In her corral that morning having a heart to heart. “I know your tired, Horse. I know it’s time. You’ve lived it well. Thank you for all you have given me. I am forever grateful. Let’s do this with grace and dignity.” Sigh…               Memorial Day, Monday, May 29th, 2017.

The two most sacred moments of our life in this world is the moment we are born and the moment we leave. And if we are lucky enough, we are cradled in love during both.

I don’t know the exact details of my sweet Little Miss’ birth into this world, as I didn’t know her at the time, but what I do know, it wasn’t the best. I do know there was some abuse by the people that “owned” her and I also know that that abuse led to the death of her mother when Miss was only three months old. I also know that she was essentially left to die in that Minnesota pasture back in 1981 and that somehow she obviously survived. And she survived long enough – a whole year including a snowy, cold winter – for Jeanne Massoletti, a young woman in her 30s, to spot her in that pasture and rescue her. Not with any intention to keep her, but to at least find her a loving home. And in July of 1982, our paths crossed and both of our lives changed.

Unfortunately, Little Miss’s first year of life was devoid of the love and care every sentient being deserves, but the rest of her 36 years most certainly made up for it. Her whole life was about love – the love she received, but mostly, the HUGE love that she gave… to everyone and to life itself, from that moment onward. And if her transition from this world on that heart wrenching day of May 29th, 2017, was any indication of just how big her love was, not to mention, the beauty and grace with which she lived, well… her love was magnanimous. Because her sacred passing from this world into the next was the most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed, despite the profound sadness of having to say goodbye to my best friend and lifelong companion of 35 years. In fact, amidst that most painful circumstance, I cannot imagine a more perfect and divinely magical way of leaving. It was what miracles – and Little Miss — are made of. The “Queen of Long Canyon” left in the most elegant of ways and the truth is, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from her. It was no surprise that the Universe would arrange for the most breathtaking, heart-stopping of send offs. She “left” exactly as she lived… surrounded by HUGE love.

So, how do you know when you are “right” in making the most difficult decision of your life, despite how dreadfully painful it was to make that decision? When everything – and I mean everything – from that moment after, falls into place so effortlessly and magically that you wonder if the whole universe was just lovingly waiting for you to step up.

That is what happened that Sunday night, May 28th, when I came to that “pit in my stomach” realization that it was time. Miss gave me the sign. Apparently, she was ready and had been for awhile now; she was just waiting patiently for me. Just as we had done everything in this life together, why would this be any different? She didn’t want to go silently in her sleep… alone. No way. No how. Her whole life was about togetherness and it was also about love and community, and clearly, this is how she wanted to make her grand exit. But omigod. After our long and illustrious fairytale journey together, was it really coming to this?

NOTE: To read more about how I came to that painful decision and how Little Miss let me know she was ready, please read my blog: A Life of Togetherness & the Profound Love of Letting Go

I will never ever forget what that moment felt like. Ever. I wanted that reality to go away so badly. I wanted it to be the nightmare that I’d wake up from and everything would be fine. I could hardly breathe from total disbelief that this was actually the end of our ride together. Or at least this part of our ride. But, NO! It can’t be! I don’t want this to be the truth. My head wanted to reason it’s way out of it, but my heart knew, as it always does. As. It. Always. Does. And in that moment, the love in my heart told me it was time.

NO words…

So what does love do when it needs to? It transcends any selfishness and simply goes into mode of what needs to be done. Just like times in my work when I’ve encountered actual life and death situations – people having heart attacks, for example — that have required me to put my personal emotions aside and you do what the moment calls for. Similar to people lifting cars off others in an emergency situation. Where do we get the strength? Clearly from something greater than ourselves, that’s for sure.

And so it was with me and my Miss that night. I had to be strong. I had to suck up my personal feelings of the unfathomable loss that I could already taste. I had to do this for her. Because that’s what love calls us to do.

Given that it was the Memorial Day weekend, there were a few details that had to be coordinated. It was already Sunday evening, not necessarily too late for Ben, her vet, as holiday weekend or not, vets are there when it’s absolutely necessary. But it wasn’t just about him, it was really about coordinating him with the guy with the backhoe – the one who would actually bury her on the property. And Sunday night just seemed too late, especially as it was now starting to get dark. But after making a couple of calls, both of them were miraculously available on Monday morning, Memorial Day, at 9:30 am. Gulp. Lump in the throat. The time was set… an effortless scheduling. Whoa. That was almost too easy. I guess this is really happening. No room to back out.

