The stages of grief are different with God in my life

I have not always been a Christian. I didn’t even know what ‘saved’ meant until I was in my 20’s. Until then I thought going to church was just another activity people did like golf or bowling or something.

Now that I have a relationship with God I experience things in life differently than I did when I wasn’t a Christian. The stages of grief are a good example. Typically they are; denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance.

When I was in high school my best friend was killed in a car accident. I remember clearly going through all of those stages. What I find interesting now, although it didn’t seem unnatural then, is that I was ‘bargaining’ with God…someone I didn’t believe existed. Then I was also angry at that very same God.

When my Dad died I was a Christian. I still did the denial (he will get better) but there was no bargaining. I trusted God. And there was no anger. Hard to be angry if you trust God. There was a moment of anger towards a Doctor who did something careless…but it was not the raging anger against ‘unfairness’ I had experienced before knowing God.

It is the same now with Vaquero. The stage of denial, hope maybe, thinking it wasn’t really that bad. No bargaining. No anger. Yes on the depression with and a creeping level of acceptance. It is almost as if I am a dried out sponge trying to absorb the fact he is gone.

Is this part of the meaning behind 1 Corinthians 15:54-56?

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”


  1. Afton on July 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    I lost my one and only horse soul mate to a barn fire 12 weeks ago. The hardest part about it is that I had waited my whole life for him and prayed about me getting a horse for a really long time, he was my first horse and I had only had him for a year and a half he was only five and was 100% healthy. I miss him so bad he was the perfect match for me and we suited each other so well. I have never felt so much pain as it was when I lost him he took piece of me with him and it has left me so empty. my heart went out to you and your family on the loss of your horse and when you lost Roxy also 🙁 I’m hoping with time the pain will go away some.

    • Stacy on July 10, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Oh, sooo sorry for your loss! It hurts so bad. Here is a poem that I still carry with me after Vaquero died….
      I’ll lend you for a little while my grandest foal, He said.
      for you to love while he’s alive and mourn when he is dead.
      It may be one or twenty years, or days or months, you see,
      but will you, till I take him back, take care of him for me?
      He’ll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
      you’ll have treasured memories as solace for your greif.
      I cannot promise he will stay, since all from earth return,
      but there are lessons taught on earth I want this foal to learn.
      I’ve looked the whole world over in my search for teachers true.
      And from the throngs that crowd life’s lanes, with trust, I’ve chosen you.
      Now will you give him total love, not think the labor vain,
      nor hate me when I come here to take him back again?
      I know you’ll give him tenderness and love will bloom each day,
      and for the happiness you’ve known, forever grateful stay
      But should I come and call for him much sooner than you’d planned,
      you’ll brave the bitter greif that comes, and someday, understand.

  2. Mahayla West on January 5, 2013 at 9:55 am

    I know how you feel. We lost a foal 7 years ago, that would mean I was about 9. I didn’t really know him, it was sad, but I didn’t cry. The day after Christmas (just a week or two ago) we lost Misty. She was the sweetest horse ever. She taught me how to ride, she was so very patient with me, and she is my horse’s mother. She was almost 26, and I knew she couldn’t live forever, but it seemed like she would. I cried that whole day and half of the next… Just when i thought I had no more tears to cry, more would flood over my cheeks. Everyone left me the sweetest messages and memories. Several of my friends rode her from time to time as well. I can talk about her without crying now, but if I think about her too long the tears start to come. I know I will never quite get over her death,because she touched my life so much. I want to share with you a Bible verse one of my dearest friends sent me: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13” We will never forget our special horses, but we can trust in the Lord that we will see them again someday. You are an amazing person, keep trusting in Him. Still praying for you.
    ~ Mahayla West

  3. mel jerusalem on May 30, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Hi Stacy, Thank you so much for taking the time to update your blog. Though I have never met you and sweet Vaquero, I think about your love for him. I also think about your heart during this time. Hope you are doing okay today.

  4. Wanda G. on May 30, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Stacy. I’ve lost more people in a year than most ever do in a lifetime. My animals are a gift God has given me to deal with the pain. The stages are there, but it’s difficult to go thru each one for each death. With God, there is always a way. Passing the pain to him over and over again helps. Not sure why I have “difficult” personalities in my animals, but at 9 years old, my horse has finally stopped the “yahoo, I feel good” explosive bucking. Time for us to have fun and enjoy that special bond we’ve developed over the 9 years. It’s so beautiful to watch it with you and your horses!

