Anyone who has followed me on Facebook or has been reading this blog knows that my family experienced an unanticipated tragedy in January: my older son died. It’s been difficult. We’re still reeling, still shocked. And odd things are happening.

My workload thus far this year, omitting the two weeks I focused on nothing but funeral arrangements and grief, has been heavy. Work serves as a good distraction from grief. Unlike previous lulls during which I spent much of my time gig hunting, I’ve not done much of that this year. Perhaps this is God’s way of helping? I don’t know. I do know that I appreciate not having to send out dozens of proposals every week.

If you’re a regular reader of my rambling thoughts and posts, then you’ll also know of my equestrian adventures. Yeah, let’s call them adventures. You might remember my thrill in 2018 when I brought Diva home, quickly followed by disappointment in both her and myself and then in a succession of trainers until I found one young woman in Defiance, Ohio who was just what Diva needed. Diva came home last autumn and has been very lightly ridden afterward. Then the weather turned cold and I huddled indoors.

I don’t do cold.

My friend, Cindra, has been gracious with her support and help with Diva and then with Teddy, the little gelding I bought off a kill pen dealer in April last year. Teddy went to that wonderful trainer, too, for a few months. She worked well with him.

Anyway, my struggles with Diva continued. She intimidates me and she knows it. Since Matthew’s death, though, I’ve pretty much lost my interest in horses. Grief takes a front seat in my brain. I don’t anticipate riding Diva this spring with excitement, but with dread. I don’t wanna. My feelings toward Teddy are lukewarm.

That said, I received a call last week from a woman in southeast Pennsylvania who saw the sales ad on that I’d forgotten about. She inquired as to whether Diva was still available. We talked. She called again and we talked. On Monday this week (yesterday), she called again to tell me that she’d found a shipper to transport Diva to her farm. For all intents and purposes, Diva is sold. I can’t deny I feel some relief.

The above crumbs of good fortune feel like consolation prizes, tokens to ease the pain of great loss. Perhaps that’s ungrateful and ungracious of me. I am thankful, though, to be relieved of those stressors.

What about Teddy? I don’t know. I’ll work with him as I’m emotionally able and see if we can get along. If not, he’ll go, too.

Painting sessions are picking up with another on Sunday. This is something that I do anticipate with something less than dread, perhaps even with pleasure and interest. It’s hard to feel much beyond grief right now, but I’ll take what I can get because it feels therapeutic, as though I might be healing just a little bit.

Still, I’m working. I’m not ready to resume writing my own stories, but at least I’m working. I recognize that life must go on, not just for others, but for my husband, younger son, and me, too. Our lives are irrevocably altered and we will emerge from the grieving process altered, too.