Within the next few minutes, my mom drove up to Miss’s corral, unbeknownst to what had just happened. As she rolled down the window, she knew. The look in her eye said it all as she said to me, “Is it time?” Tears poured out of my eyes, “yes it is.”

With a peaceful strength and reassurance that I needed in that moment, Mom said, “I can’t believe you’re saying that. I was just feeling it as I was driving over here. Yes, it is time for our sweet girl. I don’t want to see her so tired anymore. She has done enough.”

We hugged as she went up to Miss who greeted her like she always greets everyone – with those big sweet eyes and perked ears, smiling. God, if you just looked at her face you would’ve never known anything was ever wrong! She was always such a champion no matter what the conditions. And this was no exception.

That is when I started to inform people – family, friends, neighbors – via phone calls and texts through streaming tears that we would be letting my sweet girl go in the morning. I even posted on Facebook the unbearable news, as I will be honest, I needed as much love and support as possible to get through the next 24 hours. There was no way I could do it without it.

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Within minutes, neighbors started pulling up, getting out of their cars, all with somber, yet deeply loving looks on their faces. They knew how huge this was and how there was nothing that was more important than being there. They all hugged me and mom and then went to Miss and just started loving on her, telling her how beautiful she was. The love was beginning to pour in… all of the love she gave in this life – the love that she simply was – was now coming right back to her.

It was then that an unknown car pulled up in the now dark evening and a woman I guessed to be in her 60s stepped out. She had short, whitish gray hair and introduced herself as Carol Abramson, one of our neighbors who apparently had lived down the road for nearly 8 years, though we never officially met. She asked if everything was alright. I told her about the decision for Miss to which she responded, “I have been sensing that this was coming for the last week. I am a Buddhist priest and I would like to offer to do a ceremony for her tomorrow if you would be open to that.” What? Really? Are you kidding me? Yes, we would be more than honored! What a beautiful gift. I can’t even imagine something more perfect for my Little Miss. With that, she went to say hello to Miss like everyone else, but also to let her know that she would be there in the morning. I was so touched.

Mom with Carol offering to do a beautiful ceremony for Miss.

Mom with Carol offering to do a beautiful ceremony for Miss.

As everyone left for the night, one by one, the reality was fast hitting me that this would be my very last night ever with my sweet girl. I was beyond numb. How could it be? That sweet face. That soft nose. Those deep, soulful, loving eyes. Our banter… our connection… our touch… our silliness… the things we do together… all of it was coming down to hours now. How surreal does it get? I know I keep saying this but there really are NO WORDS.

It was a no brainer that I would be camping outside her corral that night knowing there would be very little sleep, if any at all. I laid there hearing her eat happily throughout the night, confused and wondering if I had made the right decision and horrified at the thought that maybe I hadn’t. But then soon after I’d hear the loud gurgling sounds of her intestinal system that was no longer working – the cause of her alarming weight loss during the last two months that left her thin, weak and oh, so tired – and I knew instantly this could not go on any longer. She deserved better after all she had given to us in this life. But, god, my heart wrenched.

Needless to say, as the light of dawn approached, I had mixed feelings, and the truth is, I couldn’t think about it too much or I would’ve been a mess and never would’ve been able to follow through. I needed to be strong for Miss, as she had been strong for me SO many millions of times over the last 35 years; it was the least I could do. She was ready to release her body – a body that had been so strong and had served her beautifully throughout her entire life; she loved her life so much, hence the reason she stayed so long, but it was time to lay her body to rest so her soul and spirit could fly once again. So yes, I needed to be on board and as a dear friend said to me, “it is time for you to serve as the midwife in helping her to be birthed into the Heavenly realm.”

Whoa. It reminded me of my Grandma Angie’s funeral in 2008, when us cousins — her grandchildren — were to be her pall bearers. The priest told us what an honor it was as we were carrying her to her final resting place. Just as she had carried us when we were little, now it was time to carry her home. With Miss, it was similar. I needed to help her go home and honestly, I couldn’t think of a more sacred role and as sad as it was, I had to rise up, as it would be my greatest service to her in this life; no question. Besides, she let me know she didn’t want to do this alone; this was something we were to do together. I had to be strong.

