grieving a pet, ontario spca

World Pet Memorial Day: If you’re grieving – you’re not alone.

Talking about the loss of a loved one can be difficult. It’s no easier when that loved one was a pet. Fellow animal lovers will understand and grieve alongside you, but maybe that doesn’t always seem like enough.

Tomorrow is World Pet Memorial Day, and we encourage you to join the conversation and pay tribute to your pet by sharing their story on our Pet Memorial Wall.

If you’re struggling with feeling alone in your grief, these words from Russell Friedman, executive director of the Grief Recovery Institute, may be an encouragement to you.

You’re not alone: Grieving a Pet

By: Russell Friedman, executive director of the Grief Recovery Institute

grieving a pet, ontario spca
photo credit: unbunt.me Rian via photopin (license)

That tragic, incorrect myth has conditioned all of us to hide our grief and isolate ourselves from comfort and support at the times we need it most.The biggest lie of all is: “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone.”

Grieving pet owners are the most isolated of all grievers because from the moment their cherished pet dies, they hear “Don’t Feel Bad, It was only a Dog” [or cat or horse or cockatoo] over and over.

Just being told not to feel bad, when their hearts are broken, makes them believe that there’s something wrong with them for feeling the way they do.

The reality is that we need to share our grief as much as we need to share our joy, and in both cases we need to be heard and not judged – heard and not fixed.

The myth of grieving alone, as crippling as it is, is just one of six myths that limit us from accessing and communicating the truth about our feelings at the most emotionally crucial times of our lives.

Six myths of grieving

grief, grieving, animals
Russell Friedman, executive director of the Grief Recovery Institute.

Russell Friedman, co-author of The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Lossjoined us on our podcast to talk about the six myths and more that keep us stuck in our grief.

He also outlines the actions of recovery that can help you “discover and complete what was left emotionally unfinished for you by your pet’s death.”

Join us for an educational, emotional, and even fun interview on grief, which we guarantee will be filled with many “ah-ha” moments and will also fill your heart.

Jun 11, 2018
by Emily Cook
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