It’s been a month now since Apollon was euthanized. I got the bill from the vet yesterday. Instead of the usual view of what I owe them and what I have paid already, it just said; “Apollon euthanized” and added the amount they charged for that to my account.
Yes, I have an account and I pay off anything I possibly can every month, since Apollon ended up costing bucket loads of money in examinations the last year of his life and I couldn’t possibly keep up. Luckily my vets know me, after 16 years, and they keep track of me, but they know I will pay it off in time, as fast as I can.
Looking at the bill though, felt horrible. Apollon euthanized. The last time someone, other than me, is ever going to write his name. The last bill in his name. The last piece of paper about him. No more. This is the end.
I have been struggling with this ever since he died. Everything feels empty. I find myself going for walks in the middle of the night, almost every night, just to be alone with my thoughts. I bet the neighbors think I’m crazy, walking around in the freezing cold in my pajamas and my winter boots and jacket at 3 am, but so be it.
I find some comfort in talking to him when I am alone at night. I really miss him and I am beyond sorry that we couldn’t save him. Somehow, telling him, helps me just a little bit. It doesn’t really matter if he is there, if there is a heaven or if he is just gone. Talking to him fills out a bit of the empty space in my heart.
I never believed in anything, I was not raised to be a religious person and somehow I hope that he is just gone. I hope he can’t hear me telling him how sorry I am. I hope he can’t see me crying, alone in the snowy nights.
I realize that this might sound unhealthy, and quite possibly a tiny bit insane, but I just don’t know how else to deal with losing my baby. I know he was “just a horse” but that doesn’t make the loss any less real. Apollon was a star in my world, he was my first colt, my first baby. We grew up together and his life was cut short. By me.
I never felt this way about Poseidon. I mean, it’s not that I don’t miss him, but he had a long life with me, he got to be happy and live the life no one else could have given him. I guess the guilt of having him put down is just that much smaller. I knew what was wrong with Poseidon. I knew we couldn’t fix it and I had always known what would get him in the end.
Apollon has me heartbroken. I had not expected this, I had not imagined that I would lose him so soon. I mean, we know that animals do not live as long as we do, at some point you have to say goodbye, but I was completely blindsided by Apollon’s strange illness and the fact that we, all of a sudden, could no longer fight it.
As much as I don’t believe, I hope he is in a better place now. Quite possibly with Poseidon, Amalia, Lise and Legacy. The old gang, reunited once more, far too soon.
Looking at the little ones I have now, I know that I will not fall apart over this, I will get through it somehow and I will be the “mother” they need in every possible way, just like I was with Apollon. But just, once in a while, I can sit quietly in the road side, watching the snow fall, and cry for my baby, all by myself.
It’s allowed. At least for the time being.