By 8 am some of my dear friends from L.A. and Ventura were arriving to be there for Miss, as well as for me and my mom. Again, I was so touched. Never did I realize the profound power of showing up for someone (family, friend or acquaintance) who is losing or has lost a loved one. Honestly, I don’t think there is a more important time in all of life to be there for someone. In these last couple of months, I have learned just how huge that is. Brene` Brown calls them “Marble Jar Moments” – the moments in life that establish a level of undeniable trust and love between two people. Showing up for funerals and being there for one in their grief is huge. Even a simple “thinking of you,” means the world in those moments when you feel like you’re falling apart. 

As Miss ate her breakfast like it was just another day (though I know she was fully aware of what was to take place in less than a couple of hours), she was joyfully fed carrots by my friend’s two little 3 year old twins – real life cherubs – who absolutely adored “Missy” and Josh. How beyond perfect that Miss had these two little innocent angels there to represent all of the children whose lives she not only touched, but arguably imprinted her loving essence on in each and everyone one of them. Her primary role in her twilight years was giving numerous children their first experiences with a horse, not to mention, their first ride, leaving them mesmerized and forever changed. It was a role she thoroughly loved as she knew exactly what she was doing for those kids. Despite the huge size discrepancy, they trusted her implicitly. She was the gentle giant and the magical and mythological unicorn in their eyes as their faces would light up as though seeing a real life Disney character come to life. So to have those two there with Miss that morning was no random happenstance, rather a profound affirmation from a Universe that let’s no large or small deed – especially that of service to others – go unacknowledged.

Miss twins 2

Miss’s little angels – representatives of all the children who’s lives she touched profoundly. Giving rides to little kids during her elder years was such a joy for her.  Memorial Day, May 29th, 2017

By 9 am, several of the neighbors were there as well as Mike and Susan Shillinger, her caretakers and owners of the land that was Miss’s Magical Kingdom for the last 27 years. Of all the animals they rescued over that time – horses, dogs, cats, chickens and ducks – Miss had outlived them all. She had become the face of that special property in Santa Ynez and was endearingly known as “Queen of the Canyon.” All knew her and loved how she’d greet everyone with those same bright eyes and sweet face; always happy to see whomever came to visit. Everyone was welcome in Miss’s eyes as she brought our community together and now that same community was showing up to bid this beautiful being of light adieu. Each person had their private moment with Miss, to hug and love on her. I couldn’t have been happier for my sweet girl as she was a universal soul who always had love for everyone and now she was surely bathing in all that she had given. 

Friends and neighbors honoring our sweet girl on that morning, Memorial Day, May 29th, 2017.

Friends and neighbors honoring our sweet girl on that morning, Memorial Day, May 29th, 2017.

Since, Ben, her vet was scheduled to arrive at 9:30, it was time to walk her from her corral to the place outside her pasture where we would all gather around her, Josh, her loyal companion, included. Though she was weak and slow to walk, she was willing because she knew. She could feel the love and support of all of us and I could feel that she was so grateful, and yet, it was bittersweet knowing her body could do no more and being relieved to let it go, but also knowing her life in the physical – the life she loved so much – was now winding to a close like a river finally reemerging with the ocean. 

As Ben arrived, we all formed a circle around Miss and began our ceremony. First, Carol, the Buddhist priest, began her prayers, as well as sharing a beautiful poem about the ongoingness of life. With that, Carol held a basket of rose petals and said that when it was time for Miss to lay down, we would all take the petals and spread them over her body as she was leaving this life. Ben then instructed us that he would do a series of three shots. The first one would relax her, the second one would allow her to lay down and essentially go to sleep, and the third one would release her from this world. There would be a few minutes in between each. But before that, I would do my last brushing of Miss while Miss and Josh touched noses to say goodbye. I then read what I had written in my journal just four days prior as I gazed out at the ocean in Santa Monica anticipating this inevitable moment. I could feel Miss had something to say to me and I knew it was imperative to get myself and my feelings out of the way so that I could objectively hear her. Not an easy task when you’re facing the reality of saying goodbye to your beloved, but she could feel my struggle and this is what she “wrote” to me that day:

I love you, Lisa. Always and forever. I feel and understand your pain and struggle more than anyone because I feel what you feel. We are one. And I love you beyond life for the life you gave me in this go around. I knew in my first year if I hung on, the rest of my life would be magical and full of so much love and it has been that and more. I have been beyond blessed and I owe it all to you. Literally, I’ve had the time of my life. We both have and that will ONLY continue into the next phase. I’m going nowhere, just out. But with you always. We are a team. Together we still have much to do to help heal this world and heal the hearts of many. You will carry it through and I will be right with you every step of the way. Please know this. And yes, I too will miss this physical world and all its beauty and that means mostly the touch from you – the brushing. Oh, how I love the brushing!

