Friday, October 28, 2011

Breathing In and Out

"Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long."
--Sam Baldwin, Sleepless in Seattle

That's pretty much how I feel. Things are not going according to plan. The support I have received would be heartening, but I feel like my heart is in a box somewhere, I forget where. I spent all day Tuesday in bed with a migraine that was so bad I didn't think I would live. I hoped I wouldn't.

I watched her through the day. By 2:00pm, I knew she was dying. The vet was coming, I would have her put down. She got worse, the vet was not here, she got worse, the vet was stuck in bay area traffic. She got worse. She started to stagger and get down, then up, then down. She was hunched in pain, up, down, up, down. She hurt. I said:
"Just stay down and stop breathing." Up, down, up down, staggering, falling, up, down, up, down.
"Maggie, please, just lay down and die." Up, down. Finally, she did.

Beautiful Maggie, with the golden nose and soft hair. Maggie, who whinnied at me to come out of the outhouse. Maggie, who would just come up to me in her paddock and lean her neck on my hip. Maggie, who would leave her food to knicker at me not to leave yet. Her illness and hospitalization bonded us so closely. She brought out the best in me.

Then the nightmares. Horses flipping over onto their heads and dying, huge bodies crashing to the ground, bones shattering. One horse, then two, then five. Dying in agony all around me. I was helpless, and then I woke up and could not catch my breath. I went back to sleep and dreamed it all again.

I went back to the ranch to clean up. So many cards, so many people came. One person had become hysterical on Tuesday and had to be driven home by another boarder. It was someone I don't even know very well.

When she was dying, I breathed in, trying to hold her scent forever. But I had to breathe out.


Amanda said...

oh Cara! i'm so so so sorry for your loss. (((hugs))) I can't even imagine. :(

d. moll, said...

Beautifully and excruciatingly expressed; but your heart is too big to be in a box, maybe it's just gone on a bit of a walk-about, all the love will be still be here when it gets back. Take care, lots of love from us, you know that.

Anonymous said...

My heart is breaking

Carol said...

I'm so sad. It's all so not fair. You've had more than your share of torture. I'm crying as I write this. I hope you've been able to cry, but maybe the grief is still too great. The day my beloved Bud died (somewhat similar . . . from Colic . . . waiting for the vet), I was hysterical for hours afterwards. A friend finally convinced me to try some whiskey. It's not a long term fix, but it helped get me out of the sobbing stage. His death was the most traumatic thing that has ever happened to me . . . and that includes two divorces and my parents' deaths. It's agony . . . but there is an end to the suffering, or at least it lessens by a lot . . . eventually there will be another horse though never another Maggie. Love and best wishes to you.

OnTheBit said...

I am so sorry that it had to happen in such a terrible way. Maybe it is not a bad thing to be numb right now...

Breathe said...

No. No.

I'm beyond words Cara. Thinking of you. Lo siento.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

You only had her a short time but she was a very special mare. The loss must be terrible for you. I lost my seven year old mare, Scout's mother, after doctoring her for ten days, even giving her water with a tube to her stomach so she wouldn't dehydrate. I cried every time I thought about her, for months afterwards. She was too young to go- such a loss!

Eventually, the tears do dry up and you will begin to live again, more than just breathing. Your heart will bust out of it's box and you will be able to look back on your memories with her, smile, and be thankful of the time you had with her.

The Fab Furs said...

She was loved and she didn't die alone.

allhorsestuff said...

That's so terrible...I'm sick too now, with the forever thoughts of her pain. I'm so sorry she had to endure that, and you....had to just watch.
I don't know why that happened that way.
I'm so very sorry Cara.

You did what you could, she loved you, and you loved her all the way.
Hang in dear one~

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I'm so sorry. I just stopped by to say hello and discovered this very sad news.