In Memory Of Little Mo 

In Memory Of Little Mo 


Guilt and Regrets

Coping with guilt and regrets

Find me someone who hasn’t felt guilt or had regrets when their horse has died...I guarantee they will be in the minority. Coping with guilt was one of the most difficult things that I had to manage. Guilt was one of the foremost emotions that I experienced when Mo died. Should I, could I, why didn’t I, what if I had done this or that? The list was endless. From reading the stories of others, guilt is profound whether the death is accidental, expected, sudden or a carefully planned euthanasia. 

I read about guilt, everywhere that I could because it was so unbearable and it began to take over my grief which made me feel even more guilty. I shared my feelings of guilt with others and read about their feelings of guilt also. It was in doing this that I found comfort and also made some very special friends along the way.

I discovered that there are two main types of feelings of guilt, those that are valid and rational and those that are not. Talking them out will often sort out which is which. Imagining that a friend is telling you those feelings of guilt and what you would say to them can also help rationalise them. 

Once I was able to sort out which feelings were rational, I decided that I would put them to use by helping others. I felt guilty that my pony had died of colic so I made sure to warn others of the dangers and possible causes of colic (although we all know that in so many cases, it simply can’t be prevented).

I contacted my vet and discussed some of my irrational feelings of guilt, my worries and whether the way I had managed Mo had contributed to her death and she explained how this was not the case. When I understood that some of my guilty feelings were totally irrational, they began to fade. 

The thing is, that even if how I managed Mo had contributed to her death, rationally it wasn’t deliberate and if you are reading this, you should accept that even if you did something wrong, if it wasn’t deliberate, if you didn’t set out to hurt them that it doesn’t take the love away that you had for your horse and you shouldn’t feel guilty....

The website that I found which helped me incredibly to deal with my many feelings of grief, both rational and irrational, is from the link below. Please take a look, it really clarifies guilt, the reasoning behind it and how to deal with it.

Regrets were in abundance. Why didn’t I spend longer grooming her on such and such a day? Why didn’t I realise how much she meant to me when she was alive rather than when she was no longer here with me. Regrets are hard to live with and I think for me and maybe others, they bring a feeling of shame. I try to take those regrets and put them into something positive. I wrote Mojo a letter and read it out loud to her, telling her of my regrets and what I would do if I had that time again, it really helped even though it was terribly upsetting to write and read. I also put time and effort into all those that I love dearly and make sure that they know how much I love them, both human and animal.........I now make time every day to tell my little dog how much I love her and most of all, I try to live in the moment....

it won’t change the past but it does change the present and will hopefully mean that I never experience those same regrets.....