  5. michellemiller334 on May 22, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Stacy, so sorry for your losses…and hugs….I lost my girl Gracie a year and a half ago…It was a horrible accident trailering from a supposed trainer who came to pick her up…I will always regret calling him …she had been given to me as a 4 month old baby..and I met her at a week old…I survived cancer with her and we had 4 years of great friendship…I am not a trainer, but did manage to train her to follow 17 commands…she would lay down for me….I loved her…when she had to be put down…I think a little of me died with her…I didn’t stop crying for over a month…I cried til I dehydrated, went to sleep crying, awoke crying and sobbed all day every day…it was just so unexpected.I even walked in my sleep for months…would find myself in front yard…in garage…looking for her…I’d hear her in my dreams I guess…..I planned to ride her like you did Whizard’s Baby Doll…we had a great bond …and part of the reason we had what we had is because of your ride I saw at congress with her, dedicated to your dad…I was walking through the shops and saw you riding…it stopped me dead in my tracks…and I began to tear up…I made my way to the arena and have been in awe ever since…I worked with Gracie and played with her and loved her everyday…and wondered how God could make beauty out of the ashes…but…HE DID! I have been taken to a whole new level and I now have 3 beauties…a paint, an arabian and a qh reiner…I think she has same bloodlines as Whizards Baby Doll…her name is Gemma..she is” easy otie style”…..4 year old… paint Gia was a rescue from a farmer who had babies and mom’s out with stallion…she is my baby…and Noelle is my Arabian…..I have been told I did well with these horses and I’m in a little peice of heaven at the old barn and pasture I rent…I am so sorry for your heart…and hope you mend soon…you are awesome! I would love to find a rider for Gemma…she already has a reining license …I am in knox county about 1/2 hour from you…let me know if you know any riders who might be interested…thanks and my prayers are with you..
    Your sister in Christ,
    Also I have videos by michellemiller334 on you tube if you have time.

  6. melisse on May 21, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    Hey Stacy. We love you and your family and I do know God works all things together for good to those who love him AND are called to His purpose. God does have a purpose in tragedy, usually it is to draw us closer to HIm, Our sadness points others to Him too thorough giving Him the glory in all He delivers us through. Stay in a bible teaching church, find one when you are on the road, be in fellowship with other believers. If you can, go on a marriage retreat with Jessie every once in a while, make sure he is the spiritual leader in your family, and get plenty of date nights esp if you are homeschooling. You are gifted, talented and beautiful inside and out- just remember that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. You and your family are treasures- stay strong!

  7. akismet-a57cd2f4548e9ad0695c6a0c6ad86aa8 on May 17, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    It’s wonderful to hear that you’re a Christian and know that you’re “saved”. That term may be considered archaic in this day and age, but for those of us who’ve experienced God’s love and forgiveness of sins, it is our hope. Thank you for sharing this with us, for being a testimony to what God can do in your life, and for being a great example in the horse world. I was a fan of yours already, but this recent post has made me feel like your sister in Christ, and that means a lot.

    • Stacy on May 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Have you ever listened to Dave Ramsey and when people say “How are you?” he says “better than I deserve”? Sometimes people will ask him why and he will explain that as a Christian what he deserved was taken by Christ at the cross. Nice spin on the same issue…being ‘saved’.

  8. Tracy Neale on May 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Stacy, I became a christian later in my life and I believe God helps us become stronger and better through the challenges in our lives. Though Roxy and Vaquero didn’t realize it, they made people cry to see them perform with you with such trust and obedience that they shared with you and in so doing served to show the good in this world. With that thought in mind I’m reminded of my mare Skippy that I put down last year. We did not come close to the pinnacle that you reached but when her and I went on our long rides the trust and understanding between us was, well, she was my best friend. And when I led her out to her final resting place that trust and understanding never wavered and I could not have done that if God hadn’t been there in my life. I knew it was the right thing for her (she had DSLD ) and I tried everything I could to stop it knowing there was no cure. I still miss her and think of her everyday. I don’t think that void in our lives every completely goes away. I believe things happen for a reason and I believe your example of a relationship and person can have with horses has served to make this a better place for horses and an inspiration to people for hope and faith in their lives. I hope this helped though I know the pain, you couldn’t have said it better than you did in and earlier post of Roxy, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”. Hope to meet you and ride with you some day.
    God bless you
    Tracy Neale

