My journey with pet loss grief began with the illness and eventual passing of my beloved Kerneels, an 18-year-old cat with a huge heart and loving soul. She was my soulmate and had been my companion through thick and thin. Although she had multiple illnesses including severe arthritis, IBD, cardiomyopathy, hypertension and pancreatitis, I felt she still had a fair quality of life and wanted to see if she improved before considering euthanasia. After about two years of full-time care and multiple treatments, I realized that she would soon reach a stage when her suffering outweighed her good days. I knew it was a loss that I would not be able to cope with as I could not imagine my life without her. I knew I had to mentally prepare for that awful day.
I was thankfully able to find a professional pet grief loss specialist who provided so much compassion and understanding. I also then started studying for the Pet Loss Mentor Certification to prepare for the inevitable, which arrived about 6 months later. At the time of starting the course, I had really only hoped to get a better understanding of pet loss grief for my own personal knowledge and growth. I knew that I would not be strong enough to do this kind of work until I had processed and worked through Kerneels’s passing. By doing special training in this field, I was better able to move through and come to terms with my grief.
Kerneels’s passing was an awful time, but I honestly felt better prepared than I would have been without working with a pet loss grief specialist. It was at that point that I started thinking how good it would be if more people had access to compassionate support when it came to say goodbye to their pets. I considered exploring pet loss grief support as a way to give back to others. As a registered nurse with a psychiatric nursing certification (and having gone through pet loss grief myself), I knew that by having gained the specific knowledge needed, I would be better equipped to help others experiencing pet loss grief.
Having gone through anticipatory grief with Kerneels before her death, and going though it again with my second cat Mickey, I realized that there is a lot of focus on grief experienced after the death of a pet but not much for those experiencing anticipatory pet loss grief. Anticipatory grief is the grief experienced before the actual death of the pet. Many pet parents go through this awful time in the last few months or weeks of their pet’s life yet this type of grief is barely acknowledged.
Mickey’s sudden illness and death was a traumatic experience for both her and myself. I had planned an in-home euthanasia for her, but circumstances resulted in having to put her down at the hospital. There is so much guilt , sadness and helplessness surrounding our pets’ passing. I know this time can be the loneliest time for a pet owner, when you feel that no one else can understand your pain or relate to the seemingly endless sadness you are experiencing. For a lot of people, their loved ones are not sympathetic to the loss because “It is only a pet, not a human.” There are many, many other people that feel the same loneliness and isolation in their pet loss grief, but please be assured that there IS compassionate support out there to walk your journey with you.
I named this website “My Pet Loss Grief”, because each person’s experience of pet loss grief is unique. There is no cookie cutter approach or solution to dealing with grief, as everyone’s response to it will be different. I take the same approach with supporting clients – every person has specific challenges during their pet grief journey.
I am an RN by profession. I have a BSN degree and am a Certified Pet Loss Grief Mentor. I have been empathic all of my life and am able to sense subtle energy. That is why I prefer to provide telephonic sessions as opposed to the more popular video/Zoom type sessions. Just by listening to your voice and through connecting to your energy, I am able to provide more intuitive and responsive support, as well as a comforting shoulder to cry on.
I look forward to supporting you on your grief journey.
With my beloved Kerneels
With my beautiful girl Mickey