Running to stand still. . .

IMG_6858Losing a person or animal serves to remind us of how we are at the mercy of time, accidents, disease, and even people in some cases. Death comes in many guises: with warning and without; it is natural and often it is forced before it’s time on some. Freewill can make it an instrument of hate or revenge when death is cast like an eternal curse on the victim. With death there is no going back and reversing it. That is the part we initially struggle with. Love and care pales into insignificance when it comes to the defeating power of death. They are never enough.
A tragic and unnecessary death casts a loved one or carer into the cauldron of ‘if onlys’ – what if we had been there side by side with our loved one – shouting their name that we are here, that we are here to protect them, that we are here to pull on life’s side in their name. But in living sometimes we end up being apart and you are denied playing your part in a tug of war that is ‘life or death’ for them.
Death had no competition in stealing Summer’s heart away on Saturday. A tiny pony with no where to run to in the end. A patch of grass surrounded by tall concrete walls. He did run but he ran to stand still alone and afraid. Our minds seek out the pain, the guilt and terribly intoxicating regret. It seeks out what they must have went through and you feel it deeply. It ungrounds you because it wants to. Part of our minds likes to make us feel bad and maybe it does that to teach us a lesson so it does not happen again. Some people must have lost this part of their mind for they neither feel regret nor do they learn lessons whilst the rest of us are nailed to a cross of worry and regret.
Where Summer lived, of course nobody wanted her to die. I know that. But the need to own a pony without the proper facilities, the need to own a pony without regard to its safety overrides the need of the pony. They come second. What about their needs? What about the needs of all the animals tied up? What about all the breeding bitches locked away in birthing tombs? What about all the animals who walk onto ships who for weeks travel to destinations with no regard for animal welfare? What about all of them?
Death is a gift that does not come soon enough for them: to spend a life chained up, or tied up at the side of the road, or in darkness is no life at all. Why do our superficial needs as humans take precedence over another’s well-being or even their lives?
What has happened some people that their need fulfilment comes from causing pain, even death? What would it take to heal that part of them?
Have we become too accepting or desensitised that sadistic and cruel behaviour is now a daily occurrence? Was it like this a century ago? Or is it because with access and sharing information, we just know now. I don’t know.
In my mind I imagine all the other lives A Boy Called Summer could have had! I sometimes wake up and my mind plays tricks on me where I think for a second he is still here. My fingertips feels his furry little back and I see his big brown eyes looking for his feed. I can nearly smell him again.
It’s both strange and ironic that I never made Summer a promise that I make many ponies I feed! No, I never promised him that one day he would walk out of here to a stable, a paddock and to a home. Maybe I should have….
I want to thank all the people who loved Summer, near and afar. So grateful to Linda and Siobhan who literally climbed walls to get to her as fast as they could, and to the vet, Gerry O’Connor who rushed on a Saturday night to end Summer’s pain.
So many people have made this pony’s life and death matter. So many voices of clarity and care have pulled me from my terrible sadness and guilt.
I don’t think his name will ever be forgotten now. He was a symbol of resilience and acceptance whilst he lived. Summer kept bouncing back to live life again. But last Saturday night this tiny tot could not bounce back¬†anymore.
Here’s to A Boy Called Summer, who has cast deep hoof-prints in many hearts. His death will not be in vain. That is a promise I will keep for him. x

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