In Buddhism there is something called The Five Remembrances. While I’m not Buddhist, I found it interesting that I was introduced to these remembrances just two days after Bud died.

The words bounced around in my brain until they made their way to my chest cavity where they pierced my heart.

I cried.

 Here they are in case you’re not familiar with them:

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me, and everyone I love, are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

 My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of them. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

 

Party-of-one

Learning to dine alone.

I want to talk about that fourth remembrance today. It’s where Miss Pepper is.

She has become a member of a club that no one wants to join – a club that has a very large membership. As the one left behind when her life’s partner dies, she is automatically inducted into this club.

Now she must make her way alone, no small task when for twenty-two years she had Bud to walk alongside her.

Our vet reminded us to keep a sharp eye on Pepper, knowing that she was likely to have a rough time for a while.

Horses grieve, just as humans do.

I’ve watched people I love very much learn to manage on their own, their “life boxes” turned upside down, the contents scattered like dry leaves in the wind. It takes an inordinate amount of courage to change everything you’ve come to know about life.

And a goodly portion of pluckiness.

Thankfully, Pepper has both.

 

This past week we’ve often found her by herself at a corner of the pasture, staring out over the fields. Sometimes others from the Herd of Oldsters are within her line of sight, sometimes not. Of her old herd, she seems to spend the most time with Chickadee. They are the two mares of the Oldsters, so it makes sense they would band together.

But there is no denying that things have changed.

Bud was a leader in the herd, even the Oldsters. He followed Pepper, and the others followed him. So now Pepper must adjust. As with humans, she will likely lose some friends.

And perhaps make new ones.

With time, she’ll find her way again.

But for now, we’re watching her closely. Keeping her routines as best we can, because we believe she finds comfort in the familiar. As we do.

Even though nothing feels familiar with Bud gone.

 

And to those of you readers who have walked this road before her, Pepper could use your wisdom and strength until she finds her own.

 

I’ll pass all your comments on to her.

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