dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, February 2, 2018

Backward or Forward

Please stand by for a philosophical post.

I have thought long and hard about this post and even as I type I'm not sure that I will hit 'publish'. But I likely will because, well, I wrote it so fuck it here it is.

This is your last chance to look away.

You may recall (but probably not) that last june I wrote a post that hinted of something difficult coming my way and how the emotional toll of that was coming out in my riding. That 'thing' was going to court against the people who's dogs were responsible for the death of my horse. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do - to relive that day in public. I was a mess before and after I just curled up on the couch. BUT I also felt a burden lift. I had my say. I also learned that the dogs were gone and the cloud of worry that has followed me ever since about them coming back was dissipated. In the end I felt better and stronger for having gone through it.

The verdict was delayed and it just came this week. The wheels of justice are not slow, they are glacial.  The verdict was against us- the premise being that a dog owner is only responsible for the damage caused by a dog on his or her's own property- not on someone else's.

While Ed and I were not actually expecting any funds to come out of this we were...what's the word? shocked? disappointed? devastated? Whatever. It just seems fucking wrong to me.

BUT this post is not about that. It's about what I have decided to do with this.

Steele's death has haunted me for three years.
I am, though, at a point where I can look at his photos and smile. He was just so joyful and full of personality.

I can't let this horrible thing define me. I don't want to be known as the woman who's horse was killed. I want to known as a person who picks up pieces and keeps going.

So I have a choice:

I can dwell and stew on this which will change nothing but myself.

OR

I can 'draw a line under it' as they say and look forward. The case is closed and I have spent enough emotional energy on it.

still my favourite photo

People suffer losses and set backs every day. Look around the world and you can be inspired by people picking up and dealing with whatever it thrown at them. Look at  Puerto Rico after the hurricane. Look at Haiti after the earthquake. Look at my friend's who have lost family members. 

I chose to move forward. 

It all sounds very noble and enlightened but the truth is that I have no idea what that will look like. I suspect it will be less a straight line and more of a bendy, twirly line. But it will be my line and my choice. I am inspired every day by reading other blogs and how you all deal with set backs and devastating losses and go right back at it. My family, horses, dogs and cats will all be a big part of that. 


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I know that some of you may want to discuss the verdict. I am going to ask you to not discuss with me (although feel free to voice your feelings). This is part of me moving forward. If you feel strongly about it contact your MLA.
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50 comments:

  1. Sometimes the law makes no sense, and the application of the law even less sense. But I'm in awe of how you've chosen to move forward after this devastating event, and how brightly you shine as a beacon. I am not sure I would have the inner strength to move on as you have, even if it's in a twisty bendy sort of line. I'm grateful for the glimpses of Steele's presence you still share with us. And I'm glad you have continued your journey with a different dancing horse, and that you share your authentic self in every post <3

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  2. As I type this, I am flooded with emotion. I'm glad you decided to hit publish. Your posting is filled with strong emotion, and it is great ( for you) to have a form with which to release it. In some weird way, I feel as if our grieves are somehow connected, most likely it is a timing thing, but whatever it is I don't question it. I just want to commend you on your decision to let go the anger, and fear..it does only really hurt the ones carrying it. Be prepared to carry the grief, it stays, but it doesn't damage. I wish you much strength in your quest to pick up, dust off and move forward. You are correct it is a windy path, with many dark spots, but lots of brightness as well... Venture forward.. feel the relief.. Hugs!!

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    1. I feel that connection too and I am in awe of your strength.

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  3. I remember you hinting about the difficult time, and thank you for sharing. I didn't want to pry, but was worried for you.

    I have a lot of strong feelings on this. The only one I'm going to mention is shock. I am so sorry to hear the outcome here.

    I am glad to hear that you are moving forward, as hard as it must be to draw that line. You deserve to have that burden lifted, and I am glad to hear you don't have to worry about the dogs coming back.

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    1. Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me.

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  4. Wow. Just wow. Big hugs coming your way. I’m so sorry this happened to you and that the verdict came as it did. I’m glad the dogs are gone and that fear can be removed from you.

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  5. Moving forward, have I mentioned lately how inspiring I find you/your blog? <3

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    1. Thank you. I am inspired by you too

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  6. You’re not alone. We all move forward broken in some way or another. Whether it is the loss of a companion animal, a loved one, a broken marriage, the pieces are swirling around us every day. I hope you find a way to continue to look backward with peace, love, and joy when you think of him. He was so beautiful!

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    1. Such beautiful imagery you evoke with your words. I love that the pieces are swirling.

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  7. We had a court case ten years ago involving our dogs (no one was injured - it was a breeding thing) that we lost. At the end of the day, we voiced our truth clearly and concisely before the judge and we retained possession of our dogs. That was our goal. If you spoke your truth in court, then you did your job. In the end, that is the only thing you can control.

