March 12, 2013

No Ordinary Rainbow

It rained, and I cried... all day long yesterday.  I started to read through some of the many beautiful emails and comments I've been receiving.  Beautiful poems, stories and verses- many in attempt to answer my question about horses going to Heaven.  People have told me to look for a sign from Willow...  some promised that I would see a sign... or feel her with me somehow.

In the morning, after the kids left for school, I immediately broke down and cried.  I went out to see The Prince and hug on him for a while... and then I walked in the rain to see Paloma and Charlie who were extra sweet to me. When I returned, I went into Willow's stall and sat down on the straw and cried some more.  I tried so hard to quiet my tears because maybe if I was quiet enough it would happen... I would hear her or see some sort of sign.  I waited and waited... but nothing.  I imagined the sky getting bright and looking up to see a rainbow. The clouds would clear, the sun would shine, and a beautiful rainbow would appear.  How I wished I'd see a rainbow... what a beautiful sign that would be.  So all day long, it continued to rain, and I kept looking for rainbows.  I must have gone outside fifty times to look for a rainbow in the sky, but the sky remained gray.  As darkness fell, I was so disappointed.  But then it occurred to me that maybe I would dream about Willow.  Maybe Willow would visit me in my dreams...

When I woke up, I was fine for a moment... but then it hit me.  I remembered my sadness and realized that Willow was gone- and that I didn't have any dreams about her during the night... and I cried.  I texted Martha, "The mornings are so hard.  I wake up and cry when I realize she is gone."   

So I pulled myself together, put on a pot of coffee, and got the kids off to school.  When I returned to my bedroom, I picked up my phone and saw that I had missed Martha's return text:  "Look at the sunrise. From where I am, every cloud has a rainbow edge."   So I jumped up and ran to the window... only to find some pretty clouds behind the hills but nothing with rainbow edges.  I was so upset that I'd missed it.  But the clouds were so pretty and I thought I'd take a photo to show Martha what I was seeing.  When I looked at the photo on my cell phone... this is what I saw:


It wasn't there before... I couldn't see it with my eyes... yet it somehow appeared in the photo. So I snapped again and again... and it kept appearing... a reflection of the heavens with a shape in the middle... the shape of a horse's head.  And it was right over her pasture!


I kept snapping, and it kept evolving... but it was still there... I asked myself was it really a horse head or was it me just wanting it to be?  But then I saw this...


The sun rays brighter now, and to the left of the horse head shape was what looked like a horse! Do you see it?? the ears, the eyes, the nose... the feet...  My heart was racing... So I kept snapping...


And here I see what looks to me almost like a horse leaping toward the sun...  could this be Willow's spirit?  Something told me to go out to the barn... hurry, go out to the barn!  So I did...


This is the first photo I took...  the beautiful sunrays... but when I looked at my phone camera, I noticed the tiny white flare... right next to Willow's stall window!!!  It was cold outside, and I wasn't wearing a coat.  Satisfied with my miracle, heart still racing, I headed back toward the house.  But something called to me... "Go to her stall..."  And as I passed Michael on his way out to feed the other horses, I turned around, "I have to go to Willow's stall!" I cried... and I ran as fast as I could.


And this is what I saw...   and the little white flare was there...  right where the sign that reads "Faith" is hanging on her stall door...  Then something in my heart said, "Open the door..."


When I opened the door, the sun beams were so bright and I felt their warmth.  The hazy sun rays flooded her stall...  And when I looked at the photo I had taken, I could see a rainbow flare like a halo all around the sun rays.  I could still see the little white flare, but there was a pink glow around it now, and I knew it had to be Willow's spirit.. moving ever closer to the sun and resting in the exact spot where we found her late that last night.  It has been so hard for me.. that memory of her there where she looked so uncomfortable.  But suddenly it was so beautiful... and I could feel her there.  And I knew for sure that this was my sign....


I snapped one last photo of the sun on my way back to the house.  And look who followed me...  on her way back up to Heaven.  I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that horses do go to Heaven... and that some lucky Angel will be riding on Willow until I am with her again.  And that until then, she will be with me, in my heart and by my side for always.  Thank you sweet Willow... thank you dear God.... Thank you for this sign.... this miracle... it was so so much better than any ordinary rainbow. ♥


208 comments:

  1. WOW!!! What a beautiful gift you were given by God and Willow! I fully believe that horses go to heaven! I cannot wait to be with the horses that I have loved and have passed away! You're in my prayers girl.

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  2. This series brought tears to my eyes and made every hair on my neck and arms stand on end. Willow is with you, watching over you and wanted to let you know she's never going to leave you even though she can't be with you any longer. I'm just absolutely in awe of this series!!

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  3. OH Shana, This is beautiful. =) Willow wanted you to have a wonderful memory of her. She loved you so much. She is in Heaven waiting for you and will be in your heart always. I learned animails were in heaven when my dear Teaje (white schnauzer) passed away 10 years ago. She is my heart to this day. I miss her dearly I still cry. I have had other dogs but nothing like my Teaje. I can't not wait to see her again. I am so glad willow gave you this. She wanted to say see you later. This just brings happiness to my heart. Willow has touched me in so many ways. I am just so greatful for you sharing her with us all. Thank you.

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  4. My heart breaks for you, but part of Willow will always be there with you, cherish the memories :)

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  5. She loves you just as you love her, always. God is good, all of the time.

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  6. You'll feel Willow surround you for the rest of your life. She'll be your guardian angel...just like you were hers. <3

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  7. Wow how amazing! This gave chills but the kind you get when you see or hear something amazing that it just touches you so much. Thank you so much for sharing your stories and your life of Willow with us. She will be remembered by thousands and thousands.

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  8. Beautiful story and I too believe that was your sign. I know you will always miss her but you have very nice photos of her to look back and remember her by. It will take you some time to heal but you will get there because you have faith and see the signs that have been left for you. :)

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  9. OMGosh, bawling for happiness!!! Such a wonderful comfort! God loves and DOES bless! Amen for your sign.

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  10. the pic of her stall door, I see an eye on the door.........she is with you, she will always be watching over you, and she will continue to give you signs, just when you need them {{hugs}}

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  11. Amazing Shana! Even in the pictures with the little horse there is a pink glow with the tiny flare dot. I'm so happy you got your sign and were comforted. I think I have said it in other comments but I hope you continue to blog, you write so beautifully and we are all in love with your story and can't wait to see where you are led next. XO

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  12. Oh Wow! I'm sitting here bawling like a baby. Thank you for sharing that. We all needed to see this because we all love and miss Willow too.

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  13. Such a moving story, Willow gave you her sign. She wanted you to replace the sad memory with a beautiful one. Letting love and light into her stable.

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  14. Love this! Thank you for sharing this Shana! This might sound strange but this wonderful story you have shared with all of us should be a movie. So many people have been inspired by the love you shared with Willow. I look forward everyday to see what you have posted. Today's post was heavenly!

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  15. This is so beautiful it made me tear up!

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  16. Simply Amazing!!!!!!!

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  17. Absolutely beautiful!!!! See...she is with you and will be always...untill you meet again in heaven!

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  18. Did you look up Mary Ann Kennedy's song "Spririt Horse" that I emailed you about?
    I'm glad you got your sign. She is your spirit horse now.
    Hugs!

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  19. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that!<3

    I had typed out a note for you on your blog yesterday, and it didn't go through (my computer messed up) but I want you to know some of what was in my note. I am grateful for your words. Often times people say 'there are just no words' when it comes to losing a loved one.. but Shana, you found the words. You described perfectly how I felt when I lost my beloved childhood pet Shih-Tzu, Tai <3
    I wish I could recall exactly what I wrote. I'm sorry that I can't :(
    But I'll add to today's! I love that Willow has come to say hi <3, she's always with you I have no doubt in that, but it's so nice to see them, to feel them, to know their love is still there. Those photos are just that :) and I'm SO happy you have them. Thank God for iPhone's huh? :)
    I also asked for signs of my Tai, after he passed. And I got them, which I'm so thankful for. I know to this day he is right beside me too. Which is what Willow will be doing :)
    Not once have I ever thought animals don't go to Heaven! They're the most loving, gentle, amazing creatures to bless this earth, <3
    If I loved in your part of this world I'd come hug you <3, thank you for sharing, and I'm very sorry for your loss :( I'm so glad you and WIllow found each other and had this time together. xo
    Lasha

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  20. She couldn't leave without saying goodbye either. So sweet

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    1. your comment brought a big smile to my face! ~amy weir

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  21. I am going to have to stop reading this blog. Every entry I end up in tears! The letter Nancy wrote to you had me SOBBING earlier and now this! I'm not sure I have ever written before but I have followed your and Willow's story, because it was never just her story.

