It doesn't matter if these horses were great or not - they were great to at least one person, and both were taken much, much too young, through events that were not under either owners control. I know this pain, I've been there - so I can sympathize with these two girls from our close forum community who are mourning the losses of their best friends right now.
It is a pretty unique feeling to lose a horse so young to something you had no control over. You do get angry at one point, and wonder why there are people who don't care about their horses the same way you do who never lose a horse in their lifetime until they are old and grey, and what you did to deserve to lose your best friend. You find panic, later on, when you wonder if the short time that you owned them was just a fantasy or a dream. But eventually, and sometimes it takes a long time, you can look back on the lessons you learned and the memories you have with fondness instead of the profound feeling of injustice that I began with.
A lot of people talk about the Rainbow Bridge. I am not particularly religious these days but I fail to believe that a Creator would make a celestial haven for those who have done good that did not include animals - the beings that have brought the most joy, and unconditional love to humans - sometimes more than other humans. In my mind's eye, there is a place where we will be reunited with those animals who were our friends, our teachers, and our refuges, and they will be free of the pains and ailments that they may have experienced in their lives.
And I like to think that my Angel, friend to all in her life, and lover of those younger and weaker, would usher them in and show them the ropes.
The Grandest Foal
I'll lend you for a little while,
my grandest foal, God said.
For you to love while he's alive,
and mourn for when he's dead.
It may be one or twenty years,
or days or months, you see.
But will you, til I take him back,
Take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you
and should his stay be brief,
you'll have those treasured memories,
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
since all from earth return.
But there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.
I've looked the wide world over
in my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
with trust, I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love?
Nor think the labor vain.
Nor hate me when I come
to take him back again?
I know you'll give him tenderness
and love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known,
you will forever-grateful stay.
But should I come and call for him
much sooner than you'd planned,
you'll brave the bitter grief that comes,
and maybe understand.
Run free, Gretta & Don. <3>3>