Chaplain Turner

Pet Loss Support Group

Information

Pet Loss Support Group

For anyone that has experienced the loss of a little one

Members: 30
Latest Activity: Jun 17, 2013

Time of Loss

Until one has traveled that road through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, it is impossible to understand the depths of the journey. Grief
can be as debilitating as a grave physical illness and can overtake our
lives for a time. In its all consuming form, grief can swallow up in its
path our joys, hopes and dreams and even our will to go on, leaving us
a shadow of who we once were.

While death has taken away our beloved, grief has torn open our hearts
and our eyes bleed with the heart's endless tears. The heart is
seemingly beyond repair and most certainly beyond recognition.
Our heart is simply and utterly broken.

Sadly in our society, Pet Grief is not generally accepted as a "valid"
form of grief and so often people feel ashamed or embarrassed by the
depth of their pain and grieving.

As a Chaplain of Pets, we can assure those suffering the loss of pets
with what has been termed the "Three N's of Grief:"

Grief is NORMAL
Grief is NATURAL
Grief is NECESSARY.

Grief is like a journey down a river. We are suddenly adrift on a raft of
emotions that threatens to capsize as we ride over the rapids, go over
the falls, and steer through the spinning eddies in whirlpools of thought
where we replay over and over the 'coulda, shouda, wouldas' that might
have changed the outcome of our loss. The river has its moments of
calm, and at those times we feel that we are through the worst, only to
have yet more white water of tears and emotions to go through. It can
be a long and difficult journey. But as much as we try to ignore the grief,
it does not ignore us. We must face it and learn to ride this river. There
is no getting around it. If we do not make the journey consciously, we
make it unconsciously with the raging white water spilling over into our
everyday lives and relationships with others.

When it comes to losing human loved ones, everyone, including family
and friends, colleagues (and even ourselves) understands that it takes
time to heal from grief. We are "allowed" and are given the courtesy of
time and space. But when it comes to Pet Loss, we usually face a
different group of voices all together. Most of the words from family
and friends, though well intended, are not very supportive after all.
These unfeeling responses can leave us feeling worse than we did
before. At worst case, the mourner will be ridiculed or even laughed at
for feeling so deeply about the death of their beloved pet.
"Get over it," " You can always get another one," "It was just a pet."
To the one enduring the pain of grief, those are cruel and harsh words.
They leave the pet-mourner feeling not only desperately alone, but
ashamed and embarrassed. Feeling "silly" or even "stupid" for such
deep grief over "just a pet,"

The all too common responses when we tell someone that our pet has
passed away can be deeply hurtful. Few openly acknowledge and
support our feelings when we tell them our pet has died. Many express
momentary sympathy, and then move on in the conversation as if we
had just said, "My car doesn't run anymore." There is often no
follow-up concern over your loss. No casseroles arrive at the door and
the sympathy cards do not come in the mail. The overall message
comes across that our pet was not important, that our feelings are not
important, that we are foolish and that our pet (the love of our lives!) is
replaceable. None of these are true and all are hurtful. It feels like
society is laughing at our pain. So many people just end up not sharing
it, not telling people how they really feel, and unfortunately, not reaching
for the support and help from either clinical or clerical that they so need
in their time of loss.


Discussion Forum

"Comparing Grief for Animals to Grief for Humans" 2 Replies

Started by Momcat Sooma. Last reply by Momcat Sooma Apr 1, 2009.

The Dragonfly" by Doris Stickney

Started by Momcat Sooma Mar 30, 2009.

"You Can Find Love Again"

Started by Momcat Sooma Mar 30, 2009.

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Pet Loss Support Group to add comments!

Comment by Caryn Wilson on December 12, 2010 at 8:02am

Hi Kelly and family; I am so sorry, I hurt too as I hoped and prayed for your pup's health to return. My little Taz is nearing the end of his life and I don't look forward to that day but I guess all we can do is give them our love and thank the Lord for how they bless our life and have blessed us! Thinking of you with deep heartfelt sympathy..Caryn

Comment by Kelly Meyer on December 11, 2010 at 6:02pm
Hi family & friends,
  
It is with MUCH sadness and through tears that I write today to tell you that our MUCH loved Phoebe is no longer with us in body, but will be forever with us in our hearts and memories!
  
When her cancer came back for the second time, we and she fought it just as hard as the first time.  Unfortunately, nothing this time around did much good to beat back her tumors and, in the end, she grew tired.  We kept waiting for Phoebe to tell us she was ready to cross over the Rainbow Bridge, but Phoebe's huge heart wanted to stay with us!  She tried so hard!  Her body just couldn't do what her heart was so desiring any longer.   She was TIRED and we couldn't deny her that final act of love and compassion.  Nor did we want to deny her as much.  In fact, as painful as it was for us, our last hour laying on the floor with her was peaceful, full of love.  We even watched as she dreampt, her feet twitching in full gallop--chasing birds no doubt. 
  
She peacefully slipped away tonight with the help of one of her oncologists with whom she had a special bond, laying atop the couch in her own living room, the room filled with soft candle light and a Haydn symphony and limitless love poured upon her from Kurt, Kelly & Daisy.
   
