Hey Ladona, my first post was in the "village".
When I lost my mare earlier this year, I had a lot of trouble with the images of her lying on the ground with her head in a pool of blood, and lifting her poor dear head when we were loading her on the tractor lifter, and how her head dangled as we were driving her to her burial place. These images just came back and bit me for weeks; I still see them sometimes. When you have an emotional loss like that, the amygdala in the brain carves the images into your memory - ironically, the job it does has survival advantage in many cases. On the down side, this is involved in PTSD as well.
When these images would haunt me, I would consciously try to conjure positive images of the long and happy life my mare had. I started a memorial thread on this forum and whenever I was in a black hole I just wrote and wrote - it was actually very helpful to write in detail about what happened, as it stopped the thoughts running circles in my mind. Once they were "on paper" they were out... I found writing really therapeutic. I posted photos of her life and remembered the good times. I've not written in it for a while but when we unbox all the old pre-digital paper photos, I will scan the best ones, post them in her memorial, and write about her life. Three months out from the loss, I am looking forward to doing that: 31 years is a long time.
Right now you're in shock. The early part is the worst. The awful physical feelings will mostly ease in the first month, but some sadness will always be there, balanced by gratefulness for the positive events you experienced together.
Horse deaths. My family has been owning, breeding, training and competing with horses for over 35 years now. First loss was my current riding horse Sunsmart's great-grandmother, within 12 hours of foaling, major blood vessel leaked and she bled out slowly and irreversibly. Then a young mare who'd had a wonderful first season and spell died like Hickstead after a flawless training session, collapsing in her warm-down. This devastated my father for months.
A couple of years later, a lovely little mare broke her leg in a trial. She hopped on a float three-legged with one leg dangling from the hock because they wanted the track cleared before the vet got there. That one was really hard to process for months afterwards. She was in shock so probably not much pain, but was so perplexed why she couldn't use her leg. We gave her water before she was put down because she was so thirsty from running and blood loss.
One mare had a twisted bowel, that was really awful to witness, and her foal was orphaned. Several older ones had an awful time with blockages and needed to be put down. One gelding lost control of his hind legs at age 26 and could not longer get up. A stallion of around the same age had the same problem.
Because they are so big and majestic, it is so hard to see them stricken. All we can do is help them the best we can, and unfortunately often that means euthanasia. This is a far better option than letting a horse die a protracted and/or painful death.
Hang in there, Ladona. Thinking of you.