Loss of a Family Member

Loss of your pet can leave a hole in your heart. Get support by reading, watching and listening to friends who care.

Articles

  • The Loss of My Fur Family

    Posted on June 6, 2019 - by Ann Schiebert

    Lately, I have had many patients come to see me to get grief counseling over the loss of a beloved pet. Their grief aroused my grief over my past losses. […]

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  • David Meagher: Children and Pet Loss

    Posted on December 7, 2016 - by Heidi Horsley

    How can you help children address pet loss? David Meagher, a professor emeritus at The City University of New York, explains that pets genuinely become part of a family. The […]

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  • Deborah Antinori: Pet Loss

    Posted on July 10, 2016 - by Heidi Horsley

    Registered nurse and licensed professional counselor Deborah Antinori joins Dr. Heidi Horsley to talk about pet loss, one of the most disenfranchised losses. She’s also a drama therapist and grief […]

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    Remembering Izzy

    Posted on September 30, 2015 - by Sue Lawrence

    It was a baby rat. Recently, after years of contemplating the possibility, I obtained two adult rats as pets. They were potentially to be used as live examples in the […]

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    Cori Bussolari and Wendy Packman: Pet Loss

    Posted on July 26, 2015 - by Cori Bussolari

    A professor at the University of San Francisco, Dr. Cori Bussolari, and a professor at Palo Alto University, Dr. Wendy Packman, recently spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 […]

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    Helping Kids Cope with the Death of a Pet

    Posted on February 28, 2014 - by Linda Goldman

    All too often, pet death is discounted as not important, and those undermining words, “We’ll get you another one,” are offered as a hollow consolation. They diminish the love the […]

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    Condolence Letter on the Death of a Pet

    Posted on September 24, 2013 - by Janet Gallin

    I have watched people go through loss of a loved pet and can see how hard it is to say goodbye to those four-legged members of our families. Having seen […]

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    A Forever Decision, Part 9

    Posted on December 5, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    My Uncle Steve turned 94 yesterday. I’m very happy that he’s still with us, and very proud that he has reached such an advanced old age. We tried to bring […]

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    A Forever Decision, Part 8

    Posted on December 1, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    I feel very anxious today, more anxious than I have been since I found out that my uncle has terminal cancer. He has been in a rehabilitation center for a […]

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    A Forever Decision, Part 7

    Posted on November 4, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    It has been a week since I found out that my Uncle Steve has terminal cancer. I’ve felt sick to my stomach. I’ve felt calm. I’ve felt trapped. I’ve felt […]

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    A Forever Decision, Part 6

    Posted on October 30, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    There are certain beings in this life that I love more than anyone else. They are: my dogs Isabella and Camilla, my boyfriend Walter, and my Uncle Steve. I lost […]

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    A Forever Decision, Part 5

    Posted on October 16, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    A Forever Decision, Part 5 I am beginning to remember things about my daily life with my dog, Camilla, that give me pleasure. When she lost her sight, I would […]

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    A Forever Decision, Part 4

    Posted on October 8, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    It has been a month since I lost my beloved Camilla due to a brain tumor. Today I felt desolate. Tears sprang into my eyes when I thought of what […]

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    A Forever Decision: Part 3

    Posted on September 20, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    On Day 9 after the loss of my beloved Camilla due to a brain tumor, I think it’s important to start the day with love. Whether it’s petting my remaining […]

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    A Forever Decision: Part Two

    Posted on September 20, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    My relief is giving way to anxiety and the inability to concentrate. On the sixth day after I put my beloved Camilla to sleep after a long illness, I wake […]

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    A Forever Decision: Letting Go of a Dog

    Posted on September 20, 2012 - by Anne Hamilton

    I’m starting to realize that she is not coming back. Five days ago, I put my beloved dog Camilla to sleep. She had a tumor on her pituitary gland and […]

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    Pet Cremation Mistake: Breaking the Bad News

    Posted on March 27, 2012 - by Marty Tousley

    Question from a reader: I wonder if you could give me some advice. Recently our pet cat died and we decided to have her cremated so the ashes could be […]

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    Continuing Connection with a Pet that Has Died

    Posted on January 18, 2012 - by Wendy Packman

    “Death ends a life – it does not end a relationship.” — (Anderson, 1974) When one suffers the loss of a dear, beloved animal companion, it is a profound loss […]

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    Did My Cat Go to Heaven?

