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Still Grieving....

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  • #21
    Not much to add, but sending hugs. We will always be here to listen.you ar
    www.specialhorses.org
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

    Comment


    • #22
      Hearing that other people are going through the same thing makes me feel better. The other day I was in a store and saw a clearance display of candy canes and started to cry. They were a favorite of my old guy, who I lost last March. I used to buy him all the sale candy canes I could find after Christmas. Sometimes the grief just sneaks up on me, usually at odd times.
      ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard

      Comment


      • #23
        When I saw the title "Still grieving..." by someone named Kim, it was like another wallop in the stomach. My name is Kim and I lost my best friend of over 20 years- my mare Mischief- at 6:45 pm on Christmas eve. I'm still having a lot of difficulty dealing with her absence. I miss her smell, her warmth, her sweet breath, her sense of humor, her voice, her godawful beauty even at 24. It just kills me sometimes to still see the imprint of her body in the snow here. I know EXACTLY how you feel.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by Mia412 View Post
          Hearing that other people are going through the same thing makes me feel better. The other day I was in a store and saw a clearance display of candy canes and started to cry. They were a favorite of my old guy, who I lost last March. I used to buy him all the sale candy canes I could find after Christmas. Sometimes the grief just sneaks up on me, usually at odd times.
          Yeah....... sigh... I really HATE when it sneaks up on you in public.

          I was at a tack shop buying stuff for the New Kid and right there on the wall they had a honkin' big oversized jumping hackamore which would have fit the Old Man perfectly for our "grazing rides". Without even thinking about it I reached out and grabbed it and then remembered... "I don't have Avery; I don't need this anymore" and started crying right in the middle of the store.

          Hugs to you, Kim, you're not by ANY means alone.
          "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief

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          • #25
            It's hard, and it's long, and it's a process you have to go through step by step. You have the immediate reaction of shock and horror, which goes on for weeks. I could barely hold myself together at work and once in the car would burst into tears and cry all the way home. Once I was able to get that out of my system and under control, it became more sporadic, hit me at the strangest times, unexpectedly. There is a deep, quiet sadness that sets in afterwards. Months and months of that, at the time I decided to adopt a dog, and I was amazed at how I could be laughing at her one minute and crying the next. She helped, though, and I have to say there's nothing so healing as giving to another animal in need.

            It's just going to take time, they leave an awfully, awfully big hole. In my case it was the end of an era and my life as I knew it, no more owning horses, too expensive. I grieved for that as well.

            Comment


            • #26
              Yup, I lost my boy the first week of Novmeber, 2008 and had to fly the following day to Tx for a show/family trip. Bad idea. On the way home I just sat in the plane and cried. Its good to hear other people are going through the same thing. Mine was my one true light, always there, ALWAYS happy, this was the hapiest being I ever knew! And now its just like, poof, the light is all gone and all thats left is dark.

              I have had animals and horses forever and I have never had it be this bad, always been able to reationalize, circle of life blah blah blah. This time, not so much.

              So, OP, looks like you have some company...thanks for posting, it was good to read the replies.

              hugs

              Comment


              • #27
                Oh Kim my heart breaks for you! You know I know but even that doesn't help! Time is all i can offer you! Gunnar took some time to get over and I still have a sad moment. What does come when the sadness is not so intense is the good memories. Special Gunnar moments that I share with others who knew him! I am sure there are many special Chutney moments to make you smile thru the tears at least!

                While Bodie is my boy he is not Gunnar. I still tell him "you ain't no Gunnar!" But my time spent with Bodie and Rosie is the best medicine. Spend more time with you Gracie girl, cry on her shoulder, tell her how much you miss Chutney.............

                As for the emotions coming at bad times that will get better too?! What does your Therapist say? do they have any good advice or do they just listen?

                for now just try to accept your grief and know that you are not alone and that is very normal! We are here for you anytime so come back and let us know how you are!

                Hugs to you my friend! My thoughts are with you!
                Steph

                http://community.webshots.com/user/stephanne014

                Rerider/Haydunker Clique

                RIP Barbaro, you were my hero!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by War Admiral View Post
                  "I don't have Avery; I don't need this anymore" and started crying right in the middle of the store.

                  Hugs to you, Kim, you're not by ANY means alone.
                  I am with you Kim, and War Admiral. The cries happen so unexpectedly. And I am still programmed to go and get the bag of carrots or the canola oil when I am doing ordinary groceries. I lost Lou on November 30. She was only 17 and died from colic. We went through a lot together. She changed me forever.

                  I talk to Lou all the time. Maybe it's weird? I dunno. I think it is me - grieving. I miss her everyday. Allow yourself to miss them. Cry. Just say to yourself that, "Everytime I cry I am justifying that Chutney was worth every minute with me...". You won't feel odd crying anymore .

