So…today it has been one whole year since Alf departed this world. I have been torn in my heart all day. Part of me wanted to blog, to commemorate this milestone and honor his memory. And part of me wanted to have nothing to do with thinking about it, because it is still very painful to remember that he is no longer here with us. To remember how much I love him, and how much I miss him. I don’t know if anyone can even begin to imagine how much I miss him. Even now, as I write these words, the tears fall. This, THIS is what I was trying to avoid today, this feeling. But with grief, there is no way around it. One must, as always, journey right through the heart of it to get to the other side, to get to the healing.
I feel bad for Dare. It’s also his birthday, and the memory of Alf’s departure will now forever haunt his special day. I have tried to be extra loving to him today. I posted his baby pictures to social media and made a big deal over him. I know he misses Alf, too. We all do.
Grief is odd and unpredictable. We think we are okay and then suddenly, we aren’t again. There is an unexpected ebb and flow to it all, and markers like today sometimes bring the acute melancholy to the fore that we really thought, really hoped was gone. It’s like being kicked in the stomach again. And then we ride that rollercoaster of emotion once more.
But Alf left a legacy, and I will not dishonor that. He was such a kind soul, everyone loved him. Other animals loved him, even other species. Birds landed on him. Other horses respected him. Tiny fawns touched noses with him and felt completely safe in his presence. He brought me together with some of my closest friends, and in partnership, brought me eventually to my life purpose.
So I keep on keeping on and write this blog post, even with tears escaping the corners of my eyes in little rivers of pain. I go through my day, giving apples for Dare’s birthday, turning out the four horses together for the first time and enjoying their (relatively) instant camaraderie, playing with the deer in their enclosure. Or working on my papers, sitting with cats in my lap, planning our supper tonight…but always with an awareness that something is missing. Every day, something, someone, is missing. And that’s my life now. The tears still come at unexpected times, and it’s really okay. I think tears are the overflow of pain, or joy; when your heart gets too full of either to contain it all. My heart is full of and overflowing with Alf sometimes, and I would not have missed that love for the world. Pain or joy, my Alf, it’s all about love, isn’t it? I let the tears flow unabashedly, for they are my tribute, my honoring of that precious love that remains in my heart, sometimes spilling over because it was always a love too big to hold. I would not have traded that for anything. I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced, to continue to experience, such a mighty love.
Thank you, Alf.