  9. Janet on May 15, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I don’t usually like share to much of my story, but I thought that I would.
    Two years ago my beloved husband of twenty one years decided to that the pain in his live was to much to bare and took his own life. I found him, and after the shock wore off, it took me six months to realize what had really happened. At that time I had an old dog his name was Inky and he was truly mine right from the very begging. He would lay on my lap like a child and he would protect me from anything, and I do mean anything. Inky was 16 years old when my husband passed which is really old for a Lab or any large breed. He was getting tired and he had trouble walking, I had promised him and myself that I would not let him suffer but he was eating great and would still take a round out of the young pup I had gotten a year prior.
    Through my worst grieving time he never left my side. I knew it was getting time to start planning on letting go of him, and I was having a problem with it because the first year anniversary of my husbands death was coming and I really wasn’t in the best frame of mind for I too was fighting a battle for my own life. Well the day came and I had made the appointment to say goodbye to my best friend. My sister was on her way up to be with me for my mental state was not the best so I postponed it for a day.
    At bed time I laid down with him holding him until I fell asleep, sometime during the night he slipped away in my arms. Two day’s later I looked at the calender for some strange reason and realized that Inky had left me on the exact same day that my husband did one year prior. I was so fortunate to have had him in my life, and if I had the strength to tell you more I would, but the pain is still fresh. .

    I know the Lord had a lot to do with everything that has transpired in my life thus far. Do I understand the stages of grief any better today the yesterday. No, but I have gained a new insight into acceptance. I know my walk is never alone. He has now taken me on a path with my horses that I would never have thought possible.Through them he has shown me a different kind of stillness inside of me and a peace of mind in a way which I can understand.

    Thanks for letting me ramble
    Bless you and be at peace.

    • Gail M. on May 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Thank you so much for this post! What an amazing witness! And what amazing stories in all of these replys. I let the Lord into my heart when I was 44 and you have nailed it right on with how the stages of grief are different as a Christian. Even in the midst of tragedy, He still leads,guides and heals. I have learned this from personal experience, having lost precious family and friends and precious horses. You are a wondeful Christian example in the Equine world. Thank you for being who God made you to be! Bless You and praying healing for you!

    • Heather Stoll on May 16, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Wow Janet, your testimony has me in tears…thank you and bless you.

    • Stacy on May 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Wow.Thank you for sharing. I hope you are finding joy and peace where you can.

      • Janet on May 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

        To answer your question Stacy. Yes the Lord has granted me peace, and the joy is slowly returning. Him and I still have huge discussions of why he decided to dump so much in my lap at one time for this is was only one part and one day of of one person fighting to take a breath and find away not to take the same path as my husband. What a journey it has been, but the Lord has replace most of the pain with companion. He is slowly taking the guilt away, and piece by piece he is filling in the cracks with love. If you were to ask me is he finished with stripping me down I’m not sure, but he had me naked kneeling at the cross. Today as I look back on it there is no other place I would have rather been then in the love arms of our Lord.

  10. Rebecca Reed on May 15, 2012 at 2:34 am

    I have had you in my prayers and understand how you feel. Losing ones(human or animal) you love is hard, especially when it comes three times in such a short time span. I hope all us fans can help give you strength to rise above. You certainly give it to us. I went through a similar situation several years ago. I lost my first horse, my dad and then another horse all in 10 months. Then I went through a health scare with heart problems of my own. THEN – I won this wonderful prize on the internet! I won a Day with Stacy Westfall after winning Horse and Rider’s “Reining 101 Sweepstakes”!!! Thank you so much for such a wonderful day!! My horse, Jesse, and I continue our journey into a better relationship. Thanks to you I have more confidence in my own ability and have a better understanding in how to work with Jesse! You are such an inspiration. I send you faith, hope and healing. Love you!