It has been my highest honor in this life to serve you and to carry you, physically, emotionally and spiritually. And I only will continue to; you can guarantee that. I’d never ever leave you. We go together – hand in glove – and there is so much more we are to do. So much more. Just know that. And it’s all about joy and love no matter what it looks like on the surface. Don’t be deceived. It’s all beautiful. All of it.

 I love you, Lisa. You are my heart, my soul, my spirit, and I am yours. Let’s do this with grace. It’s all divine. It’s all love. I love you my sweet, sweet soul.

I love you, sweet filly. Oh what a life it's been. Time for you to fly free.

I love you, sweet filly. Oh what a life it’s been. Time for you to fly free.

With tears streaming down my face, I kissed my sweet girl and thanked her for everything in this life, telling her how much I loved her. And even though I could hardly bear the thought, it was time. At that point, Ben gave her the first shot to relax her and the process had begun. That was when my mom broke down and sobbed amidst the tears in all of our eyes. Everyone was telling Little Miss how much we loved her and how proud of her we were. After a couple of minutes, Ben injected the second shot that would allow her to lay down. That is when he took Miss by the halter to gently guide her to the ground. It took a little while to allow herself to go, as it had been nearly eight weeks since she last laid down, knowing if she did, she would’ve never gotten back up, and as we know now, she didn’t want to go out alone. She wanted what was happening right now… to be surrounded by all of us and for me and Mom to be right there with her.

When she finally gave in, Ben guided her down perfectly as we all felt the collective relief for her. Oh her sweet amazing body could finally lay down, yet bittersweetness again, as it would be for the very last time. What a true champion she was; she had held on with such a determined strength and spirit that kept her here all the way to the end, until this very moment. And as she lay her body down onto the earth, we all came to kneel, me now holding her head as everyone laid their hands on her, submerging her in a blanket of rose petals, while my friend, Stacey, covered her body with beautiful, vibrant red and orange sarongs. We all kept telling her how much she was loved as she peacefully slept, still breathing. That is when Ben would inject the third and final shot that would release my sweet girl into her heavenly pasture. He advised us that it would take a couple of minutes but she would take three last deep breaths and on the third one, that would be it.

Miss flower petals

Miss surrounded by love and bathed in rose petals. May 29th, 2017

Ben, her vet. We are so grateful to him for all of his care of Miss over the years and especially for doing this so beautifully with Miss.

Ben, her vet. We are so grateful to him for all of his care of Miss over the years and especially for doing this so beautifully with Miss.

The flood of tears and love went to the next level as we waited, and sure enough, just as Ben said, she took her last breaths and all of a sudden, Josh, who had been standing so quietly, excitedly looked up onto the hillside with the brightest of eyes and whinnied! We all looked to see what had attracted his attention, but nothing was there… or at least nothing we, humans, could see. He certainly did though. That’s when dear friend and neighbor, Ginger, said, “there she goes!”

Yes… he saw her, alright, and instantly he could no longer stand still as he had zero interest in Miss’ body because she simply was no longer there. And that’s when we let him back into the pasture because all he wanted to do was run. We all watched as he ran and whinnied – a combination of knowing she was no longer in her body and was free once again, but also the realization for him that he was now on his own in their pasture without her – not without her spiritually, of course, but certainly physically, and that would be a huge adjustment, not just for him, but for all of us. Josh definitely let us know that her transition was complete.

Josh 5.29.17

Josh let us know when our sweet girl flew out of her body. His important job of taking care of Miss in the last 3 years was now over. He did such a good job. We love you, Josh!

Deep breath.

