Barbaro's eight-month struggle ended today. He went into the long night and left to us so many images of a hero. He was champion on the race track. He was also a survivor. He endured pain, operations, prodding and poking at him. He did that in such a stoical fashion that when he finally appeared upset, his medical team knew the end had to come. A great beast ought not to sacrifice his composure.
Always I've found it more difficult to allow animals to pass on than humans. Maybe it's because my relationships with animals have been so straightforward. Or perhaps I can simply read them better than I do humans.
After humans have died, there would be years and years in which I still blamed them, resented them, even, yeah, hated them. When the animals in my life or in the nation's life like Barbaro die there's only one emotion, then and forever: Sadness. They give so much and ask so little.
In Tibetan Buddhism, which I've been studying for seven years, we believe all sentient beings which die return to earth, usually in a different form. Barbaro will be back. We just don't know when or as what or who.