    Cherish your memories of Steele and allow the love you had for him carry you forward. Building a relationship with Carmen, tending to Irish, loving all of your animals and humans to the fullest is the best way you can honor your fallen. Cry when you have to, but let love carry you forward.

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    1. I did speak my truth and it was cathartic.

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  8. We've all had to deal with loss in our lives. Don't let Steele's loss haunt you with the memory of how he died. It wasn't your fault, it was a tragic accident. Try and remember all the joy and laughter he brought to your life while you had him. He will always be a part of you and I'm sure he left you with wonderful memories of the time you spent together. Moving forward is the only way to honor his memory and his life. Living in the past will only damage your present life and all the good things waiting to reveal themselves to you in the future.

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  9. The terribly sad fact of the matter is that nothing can bring Steele back. And we can control nothing but our reactions to things that happen, and the people that are responsible for those things. Hopefully the owners of the dogs and anyone who knows them or you, will all act differently in the future wrt being responsible - for their animals, children, selves...

    Glad you can close the book and move forward now. (((hugs)))

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    1. Yes, there is nothing that that will bring him back

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  10. Hugs <3

    I am glad you decided to share - sometimes it isn't about swallowing your problems, but sharing and having that support of people who care about you <3 I know it was a very dark and difficult time for you, but am glad you can now start to heal.

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  11. I remember finding your blog just after Steele's death and my heart still aches for you. I am glad you got to speak the truth in court, though I will admit I am shocked and saddened by the outcome, as it just doesn't seem right. I admire you so much for choosing to move forward. I think when we suffer a great loss, that is all we can really do. The other part is at fault, yes, but it is OUR responsibility to choose how to move on from it. Sending you strength and hugs. <3

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    1. I was surprised at how important it was to speak my truth

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  12. Teresa you are an inspiration. How you choose to let a tragic event like this define you sets you apart from the rest. I am always here for you, and always available. Having had many tragic losses in my last five years, I know how hard it is to turn away from the sorrow and sadness, and walk on without those loved ones. You are my hero, and I am proud to call you friend.

    Love you,
    Ann Northrup

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  13. I too am glad you shared this and I too offer hugs.

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  14. I see great times ahead for you, your horses, and your dogs!

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  15. Moving forward can be terribly difficult, but I know that your future is bright. You are such a strong person, and refusing to let this tragedy define you is a testament to that. Sending hugs - I truly wish the verdict had come out differently.

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    1. Thank you. I don’t always feel strong

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  16. I feel with you! All the best for you and your horses!

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  17. I'm sorry. But also admire your dedication in choosing to move forward and out of the shadow of what was an unspeakably traumatic event. Things like that aren't easily shaken off. Esp when we can't have any assurances or confidence that history won't repeat. I'm wishing you a feeling of closure and wholeness in time that will come from something more meaningful than cold arbitrary "property damage" laws.

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    1. Thank you Emma. I think of how you re-grouped and moved on and it inspires me.

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  18. The greatest lesson my horses have taught me is the importance of "forward". Kudos to you for taking that lesson to heart and applying it so well to your life.

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    1. It is a valuable in may many ways.

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  19. I don't think I have anything else to add to all that has been said already. I too find this verdict stunning and, like Dom, I have strong feelings about it. I also understand the need to simply stop, draw a line a move on. You and Carmen have done wonders together and a lot of that wonder comes from simple fact of not giving up even when you think you want to. Treasure this place you have come to and let it carry you on.

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    1. Thank you for these words. They do mean a lot

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  20. I'm so sorry to hear about the verdict. However, your decision to move forward after such a gut punch is so admirable. I don't think I'd have the strength to move forward so purposefully and gracefully - twisty bendy line or otherwise - as you're choosing to do. You're an incredibly strong woman and I have no doubt that many incredible things are in your future. <3

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    1. I think that you are stronger then you believe. But maybe we all are.

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  21. I'm so sorry about the verdict but I am glad it was a cathartic moment for you and you are moving forward, not letting it bring you down and label you. You are worth moving forward.

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    1. thank you for that. I was surprised how I felt drained (which I expected) and cleansed (which was unexpected).

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  22. I'm glad you shared this. He was such a gorgeous horse, and obviously incredibly special to you. So, I'm disappointed for you and with you. You are so strong to look ahead to the future. It's the wise thing to do!

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    1. He was so special. I miss him all the time.

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  23. I too am glad you shared this with us. It is what this life is about. You are not alone in this. We are all here with you. I am most glad however that you now can move forward. We do not know why some things happen, and this especially. Keep smiling and looking at what wonderful things you have surrounded yourself with. We all have our moments and everyone has their own bogs to wade through. <3 love and hugs. Let it keep lifting off you and keep that light feeling <3

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