  11. Sheri on May 15, 2012 at 12:29 am

    Your faith is an inspiration Stacy! I have had many people tell me you can not be a real horse person and follow God…I point you out every time. Thank you for inspiring me to follow my dreams!

  12. Joan Brust on May 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I have been thinking about you every day. As a Christian woman I am struggling with your recent loss. The one thing I have thought of is when one door closes another opens. There must be something spectacular coming your way. God bless you Stacy. My heart still feels for you. Love ya.

  13. Livy on May 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I love that verse Stacy!!! So sorry for everything that has been hard lately with Roxy and her foal and now Vaquero :'(

  14. Kathy Kopylec on May 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    1 Corinthians 15:57 ” But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. [” My heart will go on”]

  15. Leslie Zvolanek on May 14, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Dear Stacy – thank you for reminding me of the strength of Our Lord in my own life – their have been too many deaths in the past few years – and the heartbreak, all those heartbreaks – You’ve reminded me of the most essential place of rest and healing that we have – deeply essentially helping to restore my battered soul. Thank You, and Thank You, again!

  16. Arlene on May 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    As Christians we realize that death is just another stage of life and that it is only temporary. It is no more than the sheding of the earthy body, because the soul has already been reborn. Yes, I think that is the meaning behind that passage. We don’t need to fear, or become angry, or bargin, because we know the end result. I have experienced the loss of loved ones and animals I’ve cared deeply for, so I do have an idea of what you are feeling. With time it becomes easier to walk into that barn and move ahead with daily life. Trust in him to heal the pain and make you stronger from it. It is not from being up on the mountain that we learn to lean on him but from our time in the valley, and he never closes a door without opening a window.

  17. Deanne on May 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Dear Stacy,
    I became a fan of yours when I saw you at the Pomona Equine Affair. I appreciated how you interacted with your horse and the public. I didn’t know of your faith at that time. I’ve noticed your references to God in your blog, but truthfully, I didn’t give it a lot of weight because in hard times people will often turn to God on a superficial level and when times are good, they might say “Thank God for…” But this post goes deeper. It shares your true relationship and reliance on our Heavenly Father for all that you need. He knows when we need support and comfort. He knows when we need to learn from loss. Life is often really tough. I honestly don’t know how people get through life without God. Non-believers may call it a crutch, but if my leg is broken a crutch is just what I need. The Holy Spirit gets us through times when we just want to crawl up in a ball and stay in bed. Thank you for being a light to many. Thank you for allowing us to go on this journey with you. Blessings to you and your family as your grieve and grow.

  18. Alex C. on May 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I have lost 2 horses and theres nothin that will ever fully fill that void. I have many great horses that i ride and compete now but there are still days i wonder how far i would have gone with one of the others. i know close to what shes going through. 2 yrs ago in oct i have a horse that i rode on a thursday then that friday he could hardly stand and keep his balance. his eyes were spinning like he was watchin a train go by. he was fine in that morning. he was my full out contesting horse so he was in great shape in all ways. the vet came out and said it didnt look like he would make it through the night. i stayed on a haybale bed in the indoor with him. he layed next to me. the next day we put him on meds and the vet said he didnt think he would make it past 3 days. i still stayed. after the 3 days we found out with test that he had had a stroke. the vet said we were doing all we could do to lets see what happen by the weeks end. i still stayed in the barn. by the end of the week the vet said ill have the horse with me but only as a pasture pet. he had become so weak in his left side that it would be dangerous for both me and him to have been ridden. though i was told id never run a set of barrels again on him i was happy to atleast have him there. i stayed on my makeshift bed for 3 weeks in that barn. i started working another horse on contesting yet i never stopped takin ace on his walks around the barn. id make him step up on and over things. flex both ways and just really worked with him. 8 months later i rode him. i could feel he lagged a bit on the left side but he was stable. i slowly started workin him from his back and doin alot of trail rides. makin him think how and where to place his feet. it has now been 2 yrs and he is leased out last yr and this yr for a 4hers contesting horse! he may not run on my level anymore but a horse that wasnt to live through the night is back to doin what he does best. the vet still checks on “his miracle horse” i think about that day i walked into the barn and found him and the moment i was told he wouldnt live then wouldnt be ridden to watchin him still win a barrel run. though its gonna be horrible and hard when his time really does come im just so happy ive gotten more time with him. hes %100 sound now. if you have never ment him you have never known anything had happen.