As my sweet girl’s now pain free body laid peacefully amidst rose petals on the land that was home to her magical life for the last 27 years, hugs were given to all as I thanked everyone for being there and expressed just how meaningful it was for me. I especially went up to Ben, Miss’s vet for all of these years, to hug and thank him for everything that he had done for her in the past, but mostly for handling this most sacred process with such grace and dignity. It really couldn’t have been done more peacefully and it was his expertise and years of experience that allowed her soul to let go of her body as well her life here, and that is NO small task. I know she was profoundly grateful for him, not just in this moment, but in all moments that he helped her get through various physical ailments, particularly in the last few years. Though Ben was always pretty stoic, never showing much emotion, this day was the same although I could feel it from him when I hugged and thanked him. And as he shared with me in a text a few days later:

“Monday was an emotional day, indeed. It was a good day for Missy. She told us it was her time to pass on. We have all waited patiently for her to give us the signs. You let her go with dignity. Such the right decision at the right time on her behalf. Getting to know both you and your mom has been a great pleasure. Thanks and do take care.”

Ben also shared with me that morning that in all the years he had been a vet, he had never quite seen anything like this before. He clearly was moved, but also wasn’t surprised as he was accustomed to Miss always having her “posse” – neighbors and friends — whenever he came to see her. Everyone simply cared so much for her and were always looking out for her well-being. The neighborhood loved her dearly. 

Just as Ben left, the young man with the backhoe arrived to dig Miss’s grave on the other side of the property, which meant transporting her body to the site. That is when my dear friends, Stacey and Gigi, took over as Mom and I were encouraged to have some breakfast at the neighbors and rest while they would prepare Little Miss to be buried. But before we left, Mom suggested something to me that would be the cathartic release of a lifetime. She gently said, “Hon, you have always said how you wished you could just lay and cuddle with Prettiness (Mom’s name for her), but you never could because she was too big. Well, now is your opportunity… why don’t you just lay on her for a little while.”

OMG. That was it. For some reason I would’ve never thought of that, but I am SO beyond grateful she suggested it because when I was able to bring myself down to Miss and lay my body over hers, wrapping my arms around her chest just to hold her, it was like the flood gates had sprung open, no longer able to hold back the ocean of emotion. Until that moment, I had to keep all that I was feeling at bay, simply so I could be strong for her. But now the sobs came pouring from the caverns of my soul — a depth I didn’t even know was there. Guttural. Primal. Sobs, sobs and more sobs. And with each moment that passed, the sobs got deeper and louder… sounds I had never heard before. My whole body was crying from every cell.

Suddenly, I was that 13 year old girl who had dreamed of finding the Black Stallion. I had longed to have that magical and other-worldly connection with a horse. I dreamed of running freely through the fields and of having that unspoken understanding for one another… that love. And with that, I flashed on the moment I first laid eyes on that scrawny little gray filly back in 1982… the moment I knew she was the one, though I didn’t know why at the time. That was the moment that changed my life forever.

Me and Miss back in Minnesota in 1984. I was 15 and she was 3.

Me and Miss back in Minnesota in 1984. I was 15 and she was 3.

God didn’t give me the Black Stallion at all, but He clearly gave me someone even better. He gave me my Miss – the Magical Unicorn. And as I laid with her, body to body, feeling our final moments of physical connection in this lifetime, I realized it was a story that had come full circle, as I was overwhelmed with gratitude for her and all of the gifts she had so selflessly given me. I had never really thought of it before, but as much as I was looking for her, I guess it was safe to say, she was looking for me too; we found each other.

Me on Miss's bodyOh my… being able to finally feel a full body to body hug with my sweet Miss… and to truly thank her for fulfilling that 13 year old girl’s dream and beyond. There are absolutely no words adequate for the gratitude and love for my girl. We shared a connection from another place and time. And still do. Sigh… I love you, little filly.

I will never ever forget that moment as long as I live. It was absolutely what was necessary as our story in this physical world was now complete. Needless to say, I wished that moment could’ve lasted forever, but I know it most definitely will live within me for as long as I am on this planet. Thank you so much, Mom, for knowing intuitively what I needed most in that moment… what Miss and I both needed in that moment. Really, I can’t thank you enough.

Pulling myself away from her was pretty much horrible for me, but I knew it was time. While Mom and I went to the neighbors, it took about an hour for the kind, young man to dig her grave on the far side of the property. She would be right next to her dear soulmate, Sultan, along with all of her other companions of the past 27 years – Dexter, Katie, Perkins, and Jackie. All had touched her life in their own way and now she was reuniting with all of them – her herd.

I often wonder what it was like for her and Sultan to be reunited again. He was very patient in allowing Josh to experience the healing love of Little Miss for the past three years. I could always feel Sultan whisper in Josh’s ear to take good care of her, but I also know that Sultan was excited to be with his girl once again. I’m sure there were lots of loving nuzzles and kicking up of the heels. Both were free to run like the wind once again, as I can only imagine what a celebration it had to be for them. Sue Hopple, the animal communicator I have used for many years once told me that Miss and Sultan shared a past life living on a plantation in the South. Miss was a work horse in the field and Sultan was a “runner” for the Pony Express. They were in the barn together at night. That totally felt right to me just by how they got along in this life — an effortless connection… a different relationship than with Josh. But Miss didn’t love Josh any less; it was simply different. And that was the consistent theme of Miss’s life… LOVE. She always had love in her heart for everyone and turned no one away. Love was and is Miss. Love and kindness was always her message.

Miss & Sultan looking pretty

Miss & her soulmate, Sultan, who was waiting for her on the other side. Reunited again.

Miss & Sultan in 2013.

Miss & Sultan in 2013.

When it was time, Stacey came to get Mom and I for Little Miss’s burial. There she laid, down in the ground looking so incredibly elegant. Stacey, Gigi, Susan, and the young man took extra care to make sure Miss looked as beautiful as ever… like the Queen that she was. Draped in her vibrant colored sarongs, rose petals, flowers, and her purple halter – a birthday gift from the neighbors down the road. Miss was positioned so it looked like she was running free, just as she had done so many of her years.

Miss running grave

Little Miss being laid to rest. Run, filly, run! You look so beautiful as always! Oh will we miss you!

Miss head in grave

My sweet girl.

How lucky was I to have been on her back for so many of those rides? It had been several years (maybe six or so) since she was able to run like that – free of arthritis – so to see her in that position, just made my heart smile and made me cry happy tears for her. There was my beautiful, sweet girl… my last image of her in this lifetime. I mean, she just couldn’t have looked more pretty and gracious. Stace, Gig & Susan – you did well. Thank you! 

Before we laid Little Miss to rest, we – Me, Mom, Stacey, Gigi, Susan, and my dear friend, Jen – all stood around her grave and played her favorite music from the movie, The Man from Snowy River (please click the link to listen while you read the rest of this if you want to feel her essence). And we cried reflecting on who this amazing soul was and is, as well as the life that she led and all of the love she gave. How many smiles did she put on people’s faces? How many hearts did she heal? How much joy did she give to all humans and animals that came to know her? Oh so much. Truly, a life well lived.

We let the music anchor it all in — the perfect music to match her incredible spirit. And with that, we all took a handful of dirt and tossed it onto her little body, the body that was now ready to give back to the earth after all it had given to her. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. And as though it couldn’t have been any more perfect for a more than perfect girl, our attention was called to look up at the numerous red-tailed hawks circling right above her grave, crying out in celebration. They had come to carry her spirit far and wide… to help her try out her new wings. We watched in disbelief. There they were and there she went… up and out.

We all stood silently watching the young man gently bury Little Miss with each scoop of dirt from his backhoe, the final step in a heart-wrenching, but ever-so-sacred process. And just when you thought all of the details of Miss’s magical and beautiful send off couldn’t have been any more divinely orchestrated, there was one more little thing that made me smile and chuckle through my tears when we realized it.

Me mom grave 2

Me and Mom watching Miss be buried.

Leave it up to Miss to not forget her roots in Minnesota — the place where she came into this lifetime. The kind man on the backhoe – the one that took such good care in making sure this burial would be as magical as it could be – had something extraordinary on his hard hat… Our eyes were wide and surprised as we thought, could this really be?

Minnesota Viking horns. What? On his hat? Who has ever seen a construction worker with a sports emblem on their hard hat? Much less the Vikings???? And this guy who’s job it was to bury this Minnesota horse in California? Are you kidding me?

Me Viking helmut

Minnesota Viking horns… of course. Miss didn’t forget a thing.

