Life in Motion Counseling & Psychotherapy
Pet Loss Grief Counseling
Loss of a Special Friend Deserves Special Attention.
Why seek counseling for pet loss?
¶ Because others may not understand what you’re going through.
Even well-meaning people may send hurtful messages like:
» But it was only a dog/cat/
» Wasn't your dog/cat/etc. old?
» At least he/she isn't suffering.
» You should get another one right away.
¶ Because grieving can be a lonely business.
You might find that talking with a trained grief counselor, either individually or in a group, brings more relief and comfort than working through it by yourself.
¶ Because you may want a guide as you navigate through the pain.
Partnering with a counselor can lend encouragement and help you make sense of your experiences. Newly bereaved, or weeks and months out from the loss, you may find grief counseling to be a support throughout your journey.
¶ Because our culture makes so little room or time for grief.
Even supportive friends and family may grow impatient with our need to talk, remember, feel. Working with a grief counselor is one way to grant yourself all the room and time you need to share whatever matters to you, without being hurried along.
What issues can grief counseling address?
¶ Serious Chronic Illness
If your life centers on tending to a seriously and chronically ill animal, grief counseling can help you manage the guilt, anger, sadness, fear and fatigue, or any other feelings and thoughts you may be coping with in your role of caregiver.
One of the most difficult decisions we make for our animals is when and if ending their lives is the more merciful course to take. Consulting with someone who will listen, without judgment or agenda, may facilitate that decision-making process. And feeling more secure in your choices may help to ease some of the anguish.
¶ Bereavement & Grieving
Whether your beloved animal died of an accident, illness, old age, or euthanasia, grieving that loss is hard work. There is also no statute of limitation on grief — however long ago your loss was, grief counseling is appropriate if it feels right to you.
¶ Honoring & Remembering
If you want to create your own service for burial or the scattering of ashes, I am happy to help you plan, using whatever elements you like: readings, poetry, prayer, song, ritual. Clients have also made collages and "spirit boxes" for remembrance.