Grieving the Loss of a Pet
For many people, it can be difficult to understand how the loss of a beloved pet can trigger a deep grief process. But, talk to a pet owner who has lost an animal companion and you will hear quite a
I know from clients in my therapy practice, as well as from my own personal experience, that many people do not understand the depth of grief that can arise with the loss of a pet. This loss can also awaken grief for other losses that have not been fully processed. Counselling can help.
For more than 12 years, my standard poodle Shanti, was my best friend, my companion and even my child in many ways. Shanti means ´peace´ in Sanskrit and that was the essence she embodied. Shanti was the sweetest, gentlest being. I took her everywhere with me. We went to restaurants and the owner would hide her under the table knowing it was illegal to have a pet in there. I took her to work and she would tell us when the 50-minute psychotherapy session was up so I didn´t even have to look at my watch! I even took her to Pilates classes.
When Shanti had to be euthanized, the vet was compassionate and supportive. Shanti died in my arms with my hand on her heart. And then….I left the vet´s alone, Shanti´s leash and collar were all that I had. I went home to an empty house with no one to talk to and I grieved alone, in silence, for a very long time.
The pain of grief passes, but our memories and the place our pet had in our heart will stay. The healing process has allowed room for another companion and I have welcomed a mini goldendoodle, Satchi, into my life!
My commitment to support clients through the loss of a pet and the grief than ensues, comes from my wish that no pet owner need experience the bereavement in isolation as I did.
I welcome you to meet with me and share your story. You will be heard and you will not be alone.
Victoria BC Therapy
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada