“Family, friends, and society don’t always understand how drastically the loss of a pet can affect us, and can find it difficult to support the grief we often feel. Our Pet Loss Support Group provides an environment where thoughts and emotions can be shared and feelings of grief are understood and validated. Our Pet Loss Support group is facilitated by a licensed, clinical social worker.” ~ San Diego Humane Society
I just got off the phone with an “almost” client who I met once to care for her fur baby Sushi. She ended up not needing our services but has been a registered clients. She responded to our email we sent out the other evening saying Sushi had passed away and was wanting to talk. She was suffering Pet Loss.
Immediately I felt her pain; been there! So I called her and after talking a little bit we both cried. It’s been a few months since Sushi passed away but she was still having a difficult time. She says the guilt is overwhelming, she keeps going over everything in her head and thinking “If I had done this or that she’d still be alive” I listened to her, and remembered the time I met them. It was obvious Sushi was tired, I could tell she was holding on and being strong for Mom.
Sushi’s Mom is an amazing cat Mom! I won’t go into the details but she did everything for Sushi; medically, personally, etc. But in grief and self doubt we’ll believe it wasn’t good enough. I reminded her how great she was to Sushi and I told her Sushi was alive for as long as she was for because of her and for her. She got her strength to live from Mom. She would have let go awhile ago if it wasn’t for Mom’s love.
My almost client gasped and said the night before Sushi passed away she whispered to her “I will always love you, no matter what. It’s ok” as if to say if she was ready she could cross the Rainbow Bridge. I cried. What an amazing and unselfish gift to give Sushi! Then next morning Sushi crossed. I reminded her to stand in that truth, to remember Sushi chose to hang in there for you, and passed away with your permission. “You gave her a gift”
I also told her guilt is horrible, it eats at our souls and we have to let it just wash off of us when we start to feel it. She asked “How?! How do you just STOP feeling it. Just say STOP IT! Because that’s what I keep trying to do” I told her “No, you can’t. I’m great at beating myself up and then beating myself up for beating myself up. But what helps is remembering the pain she was in. Cancer is extremely painful, pancreatitis is probably just as if not more painful, chemo is horrible on the body. Sushi hung in there through all that for you because of your bond but now she has no pain. She is just pure painless love watching over you. You’ll feel her. You know those times you see or hear something move in her spots? Or catch a whiff of her? That’s her reminding you she’s still there with you. Just out, all around now and not trapped in her little pained body”
My heart aches for her, but it fills with joy knowing Sushi is in a better place. I’m so glad I was able to help her even for just a moment. To my “almost client”, if you’re reading this, please know I’m thankful for you and your time today on the phone. Thank you for allowing me to bring some peace.
Those who are struggling with Pet Loss here in San Diego there’s a Pet Loss Support Group through the San Diego Humane Society (Gaines Rd). My wonderful “almost” client told me she has been attending. Wow! What a great way to help those of us that suffer from Pet Loss Grief. So thankful she told me about and now I want to share it with everyone!
For some reason beyond my comprehension the grief in losing a pet can be far worse than losing a loved human. Take a look at the SAN DIEGO HUMANE SOCIETY PET LOSS PAGE. There’s also a link to their CALENDAR for you to see the dates and times of the support group meetups and it offers additional resources to overcome pet loss grief. You don’t have to struggle alone, you are not alone. Pet Loss grief is real, it’s common but it doesn’t have to eat away at our souls.