Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Life and Death


                                                by Laura Crum 

            To those who have followed this blog for awhile, I want to say that I am sorry about my recent lack of posts. Losing my husband in November has been the hardest thing that I have ever gone through and it is all I can do to get the things done that must be done. I am not writing to speak of, or riding at all. So I have nothing to say that pertains on a blog about horse-themed fiction.
            However I know that some of you have been interested in my horses and “knew” them through my books and this blog, and perhaps would want to know that I had to put Gunner down about two weeks before my husband died. I did not grieve over much about Gunner—he was 35 years old and had a very good life. He had been getting steadily lamer on his arthritic knee, harder to keep weight on, and more prone to anxiety, due to loss of sight and hearing and typical old horse dementia. So when I saw that he was lame in both front feet one morning at feeding time, I did not bother with diagnostic work. I knew it was time and my vet agreed. We both think the cause was laminitis, but it truly doesn’t matter. Even if it was an abscess in the “good” front, it just wasn’t something I was going to try to take Gunner through, under the circumstances.
            My husband was in the hospital at the time, and I spent all day, every day with him, but Andy totally supported me in going home to be there when Gunner was put down. I have been there for all my horses and I wasn’t going to fail Gunner, who had been my horse for thirty two years. I let him out to graze for a while that morning, and was happy to see that not a rib showed, and the old horse’s enthusiasm for grazing was undaunted, despite the lameness. Gunner was himself right up until his end.
            And his end was quick and clean. The vet tranquilized him and I petted him and told him how much I loved him and when he was ready I sat in the barn for the brief minute that it took for the kill shot to take effect and for Gunner to fall. There was no struggle. Gunner is buried where he grazed that morning and I am happy that I could give him a good life and a good death.
            As for me, I would at times be happy to have that good death, but that isn’t a choice that I will ever make for myself. My son and our animals depend on me and I am taking care of them. I may not be riding, but Sunny, Henry, Plumber and Twister are all thriving, sound, and in good flesh and happy—so nobody needs to worry. Dogs, cats and kid are all fine, too. The garden is tended. I’m doing what I know my husband would want me to do.
            I’m not sure what else I can possibly have to say right now. I walk through each day, one step at a time, getting things done that need to be done. I haven’t any interest in social things at the moment, including facebook and the social life of the internet…etc. I hope you all are doing well, but I cannot face chatting about every day, normal things. I appreciate the kind wishes that have been sent to me and I wish all of you the best. I especially appreciate those of you who have reached out to me and done what you could to show love. It helps.
            I will try to keep posting here, but my posts may be a bit random and are not likely to be very cheerful. This is just how it is for me right now. Those of you who have read my books may know that my husband was the inspiration for the character “Blue Winter.” Go re-read Slickrock or Hayburner or Forged if you’d like to get a small inkling of what a wonderful person he was and is to me.
Death is part of life. But it can be very hard to bear.
            

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Laura, I so enjoy your blog and facebook posts. I have suffered the loss of a child so too have been grieving. Know you are not alone and loved.

Lavern Bevers said...

Praying for you.So very sorry about Andy and Gunner.I kinda started Facebook over so sent you a new friend request ,hope you will accept when you are ready.Glad your boy is doing ok and the rest of the faiy

Laurie said...

Laura,

I'm so sorry for your losses. Life can really hit hard at times and words sometimes just aren't enough. The beautiful and happy life you shared with both Andy and Gunner are evident in your posts and your photos. Don't apologize for not blogging. You just need to do what you must to allow you and your family to grieve and adjust to a new reality. Virtual hugs to you and yours. Hang in there, time does eventually make it easier to bear. I hope you take comfort in your son and your gardens as they are legacies to your husband.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

So sorry to hear of your losses Laura. Do try to also take care of yourself.♡

jenj said...

Laura, I am so very sorry that you must face such losses. They are at times nearly impossible to bear. Time is the best healer, but some days it seems like healing is simply not possible. Take care of yourself and your loved ones, and know that those of us in cyberspace are sending much love and healing your way.

tailsfromprovence.com said...

Even writing this post must have been difficult for you but I'm sure all of your readers appreciate the effort it must have taken you - this one does anyway.
I wish you well as you negotiate the paths of grief. I'm sure you will find your way out, especially since you have your son and your animals there to give you a reason to get up each morning.
Bon courage.

Stilllearning said...

Hugs.

Kris Hurford said...

My prayers continue to go out to you and your son. I am so very sorry for the loss of your dear husband and that of Gunner.

Sarah K said...

I am so sorry. Your stories about Gunner gave him a precious voice, what a good boy he was.

I am so sorry for the loss of your husband. So very sorry.

Funder said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Laura. I think about you and your son quite often, but I haven't found the right words, and I should've said any words at all much earlier. I can only barely imagine how badly you're hurting.

Whenever you're ready, I'd love to visit, in a month or a year or whenever.

Kate said...

I am so sorry for all your losses. I wish there was more we could do - but sending best wishes to you and your family.

Cleone said...

Laura, we've never met, but I feel as if I know you and your family just a little, and my heart grieves for you and your son. I know you did the right thing for Gunner, but the timing stunk and I am so sorry for that. I am sure all your energy is needed just to keep going. We understand you are going to need a lot of time before you can look at doing more than just the essentials. My prayers are with you.

Val said...

Thank you for sharing with us. We are certainly not the priority right now, but know that I am thinking about you and your son and have been ever since I read of the loss of your husband. I always thought he was the inspiration for Blue in your novels. He and Gunner are memorialized in your books and rightfully so.

Alison said...

We are glad to read your posts, no matter how sad--writing is such a good way to express feelings.
I am so sorry about Gunner but glad that you knew it was the right time.
May the grass grow green on his grave.

Kellie said...

I'm so sorry Laura. I feel for you. Take care.

TBDancer said...

I have wondered about Gunner and was sorry to hear of his passing, though he had a good life with you and you sent him on his way because it was time You did the right thing, as sad as it was for you. I'm also sorry to hear about your husband. Sometimes it is loss that makes us appreciate all the more what we have. Bless yo, Laura.

Redneck Geologist said...

"If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces. Never be afraid to pick up one of those pieces and begin again. A masterpiece may be lying in wait." Jill Stephenson, Gold Star Mother

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing yourself with us, Laura, and blessings and hugs to you in this very sad time. I'm terribly sorry to hear Gunner is gone, but you gave him so much: he is a very lucky horse in life and death. I agree with other posters that time will make the wound less painful, but it's hard. I lost my mother 9 years ago, and some days, still, it feels like yesterday. But she is always with me, as your husband is always with you, and that makes life a little less lonely. At least, it does for me. Know that you are loved and we are all thinking of you. Though we've never met, I feel like we are all friends, and we are all sending you lots of love and support. Write us anytime, about anything...we are here for you.

Laura Crum said...

Thank you all. Your love and kindness and your sweet comments mean a lot.

Kathleen said...

I just stumbled upon your blog Laura, I am hold a special place in my heart for horses, and I am saddened to hear of your recent losses. They are both unimaginable I am certain. Words cannot help your grief in any way, I know that, but many are following along on your journey with you and that may be a little ray of sunshine on your darkest of days. God bless.