Bereavement in the Loss of a Pet
A Different Grief: Coping with Pet Loss
Are you anticipating or mourning the loss of your pet, and surprised
and even overwhelmed at the depth of your grief?
The lessons in this course
are designed both to help you understand and cope with the grief of losing your pet,
and to guide you towards meaningful growth, healing and inspiration. Come to a better
understanding of the emotional upheaval caused by the shock, disbelief, anger,
guilt and sorrow that are commonly experienced when a beloved pet is lost. Learn
meaningful ways to memorialize your faithful friend. You deserve to feel comforted,
understood and acknowledged as a person in grief, and reassurance that you are
normal and healthy in loving your faithful animal friend so deeply.
Dear Marty: A Letter of Thanks
By Barbara Davis
I want to express my gratitude to you personally for the comfort and strength you have given me and others like myself who have lost special companion animals. My cat of eleven and a half years, Taz, died of kidney disease a little over two months ago. We had him euthanized when the disease had progressed to the point where, although he still had his dignity and awareness, he was so painfully thin and weak that we knew he was very tired; he had "fought the good fight," and it was time to let him go.
In the days immediately following his death, as I searched for comfort from my grief and pain, I came across your website and read the "Lesson #1 - Pet Loss: An Introduction" to your course
"A Different Grief: Coping with Pet Loss."
I can't express how much it helped me to find comfort, strength, kinship, and hope at that time. It was like taking a long, cool drink of water when I was dying of thirst. Time and again I returned to that Lesson #1 and read it over and over, sometimes thinking, "She must be reading my mind," so in tune were your feelings with those I was experiencing. The way you expressed your feelings of loss, the intensity of your reactions, being totally unprepared for the devastating experience - those mirrored my feelings exactly.
I also visited the
Grief Healing website, and received so many beneficial thoughts there, especially from the collection of poems. I would love to contact some of the authors of the poems and tell them how wonderfully comforting their talented expressions of love for their companion animals were to me. They were able to express with words so many of the feelings I was having in my heart.
which I have just completed, also helped me immensely. Please read the
comments I posted on the survey
at the end. The course has given me focus, comfort, strength, and hope. But one of the most important things it gave me was a feeling of kinship with others like myself who have experienced this type grief, and are at a loss as to how to deal with it. I was devastated and in such pain. It was not that I did not have sympathy and support from others. My husband was almost as upset as I was at Taz's death and has been wonderfully comforting and supportive. My other family members, friends who have lost pets, and concerned neighbors have all been sympathetic and supportive. Not once did anyone make light of the loss, make an insensitive comment, or try to talk me out of grieving.
So, despite all this support, why did I need something else and look for it on the web? I think it was because I needed someone to express, with your special ability, not only all the things I was feeling, but what to do about those feelings. I needed your professional expertise, but also your personal experience with this situation; I think that was one of the things that drew me so strongly - that you yourself had been through this type of loss. When I couldn't see clearly through the grief and pain, your writings and your course gave me the clarity I needed to understand, to be comforted, to feel a bond with others, and to hope that I will emerge emotionally stronger and more aware and appreciative of the lives and loves I have shared and of those I will continue to share.
I still have a ways to go in my grieving, but I can tell I am slowly but steadily getting better. To see me, talk with me, etc., one would never know (unless you are close to me) that I was experiencing any grief. It is on the inside that I grieve, because no matter how much family or how many friends you may have, there is still something missing. When you return home and open the door, when you see a certain spot in house, when you get into bed at night and turn off the light, there is an emptiness. There is an empty space in your heart that aches and yearns.
This is when I am especially grateful for the last lesson in
- Lesson #20: Adjusting to the Loss of Your Pet. This is another lesson I have read several times, and I have a feeling I will re-read it many more times in the weeks and months to come. It soothes and strengthens my soul and gives me the joy of a new awareness. I know I have "gained much more than I have lost." I know that "love is stronger than death" and that relationships don't die. And I know that I will make it through this and be a stronger and better person. I owe all this partly to you, but I think I owe it mostly to one small cat who colored my world with joy while he was in it, and left me a new legacy of love and awareness when he left it.
This letter of thanks was sent to Marty Tousley. Marty Tousley is the creator and instructor of these Self-Healing Expressions courses. Click these links to learn more about Marty and her grief-healing courses.
A Different Grief: Coping with Pet Loss
A Different Grief: Helping You and Your Children with Pet Loss
The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey.