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.