How Do We Process Grief!

SriZhada died suddenly from an aneurysm on April 18, 2017

I walked to his lifeless body and attempted to close his eyes.

His body had reached the last stages of rigor mortis.

Remembering his elegant beauty jumping fences over five feet with grace, I took a brush one last time to his body and said goodbye.

“Your horse is down!” Was the call I received, nothing more.

KlassicAmir, my remaining Arabian horse of 20 years screamed in terror when I arrived at the barn. The bellowing screeches filled my ears. He had lost his buddy of 16 years. Terrorized eyes stared at me in panic despair. He was inconsolable.

He BELLOWED in the late afternoon air. Screams so loud, cars passing on the streets stopped in concern. When seeing a lifeless horses’ body on the ground, they knew, saddened, quietly leaving. KlassicAmir was in frightful despair.

Dreadfully abandoned, his shrieks of morbid pain, pacing through their stall, running up the pasture, not able to walk within 20 feet of his younger buddy.

My concern was for KlassicAmir, making  sure he would not die that night from exhaustion and heartbreak!

My focus: keep KlassicAmir alive by calming him down before heart failure would consume him. There was not a moment for my tears.

Hearing his mournful screams, my heart ripped inside!

An elegant muscular 1132 pound Arabian, frantically pacing, screeching his mournful torment.

I walked back up to the barn, keeping my eyes fixated on every move KlassicAmir would take. Gently reaching my arms around his neck, his head slumped on my shoulder while his body trembled, then sighed!  Softly, “I am sorry he is gone, I am here for you.”  He lowered his head to be haltered as we walked out into the barn’s long ally-way to relieve his stressed body, he snorts from exhaustion, despondent bowing his head. My determination to keep KlassicAmir alive stood staunch.

He pick his choice of hay that night, ripping violently from the stacked bales. Tossing some hay in his bucket, as we walked back into their once share large stall, knowing the stone cold body would no longer be visible as night crept in.

He must have warm water, pulling out a large bucket, filling it, thoughts raced through my head.

KlassicAmir paced in a frenzy, glancing at me then turned violently towards the door, screams shattering the night’s silent air.

Solemn GRIEF!

I pulled up a step stool with my Blue Heeler beside me, we sat together silently. KlassicAmir turned quickly to the doorway, and quietly turning looked at me with somber disbelief. His lifetime buddy was dead!

Three more times, blistering screams shocked the night air, Klassic stood at the gaping stall doorway, glancing through the dark night towards a lifeless body. One more deep sorrowful wail sent ripples through his body. Turning, he walked towards me placing his beautiful head on my forehead, sighed in exhaustion.

Slowly his breathing and heart rate calmed to a normal rate. Finally drinking some water he ate bits of hay; relief filled my body. Softly speaking, stoking his heated body, embracing him when he allowed.

The  night  became frigged, Sade, my dog needed her food. I didn’t want to leave. Another difficult choice to be made, living an hour away – was KlassicAmir now calm enough for me to leave him alone in the night? Thoughts streamed through my broken heart and mind.

It was almost midnight, I spoke to him, assuring him of my return.

He seem to accept the moment returning to his bucket of hay and water, no longer going to the doorway glancing down at a lifeless body.

Slowing leaving, checking each moment KlassicAmir’s reaction; calmness seemed to fill the barn as other horses dozed for the night.

I started my car’s engine, listening for any reaction; silence – good! As I pulled out of the driveway onto the road, all was calm. Then passing on the road, KlassicAmir bolted from his stall, shrieks filled night; my heart broke, tears rolled down my cheek bones.

The next morning I returned to an anxiously pacing Arabian. He screamed as I stepped into the barn, rumbling his entire body, I entered his stall. Our eyes met, he lowered his head as I held him.

The worse was to come, SriZhadas’ body had to be removed. My decision was to walk KlassicAmir into the barn’s ally-way once again; I didn’t want KlassicAmir to see these last moments! Chains wrapped around SirZhada’s body dragging him through the pasture to a waiting truck. A man designated his private land as a final resting place for horses; back to nature. 

I forgot the importance of a final Goodbye, I forgot to let KlassicAmir walk to the truck for his final moment.

Now the real work begins! Addressing separation anxiety.