    I've cheered for her and mourned for her along with you. Our 16 year old black lab passed away this last summer so I know first hand how devastating the loss of a loved animal is. But as you wrote Willow was more than a 'pet' to you. She was your soul mate. Don't for a second think God didn't give her to you when it was time. Not only did you save her but I think in part she saved you. For whatever reason God called her home now. We don't get to know His plan for our lives {now!} but someday we will. Willow was used for YOU in some grand way that we can't see at this time. {Maybe you can. I hope you can.} She fulfilled her calling on this earth. She was broken and beat and YOU were lucky enough to get to save her. Her remaining days were filled with love and grace and hope from you. I pray these pictures can erase the 'bad' pictures you have in your mind of her final days and be filled with the presence of a God who works in our lives in unimaginable ways. In your case through the life of a Regal Queen.

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  22. now you know.. you know that she is finally at peace.. no more pain... and she will be there waiting for you....

    thank you for sharing Willows story with us...

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  23. What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. I hope you have some peace now.

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  24. How beautiful! As i can hardly type thru the tears. I am so glad you got your sign from Willow. It was just beautiful. May your memories and photos make your days easier to come. But they are always missed here on earth. But rest assured you will see her again one day
    Sherri

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  25. God is good! I'm so happy he gave you a miracle to ease your pain.

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  26. OMG. CHILLS!!!!!!! a horse leaping toward the sun had me believing!!!! Amazing captured shots of this. Just breathtaking and speechless. Sending my love and deep condolences.

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  27. Chills. Willow is in a wonderful place now, waiting to see you again one day :-)

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  28. So glad you have peace in your heart. You comment about whether horses go to Heaven reminded me of a book I read. It's called "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo. I highly recommend it. It's about a little boy's near-death experience and what he remembers from a visit to Heaven. He talks about animals being there and I think that part specifically would bring you even more peace and joy. It's an easy read and well worth the time and money.
    :)

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  29. Thank you for continuing to share your journey! What a priceless experience.

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  30. Wow, I have chills!!!This brought me to tears, what amazing images! She will be with you always, never forget that!!! Thank you so much for sharing Willows story with all of us. Sending lots of love!!

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  31. Wow, soooo beautiful, I'm so glad you've found some peace, what a wonderful sign :)

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  32. God is good....so happy for you and shedding some bittersweet tears. What a tremendous blessing. The above book is a good one to read. You won't be able to put it down, and it can be read in a couple of hours.

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  33. That is simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey, as hard as it has been. She is watching over you, without a doubt. That's quite a sign you received and I'm so very, very happy for you. Perhaps now you will find a bit more peace.

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  34. Beautiful! I got chills when I saw the 2nd photo. It looks like three horses from the behind in the head... God is so good to us. He knows our hearts and how and when we need comfort. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  35. There should be no doubt about do our four-legged friends go to heaven, they absolutely do. Those photos were amazing and I am always amazed the signs God gives us when we ask. The peace it is totally amazing that comes upon us. I have ask for signs many times and I am never disappointed at what is given. These two post made me cry because of the beauty I see in the photos and your heartfelt writing.

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  36. Shana, this was so sweet and you could not have asked for a more perfect chapter for Willow's story. God knows your pain, and He hears when we cry out to Him, and this is just proof that He cares for us and doesn't like seeing His children in pain and without a ray of Hope. While there will never be another Willow for you, there will always be another horse that needs your love and Willow's legacy to live on. Once your ready, I encourage you to open up your heart and barn to give another horse that hope. May God continue to bless you!

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  37. Shana, this is so wondrously amazing... Willow truly did send you a sign. I hope it will bring some small measure of peace to your aching heart. When my son died a couple of years ago, I too begged for a sign ... a promise that I would see him again. I got my sign, just like you have gotten yours. I truly believe that these signs are real; that they will come to those who ask for them.

    With much BIG love to you and your family♥

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  38. Nancy Craig Hebert3/13/13, 9:49 AM

    Oh Shana...look at the very first picture that you took with your phone! I see Willow's shooting star at the top of the picture! Going over just at the same time you took the picture! I am comforted knowing that God has comforted you.
    2 Corinthians 1:3-4...."Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
    Shana....your work is not done. You comforted Willow. Willow comforted you. God comforted you. You will now comfort others with the same comfort that God has given to you during this time. Just wait and see how he uses Willow's story and YOU in the future. I cannot WAIT to hear of this never-ending story. It doesn't end here.....not by a long shot! Be blessed my sister! We WILL see Willow again!

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  39. I sit here with tears flowing down my face and a lump in my throat literally FEELING YOUR EMOTIONS and the only thing I can say is that I am in the middle of a book about angels and it says about the love of an animal and the signs they leave us behind and Shana this truly was your sign !!!But don't be discouraged that this is your last, because she will continue to send you signs. Watch the other animals (cats & dogs have high senses)will let you know she has came to visit :)..I KNOW YOUR HEART ACHES SO BADLY RIGHT NOW, BUT WHEN YOU LAY YOUR HEAD DOWN AT NIGHT KNOW THAT SHE FOUND HER PLACE WITH YOU FOR A REASON AND YOU DID GIVE HER THE LOVE, DEVOTION AND FRIENDSHIP SHE NEEDED AND DESERVED TO HER LAST DAYS..YOU ARE HER HERO...GET RID OF ANY GUILT YOU MAY FEEL AND FILL THAT SPOT WITH PEACE KNOWING YOU GAVE HER THE BEST MEMORIES OF HER LIFE!!!....Look forward to you sharing the many more sign she gives you...

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  40. The green ring, it's a sign of eternity! Good medicine, she's romping in the fields of the spirit world happy!

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  41. What a beautiful sign from her! When I lost my black beauty in July I had a beautiful dream about him. We walked together to this beautiful view of rolling green pastures, he was beautiful and filled out, not looking so old and thin like he was when he passed and his coat was so bright. He nuzzled me, and ran away. I cried forever that morning... that wasn't enough for me. But I knew he was at peace after that...that he was ok.

    A few months later I pulled out my saddle to ride a friends horse, and was feeling funny about using HIS stuff on another horse... about 30 minutes after I pulled it out, I felt a little hair in my mouth and it was his...about a inch long. I think that was him too.

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  42. last night our lesson at church was about Heaven.. and there are animals in heaven.
    You know how God designed the Garden of Eden? He designed it perfect, it was before sin entered the world, before Adam and Eve ate of the tree. So how did he design it to be? With animals! There were animals in the world He designed (as well as work - side note, so work is good it just has to be done right). So yes there are animals in heaven. :)

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  43. This was definitely your sign that she's made it to Heaven. She wants you to know everything is okay, an she will forever remain with you. I can not imagine the tears you've cried because I sure have wept with you. I hope that it only gets better from here, now knowing Willow is truly still with you. You'll always find and see things she leaves for you. I truly do hope that you'll be able to connect with another horse as you did with her. God Bless You Shana, and may you eternally rest in peace dearest Willow.

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  44. I can feel God's Love to you & all who Love you & Willow. Rejoice!

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  45. Just amazing! I had something similar when my Grandfather died. I begged for a sign and it showed up as a big burst of a green fireball in the sky one night as I was crying so hard! So glad that you got to have your moment like that!

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  46. Claire Sale3/13/13, 9:55 AM

    God is so good, Shana! Willow is happy and thanking you for saving her, for loving her, for doing everything you could do to make her last months on this Earth good ones. She is in Heaven now and will wait for the day when you can join her. Until then, she'll be watching over you. I am so happy that you are comforted by this sign that Willow and God gave you! Not only does Willow love you ... God loves you even more! <3
    My only regret is that I didn't go out to Rood & Riddle to see Willow. I live in Lexington and so wanted to meet this wonderful spirit you rescued. But I thought maybe you wouldn't want someone you didn't know to be around her, even though the staff escorts visitors. I wouldn't have wanted you to worry about that so I stayed away.
    I, too, hope you'll continue your blog. You're a very talented writer and storyteller. Someone has mentioned more than once that this story should be made into a movie. I agree!
    Please take care of yourself.

