#7 Death meditation: notes
My death is imminent, no time for resolutions of any unfinished business with anyone, no time for goodbyes. I instantly recalled being with my father’s bold horse, a steeplechaser called Bridgedown, when he was put down. I felt as though I was right there, my face against the horse’s soft muzzle, the prick of his whiskers on my cheek. A huge feeling of sadness, quickly followed by shame. Shame not only that I stood with him, delivering him to his death, but that I was allowing my sadness to come out, that he would pick up on it and get distressed. I was back there, aged 15, stroking his neck.
I let everything but him go from my mind. Somehow, back then, I just leant into him, smiling, at his strength as a young horse, his jittery thoroughbred dance moves, his courage and almost crazy strength when galloping. I was able to step back when the vet told me, but I kept hold of the blue rope that linked me to Bridgedown and I looked him in the eye with love as they shot him. All this flashed through my mind, with images of his chestnut tail after he startled, hooves slamming once, and then fell and was dragged away as I cried. One minute he was there, the next his essence was gone, his body a lump. Like me. Like my death. There, then gone, and my body a lump. In death horse and rider are but dust, which reminded me of what it was like to look at Gunther von Hagens “Rearing Horse with Rider (2000). The horse and rider were almost as one, dead and flayed their similarities are clearer than their species’ differences.