                  Hugs to you and to everyone else who lost their great in 2008. Stupid 2008.
                  Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
                  LouLove - OTTB - 1992-2008...miss you my pretty red girl...
                  Wilde! NEW - OTTSTB - 2004 Gelding...my heart's new journey...

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Kim View Post

                    Right before she passed, I was also dealing with a breakup with a guy that I had been dating who turned out to be very emotionally unstable (and actually, more than potentially violent). I really did care for him, so that "wound" is also still there so to speak. I find myself thinking about him, and I think it is just because I feel so vulnerable without my wonderful horse. She was the one who was there for me through all of the milestones of my life, and I hate that I cannot put my arms around her neck and feel safe anymore. I do love my other horse and am bonding with her much more now, but we don't have that history of being together since I was a kid.

                    It's just that when I am alone and could cry for hours, the feeling doesn't hit me. It also doesn't seem to hit me when I am at the therapist's office...

                    Thanks again for listening.
                    Oddly I was thinking this thread, as I went about my day, and wanted to add something along these lines... Chutney was probably a rock in your life, a stable, warm, safe presence. I suspect you miss that immensely.

                    While I did not have Dan long, finally having him in my life was like coming home! Very bizarre I know. But in most all of my relationships with humans, I always seem to be the tougher, stronger one and rarely get a chance to let my guard down. For some reason with Dan, I felt like I could let go. It was a safe, comfortable feeling. I miss that presence.

                    I wish I had more advice on how to move past the sadness. I suspect as DQ said, it will never hurt less, just less often...

                    May many good things come your way, both in horse life and in rest of your life... sounds like you are due for a positive run!

                    Hugs.
                    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                    • #30
                      I don't recall if it was mentioned. Are you horseless?

                      Gosh, I just said goodbye to my daughter because she was here at Christmas and she's only gone overseas - I can still feel tender and tears are threatening.
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Thanks, everyone, for the kind words. It helps to know that I am not alone.

                        I gave Gracie big hugs last night and this morning. I am really enjoying my "alone time" with her, because Chutney always took "center stage" when she was alive. I think Grace is enjoying being an "only horse" now.
                        In loving memory of Chutney (1977 - 2008)

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I am so sorry for your loss. You're doing a lot of strong things to help you through it, and it's very admirable. Time will eventually help your happy memories overshadow the sad moments.

                          I'm in no way trying to make this about me, but I'm finally at a place where I can actually talk about this. I hope it will help!

                          Last year, the horse I'd had for 15+ years passed away just a few weeks after my mom suddenly passed away. My horse wasn't there to help me through my mom's passing, and my mom, who I always thought I would grieve with over the horse, was gone as well. That was a very tough time in my life and I distracted myself from the grieving process by focusing on moving, finding a new job, and finishing graduate school ... all things that I was already doing and couldn't ignore. I was so consumed with other things and I didn't make time to find a new horse or a new barn. While I liked having the distraction, it wasn't healthy. Pushing grief aside wasn't very helpful in the long run and I didn't ride for several months, which I sorely missed. My husband, dad, sisters, and friends just couldn't take the place of horses. They really are the best therapists!

                          Out of the blue two months ago, a horse found me through the "horseless riders and riderless horses" thread. She's wonderful. She looks an awful lot like my old guy, though her personality and temperament are very different. I feel as though we were brought together when the time was right. Because of all the healing time, I'm able to smile, laugh, and enjoy this wonderful mare instead of being overwhelmed by sadness. Her owner is a fabulous, generous person and I am grateful beyond words.

                          Please don't pressure yourself to follow any type of timeframe or what you think you "should" be doing or feeling. Grief is hard, it is overwhelming at times, and it also appears at inappropriate times. But it also helps you turn loss and despair into gratitude and happy memories over time.

                          I remember my mom telling me once that we should be grateful to have a reason to feel a loss -- that means we shared something amazing. Which you obviously did!

                          Big hugs and prayers that brighter days are ahead for you.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Kim,

                            I am so sorry for your loss.

                            You are perfectly normal! It has ONLY been 2 months. You lost a companion that you had a bond with since childhood. You've been with Chutney for most of your life. The average person grieves for 2 to 3years over a major loss, some longer and some shorter. It will be very hard at times but it does get better with time. Give it time, as long as you may need.

                            Grieving imo is normal. "Getting over it" or "just moving on" is not.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              kim, i too know how you feel. mine is still very fresh in my mind as he just passed on jan 4th. he was my retried upper level eventer. he was such a tough ole bird. i had him 15-16 yrs. and he was/is the love of my life.(ok, the tears are coming) we think he was around 23-25. vets and i think internal cancer took him so suddenly. it was like one minute he was fine, and then he started to drop weight and then was really not interested in eating(not like him at all )we tried to help him, just nothing seemed to work. he died in my arms, looking at me telling him, it was ok to go i miss him so much and not sure if that hole in my heart will ever go away. i hope his spirit stays here with me at the farm, and god i hope one day to be able to see, hear, smell him again.so, i do know who hard itis for you right now. i never thought it would be so painful, he was like a child to me. he was a rescue, and would not let just anyone handle him. he taught me so much, and because of that, i can ride pretty much any horse. he was tough, but very talented, and did not give you an inch. you worked for everything you got with him.
                              maxxwell- i love and miss you so much.
                              kim, my heart aches for you.
                              www.camaloufarms.com

                              ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Thanks everyone. I'm not sure if any of you have dealt with this, but so many friends, in trying to "say the right thing," have said things like:

                                "You should be happy, because she lived such a long life."
                                "You shouldn't be upset, because her death was peaceful."
                                "She is happy and at peace now, so you shouldn't be upset."
                                "You have another horse - you should just be happy that you have her."

                                I AM thankful and happy that Chutney is at peace, but darn it, I miss my lifelong friend!! I know that folks mean well, but hearing these things over and over just makes me feel worse! It makes me feel guilty that I AM upset over losing her...like I shouldn't be, and I think it is part of the reason why my grief is all bottled up inside.

                                Any insight? I am going to the therapist today, so that will hopefully help.
                                In loving memory of Chutney (1977 - 2008)

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I think you should tell your friends, who are well-meaning but not being helpful, that she was in your life a long time but it doesn't mean you're not going to miss her NOW. The hardest part of a loss isn't right when it happens, but the days and weeks and months afterward as one tries to deal with the void left by the loss of the loved one.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I hope your doing well!
                                    I am really sorry for your loss...I am praying for you!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by Kim View Post

                                      It's just that when I am alone and could cry for hours, the feeling doesn't hit me. It also doesn't seem to hit me when I am at the therapist's office...

                                      Thanks again for listening.
                                      Just a thought that you might consider discussing with your therapist. Chances are that when you are actively thinking about your loss, your emotional containment walls are actively engaged as well because on some level you are afraid of being overwhelmed by your grief. When you are at work and your mind is engaged in other activities, your guard walls go down, then the sadness in your subconscious seeps through and catches you off guard. Your therapist should be able to help you let those walls down. Sadness can seem very scary but I absolutely believe if you let the feeling flow, you will find great relief and over time the grief mellows to where your thoughts about your horse will be predominantly about your happy memories...

                                      Take care and I am so sorry for your loss.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Kim,

                                        I don't have anything profound to add here...I just wanted you to know that I'm still thinking about you and keeping you in my thoughts & prayers. I'm really glad that you're seeing a therapist; I'm a firm believer in that. This might get me flamed (I hope not), but don't be afraid of a course of antidepressants to help you get through this, if your therapist and doctor think that might help.

                                        This is a really tough time for you, and any well-meaning person who says "You had her for so long" or "She went peacefully" or "You have another horse" just isn't helping. I know that my gelding, who passed away on Saturday, was my EVERYTHING for so long...my entire life revolved around him. You just can't get over that in a short amount of time. It's ok to not be ok right now.

                                        Hang in there (don't try to be strong....just hang in there), and know that we're all here for you and we really do understand. PM me anytime if you want to talk.
                                        In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

                                        Rest in peace, my sweet man

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Kim View Post
                                          Thanks everyone. I'm not sure if any of you have dealt with this, but so many friends, in trying to "say the right thing," have said things like:

                                          "You should be happy, because she lived such a long life."
                                          "You shouldn't be upset, because her death was peaceful."
                                          "She is happy and at peace now, so you shouldn't be upset."
                                          "You have another horse - you should just be happy that you have her."

                                          I AM thankful and happy that Chutney is at peace, but darn it, I miss my lifelong friend!! I know that folks mean well, but hearing these things over and over just makes me feel worse! It makes me feel guilty that I AM upset over losing her...like I shouldn't be, and I think it is part of the reason why my grief is all bottled up inside.

                                          Any insight? I am going to the therapist today, so that will hopefully help.
                                          I think people say these things when they don't know WHAT to say.

                                          Doesn't matter how your horse passed, how long you had her, if you have another, etc... the pain is still going to be there, ya know? And I don't think there is anything that can quicken the healing process.

                                          I guess all you can do is remember this is all very normal, even if friends/family don't always "get it." Seek out people who DO understand, as I am sure they will be able to offer some comfort to you. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen who can relate.

                                          When Dan passed, my dad immediately wanted to buy me another horse, and my friends all graciously offered up their own horses for me to ride/groom/etc. But I didn't want to do any of that. I just wanted DAN. It was hard to decline the very generous offers without feeling like a brat... but I tried to remember that it was ok to grieve in my own time and not rush into anything I wasn't ready for. Even now, I'm a bit relieved that both myself and my rehab pony are tied up with health issues-- I have zero desire to ride. Riding makes me cry! Weird I know.

                                          Anyway man hugs to you today. We're all here, whenever you need an ear...
                                          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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