A horse named Charlie
Once upon a time, there was a horse named Charlie. People thought Charlie was unruly and contrary. He was skinny, undernourished and with spots on his coat.
And it came to pass that a little girl named Helen bought Charlie. In a few short weeks, Charlie flourished, his body filled out and the spots disappeared. He became a beautiful horse with a black mane and solid brown coat. Lo and behold! Charlie blossomed into a gentle horse with great patience.
Helen loved Charlie with a love that can only be understood by people who truly love animals. She loved to brush him down and then ride him. She also loved to watch him run, with his black mane flowing in the wind and the sun glistening off his brown coat. The times that she spent with Charlie were the best times of her life. And, in time, Helen began to love Charlie with a love that surpassed the love she had for people. She came to see the special nature of Charlie; and he became the most dependable force in her life.
When he became impatient with her, he would move his right hoof up and down, bending it slightly at the knee, and tapping the ground.
Helen and Charlie were friends for 16 years. Then, it came to pass that Charlie died. Helen was devastated. She felt crushed – it broke her heart. After so many idyllic years together, she felt abandoned by Charlie.
Britina is a psychic with excellent ‘vision.’ One day she went to a café for lunch. When she finished eating, she went up to the cash register to pay for lunch. Helen was there. Even though the two of them had never met, Helen began to tell Britina about her feelings of loneliness and pain after Charlie died. As Helen talked, Britina began to “see” Charlie in her mind’s eye.
“Is your horse brown with a dark mane?” Britina asked.
“Oh! Yes! How did you know that?” Helen responded, with tears in her eyes.
Britina explained that she could see Charlie and that he wanted her to know that he is still with her. Helen was astonished. How could this be?!
“What else does he have to say?” Helen asked.
Britina replied that she saw Charlie move his right foot up and down, tapping the ground. “Oh!”Helen said, “He always did that when he became impatient with me!”
Britina went up to Helen and hugged her, saying, “Even though Charlie’s body is not present, he is with you still.”
Helen was upset that Charlie had died without letting her help him. She felt guilty, feeling she should have known he was sick. Charlie did not want to be helped. He knew it was his time to go.
“So you have no reason to feel guilty. It was his time. Any attempt to save him would have resulted in more pain for him – and then debilitation – and then a longer and more painful death.” Britina said. Through this conversation, Helen came to realize that his death was a part of the natural order of things, that she could stop blaming herself and instead, come to realize the joy and benefit to her – having known this beautiful horse.
And for Britina, this was likewise a special experience. She felt refreshed by this wonderful relationship between Helen and Charlie.
Helen left the office, and Britina told her co-worker, Julie, what had just happened.
Julie responded by saying, “Tell her to get over it -- it is just a horse!!”
“NO!!” Britina exclaimed. She felt as if she had been stabbed in the heart.
“Yes,” said Julie, “That’s exactly what you should tell her.”
Britina felt like saying some very angry words, but turned away and bit her lip. She was still blessed by the spirit of this great horse – and heard the words “She knows not what she is saying.”
Peace overcame her soul. “Thank you, Charlie,” she said. And then she sent love to Julie -- love without conditions.