As I move through dealing with the loss of my horse and best friend, Blue Blue Sea, I have found much comfort in writing. It doesn’t solve everything, but it certainly has helped me move through the issue. As I said in my first post on dealing with the initial shock of the loss, I and Blue always shared as much as we could about our journey together to help others. That is why I again share this writing with you.
The first week was hell on Earth. I have no other way to put it, and I want those who might be reading this before they’ve had to experience such a loss to understand it completely. If you had a deep, caring bond, you are going to have a very rough first week without that being.
One example of that were my nightmares. For several nights that first week I had such horrific nightmares. Quite often it would feature Blue as some Frankenstein-ish version of himself, not completely dead, but certainly not alive. These nightmares got so bad that I really wasn’t sleeping very well at all. I found myself staying up later and later to try to avoid closing my eyes to that horror. While I don’t advocate drinking as a means to overcome your problems, I admit that I found the only way to avoid the issue was to take a shot of bourbon each night before bed. If I did that, I didn’t have the dreams, or at least they didn’t wake me up, and I had no memory of them the next morning. It was also hard to look at any picture I had of him because my mind kept showing me the final image I had of him – him lying there stiff and gone.
I found myself crying at what seemed like the silliest of things. In going through mail, I found the Care Credit bill, and the sight of it set me into tears. While I may dread seeing a bill, I’ve never before cried over receiving one, but this was a credit card I had only gotten last October. It’s soul purpose was to help pay for Blue’s vet bills. Like nearly everyone, I’ve had money issues related to the current economic downturn, so Care Credit represented a way that I could give myself some breathing room on paying Blue’s bills. That bill coming was a reminder that it wouldn’t be something I would need to use because Blue was gone.
Other little things like that kept coming up that first week just reminders of what you once had and now did not. Mardi Gras day I spent getting my hair cut. I hadn’t planned to get it cut quite as short as it now is, but I thought cutting my hair could be a symbol of the loss that I had just had. I spent it getting my hair cut that evening rather than being at the barn dressing Blue up in crazy Mardi Gras colors for all of his fans to witness via video and pictures. Then of course, on Friday I had to pick up his ashes. It was tough, but it was honestly easier than the next day, the one week anniversary of his passing. I was really a wreck that day.
I made it though. One hellish week down, I moved into the second week without Blue.
One little game I’ve always played with my mind is a count-back thing. When I came back from visiting my sister this Christmas, for about a month after, I would find myself thinking things like: a week ago, I was leaving to see her or three weeks ago we were at the Grand Canyon West. I don’t know why I do this, but it’s one of those little things that my mind does to remind me of what has happened and that I am moving away from those moments. I didn’t do that so much during the first week because my mind was mostly in shock. In week two, I really started doing it with Blue. One week ago, I went to the barn and Blue and I worked on his bow trick . . . In the second week, it really showed the dichotomy between Friday and Saturday for me. Friday was the last day I saw him alive and Saturday he died.
The mind is truly amazing in how it deals with things. As I moved into week two, I could start to look at Blue’s pictures without seeing him dead. In fact, as the week progressed, it became harder and harder to see that final image. I could see the basic overall, but the details were fuzzy. I am thankful for this trick of the brain because it certainly makes things easier.
I did take a shot of bourbon each night though of week two, to be safe. I still would wake up tired more often than night, but I was sleeping.
Somewhere along week two, I became more restless. I don’t do boredom well at all. When Blue was alive, nearly all of my time was filled. I had work, Blue time, running errands for myself and Blue, eating and exercising and sleeping. I had a little time leftover for writing, reading or other leisurely activities. In other words, I had a nice balanced week each week. Now suddenly, I had huge holes of time. I am trying to be sure to fill those up productively but am having a bit of trouble.
I still have not worked up the courage to face the barn. I know that is coming and thought it might during week two, but I just was not there yet. The second Saturday was the worst of my week two. Part of that, of course, is that it was the day Blue died, but it also was the day that I got to spend the most time with Blue when he was alive. It’s the day that I have the most unoccupied time to fill now.
Sometimes it’s a day at a time and sometimes I find myself working on seconds to minutes at a time. I might be perfectly fine for hours of a day and then something hits. It will be that way.
I will say to anyone facing this that during those first two weeks, you will have lots of support from those around you. I am very grateful for the support I had. Reach out to those people and be sure to let them know you are thankful for them being there. Blue has taught me all too clearly that life is always going to be shorter than we want it to be, so you have to speak clearly to others. Be sure they know how special they are and how they have touched your life for the better. We don’t do that often enough as a society.
To those friends helping someone, please know that sometimes the person going through it will want to be alone. I HATE to cry in front of others because I don’t want to make them feel bad. I much prefer to make people smile and laugh, so I do tend to hide away when the urge to cry comes on. So if you have a friend who hides away for a bit, it’s probably nothing to do with you, but do be sure to keep checking. They will need your help and will appreciate it.
Feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences. The more we share, the more we can help one another.