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Dealing with the loss of a horse

Dealing with the loss of a horse - by Melissa Dawes

It's something that absolutely none of us want to think about, but that we all know is inevitable. Trendy ambassador Melissa Dawes experienced this not that long ago with her gorgeous horse Chrystal, and kindly shared her experience with us. Yes, you'll need to grab some tissues, but hopefully, her experience can go some way to helping others when that sad day finally comes. 

"Someone once told me grief is like a ball stuck in a square. At first, the ball is so large it fills the square, that is when it most painful. But over time the ball will shrink and start to bounce around in the square, sometimes it doesn’t hurt but sometimes the ball hits the square and all the pain rushes back. The ball is never gone, the pain is never gone, but it becomes easier to manage."

"I lost my horse of a lifetime four months ago back in November to Colic. Her name was Chrystal, she was 11 years old and I had owned her since a foal. Like all of us, our horses are our life: we put all our time, money and love into them, and they become our happiness. So, what happens after you lose that?"

TrendyEquine Ambassador Melissa Dawes

"I never really understood the square and ball quote before, but now I do. At first, I was in so much pain, I tried suppressing it and carrying on only for it to come out in the worst moments. Now it is okay, I still miss her every day, but I no longer fall asleep crying; I can look at photos and videos of her and feel happy about the fun times we shared whereas before I couldn’t even look at her. I am still unable to listen to sad songs however, in particular, is Lewis Capaldi ‘Hold me While you Wait’ 100% will make me start sobbing. Which sucks because I love that song. In fact, I’m a massive fan of sad songs. I really miss them but every time they make me think of her and every time I experience the pain of losing her again. So, most of the time the pain is manageable, but now and then it will hit me, and the pain will be as fresh as it was originally."

"What I have also found is how much I love talking about her now. At one point I could not talk about her or think about her without crying and the pain hit me all over again. But now I want to tell people about her, I want to post about her, and I want to keep looking at pictures of her. At first, it did surprise me when I started opening up about old stories of her, but now I think that if I keep talking about her then I will keep her alive. Not only for me but for others, I think some part of me is making sure she is never forgotten."

TrendyEquine ambassador Melissa Dawes

"I think everyone who has had to make the decision to put a horse to sleep can relate that the worse feeling is the guilt. Yes, I know there was nothing more that we could have done and yes, I know that it was the kindest thing to do. She was in pain; it was clear that something was more seriously wrong than plain colic and it was clear there was nothing else the vets could have done. Yet, I still have that small voice in my head that said I could have done something different, even though the logical side of my head knows there was nothing. And that is the worst pain, that pain is the hardest to deal with. It is a pain that you feel like you have let them down."

"Life does go on after you lose your best friend, it is just a bit of a darker of a place. The pain does get easier, but it has yet to go."