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  47. erin from ohio3/13/13, 9:55 AM

    My first impression of the first photo was that of an eye, and that it meant she was watching for you. I am so happy for your miracle, and hope that this gives you some closure to soothe your aching heart. I have been so worried for you!
    I can tell that although you are hurting, You Will Be OK. She will never leave you, and you will always miss her, but you will be able to go on, and maybe even love another horse someday, when you are ready. I had heard from a Dr. before that many people cope with the loss of a child by having another. Not to replace the one lost, but to help give them another being to love and help fill some of the hole left in their hearts. Maybe it's similar with the animals we love?
    I'm glad you have continued to share your story with us. I hope it will continue....

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    1. I thought the same thing - that it was Willow's eye watching over Shana!

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  48. Oh my, what a wonderful sign :)

    I knew you would feel her around you, I think I said it in my post to you. My horses have been gone for years now and sometimes I have a dream that we are together. The dreams are SO real you know that they are not just an ordinary dream ~ that somehow they have visited you and made the connection again. When I wake from a dream like this it takes a moment before I realise they are no longer here, but it feels so real. I think you will have a connection like this with Willow. I cried when I read this but it is so beautiful that she came to you ♥ a true blessing! x

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  49. Oh Shana if it's only because you want it to be there, I see it too !!! And maybe I just want so badly for it to be there for you,but I truely believe it is exactly what you think it is! That magnificent wonderful horse of yours is letting you know she is okay now... and now , maybe you can be too!

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  50. I just happen to see this on FB today.. thought it was fitting..

    Psalm 34:18: "The Lord is near to them that are of a broken heart, and saves those whose spirit is crushed."

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  51. I believe. So sorry for your loss however; thank you for saving her. She left this earth so loved.

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  52. I have zero doubts that was Willow. What an awesome gift.
    Eileen

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  53. I see her sign in your photos - it is undeniable. She is there - floating in the clouds, the wind, the sun, the rainbow - the brilliant light.....If YOU believe it and see it, those who followed Willow's story will see it too - What a BEAUTIFUL post!!! I am so much happier for you today that you saw this. Captured on film, to be forever a tangible piece of evidence needed when you look back on this day and feel that moment again. xo

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  54. Well, again I cry but a much happier cry today. My poor husband who usually gives me a hard time when I cry over TV or something was in the house Sunday morning when I read the news, He had been asking me for Willow updates all week, as he saw me sobbing, he quietly asked what was wrong and through my sobs I told him. He was so sweet and reminded me how loved she was and that she was no longer in pain. So I know your sweet girl is happy and running free. I have no doubt that you will see her again.

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  55. I saw her too. It was beautiful and I know she will be with you always. Thank you for sharing willow with us. I will never forget her life or her story. I hope you can fond peace knowing she is running toward the sun...unbroken and well

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  56. My heart is thumping. xxx
    I too believe in these mircales, as it happened to me.
    A heart shaped light came to me flickering on the water at the harbour. It flicked 3 times.
    It was a sign that my friend had passed away. She always put a small heart on her photos in the corner.

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  57. I am so happy for you! Love stays with us always. Willow will always love you and be with you.

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  58. What a miracle!!! She sure loves you Shana!!!

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  59. Wow!!! What a miracle!!!! She will always be there with you :)

    I read this with tears and chills. What a great way to start your day!

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  60. Shana, goodness me, this whole story has been such a moving and inspiring roller coaster to read! I love horses, always have, since I was little - they have such majesty and spirit. Horses were my life until art took over. Following your story has been so immensely touching that I can't even begin find the right words. I know that you are suffering now, but as you said, "it was all worth it" - it always is when we love our animal friends.
    I am totally with you in that we can discover a 'Soulmate' in an animal. I found mine in a cat I adopted from a rescue home. He was a little kitten, barely surviving a deadly bout of cat flu. He was a special soul - we used to look into each others eyes, just like you and Willow did! He was only with me for just over 1 year until he disappeared from my life, never to be seen again. So many questions ran through my head. I was desperate as I just didn't know what had happened. I spent one whole month searching for him everyday! But the truth is, that on the very first day I walked out of my house, along the river, to find him, within seconds I 'felt' and 'saw' him, clear as day, at my feet, rubbing around my legs as I walked, as cats do. I knew it was his Spirit. I knew he was there with me.
    But I carried on looking anyway. Like you, I didn't want to give up hope, just in case, - I knew I had to do everything I humanly could to find him again if he was still out there somewhere - I couldn't bear to think of him suffering somewhere. But the thing is, that no matter how much we, you, or Willow, or any other person or animal suffers, the minute we feel love/loved the suffering is eased, even if the pain is still there. Love heals all. You healed Willow, simply because you loved her! She continues to heal you through the love you share for each other. Thanks for reminding me of the simple, glorious truth that Love does, indeed, heal all :)

    With best wishes and appreciation for your courage in sharing your wonderful story and your journey with Willow,
    Joanne.x

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    1. By sharing Willow with all of us, Shana, you have either allowed us to re-connect with our own stories that are similiar to yours and Joanne's or given some the courage they need to seek this kind of relationship and help another soul in whatever fur form that takes. I don't know if you will EVER understand the magnitude that has had and will continue to have as long as you share Willow's story. You have shown thousands of people what true love looks like and even feels like. The numbers of people you have heard from are few compared to the numbers you have and will touch.
      My heart to you too, Joanne. I still miss my little "Spooky" and smell his soft fur the way I know you do your kitty. Isn't it wonderful they way they stay with us?

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  61. Through tears, again, I'm reading your post...I think there are many of us that needed to see Willow's sign to you as well. And I'm so thankful for your friend, Martha, for sending you that text! What beautiful images God provided for you to know that Willow is indeed moving on and doing beautifully! I will continue to pray for you and your heart to move toward happiness again. It will take awhile, I know, but you'll get there. I've always said it's harder to be left behind than it is for the ones leaving us, but we must move forward, as that is what the one leaving would want us to do. I have a feeling there is another horse soul out there that is in need of your sweet, loving heart!

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  62. Aww so beautiful...I am literally sitting here crying but this time happy tears. I am so happy you got your sign...Willow and you are soulmates and I have no doubt one day a long time from now that beautiful horse will meet you right at heavens gate to lead you into paradise. Till then...keep your heart open and the signs will keep coming.

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  63. These photos are so beautiful. I felt so close to God while reading your blog today.
    I believe you are right - it's a sign from Willow.
    Enjoy all the wonderful things Heaven has to offer you Willow!

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  64. Oh my goodness! I have tears in my eyes as I write this. Those images are so beautiful and so amazing! You definitely got your miracle and your sign that Willow is indeed at peace.

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  65. Shana, what a BLESSING she appeared to you!! What a wonderful gift she gave you. You will see her again across that Rainbow Bridge. Of course horses DO go to heaven! If you read the book Heaven is for Real,a little boy who actually passed and got to experience heaven... the little boy even describes Jesus' horse as a huge white horse with a RAINBOW mane and tail. I read that to my daughter all the time. I too am a horse owner and know the bone aching pain you are going through. I pray that Willow and God give you the strength to carry on, inspire more people, save more horses, and continue her story. Her story didn't end on Earth... it continues on just as she showed you!! Use her blog to keep inspiring, keep telling her tale, she will lead you what to say. There should be a lot more people on this Earth like you Shana. Don't forget it. xxxxxxx ~Suzanne

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  66. Just when you think you can't go on our God renews our spirit:) Beautiful story!

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  67. How cool is that!!! I can hardly type through my tears... and I'm sitting at my desk at work of all places ;) These men in here are going to think I'm nutty! lol
    I see her head, and her body... :) She came to check on you and tell you that she is fine .... that she is free! Free from pain! Don't cry because she is gone, smile because you knew her and were able to show her love!! Many hugs to you!

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  68. your goodness, your patience, your perseverance were rewarded. What amazed the most about these posts is how they all mention you getting your kids ready for school, and how even in your darkest moments your heart still has you giving everything of yourself to others and being there for your family. I am grateful that you share your heart with us, your readers and fans.

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  69. The first thing I saw in the ghosted image was a heart....clearly looked like a heart bursting with love ♥
    So sorry for your pain : (
    She is showering you with love!

