Furry Companions as Loss Supports

As I type this article while sitting at the computer, I am wondering how some people get through their loss.  Professionally, I know how people do it…but from a heart spot, I am really remembering one way of how I did it.

Throughout my journey in life, I realize pets have been a part of my loss experience in many ways.  As a child when I was sad or lonely a fluffy cat would seem to know I was feeling down and stay close to me.  I think may of us are well aware that furry companions are a source of support and joy, but sometimes can be a source of great sadness. 

Years ago, you did not spend a fortune on a pet at the veterinary clinic to make it better…well, not in my house as a child; therefore, pet deaths happened and I was aware of death losses from a young age.  Isn’t this where “they” say use the pet loss as a teachable moment…okay…yes, but what the heck!  Did it have to be my cat? 

I am certain my experience is not uncommon; it is unique to me though in how I dealt with it.  How you dealt with your pet loss was unique to you…can we compare and sympathize with each other…hmmm, I suppose so.  No matter how old you are your grief is solely yours.

Now that we have established the fact that we are UNIQUE and older, is there still a furry friend in your home?  How have you been nurtured by the unconditional love of a pet who doesn’t talk back, judge you or tell you what to do and when to do it?

Alone is not so alone when there is something alive and breathing in the house.

I know not everyone can have a pet or want one, but for some people this is a viable option and a healing companion on the journey of life.

When dealing with grieving clients, I often ask them if they have a pet in their home or have access to one.  This reinforces how much I realize the supports from pets.  

Age does not matter; nothing matters much to a furry pet as long as it is loved and cared for.

I have two furry friends; a cat and a dog which I am grateful for. Prescilla, the black and white one is now deceased.   

Where is your furry companion?  What kind of furry companion do you have?  

All my best,

Barbara Gillett Saunders

Grief Counsellor/Thanatologist