Chaplain Turner

Pet Loss Support Group

Information

Pet Loss Support Group

For anyone that has experienced the loss of a little one

Members: 32
Latest Activity: Dec 25, 2014

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 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.
Comment by Caryn Wilson on April 22, 2010 at 3:58pm
Hi Marlys and everyone who finds it difficult to get over the loss of their dear pet. Just today at dinner my husband and I were talking about our little Tillie who died a year ago and we both started to cry again. They are so dear to our hearts and they leave such an impression in our lives. I don't know that I will ever get over the loss of my sweet little girl. I now have Nellie (the little one in the green hat) and Taz is still here too but his health is fading day by day. I guess you just have to enjoy them each and everyday and be thankful for the love they give! They each have their unique personalities just like our children and that makes each one so special! Marlys don't feel guilty, you gave Flukie so much love and what it's all about!
Comment by Lynn Pennington on April 22, 2010 at 11:38am
Marlys,
My heart aches for you also. We have both dogs and 1 cat. We have always had dogs and have lost several over the years to old age, cancer,accidents (one Cocker hung himself on a short post in the yard when his collar got caught..he was trying to get in the front yard to play with the boys. My husband found him as you said...still warm, but he was gone. My stepson and husband both felt much the same guilt you feel over Flukie. They eventually came to understand that it was an accident and neither of them was responsible! Our cat, A.K., an indoor cat, also like to "sneak outside" on occasion. Usually we catch him as he flies out the door, but a few occasions he has been out for awhile before anyone (usually me) misses him. He is scared to death when we find! I, too, am fearful that one day we may not find him alive and safe. I found him when he was 2 weeks old and bottle fed him until he could eat. He was raised by my dog Niki, a large dog, and has shared a home with dogs all his life so he has no fear of dogs. Our neighbors have 2 large dogs and I am so afraid one day AK will mistakenly get into their yard and he will be history. I realize that if something does happen to him like that it will be an accident...no one in the household ever intentionally lets AK out and we are all mindful of his Houdini antics at times. He can truly be out in a flash if he wants. Please don't blame yourself for Flukie's death. Things happen with our pets sometimes that we cannot control try as we may. I'm sure Flukie would not want you to feel so guilty. It's obvious how much you loved him and miss him. Allow yourself to grieve, forgive yourself and let go of the guilt. I'm sure in time you will find another special cat to love!
Comment by Vicki Pekurney on April 22, 2010 at 7:13am
Marlys, my heart aches for you when reading your note. I lost my Sadie last August and felt like I could hardly breathe. You need to give yourself a break. You cannot keep blaming yourself. Stuff just happens. I lost one baby years ago when the meter man left my gate open and she got outside and was hit by a car. I was furious. But it doesn't bring them back. We have to learn to cope and that's difficult. The BEST remedy for loss, is for you to get another pet. It's NOT disloyal, on the contrary, it shows how much you loved the one you had because you want another love in your life. Holding a baby animal, or a rescue is so rewarding. The pain of loss never fully goes away, but the love you feel for another will soften some of that pain. Please consider getting another pet...there's one out there that really NEEDS the kind of love you can give it.
Comment by Maggi on April 22, 2010 at 4:51am
Thank you, Marlys, for your post. It's been over a month since I had to help my beloved Claude to the Rainbow Bridge and I still miss him terribly. He had been my companion for almost 18 years! He moved with me from Pennsylvania to California, was my comfort through my divorce, made friends with my series of "boyfriends" when I started dating again and eventually accepted my new husband as part of our lives. He was a good friend, a patient pal and my comfort when life was going poorly. Near the end, he had gone deaf and almost completely blind. We had adopted a kitty from our local animal shelter as a playmate for him in November 2009; and although they didn't spend that long together, I could see a bond forming. The cat is fabulous, and I love her, but it's not the same. Thanks for listening (reading) everyone.
Comment by Marlys on April 22, 2010 at 2:35am
I don't think you ever get over loosing a pet. Maybe time helps a little, but never completely.I understand living a long life and dying of old age after a good fun life, but being taken at an early age if unforgettable. Even though this is a dog site, I lost my beautiful white long hair cat that had one blue eye and one green eye, I got him when he was about 3-4 weeks old alone and abandoned. He got outside one time when I didn't know it and was hit by a car. I found him laying in the street, still warm, I tried CPR but he was gone. That was 4 years ago and I still feel guilty, and cry when I think of him or look at pictures. I feel like it's my fault. I will never forgive myself for being more careful and making sure the door wasn't left open. Flukie.....I MISS YOU still today, I miss you at night not hugging me, I miss you every time I walk around the house and you're not following me. I miss you when I get out of the shower and you're not there. I miss you when I come home and you're not at the door waiting for me.
I buried him in my yard (not suppose to do that) and put a bush that grows white flowers on his grave so every time I go out to water the bush I can talk to him. I have a kitty/angel wind chimes that are hanging there, and I hope every time they cling together he knows how much I loved him, and maybe that's when he is talking to me.
Comment by disturbed45 on April 21, 2010 at 7:04am
HELLO EVERYONE. I JUST WANTED TO SHARE A LINK TO A PAGE WITH YOU. I JUST ORDERED A PENDANT AND KEY CHAIN FROM THIS SITE. I HAVEN'T GOTTEN IT YET, BUT I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT. CHECK IT OUT.
http://www.perfectmemorials.com/photo-engraved-pendant-silver-recta...
Comment by disturbed45 on March 4, 2010 at 8:17pm
JORDAN, I'M SO SORRY YOU HAD TO MAKE THAT AWFUL DECISION THAT A LOT OF US PET OWNERS HAVE TO MAKE. PUTTING A DOG YOU LOVE SO MUCH TO SLEEP IS THE HARDEST THING YOU CAN DO. AT THE SAME TIME, HE WAS SUFFERING AND NEEDED TO BE OUT OF PAIN. TAIKO EARNED HIS WINGS AND NOW HE IS WHOLE AGAIN. MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY DURING THIS VERY DIFFICULT TIME.
Comment by Vicki Pekurney on March 2, 2010 at 7:54pm
Jordan, my heart aches with you in your loss of your beloved baby Taiko. I understand 50 % of all dogs are lost to cancer...I give regularly to http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/ because they are doing so much to find a cure for cancer for our beloved pets. God keep you all.
Comment by Jordan Thompson on March 2, 2010 at 2:07pm
Last night and today have been very tough for my family and I. My beautiful dog Taiko, my avatar, faded rapidly yesterday into this morning and we sent him along his was across that Rainbow bridge at 9:40 am on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. Taiko was and still is the most loving dog in the world but his cancer had just gotten to be too much for him. I never thought that I would be able to put him down, but after seeing him struggle so much last night, all I wanted to do was send him out in peace and comfort. I love you so much Taiko! I send out all my prayers that aren't going towards my Taiko to all of you.
 

Members (32)

 
 
 

The Inspiration

EverPup

EverPup: What James has bee



Dr Jones Ultimate Canine Health Formula

Dog Books from Maui Media

Subscribe to our Blog

Badge

Loading…

Published by



 Maui Media, LLC



   © 2010 Maui Media, LLC

© 2018   Created by James Jacobson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service