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  70. This is truly amazing Shana! You have received your sign, I always new and told you I believed the she would go to Heaven... You will see signs from her, always..it will be her way of telling you that she is ok. The same kind of things happened to me after my 17 year old daughter ,Jessica was killed... She knew I needed those signs and showed me many amazing ways that she was ok and in Heaven..I am so happy for you...God Bless you and your family and your loving spirit, you did what all of us should do, take something in need and help, love and cherish it...Hugs to you and I will always keep up with your Blog and your beautiful photography.. and I will hold Willow in my heart forever!

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  71. PS, I was also struck by the immediate and instinctive thought that it was Willow's eye in the photos too!! :)

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    1. I thought the same thing....she was watching!

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  72. Shana, rarely does anything touch my heart like this. As others, I found this moved me to tears. I am certain that was your beloved Willow come back to let you know she's ok now and that she's so grateful for every thing you did for her. I have no doubt. In spiritual work, we are taught that the pink and gold light is that of angelic energies. You, my dear, have memorialized an angel for all to see. This is a very rare and pure gift. Hugs to you dearest one. You will miss your beloved horse and be sad for a long time over such a tragic loss. That is normal. But know she's in a better place, and yes, she will be waiting for you when it's your turn to cross to the light. Take comfort in the fact that you helped a creature everyone else had forgotten. Know that you helped someone that was truly helpless, and you gave this help from a pure heart. Willow knows this, and she came back to thank you.

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  73. Kathleen Clayton3/13/13, 10:31 AM

    WOW WOW WOW!!!

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  74. Oh Shana...it was all worth it. Isn't God amazing. Sending you love, hugs & comfort.

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  75. Incredible!

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  76. A photographer in North Alabama...I've purchased from you and followed your work for a while. I read on your blog somewhere that you lived in TN....so being neighbors, I was drawn to your work a little more. I read an excerpt from Willow's blog a few months back and followed her beautiful story. I am heartbroken for you over the loss of beautiful Willow...I sat and had a long cry while reading your post. Sending peaceful and loving thoughts your way...Shelly

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  77. Beautiful...just beautiful. No other words...

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  78. So many have said it so well...you cared for a forgotten creature and did everything that was humanly possible. I hope you will consider helping another rescue. Hopefully this link will work...a friend of mine posted this on facebook today, and I saw it just after your post with the beautiful photos. It's on the AC4H Broker Horses page on facebook...a horse that was rescued from going to the slaughter house and is now a show horse. I thought this might encourage you. Blessings...

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=480134032052542&set=a.394908650575081.87548.151220844943864&type=1&theater

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  79. How Beautiful!!! What a precious gift you have received. My beloved husband passed away two years ago. He had cancer - 80 days from the day of diagnosis until the day he passed. A few nights after he died, I had a dream. I was kneeling next to the bed on the side he had been laying, and he was sitting up with a sheet over his legs. He had on a green tshirt, which he has and the funny part is that that tshirt has a bleach stain on the front of it. (If you knew my husband, that is probably exactly what he would wear to come back to me one last time. He couldn't care less about things like that.) He looked wonderful and I said to him, "What's going on?" He replied with his big, beautiful smile, "I'm well". That was such a gift for me. I knew that once he passed he would be well, but to hear him say it meant the world. But the thing about this dream that makes it even more real is that during this brief conversation, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a grayish figure, not clearly defined, but I could make out a long back, a head and an arm outstretched to him. The minute I saw that in the dream, it disappeared. I like to think it was an angel. The angel brought his spirit back so he could give me a little bit of comfort. And it did.

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    1. Precious event and wonderful encouragement!

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  80. .......and to the believers......<3.....she will be in your (our) hearts forever through the God given talent you have in your way with words and photos. So glad to have stumbled upon your site so many mont
    hs ago and to have been a part of your journey with Willow. I'm convinced our souls are all a little kinder because of the two of you. So happy that you opened your heart, soul and eyes enough to feel her reaching out to you! ....Vicki...Colorado

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  81. Moved to tears by this...I understand completely the peace of seeing her there in spirit. How beautiful and comforting to know that she no longer suffers.

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  82. God is so amazing!!! Tears are steaming down my face. Thank you for sharing how God has blessed you x x

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  83. More than a sign from Willow, I think this was a sign from God. He heals and comforts the broken hearted. He was the one who brought you and Willow together. He shares in your grief and sadness at how Willow was mistreated, and He shares in your grief of her passing. He comes as a healing balm to let you know that Willow is healed and with him in heaven. I too, believe that animals are in heaven, after all, our precious Lord is returning on a pure, white horse. May His peace be with you now and always.

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  84. Oh. My. Goodness. I've not commented in the past, but have been following Willow's story for (only) a few months and quietly reading your posts. Your post today literally had me sobbing. How incredibly, fantastically amazing!!! So often we are so busy looking for the sign, that we miss what's really there. I am so happy you listened to your gut and decided to take pictures. After all, picture taking is your thing! :) Willow knew. She knew you'd take pictures and she knew you'd see her spirit in them. She knew it would give you comfort and help heal your heart...even if just a little bit. Still thinking about you and keeping you in my prayers. <3

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  85. Wow! that just gave me chills. Peace.

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  86. I am so glad you saw her one last time. On her way to heaven she was. Willow left this world having had her faith restored in us, she found someone-You her soul sister, waiting just for you to show her the kindness she and all so deserve. The two of you connected on a far deeper level than most people do. Thanking you for sharing and restoring our faith in the good of people again. When sad and missing her just look at the photos you took and know she lives on in your heart and she is close by always.xxxxx Odette South Africa, Cape Town.xxxxx

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  87. what a gift!!! i just knew it would happen like that ... willow is, and forever will be, close to you as long as you look for her ... keep looking shana! and she will keep sending you her love so that you can show great love again to another gentle soul!!! ~amy weir

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  88. As tears drip down my cheeks, I too feel an awesome calming comfort...a peace & a joy for Willow, & for you. She is so free now. She is strong & powerful & full of her amazing spirit. I really think God knew you needed a peace about this. You took in a creature that so many would have not given a second thought about, & you restored her in her physical form as well as nurturing her spirit. And here it is...returning to set you free now. To show you gratitude & love & to give you a hope. She was an amazing horse & friend. And she loved you as much as you loved her. It is so obvious. Especially now. Your word "miracle"--I couldn't think of a more perfect appropriate word for the ending of this story. Thank you for sharing it with all of us. I began buying all of your photoshop actions, & although I use them daily, I also follow your stories with great intrest. Hope filled my heart when you shared with us about Willow's journey with you. And sadness filled my day when she had setbacks. And I was devestated when her journey here on Earth came--& your heart broke. And now, thank you for sharing with all of us this amazing gift of comfort. May your hope soar with Willow's spirit. This is such a beautiful story.

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  89. Absolutely amazing!!! I knew she would be there and I'm so glad you now know for sure that she's there with you! What a sweet blessing!!! I don't know if you believe in Animal Communicators or not, but I think you would benefit from speaking to one. Google Animal Communication and read about it. I've used several different communicators at various times with various animals and I am a FIRM believer! It's eased my heartache so many times! Just make sure you pick a reputable communicator! Hugs to you!!!

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  90. I love these pictures. I can see her spirit plain as day. I am so glad she came to you in this majestic way. She was your angel on earth and now your angel in heaven. She will forever look over you. The queen is going to rock those angel wings like no other. I can imagine how gorgeous she looks with them. God bless. Jenny from Wisconsin.

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  91. sister i'm going to have to send you an invoice for all the kleenex i've used since finding your story. she may be physically gone but I think you now see her soul is wrapped in yours from here to eternity. thank you for letting us look into your soul, what a beautiful place it is.

    with love & prayers,
    Mijali

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    1. I guess I could spell my name right, LOL.

      Mijalai*

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  92. Priscilla deBree3/13/13, 11:15 AM

    This story has touched me so very deeply on so many levels and all I keep thinking is this needs to be a book...for all to read...to be inspried and touched by this incredible love story. I can see it now... Velvet Willow will be a story for not only all of us horse lovers but others many who will be so deeply by your spiritual connectionIt will be a best seller and one that will touch everones heart that reads it. Your story reminds me of "Choosen by a Horse" which is one of my favorite books of all time. I look forward to reading it. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. It has been a privledge.