    Posted on October 1, 2011 - by Marty Tousley

    Question from a reader:  I have been grieving the loss of my cat for some time now, and the pain does not go away. I am still very sad and […]

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    Falling in Love Again after Pet-Loss

    Posted on April 15, 2011 - by Bonnie Goodman

    My beloved first golden retriever died in July 2005, The anticipated and then excruciating pain of his loss lingered for months on end, tears flowed uncontrollably and a growing yearning […]

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    Grief Following the Loss of a Beloved Pet

    Posted on March 9, 2011 - by Wendy Packman

    The Pain of Loss “This is the most terrible pain I have ever had and I feel like I will never be the same person I was before my pet […]

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    When Animal Friends Die

    Posted on January 21, 2011 - by Gabriel Constans

    They say cats have nine lives. I wish that were true, but the facts contradict such myths. Everything dies, including the felines, dogs and other creatures we choose to care […]

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    Pet Loss Can Devastate

    Posted on June 6, 2010 - by Kathryn Williams Raths

    Although a common thread connects the stages of grief, the journey of sorrow materializes differently for each person who trudges through it.  From overwhelming emotion, timeless pain and isolation to […]

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    Animal-Human Connection Lives on After Death

    Posted on March 21, 2010 - by Lizzy Miles

    I am a cat-lover, I will admit it.  Growing up, I had cats here and there, but my dad was really intolerant of the normal pet things like fleas and […]

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    Pets, Grief and the ‘Bootsy and Angel Effect’

    Posted on March 6, 2010 - by David Roberts

    Many in our society do not recognize the impact that pet loss has on an individual. For many people, the loss of a beloved pet may be the first significant […]

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    Poem: Holly Jolly – My Chihuahua

    Posted on March 4, 2010 - by Deborah Tornillo

    You were a tiny little angel Sent to me from the heavens above. You were a soft and cuddly ball of fur Filling my life with unconditional love. My Precious […]

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    Daughter Wants to Help Mom after Death of Beloved Dog

    Posted on February 11, 2010 - by Marty Tousley

    Question from a reader: I am writing in hopes that you may be able to provide advice or support that I can give my parents who just had to euthanize their […]

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    How to Help a Child Cope With Pet-Loss

    Posted on January 7, 2010 - by Linda Goldman

    Five-year-old Greg was sad. His pet gerbil, Jasper, had died. Jasper was lying in the cage very still. Greg started screaming and crying and Mom ran into the room to […]

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    Compassionate Self-Forgiveness (Part 1)

    Posted on October 18, 2009 - by Irene Kendig

    I was reflecting today on my dog Ringo, who died after being hit by a car when I was fifteen. As I ran to his side, he acknowledged my presence […]

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    Dad Troubled by Accidental Death of Son’s Kitten

    Posted on September 21, 2009 - by Cori Bussolari

    By – Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT, DCC Question from a reader: I received a phone call last night from my frantic wife with my 13-year-old son screaming and crying in […]

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    Death of Dog Compared to Child’s Death

    Posted on August 18, 2009 - by Sandy Fox

    Not long ago I was listening to the Today Show and Jill Rappaport was interviewing a woman who had lost her dog. This woman compared the loss of her dog as equal […]

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    Helping Grandchildren with Pet Loss

    Posted on June 26, 2009 - by Marty Tousley

    By – Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC Question: I very sadly had to euthanize my wonderful dog of 8 years last night.  She has been with me with so […]

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    Common Myths and Misconceptions about the Loss of a Cherished Pet

    Posted on June 26, 2009 - by Cori Bussolari

    by – Marty Tousley, CNS-BC, FT COMMON MYTHS ABOUT THE LOSS OF PETS: There is nothing special about the relationship between animals and humans. Your relationship with a companion animal […]

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    Cat is Missing 54 Days and Counting

    Posted on June 24, 2009 - by Richard Beck

    Betty writes in: There is so little information to be found on how to deal with the loss of a pet…not death…worse, their being lost and not knowing where they […]

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    Telling a Child About Two Deaths in One Day

    Posted on June 22, 2009 - by Pamela Gabbay

    By Pamela Gabbay, M.A., FT — My mind was simultaneously racing around in circles and dull as a knife. She’s only four… four. I could not fathom how I was […]

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    Children React Differently When A Pet Dies, Based on Their Age

    Posted on May 4, 2009 - by Cori Bussolari

    By – Colleen Mihelich Many factors can contribute to how a child will feel when their pet dies. The child’s age and maturity are important factors. As with older people, […]

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    When Your Companion Animal is Missing

    Posted on May 4, 2009 - by Marty Tousley

    By Marty Tousley, RN, MS, FT, DCC As a hospice bereavement counselor who also specializes in pet loss, I’ve encountered in my support groups and through my websites many distraught animal lovers […]

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    A Spiritual Connection To Our Pet Companions

    Posted on March 2, 2009 - by John Pete

    Picture the humorous sight of a Golden Retriever with short, little Corgi legs and you have a glimpse of our precious Tucker, who died February 21, 2009 at age 16 […]

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    Dog Returns in a Dream and Comforts Owner

    Posted on January 16, 2009 - by Luellen Hoffman

    By Luellen Hoffman — Recently while doing research for my book, Special Dream, I asked people if they ever had someone close to them die and then appear to them […]

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    Continuing Connections: Mourning the Death of Your Pet

    Posted on December 18, 2008 - by Cori Bussolari

    By Cori Bussolari —

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    My Dog, Tally, Died

    Posted on March 12, 2007 - by admin

    By Dr. Gloria Horsley I was on my way to work on Friday when my son-in-law called to say the family dog, Tally, was hit and killed while chasing a […]

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