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The Gifts They Give

Today Coco had a rough morning. It was clear she was feeling a bit extra ouchy as she spent a lot of the morning laying down to eat her hay. She didn't move around very much today but after a bit extra pain management medication, by the afternoon she was content to stand.

I don't know how much time Coco has left with us and I'll admit, it makes me incredibly sad to acknowledge that we are approaching the day where love simply will not be enough to fix her. I've been in this situation enough times now that it feels achingly familiar.

My heart hurts every time. But this is a job that must be done; loving them through the end. Each time I feel like I must drag my heart back up from the grave because each time it feels so much that my heart dies with them. That's the awful part of death though, you're not dying with them, but it sure feels like it. One of my good friends put it into words for me when we talked recently. I hadn't been able to put it into words prior, but that is exactly what I have felt.

Many years ago after we said goodbye to Pink, I made it a point to focus on the gifts each horse leaves with us. Pink taught me that no matter what the trauma of our pasts is, we are still capable of loving with our everything and loving unconditionally. I try to take her love with me every day and give that same unconditional love to each horse since.

I'm learning to hold onto the peace Coco gives me. To be silently strong and let the peace in me spread to those around. To be able to be present in the silence, to not let my mind race in every direction, to sit and take in the peace of the moment around me and let it fill me and drift back out. My heart so values the peace she gives me. I feel I owe it to her to learn how to give it back.

I know it will break a piece of me when I do have to say goodbye to her. I'm trying not to dwell on that unknown timeline and instead value every moment with her and love her unconditionally. She's so strong and so full of spunk still. Today she just needed a longer rest.

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