How can I help you to say good bye...
This morning as I was driving Lucan, my little 3 year old boy to day care, this song from Patty Loveless "How can I help you to say good bye" was playing on the radio. Instantly my emotions took over and tears were starting to roll down my cheek.
In case you don't know the song....
Somehow, this song made me think about all the good byes I had to make in my personal life, some wanted and some unwanted. Wanted, because I wanted that one job in Switzerland sooo bad, even though I had to leave my "then" boyfriend behind. Wanted, because I wanted to move to France to learn french, even though I left all my great friendships behind and more.
I was also thinking about the horses I got to know over the past few years that had left to greener pastures. Horses I "had" to photograph because it was their good byes, unwanted. Horses, that couldn't fight off diseases or illnesses, and owners that tried everything to save them, but couldn't.
These photo shoots are very emotional, and especially hard on the loving horse owner who cared so much for this animal.
There is no good way to prepare for these photo shoots. I keep it very simple, with little direction and let the owner simply be with the horse and let them have their moment of saying good bye. We walk to their favorite spots or places where they created memories together. A place she will remember after her beloved horse is no longer there.
We have small talks, talk about the horse's favorite snack or silliest tricks he loves to do, and keep it as positive as possible. Sometimes, I really think the horse is totally aware of what's going on and our energy and sadness reflects in his behavior. Just like in these powerful and emotional images with Cassie and her horse Jasper.
Although I do these sessions and help you to say good bye, they are not my favorite thing to do, BUT sometimes necessary because we, as horse owners know, things can change instantly!
If you have a horse that means the absolute WORLD to you, a horse you cared for so much and adore, don't wait for THAT moment to have your pictures taken!
If you haven't listened to the song yet, here are some lyrics. Somehow this song has been sticking with me all day!
"...Mama whispered softly time will ease your pain
Life's about changing nothing ever stays the same
And she said how can I help you to say goodbye it's okay to hurt and it's okay to cry
Come let me hold you and I will try how can I help you to say goodbye"