Animal Related Grief
Pet Loss and Bereavement Support
For most people, losing a beloved animal can lead to a profound, even traumatic sense of loss. Grieving due to the loss of an animal, or an anticipated loss, can be very difficult. Animals provide us with such an incredible level of companionship and love that we are left with a huge gap in our lives when they are gone.
In offering emotional support for those grieving an animal,
Wildflower Healing recognizes the deep sense of loss, honouring the animal's life and the incredible bond you have with them.
Losing and grieving for an animal companion is not always due to the death of an animal. A great sense of loss may also result due to other reasons, such as in cases where an animal has gone missing or through a forced separation, as when a human must move into assisted living and cannot take their animal companion with them). Losing an animal can be a very difficult and emotional experience. If you or someone you know is suffering, emotional support can help. Grief is a process and it moves through us. I can provide tools for coping with your grief in a safe and non-judgemental manner.
"Juli was warm, open-minded and non-judgemental. I felt comfortable and safe during our sessions and was able to open up about the loss of my cat."
One of the toughest parts of grieving for a pet is that people often feel alone and unsupported. Society does not treat pet loss as very significant. Although a bereaved pet carer might be given a day off work and receive sympathy from people initially, it's not long before they’re expected to get back to 'normal' and put their loss behind them. This is not always easy to do. It is important that our feelings are validated and that we acknowledge that we are not okay and that it's okay to not be okay.The loss of a beloved pet can feel just as bad as losing a human loved one. Grief takes time and we need time to heal.
"I needed emotional support that I just wasn't receiving even from my family at the time. Juli helped me during a very challenging time following the loss of my dear dog."
Given the intense bond most of us share with our animal companions, it is natural to feel devastated when they are no longer a part of our lives. Experiencing the loss of a beloved animal can be as traumatic as losing a a family member or a dear friend and in fact for some people it feels even worse. Having experienced several losses myself, both human and animal, I know how this can turn your whole world upside down.
"At a time of great sadness, talking with Juli really helped. She gave me tools to help me cope with my grief and work through my feelings."
There may be several reasons for grieving the loss of a pet.
- Natural death/ passed away
- Euthanasia (animal had to be "put to sleep")
- Animal has gone missing or has been stolen
- Rehoming of an animal due to changes in a person's circumstances i.e. due to relationship breakup, moving into accomodations which do not permit pets, such as a nursing home, and moving abroad.
- Seizure of an animal by animal control authorities (ie. due to behavioural issues such as noise or aggression, breed specific legislation prohibiting the keeping of certain dogs)
- Anticipatory Grief- when an animal is terminally ill and/or of advancing age, this is the grief from knowing that the animal is reaching the end of their life. This can cause a roller coaster of emotions and be difficult to deal with on many levels. You are grieving for a beloved animal even though they are still alive.
There tends to be great conflict and guilt when faced with the difficult decision about euthanasia. Even though this may be the ultimate act of love and kindness that one can chose for an animal, it can lead to anguish over the decision, leading one to often second-doubting themselves, along with experiencing incredible guilt. I can assist you as you think through the possible choice to end your animal's pain and suffering.
Following euthanasia, many people will find themselves questioning whether they did enough for their companion, whether they should have done things differently, wondering if they should have waited (or whether they waited too long). These too are normal reactions.
The significance of pet loss/ the loss of animals is not yet fully appreciated and acknowledged by society, at least not in the same way that we acknowledge the loss of human life. Though some people may not understand the depth of feeling you have for an animal, you should never feel guilty or ashamed about grieving for your companion. Until one has experienced the special bond shared with an animal and the incredible companionship and love that animals can give, they may not fully understand what you are going through.
Some people assume that pet loss shouldn’t hurt as much as human loss, or that it is somehow inappropriate to grieve for an animal. It is important for you to know that your feelings are real, natural and valid.
Sometimes we just need to talk with someone who understands and empathizes with us. Perhaps because I truly know how awful it is to lose a beloved pet, I am drawn to helping others through their own grief. I have undergone extensive training and certification in the UK and USA in bereavement counselling and volunteer regularly in providing bereavement support with a national animal charity in the UK.
My grief support sessions give you the opportunity to express your emotions openly and can help provide you with greater insight into your feelings.
Sessions are offered online (via Zoom, Skype, What'sApp, FaceTime), by phone and/or email (whichever you prefer), which means you can be in the privacy and comfort of your own home. This allows you to have a session no matter where you're located in the world.
To book your sessions please follow the link here.
For any questions or a brief consultation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
REIKI and EFT for
PET LOSS & BEREAVEMENT
Energy therapies can be very beneficial in helping one cope and work through their feelings surrounding the loss of a beloved animal. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief. However, even subtle losses can lead to grief. Everyone's reaction is unique and how you grieve depends on many factors. The process of grieving takes time and it cannot be forced or hurried—and healing happens gradually. I recommend Reiki to help you in the healing journey. Pet loss support and Reiki together may help you to feel more grounded and balanced and may help give you even greater insight into your grief, enabling you to cope better. Find out more about Reiki here.
I am pleased to offer Reiki to both people and animals (even animals who have passed), via distance treatment. This would be immediately following our pet loss support session (you do not need to be on line with me for Reiki). I will follow up with you afterwards by email.
EFT has been proven effective in helping people deal with their grief and bereavement, and in helping them moving forward with their lives. Sometimes our grief can be so overwhelming that we may feel stuck and unable to cope. In situations where one may have some unresolved issues or have experienced a traumatic event, EFT can be very useful in diffusing the emotional intensity. This allows for a better understanding of one's feelings and hopefully brings greater acceptance and inner peace.
Reiki and EFT sessions can be scheduled in conjunction with a pet loss/animal related grief support session or may be scheduled separately, at yourconvenience.
Pet Loss Support sessions and resources are intended as an emotional support for individuals experiencing grief and bereavement due to the loss or anticipated loss of a pet/ animal companion.
These sessions and resources are not to be recognised as licensed psychotherapy or counselling.
By participating in any services and reading my website/blog/email, you acknowledge that I am not a licensed psychologist or medical professional and my services do not replace the care of psychologists, licensed psychotherapists or other healthcare professionals. I will at all times exercise my best professional efforts, skills and care. I cannot however guarantee the outcome of these services and/or recommendations on my website/blog/sessions/email. Any comments about the outcomes are expressions of opinion only.