While I won't dwell on the recent passing on my son (you can learn more at www.ColbyKeegan.info) I have learned some things in grief counseling that I think will apply to anyone who is going through a tough time or who has a major decision to make.
1. When in doubt, write it out. Most things become clearer when you see them in black and white.
2. Be kind to yourself. We get so busy being nice to others that we forget to be nice to ourselves.
3. After a life changing event such as a divorce, job relocation, death, or serious illness, try to postpone decisions on other big events for at least one year.
4. Sleep is far more important for our health and well being than we ever imagined.
5. It's okay to cry.
6. Horses are a great indicator of how you are doing. If they relate to you normally, you are doing well.
Horses (and dogs), know when their human friends are on an emotional roller coaster, and they can be a wonderful touchstone regarding your mental health. But if you are overly emotional, you might want to think about staying away from your equine partners until you are on a more even keel. We spend a lot of time establishing trust, confidence and respect with our horses and just one emotional outburst can take away all your hard work.
Remember that dogs and humans are predators, and horses are prey. There is a fundamental difference in the two mindsets. A horse needs to know you are capable of leading him or her away from danger, if the need arises. A dog will put their life on the line for you in the blink of an eye. That's why dogs can handle your crying spell, sadness or grief much better than a horse can.
While we all hope to sail through life unscathed, the reality is that we do experience love and loss, cross country moves, job changes, divorce, serious illness and death. I believe that time is the greatest healer (and sometimes we need lots of it) but hopefully the ideas above will help some, too.