I'm not entirely sure of where the past year has gone. It seems like October 11th of 2011 was such a long time ago, but I can't hardly remember what has happened in the past year to make it so distant. Twelve months into this grieving process, I don't feel better and I don't feel like myself still, but it has taken this long for me to realize that I am not the same without her, and life is not, and will never be, the same either. It isn't that life is now somehow less or is badly off, because everything else is filled with good things. It's just completely different, without anything else actually having changed. I am still with Future Hubs, I still have all the same critters, still have the same job, still am living here in Texas. Those things are all as wonderful as they have been. It is just me that is different... I am not the same as I was. Losing Gogo was a bit like someone forcefully cutting me in half and tossing one half of me back out into the world to keep going. It is very confusing trying to relearn how to live your life when half of everything you value and love is suddenly gone one day. You can prepare for it, if you know it is coming. You can ready yourself, steel yourself, prepare to lose it, surround yourself with loved ones, or push them all away just the same. It doesn't matter what you do, because you won't know how it really feels until it happens. Then, and only then, will you realize just how thoroughly unprepared you were to live on through unthinkable tragedy.
I know it sounds extreme. Honestly, just putting it out in writing sounds like I survived a war instead of just lost a horse. But those of you with horses in your life - probably most or all of you, I am assuming - know how much they affect you, and those of you who have lost them will understand. To those who haven't yet, I don't wish it upon you, but that day will come. On that day, you too will stand with me and feel that horror and pain and sorrow, and will still know in your heart that life is better having had and lost them rather than never having known them at all. But you'll never be the same again.
Not a day goes by when I don't think of her. Hardly a week passes when some memory, picture, or video doesn't make me sob like a baby or ache with sorrow. How could they not, when so much of my life revolved around her? She defined me as a young adult, molded and changed and shaped me into the person I am today, and her loss affected me just as hard as her life did. I am different now, and I will never be the same.
Having Pangea and Imogen in my post-Gogo life has been a very strange, exciting, sad, and wonderful journey. It has really only been in the past month that I have actually started to feel better and more at peace with Gogo's loss, and that is all thanks to working with Imogen. I love and cherish P, and am so glad to have her in my life, but she is happiest when left to her own devices. She likes me well enough, I am sure, but she'd rather be left alone, and we haven't bonded in the strong and inseparable way that Gogo and I had. Imogen and I, on the other hand, bonded immediately and very hard, and we have our own dynamic that is very different from the one she shares with every other horse and human in her life. Something about working with her and the promise of giving her a brand new life is incredibly healing to the heart. Pangea has never known anything except for a life of cookies and love at best, and a big field with giant mounds of hay and no humans to bother her except for regular maintenance at worst. Imogen has known cruelty and pain, and to see her look at me with trust and love, and choose to seek me out over spending time at her haypile with her friends, is truly rewarding. This, more than anything, has kick started me onto the healing track. Life truly works in strange ways, and I'm not sure I'll ever be old or wise enough to understand them.
I'm still hurting. I'm still sad. I'm still not sure that I'll ever really be at peace with what happened. But I am grateful for every moment of the five years I had with her, and she will always be in my heart.
A moment of silence now for Gogo, who took her last breath at 4:15pm last year.
There simply are not words for how badly she is missed. I love you, Gogomare.