Kurt and I are naturally devastated and sad as we feel we have not only lost a beloved pet, but such a HUGE part of our family and everyday, shared life--all the walks, trips to the dog park, the dog beach, the park to run, play time, sleep time (all in one bed), the vacations in the RV, the rental cabins in the snow, all the smells of the wilderness on our walks, and swims in the streams!  Not a single part of our life was she not a big part of!
  
SHE WILL BE SO MISSED!
  
Thank you for all your support, prayers, well wishes and healing thoughts throughout Phoebe's 11 month battle with cancer!  While we all prayed and hoped for a better outcome, Kurt and I are very grateful that we at least had these last 11 months with her to say a long goodbye--with pretty much all but the last week or so being good. This was so important to us in being able to let her go--knowing we did everything we could to fight this disease; but also recognizing when Phoebe was telling us she LOVED us very much, but it was time for her to rest, and that she would see us again some day!
  
With much love,
Kelly, Kurt and Daisy
February 21, 2001-December 11, 2010

Comment by Kelly Meyer on August 4, 2010 at 2:02pm
Jennifer,

I'm so sorry for your loss! We are NEVER ready to say goodbye--even when they have had long happy lives!

I like your idea of putting the ashes into a stuffed animal you can hug any time you want--would have never thought of that!

I hope with time the happy funny memories of Mitzi will start to fill your heart with joy instead of grief!

God speed Mitzi!

Kelly :o{
Comment by Jennifer on August 4, 2010 at 10:06am
I'm so glad I found this site.

I just lost my beloved German Shepherd, Mitzi, this past Sunday. She was 15.5 and went peacefully in her sleep here at home.

I am so incredibly devastated and grief-stricken and I just can't seem to stop crying. We've had her ever since she was a puppy and she was my first baby before I even had my own babies.

We are having her cremated and then I am taking her ashes to Build-A-Bear where I can have her put into a stuffed animal that I can hug any time I feel the need to remember her.

RIP Mitzi - I love you so very much and miss you terribly.
Comment by disturbed45 on May 31, 2010 at 1:44pm
HEY LISA. I THINK I COMMENTED IN THE WRONG PLACE. LMAO!!! OH WELL. I THINK I COMMENTED ON YOUR PAGE. I'M ALL CONFUSED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR FRIENDSHIP.
PAM
Comment by disturbed45 on May 17, 2010 at 9:02am
I'M KEEPING YOU IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS LISA.
HUGS!
PAM
Comment by disturbed45 on May 14, 2010 at 1:45pm
HEY LISA. I WAS JUST READING YOUR POST ABOUT NANNY. I'M SITTING HERE IN TEARS JUST THINKING ABOUT HER. SHE SOUNDS LIKE SHE WAS SOMETHING ELSE. LOL! SHE SOUNDED LIKE A REAL JOY AND A REAL GO-GETTER. SHE HAD SPUNK BEYOND HER YEARS.

I'M GLAD SHE HAD SUCH A LOVELY BURIAL AND HAS A LOVELY FINAL RESTING PLACE.

OLD DOGS NEED LOVE TOO. THEY DON'T ALWAYS GET IT.

BLESS YOUR HEART FOR TAKING NANNY IN. I'M GLAD SHE WAS IN A GOOD HOME FOR HER FINAL DAYS.
Comment by Kelly Meyer on May 12, 2010 at 4:11pm
Lisa, you painted such a vivid and great picture of Nanny and her life with you! I'm so saddened she has passed! God bless you for giving a senior dog a loving, safe home to live out her last years--most likely the best of her life! It truly takes a special person/family to rescue and fall in love with a dog that you know is in the last years of their life--breaks your heart and warms it at the same time!
Kelly
Comment by Lynn Sexton on May 12, 2010 at 10:17am
Lisa, What a heart-warming and sad-at-the-same-time story. How wonderful of you to give Nanny a "soft place to land" as you say. It just goes to show that dogs can still bring us joy, even in their geriatric years. Just this morning my 12 1/2 y/o mixed-breed large-breed dog showed me she still has what it takes. She was lying on the screened porch when I went to see if she was ready to come in. Her ears were perked up and her eyes focused, so I turned on the outside light....there was a rabbit in our privacy-fenced yard. Niki jumped up let me know she NEEDED to chase away Mr. Bunny. She has always been my "squirrelly girl"! And this morning she let me know that she still could run with the best of them, squirrels or bunnies! Alas, she didn't catch him though (thank goodness).

It is amazing how deeply we can love these fur-babies! God bless you and keep you as you grieve for Nanny! You indeed sound like a wonderful, caring person any dog would be lucky to have!
Comment by Vicki Pekurney on May 12, 2010 at 7:59am
Lisa, you sound like such wonderful people...I've found dog people are the BEST! Thank you for giving Nanny a warm wonderful place to spend her final years. What a blessing you guys were to her and her to you. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I know you are grieving, but you have to know what a caring place she had for those couple of years. She's waiting for you.
 

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