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    1. Totally agree.... I have never cried so much over a horse I knew and for a person I have never met and only know via the internet. I so wish i could have met Willow though and Shana I would so love to give you a hug. It has given me hope though that one day I will ride Laurence again! Love to you. Be strong xxx

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    2. And because of Shana's photography and the many wonderful photos of her and Willow, the illustrations would be wonderful, too!

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    3. I would love it if Shana would offer pictures of Willow for sale. Larger size wall portraits or canvases. To honor Willow's memory, she could have some of the funds go towards rescuing other horses who are in the same shape as Willow was when she was rescued.

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    4. I would absolutely buy!

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  93. A circle around the moon is what I see when somebody passes away. Not just s small glow, but a bright circle that covers most of the sky. I first saw it after I lost a baby. I asked the baby for a sign and that's what I saw in the sky that night. When my father died about 15 years later I asked him for the circle around the moon. Little did I know that it wasn't a full moon that night so it probably couldn't have happened. (I believe that spirits can use natural phenomenon to contact us) I looked at the sky quickly before climbing into bed with my daughter, who was a toddler at the time. I didn't even see the moon. .........I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep so as I nursed her to sleep, I choose to watch a video. Hubby said he had rented five videos that day and brought them to me to choose one. I chose The Poseidon Adventure, the latest one. I was staring at the tv, not really focusing on the movie, when just a few minutes into it the camera panned across the ocean and showed the moon.....there was the huge circle around the moon!!! I gasped! I couldn't breath for a few second! Then I cried, something I had been unable to do all day. (Kids to watch and stay strong for) I know it was my dad giving me the exact sign I asked for! I have only ever seen that circle around the moon twice in my life, once when my baby died, and again when my dad died. .....I'm so sorry you lost Willow! I lost a foster puppy to kennel cough a few months ago. It just breaks the heart to loose somebody so cherished! You are being watched over though. She is with you:)

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  94. Oh WOW!! That is so beautiful!! I'm so happy you got to see that and get a sense of peace. I know that she'll always be dearly missed but at least you know she is at peace and waiting for you :)
    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It has truly touched my heart and I know everyone who followed it was rooting for you and Willow and crying with you when it was the hardest.
    It is such an amazing story.

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  95. I am in such awe and tears of joy for you, I knew she would send you something special but on this magnatude is WOW!!!!!....GOD and her knew you needed something out of the norm, and special, this was definately it. This was her way of saying till we meet again and I am always with you. She knew the photographer in you would catch things no normal person would. She knows you like you knew her. <3 <3 <3!!!!!!

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  96. I'm sitting here with happy, warm tears streaming down my cheeks. When I saw the first picture, chills ran over over my body. What a sweet Willow. She wanted to let you know she was ok and how very much she loves you, now and forever. God is good. Thank you so much Shana for sharing such an emotional miracle.

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  97. In the first two pictures, I see wings around the horse's head! Do you see them?
    I'm so glad you are doing better and that you got these beautiful signs from God and Willow!

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  98. Love and healing to you Shana.

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  99. Love is transformational and forever. Always worth the work, the grief and the joy. So happy that the sign arrived when it did - you deserved the comfort and the knowing it was not for nothing. Making a difference, making a friend, making an unforgettable bond - everyone should have such a connection to another living thing. Forever is not long enough.

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  100. Oh Shana, This truly was a miracle. How amazing and I am so happy you were given this sign from God and from Willow. I am in tears again but this time they are tears of happiness for you. Thank you so much for again sharing this with all of us and such a wonderful ending to this story. Or is it? I hope we hear more of your wonderful words of memories you will have of Willow. Willow found a way to let you know she is ok, she is still with you, she loves you and she is restored to her amazing magnificent powerful state of health. Have a wonderful day my friend!!

    Hugs from Cheryl

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  101. Shana! How awesome is that. Though we never understand God's plan and purpose, we know He has our best interest and the best interest in others...including animals. Perhaps only God knew just how much pain your beautiful Willow was in. Knowing the Hard life she suffered already, He wanted to ease it and bring her to our final home. I am so sorry for your loss. And just as Shaena kurth replied....I too can't read this in public or at all;-). I keep crying. Was sitting n my dr.s office today when a tear or two were trickling down my face. That may have looked odd....but I am so happy and sad for you all. Thank you for sharing. God bless

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  102. Oh Shana, God's signs are the best. He always gives us what we need. I, without a shadow of doubt believe in miracles and signs because I have been shown both and you have too. May your angel watch over you and may she shine in your life every day. Since we both share the miracle of adoption in our lives, let me tell you about my signs. I prayed for a sign with both adoptions that this was the right child for me. With Alex, my sign was her birthday. It was the same as mine. Who could doubt that. With Abby, my sign was the name of her sponsor, Grace Hope Foundation. Alex's middle name was Grace and we had picked Abby's middle name as Hope. My sign..... God always leads the way.... May you have a Blessed Day!!!

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  103. Wow... goosebumps! My daughter lost her beloved Golden Retriever, Lucy, over the weekend. She is mourning her so much... I am going to send her the link to this post. She is at the beach this week and I just pray she can find a sign that Lucy is waiting for her across the Rainbow Bridge. Thanks so much for sharing Willow's story. I have no doubts that she will guide you in finding a new equine princess to step into her shoes...

    Love your heart...

    Sarah

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  104. This reminds me of the morning of my father's funeral a few years ago. As my husband and I were driving through the mountains and into the valley, we saw snow, rain, sun and a rainbow within an hour. The rainbow continued to shine as if guiding our way to my hometown. Significant weather events always seemed to happen on important days for my Dad (ie his baptism, wedding, etc) which let me know that he was looking down on me from heaven and sent me a sign that everything will be ok. This is what your sweet Willow was doing for you. And of course our pets are in heaven waiting for us, wouldn't be heaven without them. Big hugs and prayers of comfort for you and your family. Thank you for including us on this amazing adventure with you and sharing Willow's story with us.

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  105. Shana, it breaks my heart to hear of your loss. I loved seeing the gorgeous pics of Willow and her daily updates. God put her in your life for a reason...if only to be loved. And you loved her dearly! Sending prayers your way to stay strong. One day you will see her again!

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  106. Shana, I'm in tears. What a beautiful sign from Willow. She knew you needed this so desperately and she gave it to you. Hugs to you...

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  107. I've never been one to believe in orbs and stuff like that. I visit a lot in Savannah (GA) and they're super big about capturing "orbs" with your camera. I've always ignored it. But those first images were definitely images of a horse, and before I even read how you described each picture I saw exactly what you saw. This is beautiful and definitely a gift from God. The image of her dancing/jumping/running in the sunlight is breath-taking and beautiful seems like a drastic understatement. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful, amazing story!

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  108. Also, and maybe I'm looking too much into this, but the image where she's jumping/running, notice how her legs are the brightest and highlighted. Isn't that what she broke? Her leg? They say the lame can walk in Heaven. I think this was God's way of showing you, not only do they walk, but run and jump as well! :)

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  109. So beautiful. The picture of the stall sign reminds me of the photo I love so much close up with her eye. I hope knowing that she is still with you helps you.

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  110. Amazing..thank you so much for sharing

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  111. I have been following your blog and facebook for as long as I can remember, every time I would see a photo or read talk about Willow it brought me such happiness. I was so saddened when I heard she was hurt. I havent checked for a few days and now I see you lost your loved one, but I know in my heart that one day she and you will be back together. I also know she will bring happiness to all in heaven. I am also sure that Willow will always be in your heart so please know you will never really be away from her. There will be bad days and better days, but time heals the hurt you are feeling. You have been such an inspiration to me concerning your love for you animals specifically Willow. We have land and I have often wondered not knowing much about horses, if I could do something like you do and have a bond that is like that of a child. Prayers to your family and all the animals.

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  112. I wasn't going to read this, as I sobbed so hard at the last posts, but I was drawn to your story and to Willow. I am sitting here, tears streaming down my face, and so happy you found comfort in the light. THank you for sharing, and please know you are in our hearts and thoughts. I don't think I will ever be able to explain my love for animals as much, or as well as you have in your blog and through your photos. Thank you.

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  113. Did you notice in the 2nd photo you shared what appears (so me anyway) a horse image? Within the horse's head shape, I see a ghosted image of a horse with the front legs and huffs being brighter and the brightest part is the front leg which I believe is the leg that Willow injured. Can you see that, too? Also, the white orb is in the 3rd and 4th photos - so cool!