The decade plus before, we galloped over hills and climbed cliffs. Tracking mountain lion tracks in the snow. Searched in springtime the coyote dens – watching pups grow. Rode through the February migration of Blue Birds flocking to the country side, I had another dog who ran with us, Buddy has since gone. We galloped through many New Mexico sandy arroyos, when out of sheer joy, KlassicAmir would buck then prance with his head held high. He stood by me when my dogs died and when I was devastatingly injured and could not lift my saddle onto his back for three years.

We were an inseparable family.

Life’s detours did lurked in the dark corners years prior in 2004. I was to lose my life completely, my Arabians and my dogs kept me alive!

I slipped on black ice and asphalt.

My body emulated Humpty Dumpty and the surgeons had to put me back together again, over 7 long years! Shattered joints, torn tendons and muscles; I am Bionic now!


I was misdiagnosed many times; I knew I had a very serious TBI. And……..

This would be a 13 year fight of my life! A long story cut short, fighting a misguided medical systems that lent no hope. As I fully recovered from all the surgeries, the TBIs exacerbated to multiple TBIs with no medical professionals knowing the recovery process. I was left to fight on my own, stumbling in the dark, alone!

It’s a solitary life inside an injured brain, a prison with no bars.

I am a determined defiant Redheaded lady! 

How was I to guide the reprogramming of my own brain’s dysfunctions, and ameliorate all the concussive disorders.

Riding my horses! The movement promotes activation of the brain stem.

I had written 6 pages of dysfunctions for my neurologist. While existing his office with my head turned slight backwards, I watch him toss my words into the trash, as if I were garbage!

Determined to recover, but never to grieve those 13 years, of how I loss my place in life.

Over 8 months, twice weekly, I wrote 610,000 words plus for a coming book. This endeavor rewired most of my lost brain. I relearned how to read, speak, rejuvenated my conversation and professional speaking abilities; refurbished my vocabulary, repaired my photographic memory.

Next came, sorting out my own behavior, distinguishing the differences from cognition and disorientation. Every opportunity, I would stop and reflect, rewire my brain to change, think, reorganize, be a better person than I once was.

I recovered completely and more! It was a waste of precious time to look back. Forward only!

Now, here in November2017,  I have a frantically grieving Arabian horse that breaks my heart!

To regain our once solid relationship, I was to grieve with him!

Grief is personal.

When acceptance comes, we move on.

Now: We walk in silence, slowly away from the barn, away from the mares, away from the memories of death.

As we come to the foothills, he bellows, his body shutters. The feelings of grief fill us both. Turning my horse to see the foothills we see other horses walking joyously, we have another future in front of us.

His soft brown eye stare into mine. We both have lost, we both have felt pain and we both must accept life’s courses.

The mountain of life yet to be forged we walk forward together. Walking KlassicAmir with Sade by our side, I remember how I changed and restored my brain, we have conquered the impossible.

Life cycles – all ends in death. Acceptance allows life to move on through the grief felt.

As KlassicAmir and I renew our confidence, accepting life’s losses, grief dissipates. We move forward not looking back, we cannot change the past, but we have greater good to accomplish in our future.

I learned we have only the limitations we place on ourselves. We must ponder which roads to travel, there are no guarantees except death. During the course of life, there will be many losses and joyous moments.

Our hearts will break many times, allow the heart to break and then mend.

KlassicAmir saved my life as I was mending, and now we process different deaths,  together we come to an acceptance.

I’ve been brought down to my knees, and I have been pushed way past the point of breaking, but I will be back on my feet, don’t count me out just yet, this is far from over, you haven’t see the last of me!

Never limit yourself or anyone else! We all have far reaching capacities unknown to us, give everyone the opportunity of discovery and recovery!


 Thank you for Donating through PayPal !!

To my SriZhada ~Dust to Dust

You are missed!

June 2001 ~ April 18 2017


About the Author: MicheleElys is a Neurobehaviorist ~ Writer ~ Educator ~ Keynote Speaker.

Concussions are a huge drain in the workplace!” 4-6 week training program relieving the agony of TBIs and concussions. 

Founder of NBR [neural behavior recognition]. A recovery model for Trauma/TBI Improvement, Recovery to maintenance, Need a Consult? Connect with MicheleElys email LinkedIn, 

MicheleElys All Rights Reserved©

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