I know words can't really make you feel any better, but please know that some of us know EXACTLY how you are feeling. My story is similar to yours, except that our old boy had neurological issues rather than colic. We never really got an answer as to what exactly was wrong with him.....but the time came that we could no longer avoid.....he had to whirl or lean against his stall wall to stay upright...his back legs were all but useless....and he developed breathing issues.....we delayed doing the inevitable longer than we should have....we were selfish, we didn't want to let him go. But we did...and it hurt. That was two years ago. And to be honest, it still hurts. .It hurts less, but only by degrees. We also were wracked with guilt, did we do all we could have?
Having experienced it myself, I do have some tips:
Keep things that were his as special momentos...we have his gold browband, his stall nameplate and a picture collage of him at our barn. We KNOW that he is gone, but we keep his things visible so that his spirit will know that gone does not mean forgotten. Because NOTHING is worse than being forgotten.
And just this year, even though it was HORRIBLY painful and I sobbed through the whole process, I made a memorial video for him.
Seeing your horse's things and making picture collages and videos hurts...alot.....but it is also a healing....an acceptance of the fact that he/she is truly gone...but that they are still a part of your heart and your memory. And that because you love them and always will....they will NEVER be gone from your heart and time will never fade their images from your memory.
And do not fear that getting another horse is "replacing" the one that has passed..... it won't. We bought another gelding, an neglected and emaciated OTTB, a year after our Prince died. And we grew to love him as if he were a part of our family. He is our joy in life....our healing....
There was nothing left we could do for Prince, but alot we could do for others of his species..... so we rescued a starving OTTB... an ugly duckling...
And turned him into a beautiful swan:
And in the process, the guilt of wondering if we could or should have done more for Prince faded away.....and in the end, we ended up with a horse that has become the love of our lives. He is our friend...and our spiritual healing.
A medicine horse.
You will know when it is time to look for your medicine horse....there is a horse out there that needs you as much as you need him/her.
Hugs to you. And when your heart tells you that it is time...go find your medicine horse.