    I never considered myself to be spiritual until I had a very powerful experience after losing my beloved pet. It made me realize there is more to this world than what we think. My good friend always says that we are all spiritual beings - some of see and believe and others don't take the time to see what is around us.

    So love your images and that you shared this amazing experience with us!

    Pam in AZ

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    1. should read (to me anyway)

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    2. Oh my gosh, Pam!! I didn't see that before.... but I totally see it!! Thank you thank you! and yes, her front right leg!! I can't wait to show this to Martha! Thank you!!

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    3. She's right it is right there! Unbelievable!

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    4. Holy cow!! That's truly awe-inspiring. Wow!

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    5. OH. MY. GOSH. Pam....you are so right!! And what a BEAUTIFUL sight it is. Yes, truly awe-inspiring <3

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    6. Everytime I look back at this image, I see Willow's image even more clearly than the time before. Like I said in a post a few week's ago - "Who rescued who?" I don't think Willow is done rescuing you (and so many others that are renewed by this this story!)
      Pam in AZ

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  114. Wow this gave me chills and tears!! Thank you for sharing!!

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  115. Shana, I have a very strong testimony that our beloved pets do go to Heaven. Thank you for sharing this beautiful spiritual experience with all of us. I'm so incredibly happy for you. Lots of love from Bowie, MD.

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  116. i got goosebumps while reading this. what a perfect gift from willow to you. the beauty and the miracle continue.

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  117. Shana, when i was 13, i got a chance to do something that not many ppl got to do, a mare had a baby at my moms farm, the mare died and the owner wanted to put down the filly i named angel.i talked him out of doing that and giving her to me. i hand raised her on bottle and was her best friend as she was mine. we were together many years. when angel turned 35, she became sick. she didn't want to eat. i stayed in her stall all night to be with her and in the early morning, she passed away. she is the reason i rescue horses and have been doing this for many years, horses are much more the just horses, they are many things to different ppl but know that willow will always be yours in a way that even gone can never change, you are a different person for knowing her. hugs my friend. she is galloping around your heart forever

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  118. That is Willow for sure, and she wanted you to share so everyone could benefit too :) I felt a huge shift, I tried to keep my distance from this story but still kept checking back. I didn't realise how much it had affected me until I saw these pictures. I too know that people and animals live on, I also know they don't go anywhere but have adventures and stay close to us every day too. If ever you need her you need only quiet your mind and focus on feel-good thoughts and feelings, then she can match your energy and come through easier. I once had terrible trouble getting through to one of my recently deceased loves ones until someone explained it to me like this. when we are sad, we are on a different energy level to them so they patiently wait for us to be joyful. Like tuning a radio. Our frequencies need to match. If we're sad or upset or whatever it is, it is harder for them to communicate. Although they still find ways to send us messages :D she is always there for you. and she's whole and happy. Now, when Spring comes, do not think your dream is over. it is not! When you walk, she will walk with you. You will know she is there. You will feel her. it will be the same. just imagine :) she is there. you can even pretend to do her mane. she will love it :D and so will you. and none of it will be imagined, it is all real <3

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  119. WOW! I've got chills! That is definitely a sign that she is ok, and still with you, no dought!!!!

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  120. WOW - just amazingly beautiful! Willow wanted you to know she's happy so you can be happy. And to now be able to remember her with joy, not sorrow. What an amazing bond you two share. You and Willow have done so much to restore my own faith. The miracles she created extend far beyond her pasture. Thank you so much for sharing her with us.

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  121. Thank you for sharing Willow with us. Such a beautiful blessing. God knows the desires of our heart and He is so good.

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  122. Dearest Shana,

    My heart is so heavy for you. While I have never experienced the unconditional love of such a beautiful creature as a horse, I have experienced the purest and gentlest love I have ever known and I have been in the throes of the the darkest depths of loss (both of which were during my my mother's life and then her passing). I can tell you that in the days to come you will find peace; it will be a peace in knowing that you and Willow shared a life well lived in those moments that brought you joy. You will find peace in the memories because they will live forever in your heart. You will find peace in knowing that you shared a deep love and an even deeper trust; there is such beauty in knowing that; and I am grateful that I was able to witness this in your words and the stunning photos of Willow. You are testament to all that is good.

    Trust me, she will always be with you; and yes, you will see her again. I look forward to watching you and Willow ride by as my mother and I look on.

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  123. You have touched my heart and made me cry - again - love wishes to you!

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  124. A friend posted this link on my wall as I los the horse of my dreams named Red Wasp, last week to EPM on my birthday. We tried for a month to saver him and everyone kept saying if he's is ready to go he will tell you. Last Monday i was sitting in my Art studio discussing what I was going to do when a Red Wasp landed on my window. It is March and far to early for the insects to be out. I ran out to check on him and he was standing and whinnying at me. That wasthe last time he stood. I know that Wasp was a sign from him that it was ok. He went down hill over night and we laidf him to rest on tues. You're so right they're with us always. Many hugs and prayers too you.

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  125. Chills on my body and tears streaming down my smiling face. I'm so glad Willow gave you a sign! I am 110% sure horses go to Heaven and that you will be united again. Absolutely beautiful just like you and Miss Willow!

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  126. I echo the same exact sentiments as many others. I have tears in my eyes and chills have run through my body. Such a beautiful, wonderful miracle. My dear, God has heard your cries, He has held your heart in His hands and He made sure Willow said goodbye, and in such a glorious fashion. Her spirit shined as brightly as her beautiful coat. Thank you for sharing - again- such a intimate story. You and your family are so blessed to witness that. It's true, what you can't always see, if you listen hard enough, you hear with your heart. We are all moved by your journey and even your heartache, we feel your pain. Ride free and wild dear sweet Willow. Shana, I am a total stranger to you but I adore you and thank you from our family for giving us hope.
    The O'Brien's from California

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  127. Julie Brown from Michigan3/13/13, 6:12 PM

    Shana - You HAVE to write a book about this most beautiful, loving, spiritual story! Willow WAS/IS more than a horse... she is an angel that Heavenly Father sent to you and to all who hear her story! You have captured the pure love of God in your words and images... and the fact that we all were given the gift of witnessing Willow cross through the veil is beyond priceless! You WILL see Willow again... and you'll ride upon her winged back in the morning sun for time and all eternity! God Bless you! Thank you for sharing. That is all God and Willow asked of you... to share the gift of love. My love and prayers to you and your family. I'm so happy that you got your sign...

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  128. Shana i have been following your blogs for a long time (Sophie's blog was the first). I have commented before how much i love your writing, you have a way with word. Through all your pain this week you have managed yet again to write a beutiful posts. Have you ever watched Long Island Medium? This lady is a medium who spirits speak to, she said in one of her shows that when you see orbs in photos it is spirit letting you know they are there. Willow was there for you in those pictures. You will see her again, just keep looking. Please continue to post, maybe you can start a blog about your handsome prince.

    Keeping you and Wiillow in my thoughts
    Karen from Canada

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  129. Absolutely Beautiful...thank you for sharing...well wishes and many blessings.

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  130. Shana, you were blessed when Willow became part of your life, just as she was blessed by finding you. Thank you for your post today. It reaffirms the faith that I have that each and every animal that we save also saves us in some way. God bless you and your family and Willow.

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  131. Saralee Cross3/13/13, 6:54 PM

    Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story...

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  132. Shana, you write so beautifully. I have to tell you i have followed you for a while. I remember you feeding willow from the side of the street when you discovered her. I just read all of march's posts and I so sad, but then thankful for willows peace. I know you already know willow is in heaven, but I wanted to say we discussed animals and heaven in Bible study and what was basically said is that animals are God's creation. He wanted us to live together and they will be in heaven. I know you know that but i thought i would share. Prayers for your healing.
    Kim

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  133. Julie Brown from Michigan3/13/13, 7:46 PM

    Rev. 10:1
    King James Bible
    And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. Your Willow is truly an angel.

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  134. Cindy Gramlich3/13/13, 8:14 PM

    Shana, I have wanted to write & comment so many times since I found your story and journey on here with Willow....but I just couldn't. With tears streaming down my face for many reasons I just couldn't do it.
    Your heart & soul & faith in all, leaves me absolutely speachless. I have been in awe and so inspired by your love, dedication and grace.
    This story captured my heart right from the start and I have clung to your every word, emotion, tear and prayer.....I only wish more of us could have been there to give you a hug.

