Thoughts on grieving

My Monday started in what is becoming a typical fashion for me – waking around 4 am, not quite ready to get up for the day but unable to get back to sleep.

My thoughts travel from to-do lists and mundane things, to sometimes more profound thoughts. This morning, I was reflecting on the funeral yesterday. I was thinking about what a beautiful thing it is that people can gather together and share thoughts and memories with each other when a loved one dies.

Many times when someone reaches out to me for a private animal communication session, they want to connect with a pet who has died. Most of these readings start the same, with the person wanting to know if their animal knew how loved they were (the answer is always, always, yes). Many people carry a lot of guilt over the animals passing – they felt they might have waited too long, or didn’t try to keep them alive longer. So many of these thoughts and feelings are understandable and expected. But what I find many times is that the person has reached out for a reading because they haven’t gone through a real grieving process for their pet.

So much research has shown how important pets are in our lives, how they help people with stress levels, loneliness, and depression. And yet, when a pet dies, many people feel isolated in their grief. I’ve been through it many times, losing a beloved animal, and I understand how isolating it can feel. While really close friends, and especially those who had their own relationship with your pet will reach out, many people don’t feel comfortable sharing with acquaintances how they are feeling. My suggestion: if you are grieving over the loss of your pet, share your feelings with others, even those you don’t know well. Many worry about having their feelings negated with comments like “well, it was just a dog,” but so many other people will understand just how deeply the sadness can get and connecting with others and sharing your sorrow and receiving compassion from others can really help the process.

If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with acquaintances, know that there are wonderful pet-loss support groups available both online and through most local animal shelters.

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