7. March 2012 09:00
You may be prepared for the loss of your own pet, but what about your friends and family? Do they have a plan in place? Often times, when faced with the impending death of a loved one, people forget to ask some of the questions that should seem obvious: Will the pet be buried or cremated? How will we tell the kids? Will we hold a service? So, when a friend experiences a loss, there are plenty of ways you can help soften the blow and take care of some of the details for them. Some ideas for how you can help:
- Arrange a casual gathering to share memories of and stories about the family pet. Plan it at a comfortable place with familiar friends and good food.
- Create a photo album of pet photos as a gift for your friend. If you can make it a surprise, it might be even more special to them.
- Bring your friend a homemade meal on their first day without their pet to give them a day off. Offer to eat the meal with them--they may want company. (Or they may not! Always ask first.)
- Help them choose a way to commemorate their pet in a more permanent way with a memorial plaque or urn. Best Friend Services offers various options for the perfect gift. But, if you can't decide which product is best, one safe bet is a Best Friends Services gift certificate.
No matter how you choose to help your friend mourn their loss, remember that being present and available to help is the best thing you can do. The rest will fall into place.
4. January 2012 08:59
The loss of a pet can be devastating. Often, your pet has become a true, integral part of the family. When they pass, you experience immense amounts of grief. It can be hard to deal with the strong emotions and learn to heal. Thankfully, you don't have to figure it out on your own. There are many helpful resources out there to help you to move through the grieving process in a healthy way. Here are a few books that may help you to find some measure of comfort.
When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan D. Wolfelt PhD
Author Alan D. Wolfelt, PhD is the director for the Center for Loss and Life Transition. He is well-respected and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live and Today. His book covers topics such as understanding your emotions, why grief for a pet is unique and creating pet memorials.
The Loss of a Pet by Wallace Sife
Wallace Sife is a psychotherapist and the founder of the Association for Pet Bereavement. His book is particularly meant to help the pet owner whose sense of loss is misunderstood or even ridiculed by those around them. Sife shares compassionate, practical advice on grieving and includes case studies to illuminate his points.
How to Roar: Pet Loss Grief Recovery by Robin Jean Brown
Robin Jean Brown is a fellow pet-owner who understands the loss of a pet in a very personal way. She shares her story with you, then writes and provides journaling questions on topics chosen to help you process your own feelings.
Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson Allen
So many people have found this book helpful that it's in its 3rd edition. Allen covers many possible emotional reactions and introduces coping strategies. She also offers wisdom on such difficult subjects as euthanasia, choosing a final resting place and helping children to cope.
Cherished: 21 Writers on Animals They Have Loved and Lost edited by Barbara Abercrombie
Grieving can be very lonely, so Barbara Abercrombie sought to help pet owners out by bringing together these fine stories from known writers so you know you're not alone. The book includes offerings by Anne Lamott, Jane Smiley and Jacqueline Winspeare, among many others.