This year must be the year of letting go. Last year it was the year of “who the hell are you and where are you taking this thing”. But this year…it is all about the letting go..in every way possible. This morning Mac…the 34 yr old horse…had trouble getting up..again. two days in a row now and combined with eating poorly…pawing the ground..an obvious sign of being in pain…well things are slowly going downhill. I don’t have a lot of knowledge about horses…or any living thing that is in the process of letting go…but I feel it. I sense it. It must be a primal thing to just know or sense that sort of thing. I remember my mother who worked as a nurses aid in an elderly home most her life telling me stories of people passing and entering “that time”. There is a process and little things start to happen that are very universal with humans or animals. My mom used to say..”you see it in their eyes they are ready” among other things that start to happen. Loss of appetite was always a big clue. The body starts to decide there is no point in replenishing. My employer says the same…and I think she knows..but is having a really hard time admitting it..or even saying it out loud. Something about saying it out loud…makes it real. She shook her head this morning while talking and before she actually said “it may be time…” her words trailed off into just a shake of her head as she walked away. If you don’t actually say it…it’s not real yet. So this is the routine since I arrived. Keep trying different things to get him to eat. Switch up the meds…switch up the food given…round and round we go trying to save an animal who is trying to let go. It feels cruel at this point. It feels wrong. If it feels like “playing god” when you have to make the decision to put down an animal…it also feels like “playing god” trying to go against the natural process by keeping him alive. Either way…they are ultimately dependent on you to make the right decision…unless nature decides to step in and reminds us humans who is actually in charge.
Whatever happens…or rather..when it happens…I am emotionally invested now. I do not look forward to that day. Mac is a sweet being…although I hear in his prime he was not so much…but age mellowed him out as it does with most of us. And in this moment of his life..he is the rock around here. His brother is very attached to him as well and makes a fuss if he is not brought down to pasture with him. He calls for him and demands that his brother be let out to pasture too. We are ALL not looking forward to that day. Letting go is hard..no matter what it is that has to be let go or who is doing the letting go. Saying goodbye I guess is a process too. It does not happen in a day. It takes time as well.