    Willow was 1 in a million and I do believe everything happens for a reason and that the two of you were meant to find each other. You were meant to love and nuture and we are all praying that you don't stop. Although Willow is now proudly watching over you from the Heavens, She knows this story is not over, its just the begining....... she's just letting you heal.
    You are incredible, I hope you know that. There are hearts & souls changing all over the world right now, because of you, Willow & your beautiful love story.......dont stop now <3<3
    None of us will ever be the same, because of You & Willow.....
    thank you for sharing your heart

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  135. I have been following your story for so long now and this is my first time writing. I know you will meet Willow again and I know that was her spirit telling you that everything is fine and she's happy in Heaven. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one who has four legs. They're not just "pets" or just a "horse/dog/cat"... they're so much more. So much innocence and so much goodness wrapped up in one being. They love unconditionally - something us humans aren't so easily accustomed to. I have faith you will see her again. Strong faith. Just as I will see my soulmate in Heaven.

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  136. God is good always! What a beautiful miracle it was. I was crying and smiling at the same time while reading this. Continued prayers for your family.

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  137. I love love love this...tears, smiles, gratitude ... what a beautiful gift. Thank you so so so much for sharing! You are a very special person and I love hearing your story. thank you.

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  138. Katie Schuler3/13/13, 8:53 PM

    In the second picture, it looks as though the bright sunlight is Willow running in her pasture :) Rest in sweet peace, Willow. You are free <3

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  139. My Dear Shana,
    You are an incredible woman, a loving caring woman full of emotion.This story has found me smiling, crying, laughing and praying more than I have in a long time! Just remember you need time to heal and they say,'time heals all wounds" and I believe it. Some wounds take longer to heal than others and people mourn differently. So don't feel rushed..Knowing your sweet Velvet Willow is at peace now with our Lord and having recieved your "sign" has got to be the most comforting feeling ever. Thank you fo sharing her with us,and teaching us to be selfless, giving, nurturing and above all LOVING! Maybe sometime in the future, Velvet Willow could be on the bestseller list! You have an amazing talent for writing, and the way you express your love for your beloved Willow is absolutely breathtaking!
    Thank you again and may God bless you and all who knew and loved her!
    xoxo Amy Lynn - Las Vegas, NV

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  140. What a beautiful gift you've been given both in body and spirit <3 and to think you have photos to remember her "Miracle!" oxoxo - Stacy Christian - Huntington Beach, CA

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  141. This is my 2nd time reading this post...I love it that much...Goosebumps everywhere...This needs to be a book!

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  142. You are bless with love and light, I am glad you can see the rainbow again ;)

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  143. just read your experience ... and wanting to share this with you .... the day my favorite horse died on December 3, 2012 I had to go out to the pasture to feed and look after the other horses ... I was in tremendous pain too and could barely see through my tears but then when I looked up to the sky there was a cloud formation and this happened to me too .... I saw the shape of my horse in the clouds as if "Dancing Fireball" was flying over to watch and guard over us and his buddy which he left behind (Dancing Fireball was blind) and his buddy cared for him for about 12 years .... never saw it again .... but me too I believe horses DO go to heaven where they will guard over the people and buddies they loved ....

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  144. Shana,

    How blessed you are!!!!! God has reached down to you to show you that Willow is fine and safe and happy in His kingdom of heaven. Willow will always be with you. This is so very beautiful and I am actually at a complete loss for words (and you know that does not happen to me often). I am so happy that you got this sign from Willow and from God. All our love.

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  145. I am looking at these photos with Kate and she is so amazed. She told me that the sunbeams in the barn are God and they look like a cross. They really do.

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  146. I have goosebumps all over reading this - what a beautiful sign to show you to have faith and that she is at peace, which hopefully in time will bring you peace too.

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  147. I've read your post multiple times and have looked at the photos over and over and you can call me crazy but did you notice on the picture that has these words below it....

    And this is what I saw... and the little white flare was there... right where the sign that reads "Faith" is hanging on her stall door... Then something in my heart said, "Open the door..."

    It looks to me that if you look at the little white flare and then look at the area around 10 o'clock, it looks like there is a horse's eye there. This pops out at me every time I look at this picture. I think it's Willow looking out for you. Do you see it too in this picture or is it just me? Your Willow girl is still with you Shana. :)

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    1. I don't think you're crazy. I went back to check it out and not only does it look like a horse's eye, I perceive the shape of a horse's head, kind of "behind the smoke"! Very cool.

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  148. I got my rainbow one morning. My friend and I have walked at 6 AM together for about 15 years now. One morning was a hard morning for both of us. I had lost my mom about 2 months before and my friend's husband was in the last stage of cancer. We were both at a low point. Both Christians and felt God's presence so many times but this morning we were discouraged. Sunrise was starting to happen when I noticed the trees in front of us having a pinkish light on them and I turned and saw the most beautiful sunrise happening behind us but the miracle also was the rainbow lighting up the sky. We both took it to mean that God was telling us, "I know where you are and what you are going through. I am right here with you.
    I take what you saw that morning was God showing you He knows where you are and what you are going through. As beautiful as Willow was, she was a horse. I believe our horses are a gift from God. He will give you the strength to go on.

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  149. Wow, did you ever get your sign! Your Willow girl IS in heaven, and you WILL see her again. She was definitely letting you know she is okay. I think Willow's story does have a happy ending after all. I know you are hurting, but she is okay. Love and prayers to you.

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  150. Shana, I see horse legs in the second picture.... They're clear as day and remind me of Willows legs but they're white, glowing from her spirit.... Please look.... All four legs are crystal clear....

    I'm in tears with you, and will forever miss your incredible stories of your Sweet Willow.... We all had the opportunity to fall in love with her through you, Shana, and I know I'll be eternally grateful for that.... I've always wanted a horse of my own, and feel very privileged to have felt so close with Willow through you.... Thank-you, thank-you, Shana.

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  151. Incredible! I'm so happy you were living in a way that you could notice the prompting to look and then visit her stall. What a blessing in this tough, tough time!

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  152. If you ever get a chance, listen to Willie Nelson's song "Angels Flying Too Close To the Ground".... I lost my beloved horse that I tried to nurse to health for months and this this song sort of captures it for me, hugs.

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  153. WOW! i have been following Willows story since the very beginning and i came to catch up today and i didn't know...so sorry im sure thinking of you.... what an amazing spirit indeed!!! These photos are a testament of the love willow had for you and you for her...i just adore this! Thank you for sharing this story, a part of your life you will NEVER forget!

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  154. Julie Brown from Michigan3/14/13, 8:16 PM

    Have you seen the utube video that someone made as "Velvet Willow Tribute?" People are being touched all over the world by your's and
    Willow's story. Simply amazing.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ4PiQA8By4

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  155. This is beyond amazing! I have chills, goosebumps, everything! The image of the horse in the flair made me gasp. God is good, and I'm so happy you experienced this. I agree with what everyone has said. Willow has touched all of our hearts in such an amazing way. You have such a talent with words as well. I've always thought this would make such an amazing book, but now, I'm picturing it with the words Velvet Willow printed on the cover. What a special horse.

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  156. I haven't cried this hard in a long time. I've been moved by all your posts, but none as much as thins. I have a lifelong struggle with faith in life after death, wanting to believe, but looking for signs.thank you for this post. Its beautiful and touching and inspirational.
    I am so sorry for your loss too. My gelding has a longwavy black tail and mane and I often think of your willow while grooming him.
    I hope her presence in these photos has brought you some peace. I know you are in so much pain, but she was clearly always an angel, here to enrich your life, teach a lesson and return home till you meet again. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

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    1. "I know you are in so much pain, but she was clearly always an angel, here to enrich your life, teach a lesson and return home till you meet again."

      this is so beautiful, and so very true....I love Angels on Earth....

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  157. I had posted on your facebook page that I really think you should write a book about Willow..it would make a beautiful children's book ...and the ending could be the sign that you got...just a thought....

    Tammy & Meisha

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  158. Oh my word... I have chills... I have tears... thank you for sharing. As soon as I saw the pictures, I was like "ITS A HORSES HEAD"... that's amazing!!!