Turns out he wasn’t from Minnesota at all, but just happened to love the Vikings. Seriously, what are the chances? He couldn’t believe it when we told him Little Miss was from Minnesota. None of us could. But that’s Miss – the magical and miraculous unicorn making sure ALL is acknowledged and with a little sense of humor to boot. But these are the things we’ve simply come to expect from her in her Magical Kingdom. She wanted us to smile and to know that she didn’t forget a thing. 

Miss grave

Miss & Sultan’s Grave

Afterthoughts…  

What can one say after all of that, other than a life well lived. A fairy tale comes to a beautiful close. The ending page of a really good book. But not without a legacy of love and hope that will live forever. Miss was magical. She still IS magical. And the truth is, her journey – our journey together – is not over; it continues on. We continue on. Just in a different way. 

Yet, even though I know this, you can still imagine it has been a tough couple of months for me trying adjust to life without her here, in that form. My whole being is programmed to see her on Fridays, as that has been our routine for years and she was nothing but joy in my life. My mind still can’t embrace the fact that her sweet little face is no longer waiting for me in the pasture when I get there. It’s still a shock. How is that even possible after all of this time? Honestly, sometimes I feel like I can’t even take a breath. Similar to losing a child… you never get over it, you just learn to live with it. The hole in one’s heart never goes away, but yes, I do know the heart does go on. It has to.

The truth is, I know Miss is here with me. And just like the lifetime of lessons she has taught me – always asking me to grow and stretch, expanding my consciousness of how to see this world as well as myself – I know this is just another one of her teachings. I can feel her so strongly. She’s asking me to grow and stretch, yet again. To “see” her beyond what my eyes tell me and instead to feel her where she always is and always has been… right in my heart. Even though the pasture may look devoid of her presence, I know she wants me to see her in all of it… to feel her imprint in every blade of grass, in every tree, and in every inch of earth that is her pasture, her kingdom… but maybe more appropriately, her “Queendom.” She’s there. She’s here. She’s now everywhere. 

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There she goes… into everywhere!

Oh my dear sweet filly – friend of a lifetime. How do I even begin to thank you for what you have given me in these 35 years? You didn’t just fulfill that 13 year old girl’s dream, you gave her the ride of her life in ways I could’ve never even imagined! How beyond blessed am I? How lucky? God, so lucky. Wow. 

I admit, in the last several years, I wondered what your transition from this world would look like. I knew you wouldn’t just “sneak” out because that’s not how you do things. Rather, I knew it would be big, meaningful, and beautiful. Because that’s just who you are. I can’t imagine a more beautiful way to “exit stage left.” “Little Miss has left the building.” What a performance from a true champion horse!

Bye for now, “Prettiness”… our sweet girl.  How fitting that you would choose Memorial Day to leave this world. May has always been our special month. You made it to your 36th Birthday on May 11th. You decided to stay around for mine on May 21st. And now  your heavenly birthday is on May 29th.

We love your angelic, enlightened soul and we honor your magical and illustrious life. You did it so well, little filly! WE did it well. Fly free, run fast, and I’ll see you in my dreams!

“That’s my HORSE!”

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Miss in Minnesota, 1987. She was 6 years old.

Miss in 2015. She was 34.

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Miss’ Memorial on her corral fence. People leave memories in the notebook on the shelf. PLEASE NOTE: If you’d like to share any thoughts about Miss whether you met her or just knew of her, please share and I will transfer it into her book! 

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In Sweet Loving Memory of Little Miss May 11, 1981 – May 29, 2017

If interested in seeing more pictures of that day or just to experience more of Little Miss’s magical life here, as well as the adventures yet to come, please visit Little Miss’s Facebook page HEREScreen Shot 2017-07-19 at 10.13.17 PM

 If any of you are interested in watching video footage from that powerful day, please click on the video below. 

Special thanks to EVERYONE who has been a part of Little Miss’s life over the years! Please know that you ALL made a difference in her life and mine! And none of that has ever gone unnoticed! WE LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH!  

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Me, Mom and “Prettiness” thank you all! Your support has been so important!   Santa Barbara Beach, May 20, 2011    Photo by: Stacey Whittle

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And a big special thanks to Mike & Susan Shillinger for providing Miss’s California for the past 27 years! We are SO grateful! Thank you!   Photo by: Stacey Whittle