

Years ago, I decided to start from nothing, and to build a foundation of spiritual belief, brick by brick. Every brick had to be something personal and true. 

Working with my horses day after day, I realized there is something more that animates them, something more than just the physical. And, there's something in me that resonates with that something spiritual in them. 

When my mom was visiting a few weeks ago, she saw my copies of Rilke's works, and she is reading them now, too. She flipped through The Dark Interval to a section I had highlighted some years ago, and she read it out loud to me as we sat and had coffee:

Today, my attitude toward death is that it frightens me more in those whom I failed to truly encounter and who remained inexplicable or disastrous to me, than it does in those whom I loved with certainty when they were alive, even if they burst only for a brief moment into the radiant transfiguration of intimacy which love can reach. If people took some simple pleasure in reality (which is entirely independent of time), they would never have needed to come up with the idea that they could ever again lose anything with which they had truly bonded. No constellation is as steadfast, no accomplishment as irrevocable as a connection between beings which, at the very moment it becomes visible, works more forcefully in those invisible depths where our existence is as lasting as gold lodged in stone, more constant than a star.

When Cowboy passed, I remembered that morning with my mom reading, and the words came back and came alive.  I understood them in a different way. It is impossible to lose what we have truly loved.

I just wanted to share that with you this morning. 


  1. Love is eternal, in the Eternal One. Death does not frighten me because of my faith, but the method of dying can be frightening. (My sister being hit by a car, for example. )
    One has to love in this life! As George Strait sings, "If you ain't lovin' you ain't livin'.
    Grief is an expression of love.
    Beautiful photo of you and your beloved Cowboy.

    1. That photo.... the ripples in the water that were made by Cowboy are like the ripples he leaves in your memory. They go on until they are immersed in the stillness of the peace of the Living Water.

    2. Gosh, you’re right. I didn’t notice that detail. What a perfect analogy.

  2. I love this way of thinking/ believing. It resonates with me. My husband’s mother is quite elderly and failing. She lives with his sister. When he comes home from visiting he share with me a series of frustrations that either he or his sister are having. I know it’s difficult and his mom has never been easy going. I shared with him that I was quite frustrated with my mom in her last year and I regretted focussing on what she couldn’t / wouldn’t do rather then appreciating what she was able to do. I hope it landed but we’ll see.

    1. That was wise advice. I hope they take it to heart. We have to evolve with our parents and not hold them to the physical and mental standards of the past. But that is hard to do as children.

  3. Wow Linda, that photo is so special and speaks volumes!! I have the same personal faith, most of the time. Sometimes I question myself, and it always ends with I sure hope it's true. Either way, believing/hoping is the only way I can adjust to life with loss.

    1. Yes, it is definitely mixed with hope, isn’t it? I think I can safely say, the question of spiritual existence has been the most important question of my life. When I was young I would go to my dad when a pet would pass, and I’d be broken-hearted. I wanted to know if we’d see them again. My dad would take it seriously and, rather than giving me a pat answer, would go off and read and contemplate it, then come back and give me his wisdom.

      When I started looking for my own answers regarding the question, beautiful thing after beautiful thing kept occurring. Brick by brick.

      I think people experience the spiritual in different ways. For my dad, it was in the wilds, and he was always going there. For me, it is definitely in the barn.


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