  19. Julia on May 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    This was a very nice post. I was brought up Christian, although I went through an angry rebellious stage in my teens where I rejected God and all the comfort that comes with a relationship with God. For me one of the biggest gifts of my relationship with God in regard to losing loved ones is that I know longer feel bad for the person who died. I know now that death is a natural part of life and that the process of dying is hard, but after death it is all fine and that it is a nice place for my loved ones to be. That of course doesn’t take away the fact that I miss them horribly and the sadness is huge. But it helps me to know they are comfortable and happy and waiting to see me again one day. This is a song an acquaintance wrote for our mutual friend who died twenty years ago: One of my favorite lines is “I can’t wait to see you again”.

  20. Debbie Knebel on May 14, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Stacy – thank you for sharing your walk of faith. Those that see, understand, and hopefully others will want what you have….a peace that passes all understanding. I know that God has used you to bring Him glory….continue on your path “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.(Philippians 1:6)

    God works in mysterious ways….

    As a thirteen year old losing my life-long pet I theorized to understand, “Why do our animals live shorter life-spans?” I think it’s to help us cope with love and loss, care and compassion, peace and love. May God grant you peace and comfort.

  21. Sandy Carr on May 14, 2012 at 11:39 am

    Stacy…it’s interesting. I am training to be an EMT and we just learned the stages of grief in our class the other day. You are spot on…and I am sure the stages are transversed quicker and CALMER knowing you have God riding the bumps with you.

  22. Mary on May 14, 2012 at 11:34 am


    You are such a wonderful inspiration for us all! I sit here, with tears in my eyes, reading these heartwarming comments from perfect strangers and realizing that we all are cut from the same cloth and are all God’s children, here to experience all that life holds for us. The kind words ring true in any grief situation, even for us who have never owned a horse. We all have felt death’s sting at some time. We all have God to comfort us, as these folks have spoken to you through Him. As the dried-out sponge that you feel you are fills again with love and the spirit of Vaquero, you will accept that he is gone in the sense that you don’t see him any more, and that he is still very much with you always. Like your father- have you ever sensed his presence even after he had died? Have you ever whispered to him and told him you loved and missed him? Talk to Vaquero, talk to Roxy, and any others you have lost. They are right there, listening. No need to wish they were here now, because they are. You just can’t see them. They will talk back to you in your heart.
    I already see that God has been helping you along through this, and He has comforted you, and will guide you along as always. Your faith and trust in Him is awesome!


  23. Ida Marie Carlough on May 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

    We won’t know the reason for many things until we are in Heaven. Being a Christian helps with the acceptance. God loves us more than we know and he will never give us more than we can handle. The hardest part is that his timing is not always our timing. With Vaquero being gone from your life, God will fill the void with something as or more wonderful. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.
    Ida Marie

  24. Kathy West on May 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Stacy, I saw you ride Vaquero at Equine Affaire in Columbus and it was a beautiful joining of heart and soul between you and him. I also like how you get a “kick” out of your horses and find the humor of the equus. It is so refreshing; you make it all fun, but still focused and serious. That is such a rare talent. Vaquero has not left you. He’s right there with you. What he has given to you and what you have given to him is a bond that will never be broken; it’s part of who you have become after having known him.

  25. Kelly on May 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

    May God continue to bless and help with the pain of your lose!!

  26. Barrie Getz on May 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

    God works in mysterious ways…

    He blesses us with people, or the horses we cherish and hold so near to our hearts… and then just when we think we’re right at the top of it all; he changes the path we thought we were meant to travel. Sends us on a different journey…

    Several years ago, I had purchased a miniature filly… right on the day she was born. She was my dream mare; had all the class and wonder of a premiere show horse, the pedigree of champions. When she was weaned, I was able to take her home (In the back of my SUV); and introduce her to a life of pampering, and doting upon… as she was indeed my little princess. Showed her, she won everything…. played with her; she brought me such incredible joy… I thought I had the moon tied on a string; and the whole world was my oyster.
    Then, on the same day, I finalized the purchase with her breeders… wrote them the last check, and headed for home to celebrate with her — I arrived home to discover that she’d been brutally attacked by a dog.

