Growth through grieving huh? Yah. Sometimes I wonder if it’s more grief than growth.
It’s been 27 days since the last time I have seen Xante. 27 days ago, my family and I were on a plane for our vacation, and today, is my first day back at the barn.
As I drive slowly, I look around at the landscape that has grown since we left. The grass is greener, and the driveway is not as dusty, there are more flowers bursting through the soul sorrounding the outdoor arena.
But, the key element that capsures my eye is Macallan’s gravesite. Though he was buried there more than 290 days ago, his gravesite still looks brand new. There are still tire tracks that are carved into the soil from all the elements of weather throughout the past seasons. Hundreds of inches of snow, as if icing over the surface of the tomb. The wind, kissing the surface. The rain, nourishing the soil, preparing it for the flowers to bloom symbolizing his colorful soul. But, the tire tracks still remain. No matter the weather that has added layers of permanent concealment, the tire tracks remain.
After 27 days of being on vacation, and a total of 296 days of him being concealed in his grave, it still looks as if he was buried just today. The grass around his grave has grown, as if to build a wall to protect him from the elements of weather.
So much has changed since September 5th, 2016. So much grief and growth, so much growth from grief.
It sounds so cheesy, but I would not be who I am today, if I did not lose him. Yet, there is still grief that overwhelms a person at random times of the day. When you’re having a great day, and you think back to one of the moments between you and your loved one.
296 days later, and there are still moments that it still feels like someone punched me in the gut, when thinking back to a fond memory of Macallan, and then realizing I won’t see him the next time I am at the barn, I won’t be able to go give him a hug. Knowing that he won’t be closing his eyes every time I rub his nose, but those memories are permanently sketched into my mind.
Yet, through all of this, I am so happy he was able to be buried at the barn. Every time I go to the barn, I know he’s watching me ride. Every time it’s raining at the barn, it’s the most amazing feeling, because it was both of our favorite weather.
Though losing a loved one is such a difficult thing to go through, I believe God creates these times to draw near to Him. To show us that though the world around us can feel like it’s collapsing and he’s stretching out his arms saying, “I’m here for you my imperfect child. Let go of your fears, your materialistic idols, and come draw near to me.”
I experienced his love on another level when Macallan passed away. Macallan was the horse I thought I would continue competing with for years, moving up to new, bigger, harder competitions, and in an instant for him to be taken was difficult, I went into shock. But those following days, months
where I just cried out to God asking Him, “Why would you take him? He did nothing to hurt you!” Those were the times I felt a hand embrace me in a hug, lifting my face up and reminding me of:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.” Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2 & 14.