When my sister committed suicide (or was murdered) last year, I pretty much lost it for a while. I was out doing night check and when I got to my old QH's stall, I rested my arms on the top of his stall door, and just started crying my eyes out. It had been a long day and my sister had been staying with my while she tried to get away from her monster husband, so it was rough when she died.
I tried to stay strong in front of my kids, but the barn is my space and I was just having a major weepfest when suddenly I felt Cinnamon's whiskers on my face. He is not a touchy feely horse. He is a dignified old gentleman who likes his space and puts up with his humans. So I was very surprised when he came over, snuffled my face, then lifted his head, laid it over my shoulder and, resting his chin on my back, pulled me close to his chest and just held me in a real, live hug. And not for just a second. For a long time until I was cried out.
I've had horses for 40 years, and this was one of the most amazing moments I have experienced with a horse. He just knew. What a great old boy he is.
Now that's a story worth holding onto! I'm glad your boy was there for you.
I had a nice pinto gelding who when he hit 25 I changed his name to "Fossil". After a few years I felt he deserved a retirement. I knew an older lady who always wanted a horse, but when she was a kid her dad said "No". When she got older, her husband said, "No". She was now in her late 70's and had a large fenced yard and even a run-in shed that came with her house. So, one day I showed up at her house with Fossil, some feed, and all the support supplies and she had her horse. She cried, I sniffled away and Fossil had a happy home. Funny thing, all of a sudden her grandkids showed up at the house now that Grandma had a horse. They came around a lot to ride Fossil and to keep him groomed.
Fossil lived another 6 years, well loved, cared for with a lot of kids as a part of his and his new owner's life. She died shortly after Fossil...she told me once "She can't leave her horse, he needed her". He sure did.
One of my favorites is the story about the deer in Florida who can read. Only peripherally horse related, but it was riveting!
The deer apparently know not to leave the state forests where they're protected, because they never jump into the horse pastures, run out in the roads, or eat gardens. They're not allowed to, so they don't.
I offered to send our Virginia deer down to Florida to learn to read and obey laws, since ours are rude, crude, and socially inept. They don't understand boundaries, or that what I grow I don't want them to eat. How rude!!!
The author of that story wasn't amused, for some reason.....
I'm sorry that you lost your sister in those circumstances, and can't begin to imagine the pain you must have felt. I'm glad that your horse could offer you some comfort. Probably more than any person could give you.