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  159. Yes, that was Willow, telling you she is so grateful to you for everything you did. That was her telling you to keep moving to the barn and to her stall. The little light that shines was her spirit and she will be near you always, just in this form. She is in Heaven now but you watch, when her Prince will look at seemingly nothing, it will be her, watch his ears and excitement in his eyes. Speak with her because she does hear you. She may come to you in your dreams and know that you really are with her, just on a different spiritual level. Look for the signs and listen to that inner voice and follow your gut. She will come around from time to time just to let you know she’s there, watching over you and your family.
    Thank you for sharing her beautifully story with all of us and being such a wonderful spirit yourself to do everything you did. No, there will never be another Willow, but remember she was sent to you to teach you what a loving, giving person you are to awaken this within in you even more and that you have much more work to do. Don’t be surprised if Willow sends you another horse to take care of because she knows the love you give is the best kind of medicine a horse needs.
    Love Ronna, Louisville, KY

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  160. I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. Thank you so much for writing and sharing your story, yours and Willow's story. Willow indeed was not just a horse. It is hard for people to understand the connection of souls. You and Willow shared the same soul. This was definitely Willow's spirit letting you know how much she loves you and how much she appreciated you. Just in the same way God tells us softly through silent winds or fluttering butterflies that he loves us, Willow has reaffirmed to you through the beautiful sun rays that she loves you. I'm on the brink of tears and I ache for you. But this is so inspiring and may the love you both share comfort you as you grieve and heal.

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  161. So sad for you Shana......as pet owners we all know how they are special to us, especially the rescues. You gave Willow such a beautiful last few months and her spirit is looking over you now.
    Sending love your way....(although not a horse, we lost a pet too just yesterday),
    Janet

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  162. More tears..

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  163. This is amazing, Shana. It just reaffirms what I have always KNOWN to be true - all animals go to heaven. When I was 7, I lost my first beloved pet and was inconsolable, I really thought my heart was broken. I remember it so well. When I asked my mom, who is a deeply spiritual person, whether animals go to Heaven, she said, "It wouldn't BE Heaven if they weren't there." (A defining moment of my life.)

    I have an atheist friend who rescues special needs animals and has lost several of them lately. She's so completely devastated that they're gone because she believes that she'll never ever see them again. It breaks my heart to see her in such pain, because I have an absolute conviction that they are beloved by our Father in Heaven and are with Him after this life. And He allowed Willow to send this comfort to you because He loves you both.

    I'm so glad you were listening to the promptings of the Spirit so you could be there when this message came. Thanks for sharing it with all of us, we will never forget.

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    1. Shana, I truly believe that even though Willow can not be with you in body, she is in spirit! Your pictures now prove that and what a wonderful gift you've been given, the fact that Willow showed you! Thank you for sharing your journey....hugs

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  164. Girl you make me cry every time. .. I know that you will start to feel better now ...I did.... when I lost my kitty Bella I cried every morning for a weeks she sent me 3 signs: a bunny in the middle of Chicago(my husband always called her bunny) the loudest sound of bells in the most unexpected place(she only played with bells)and a squirrel who was following me around this huge parking a lot and kept playing like a cat. I think that was the first time I smiled and didn't feel guilty. Willow is definitely in heaven and I hope you are feeling better knowing that! Xoxo

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  165. About Pets as SOUL Mates, very interesting:
    DEAR NEALE...I am writing this with a very heavy heart, and am sincerely hoping you will be able to give me some comfort.

    On Wednesday I had to put my little dog down - he was a beautiful toy poodle, and was part of the family. He was nearly 14, a good age for a poodle, but that does not make the grieving any easier.

    Has God a special place for animals, Neale? He created them and loves them. God is love - love is God. Surely they have a soul -- they have feelings, emotions and great intelligence. I realize how busy you are, but I pray you will find the time to send me an email. Your loving friend, Mary C.

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    1. THE ANSWER:
      NEALE RESPONDS...My Dear Mary....I am so very sorry to hear about your loss of your beloved little guy. I know from personal experience how big such a loss can be. I want to tell you that there is no question that pets have what we call souls. There is no question at all within me about that.

      The Soul is the animating energy of all of life, and is the Essential Essence of Life Itself. Your wonderful little friend is now experiencing the joy of Never Ending Life and, like human expressions, may choose to return to physicality --- perhaps even in your own life --- in a new form.

      I am told that the reason that we form such close bonds with certain Souls (both human and animal) is that we have had such bonds before.

      I am instructed that over and over again, throughout the eons, we travel through Time and Space with the same set of Soul Companions on the eternal journey of Self Realization. We have Soul Companions, Soul Partners, and Soul Mates. These are three different levels of "connection" and manifest repeatedly in three identifiable ways.

      You will find yourself immediately recognizing, and forming a bond with, a Soul Companion --- even if it is a fleeting bond, as with a bird or a butterfly that makes it presence known to you in a very obvious and seemingly intentioned way, as well as a lasting bond, as with a dog or a cat, or even an animal in the wild.

      You will also find yourself strangely and inexplicably drawn to certain human beings --- not in a romantic way, but in an obviously very personal way that often seems to have no basis in present-life reality, but feels very close and very comfortable nevertheless. These are your Soul Partners, and you will move through this life with them somehow playing an important role in it.

      I have Soul Partners who are or were particular authors, sports stars, famous political figures who I have never personally met, but with whom I nevertheless feel particularly close, and even protective. Soul Partners also show up in my life as close friends, immediate family, more distant relatives, and even strangers that, when we meet, I take into my heart at once, and for no observable or particular reason.

      And then there are Soul Mates. I am living with my Soul Mate now, and it is the greatest blessing of my life, for I at last no longer feel SouLonely --- which is a very specific and particular and desolate feeling that you recognize when you have it, and feel blissfully relieved of when you don’t. I am in bliss now with my Soul Mate, for I feel, quite literally, found at last; seen, finally, for who I really am; and loved, totally, as exactly that.

      This is a gift that only heaven can bestow.

      While it is not very “romantic” in the human sense to say it, I am instructed that we may encounter more than one Soul Mate --- and may actually share special moments with more than one Soul Mate --- in a lifetime. This has not happened to me. I have never had a relationship with a person who felt like my complete and total Other such as I have now, but I am told and taught that even this is possible within the amazing adventure of a human lifetime.

      Conversely, not every person with whom we fall in love and form a romantic partnership with may be our Soul Mate. Because a person is not your Soul Mate does not mean you cannot fall in love with them and marry them or create a life partnership with them. But if you have had more than one intimate relationship in your life, and one was with a Soul Mate and one was not, you will know the difference immediately.

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    2. The same is true with pets. You can encounter a particular animal, and grow to a feeling of real fondness for that animal, but if you ever encounter an animal who is your Soul Companion, you know it at once, and the bond you form with that animal is irresistible, inexplicable, indefinable, and unbreakable.

      You have such a bond with your little and wonderful poodle, and I can tell you that not only is he happy and joyful where he is now --- you will also see him again, when you, too, are home with God.

      And, as I mentioned, you may be reunited with him again even before then, should he choose to physicalize once more in your life in another form. If this occurs, you will know it in the first moment of your meeting.

      So nurture and embrace your sadness at his departure from your present physical life, but do not truly mourn, for he is filled with joy and wonder and happiness now, and your bond with him is eternal and everlasting. And know this, always: a beloved pet is God’s Love...made visible, physical, and undeniable. That is why God created pets --- to let us know what heaven is really like.

      May you experience God’s blessings flowing to you and through you, both now and even forevermore.

      Yours in service...Neale.

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    3. This is so Beautiful!! Thanks for sharing it. How true, I feel the same way.
      Cheryl

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  166. It might just be me, but in your second photo it looks like a horse getting up off the ground... Just underneath the horse head shape you saw.... <3

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  167. Elliot Handy3/18/13, 8:05 AM

    F ear
    A nd
    I nsecurity
    T rust
    H im

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  168. Jesus will be returning to earth from the heavens on a horse! :-D

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  169. What a beautiful sign you received! Gave me chills! So sorry for your loss. ~ Jennifer

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  170. What a beautiful way to say "Goodbye".

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  171. In the second photo there is surely three horse hooves glowing, lit up and further up is the bottom of her nose by the streak there. Amazing. You must be so devastated but oh you did do so SO much for her. <3. / jennie

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  172. Oh, as soon as I saw those pictures, I saw her. I am so happy that you got to see her, as she said goodbye. You know she probably had been waiting, but if you hadn't been crying, then you may have never called your friend and she may never had said look at the clouds. I have had these types of things happen before.

    Willow will be in heaven waiting for you, and she knows how much you love and miss her.

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