All posts by catherinebest

Why Pet Loss Hurts So Bad

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Do you still miss a pet that died one, five, or over ten years ago? 

You are not alone. 

Many people grieve the loss of their pets for many years following the loss because they were never given the proper tools to recover from their grief.  Instead of recovering from their loss, they learn to live with their pain, hoping that time will heal.  Unfortunately time alone never heals.

Some people are surprised at the intensity of the pain they feel after losing a pet because they compare the loss of a pet to that of a person.  But is it that shocking?

Our pets are our constant companions. They love us whether we have a good day or a bad day.  They are the closest we will ever experience to unconditional love because they don’t judge. For many people the relationship they have with their pets is closer than the relationships they have with many people, so when our pets die, run away, or have to be put to sleep, it’s heartbreaking.

Until now there were very few resources on what do when your pet died.  Well meaning friends and family suggested replacing the pet with a new one.  Some people got a new pet only to find they didn’t love it with the same intensity as the one that died.  Others decide to never get a pet again, so they won’t have to endure another loss.  The problem with all those suggestions is they don’t deal with the real issue, which is emotional completion with the pet that died. This is important so that the loss doesn’t affect future relationships.

So what are you supposed to do to feel complete again?

The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss is a roadmap to recovery.  You will learn everything you need to know to become emotionally complete with your pet, so your heart will be fully open to loving a new companion. A 6 week programme is also available if you would like guidance and support.

Author: Allison James

Photo Credit: hannamariah / 123RF Stock Photo

4 Things to Do When Someone Posts About Loss on Facebook

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Facebook is a social network that encourages you to share your thoughts and feelings about what’s going on in your life.  Most of the time people share about their families, accomplishments at work, and social activities.  But life isn’t happy all the time.  Just as people want to talk about good things in their lives, they also want to share the sad events that affect them. In a society that stigmatizes grief, it’s awesome to have a forum like Facebook where you can show support for grieving friends and family.

When someone posts on Facebook about a death, break up, or any other loss, it opens the door for helpful communication in talking about grief. When people share openly and honestly about their feelings it shows others that feeling are normal and might give someone else the courage to share about their own losses.

Grievers want and need to be heard.

Since grievers want to be heard it makes sense that they post about painful experiences and feelings on Facebook.

So what can you say or do when people post their grief on Facebook?

1. Acknowledge the loss by “liking” their post

If you are unable to pick up the phone to call your grieving friend, at least acknowledge their post by clicking the “like” button on Facebook. This let’s the griever know they were heard.

2. Leave a comment

Write something such as,

“I can’t imagine what you’re going through” or

“I’m so sorry”

Be careful not to fall into the trap of leaving intellectual statements like,

“Don’t feel bad, his suffering is over” or

She’s in a better place”

Those comments might be intellectually true, but won’t help your grieving friends feel better.

3. Call

If you can always pick up the phone and call your friend who is grieving. Human interaction is always more helpful than typing, texting, or email. Ask the griever what led up to the loss, and then listen to their response.

4. Follow up

Grievers get a lot of attention following a loss, but people tend to forget after a few weeks. Be sure to give them a call or invite them to coffee to see how they feel.

Have you ever posted about a loss on Facebook? What comments did you find helpful?

Alison Cole – Grief Recovery Institute