Loss of a loved one

Losing a friend or family member can bring on a wide range and depth of emotions including anger, pain, guilt, despair, regret, relief, loneliness and shame. Although these emotions are a normal and healthy part of the grieving process, they can affect many areas of our lives: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual. At times, the experience of grief after losing a loved one can feel difficult to manage and can impact the ability function at school, work, or at home. It is important to express and acknowledge emotions instead of bottling them up, which can increase stress levels and actually prolong and complicate the healing process.

It is helpful to have a safe and supportive space to experience the emotions associated with the loss, and to integrate the experience of a loved one’s death into your life in a meaningful way. Grief focused therapy may help you manage the emotions associated with grief in a healthy manner.  

loss of a pet

Photo by Sophia_Apkalikov/iStock / Getty Images

For many of us, our pets are not just our animals, they are our best friends, companions, and family members. Our pets are often a source of social support and unconditional love, while expecting very little in return. Many people form very strong relationships with their pets, and losing these pets may lead to feelings of grief similar to those experienced after any other significant loss.  

When grieving the loss of a beloved pet, you may feel a wide range and depth of emotions such as anger, pain, guilt, despair, regret, relief, loneliness and shame.  Although these emotions are a normal and healthy part of the grieving process, they can affect many areas of our lives: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual.

For some of us, coping with the loss of a pet, or helping children through their own grief can feel overwhelming. If your feelings of sorrow or guilt have not lessened after several weeks, or if they get in the way of your ability to engage in family, social, work, or other activities, you may wish to seek professional support.

I know just how difficult the experience of losing a pet can be, and am honored to help you and your family on your journey to healing. Individual and family sessions are available. Short-term support and guidance, as well as longer term therapy is offered. Our work will focus on creating a supportive space to grieve the loss or impending loss of your pet. Sessions often include activities that help memorialize your pet in a meaningful way.