    She parted from my life two weeks later, in my lap… after having been through three rounds of surgery to repair the damage, and after having watched her push, and struggle to pull through it, with a small nicker to everyone whom came to visit. She always kept the mood positive… and as a result, we stayed positive with her. I had gone to the vets office that morning to take her home again… her little leg, wrapped in a cast. But no matter, she was well on the road to recovery… or so we thought.
    When I got there that morning, the scene had changed dramatically. She wasn’t positive anymore, and the light faded from her eyes… that spark of wonder she’d always given me. Gone.

    I blamed myself for months…
    I still do carry a little of the blame for what happened to her. The ever looming “What if” question, if I hadn’t made the decision tp let her go…. but there was truly nothing else any of us could have done. It wasn’t in our hands anymore.
    God, chose a different path for me… and even though Willo was only 7 months old, her time on this planet, and in my life was a precious one that he gifted me with; and I am forever grateful.

    Be thankful for the times you spent with Vaquero….
    Remember them, and know that now God has set a different course for you; which will lead to a better place in your life. He has something spectacular in the waters ahead; you just have to dive in and find it.

    <3 — Barrie

    • Stacy on May 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

      Thank you for sharing that. I like that name, may keep it in mind for the future.

  27. Laurene on May 14, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Thank you for sharing. I have grieved many animals over my lifetime thus far, and expect to have to, many more times. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I know I had those precious beings for a short time here on Earth, but I hope to see them once again in heaven. I know some people say there are no animals in heaven, but I think there are due to Bible references and a dream He gave me after my Husky passed away. In a nutshell, I knew her health was failing and I told her I would take her to the vet Monday morning. She didn’t make it to sunrise Monday, but passed away sometime between midnight and 3AM. I cried and cried asking why He took her so soon? I fell asleep and had a short dream. In it, she was young and beautiful again and full of life. She ran away from me through an open gate into the field behind our house. She stopped and turned to look at me, happy, panting, smiling. A house appeared in the field and a hand slid the back door open. She ran to the house, up the steps and into the house. I woke up to this song:

  28. Kay on May 14, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Stacy, Thank you so much for this post. I believe God is using you in a big way even now as you have testified about your personal faith in Jesus. I too have been through the grieving process of two horses and a wonderful dog. But the hardest for me was the loss of my oldest daughter to a rare form of cancer. I had went through a divorce and had fallen away from God. Sad to say the death of my daughter slowly brought me back into the walk that I once had with the Lord. I was not angry with God because I have the blessed promise to see her once again…not sick but beautiful as she was before the cancer. Without God I surely would have been angry and bitter. Now I have hope and joy. I believe that there are stages to grief as stages in our physical lives. I am still praying for you. Peace that passes all understanding and joy unspeakable and precious memories of Vaquero that will put a smile on your face and comfort in your heart. God blessed you with such a marvelous horse that you and him were able to share so many beautiful avenues together. In time I promise you will be comforted by these memories. Until then reach out to friends you never knew you had and let them hold you up during this season in your life. Prayers and hugs to you. Rest in his love.

    • Stacy on May 14, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      You said it well “friends I never knew I had”, you guys may not know how much it means to me to read this stuff.

  29. Roberta Townsend on May 14, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Stacy…..again i dont know you personally….but have been a christian for many years…..and had many losses in my life both human and animals…..loss is never easy….but God has always been by myside…holding my hand…..with my first horse i was in my 20s….when video cameras first became popular…and i was videoing was windy….he was running and bucking….gate blew a half inch in front of him and he hit it square between the eyes.. and killed him instantly….i had him for years and he was the love of my life….and he was also old…..i was horrified… hysterical….my trainer and a few other friends had to literally pull me off him…..but immediatley the Lord spoke to me and said he is with me now… and i had almost immediate peace….i had just bought a little arab mare that was very green.. and beautiful…but because i had both horses i couldnt afford training…but she was so beautiful i just couldnt let her go ….after my loss i was then able to put her in training…..The onwe that was killed also had had cancer….and its horrible to watch them go down hill… …as far as im concerned God took him to a better place….and at the same time gave me such peace… and opened another door….i san give you countless other stories…im 58 now and have seen many animal friends go on….its never ever easy… but my God is always there reminding me……there with me now.. what better place for them to be…..have peace dear lady…

