If you’ve ever had the profound pleasure of loving a pet, you’ve undoubtedly experienced grief when they pass. But the loss of a pet is distinctive because our relationship with our pets is unique: non-verbal, ever-present, physical in nature, and full of unconditional love. We often have longterm and intense relationships with our pets that we have with no other human on earth. So to feel grief when our pet dies is real, wrenching, and normal. Laurie Levine helps us to understand how this loss can feel invisible in a society that has difficulty with death and dying, thus grieving the loss of a pet can feel very lonely. Laurie explains that grief is the other side of love. Pet grief is different; it is not a linear process, but a journey. In this episode we discuss the emotions of relief, guilt, and even embarrassment when our pet dies. Laurie discusses the importance of memorializing our pets and gives advice on rituals to help us through the grieving process. Sudden death vs. prolonged decline - how does this impact grief? Is there such a thing as anticipatory grief? What is a good death? How is euthanasia not only a responsibility, but also a gift? Finally, how can we support others who are grieving the loss of their pet?
Laurie offers phone, virtual, or personal sessions, as well as drop-in support groups in Arlington, MA, at SleepyDogVeterinary.
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