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Healing in the Midst of Grief



Be kind to yourself; allow yourself to move through your grief journey. When the time is right, you will honour the memories. - Helen


Losing a pet is life shattering. The solid ground you once stood on has suddenly crumbled and you find yourself standing alone in a dark abyss. The air has been knocked out of you, you want to fall to your knees, to curl up into a ball and can only breathe one slow breath at a time.


Below are several self-care tools to assist you through your grief journey.


  1. Give yourself permission to acknowledge your loss. You have lost a dear companion and you find yourself overwhelmed with grief. You are having difficulty dealing with your day-to-day activities; the grief is at times all consuming. As painful as it is, do not run from it. Carefully and gently allow yourself to ride the waves. To push it aside is dangerous for both your mental and physical well-being. If you choose to do so, it will not stay hidden inside forever. Another traumatic loss or an everyday life stressor can trigger its debilitating return. It is always prudent to confront your loss at the time it happened.

  2. Navigating through the grief process. When you find yourself in the throes of grief you will often find yourself fighting for control. Sadly, your emotions are the driver on this roller coaster. Some of the emotions you may be confronted with are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and often, guilt tags along for most of the ride. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself to surrender to the emotions; fighting them only makes the grief journey that much more difficult. Grieve on your terms and on your timetable. There is no right or wrong way, no stop watch, this is not a marathon, this is you grieving for the loss of a very special friend.

  3. Eat healthy and Rest. While being in the whirlwind of grief it is very easy to neglect your well-being. Do your best to eat well and to get a good night’s sleep. When the body and mind lack nourishment and proper rest, grief is that much more challenging to deal with.

  4. Surround yourself with kindness. Be in the company of people who understand your loss. Most people mean well but sadly can fall short of your needs. Try to stay invested in your time by reading a novel, a fashion magazine, do a puzzle, watch an uplifting humorous movie, give yourself a manicure or a facial, start a hobby or goal you have been putting off. Allow yourself to laugh at a silly joke! It is okay to go on living, it does not in any way mean that you are not grieving and missing your friend.

  5. Cherish the memories. Understand that the memories you hold dearest to your heart are yours, forever. The years, months, days, hours or minutes cannot erase them from your heart, ever.

  6. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Grief has no time limit. Give yourself permission to reinvent your yourself and your life. Things have changed, have patience with yourself. In the midst of the loss, you will, in time, find purpose. Accept the change, you are healing. Acknowledge your accomplishments and do not beat yourself up for your shortcomings. You are human.

Sadly, there is no cookie-cutter solution or short cuts to reaching a place of peaceful acceptance. The road is arduous and exhausting. Be kind to yourself.


Should you find yourself struggling, there is no need to do it alone, reach out and we can do this together. I am available for online appointments conducted with your health and privacy in mind. Contact me any time: petlosscounsellingtoronto@gmail.com

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