  30. Beth on May 14, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Losing a pet truly puts a hole in your spirit mostly because you just can’t seem to ‘tell’ them the depth of love you shared with them & what their absence will mean to you. An animal relies on you for everything, always trusting & to look in their eyes to say goodbye….is like being hit in the stomach. Even though I experience the grieving stages, knowing God created them & giving me a chance to experience His gifts as caretaker, helps me move on and love the next gift he’ll put in my care. I don’t know why my gift is to love generously the animal kingdom. I’m thankful even in losses that I have a better understanding, even though less than a fraction, more fully God’s love for all of his creation. To help me, even Jesus wept from the flesh at saying goodbye even though He knew it was temporary. Death has no power because of Him whether it be animal or human. As your days move on after Vaquero, may your love of God be fortified more as you cling to Him for strength.

  31. Joyce Miller on May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am

    You & your faith is such a testimony to the horse world. Thank you for this insight and your transparency as you heal – As expected -God is working through you in unimaginable ways- Philippians 4:13-Joyce Miller

  32. sharman woll on May 14, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Please know, my heart is with you – as I have lost several horses, and recently (April 24,12) a very special dog. But like you said – being a Christian somewhat eases the pain, knowing we will see them again one day. Sending you and your family much love and hugs, as you have had more than enough grief this past few months. Try to just keep the faith!!! God is with you!!!

  33. Shirley on May 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    (((hugs))) I’ve dealt with a lot of death and agree that loving and trusting God brings peace of heart even in grief.

  34. Charlotte thomas on May 14, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I share your grief. I have lost many dogs in my life, some which I thought I could not recover from. The grief was unbearable. Being a Christian has indeed helped and pushed me forward. I somewhat deal with this with the thought that I will see them again. I guess I need to keep that in the back of my mind. My daughter tells me, “Mom, I believe we will all gave our own horse to ride in heaven” Jesus is coming back riding on a horse, isn’t he? I pray that is true, and I also pray there is a rainbow bridge. I am praying for you, Stacie, God give you peace in your time of sorrow

  35. Kristy Pippins on May 14, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I am sorry for your loss. You have an awesome witness! Thank you for that!!

  36. Heather Stoll on May 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

    I believe that God is using your loss of Vaquero…others that don’t know God will see how faith and trust work…God never promised that things would be easy, He just promised to ALWAYS be with us.
    God Bless you Stacy. I lost my paint horse mare in ’03…I did everything with her…had her 9 years…she broke her leg. I still grieve but I believe I’ll see her in Heaven.

  37. helen mausecz victoria australia on May 14, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I thing I remember most about having to put Tia down was asking for help to deal with my grief not only for having to make that awful decision but also to deal with the fact that this was the end of all that I hoped to do with her . I realised that her entry into my life had its own purpose and God did grant me the serenity to accept what I couldn,t understand . You remain in my thoughts Stacy as you walk this sad path

  38. travelcat on May 14, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Stacy: I am going through the same thing – I had to euthanize my cat Meep on Thursday. She was only 4 days from her 16th birthday. Her situation was different, as hers was a slow decline, with good days and bad days… I let her go when the bad days outnumbered the good ones, but I will always wonder if I let her go too soon.

    I believe in God but am not religious, as such, but I never went through bargaining or much anger either, and am somewhere between denial and acceptance (I swing back and forth), and of course a lot of depression – she was my shadow for so long, being at home is painful as I keep thinking I see her out of the corner of my eye. I wonder how long it will be before I can talk about her without crying…

    Thankfully, I have my young Rocky Mountain horse, Yankee. He helps ease the pain, just by being himself, and he seems to understand that I’m the one needing some comforting this time.

    I do believe they will all be waiting for us at the end of our roads, all the animals we loved and cared for, and who cared for us in return, in their own ways. I take some comfort in knowing that I will see Meep again, on the other side.

  39. Rebecca A Smith on May 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

    This is what grieving is for a Christian…thank you Stacy!!

    • Pam Millspaw on May 14, 2012 at 8:43 am

      Thank you for your witness.

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