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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I have a horse rescue in Wisconsin. On November 25, 2010 we

Resolved Question:

I have a horse rescue in Wisconsin. On November 25, 2010 we had a barn fire and not only lost physical things, but the beloved lives of 24 equine souls. I still have many horses to care for which keep my husband and I very busy. We've received many donations and wonderful prayers from friends and strangers alike which we do appreciate and need as well. But how do we grieve? These horses grow into our hearts like our children and we loved them as we cared for them. This has been a life changing even and I don't know how we will ever get past this. People see the donations and think we are doing fine. But the loss is deep down inside, not the physical loss. I started this rescue to save these horses and give them a 2nd chance and a good life - and I failed them. I feel guilty about that. No I didn't start that fire, it was electrical, but still we couldn't save them. We are both tortured about this. Where do we go from here? Cindy Bondowski
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Arundhati replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm so very sorry to hear what you went through. I can imagine how hard this has been for you to deal both with the grief of the death of so many horses whom you cared for like family, and also the guilt you mention experiencing about why you couldn't save them.

Bereavement can be a deeply challenging experience when it involves our loved ones - whether it involves human beings, or animals. In your particular situation, the unnatural circumstances of the death and that too of 24 of the horses, make this especially hard. It is very important at this time to be able to fully process your feelings. For this I would recommend that you speak with a professional counselor with a specialization in grief and bereavement issues. As a professional therapist helps you go through each of the stages of grief and loss - you will be able to safely process the feelings that come up, and find helpful ways in which to address them so that you are able to bring your life back to normalcy again.

I hope this was helpful.

Please do let me know if you have questions/thoughts about what I wrote above.

Warm regards,

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