Her connection with him was undeniable. Every time we came to the barn, Katie would say hello to Noe’s horse, Jasper, and then go off to find her friend. She’d always make sure that Papa had extra carrots and peppermints for him. (He always did.) She’d stand by his stall and hang out with him, petting his head, chatting with him, and marveling at how gentle he was given his mammoth size. They just had something special between them.

It broke my heart to tell her that he was sick. That this would likely be our last visit. That she should say goodbye.

She gave him his carrots, his peppermints. She gently stroked his face and told him that it would be okay.


{Katie feeding Thor}

I suggested we leave before it got even harder but she couldn’t walk away, so we stayed.

She made him promise to tell Grandma Noe that we love her and to look for Cayuse.

He bobbed his massive head in an exaggerated nod. We looked at each other, mouths agape.

“Yes, baby,” I said, “I saw it too. He said that he would.”

There was no doubt; he had promised.

“He’ll run with Cayuse,” I told her. “He won’t hurt anymore.”

I told her it was time to go; everyone was waiting for us.

“I can’t leave yet,” she said, “Not yet.”

I nodded and stood with her. We’d wait until she was ready.

I tried to assure her that it was for the best. That he was in tremendous pain. That it wasn’t fair for him to hurt like this.

“It’s too much,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “It’s too similar. It’s too soon. It’s just … too much.”

I wrapped my arm around my girl and tried desperately to believe that things were as they should be, even when everything felt — feels — so damned wrong.

“I just don’t want my friend to die,” she said, ” I don’t want him to just be gone like … ”

Her tears swallowed her words.

“I know, baby,” I said, “I know.”


{Katie talking to Thor at the barn}

A couple of days later, my dad called to say that Thor had been put down. They’d had no other choice.

I held my girl.

She held me back.

It was too similar.

Too soon.

Too much.


Beautiful Thor, may he run free



Noelle and Cayuse

too soon

8 thoughts on “thor

  1. To simply type “I’m sorry” sounds flippant but in reality there are no words that I can use that honor the loss properly. I am so sorry for the loss.

  2. He’s just across the next ridge, through the fields and beyond the meadows full of flowers. He’s eating carrots and peppermints and standing strong with all who love him who are waiting with him, just around the corner at the edge of your vision. A shimmer in the sun, a glimmer in the dark. He’s just beyond your reach but never beyond the love in your heart. Sending all the love and strength in the world to you and yours tonight and every night. (((Hugs)))

  3. I’m so sorry Katie lost this special part of her. The bond will always be in her heart, but I know it’s no consolation to any of your family. Losing Thor so soon after losing Grandma Noe is too unbearable to think of. I pray Katie will hold onto those good memories, draw him, maybe make a small Memorial Garden. She could put a beautiful angel figurine for Grandma Noe, horses for Cayune and Thor. Maybe under a tree that beautiful flowers can be planted there. Just a thought. I hope the pain you all are feeling can be pushed back by all of the love and happiness you all shared.

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