There is nothing like pet death to remind us of how complex the human animal truly is. We are a body. A mind. A heart. A soul or spirit (or whatever word works). This means we think. We sense. We feel. We intuit. And we grieve on each of these levels and even beyond the sum of our many moving parts. Pet death can feel like a body slam that shakes us to our foundations – to our core – creating a feedback loop of sorts that plays and replays, keeping us stuck in grief perpetually. Animal intuitive Shannon Cutts shares about how to navigate this impossible level of loss and how to get unstuck from the grief that always follows.
Pet death is something that happens to all of us….at least if we cannot abide a life without animal companionship.
One of the facts I find most fascinating about being a pet parent (or pet guardian or pet carer) is how we honestly know going in that the grief is coming.
Nearly all of the companion animals my pet parent clients keep company with – save certain reptiles and birds – will most certainly pass before they do.
The proverbial elephant in the room is at last out there in plain sight for all to see and acknowledge.
Yet we do it anyway. We say yes to yet another round of life expectancy mismatch, largely because of two factors: the good we wish to do and the goodies we get when we do it.
The truth is, being a companion animal – a true “pet” – is a relatively recent invention (and by “recent” I mean over the last couple of hundred years or so, versus the last couple of tens of thousands of years human animals and non-human animals have kept collaborative company for mutual gain).
In nearly every case, our animals sign on to contribute one thing and one thing only – their unconditional love and regard for us. Because of (and sometimes in spite of) what we provide in return, our companion animals choose to keep company with us over the long term.
Sometimes their choice is motivated by a soul bond, or what those in my profession often call a soul contract. And often, their choice is also motivated by a lack of other viable options. Animals that have been socialized to humans are typically ill-equipped for any other kind of life save that of the household pet.
Even so, our pets rise to the occasion with a grace and humility many of our species would struggle mightily to emulate.
Isn’t it remarkable?
So no wonder it hits us in the gut and the heart and the mind and the soul when these unconditionally loving, perpetually wise and consistently faithful beings all of a sudden go missing from our conscious lives.
It feels like a sucker punch to the gut of our gut, the heart of our heart, the mind of our mind, the soul of our soul.
We might even wonder why the universe hates us that much – has the gall to ask us (tell us) to endure the unthinkable and still find value and wonder in a future without the one we love so much.
I realize this statement may not apply to every single pet parent on the planet. However, for those for whom it does apply, I trust you know and feel exactly what I am talking about here.
Personally, I have been through this experience several times – well, five times, to be exact.
Perky. Red. Jacob. Bruce. Pearl.
(By the way, of the five names mentioned above, only four have passed out of their physical bodies. Bruce escaped and there is a whole backstory that comes with his escape, but the bottom line impact to me has been one and the same – impossible grief.)
So if you are facing this type of impossible grief now, or expect you soon may be, know this post is for you.
And that I have some resources to offer that are intended as a support to you – offered by one who has been there and wished she could have found this exact type of support at the exact moment she needed it most.
Podcast: Impossible Grief and How to Get Unstuck After Losing Your Pet
A Professional Animal Communicator Talks Honestly About Pet Death
Pet Grief and Loss Resources for Pet Parents Everywhere
The huge challenge for grieving pet parents, of course, is finding the mental bandwidth to locate grief support when you are in the first awful throes of actual pet grief!
This is why I carved out some space here on the blog to share a rich array of pet grief support resources, including several that are personally curated by colleagues of mine.
You can trust your inner intuition to spark when you read about a support option that resonates. I encourage you to reach out to connect, join, participate before your mind can intervene to stop you.
We all need support sometimes. Pet death or loss is a particularly tender experience because not all human animals are able to extend compassion and comfort to us. Just know there are options where you can find the empathy and friendship you need and crave to get through this time of impossible grief.
Animal Communication for Pets in Spirit Can Help Tremendously
I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the support animal communication has provided to me personally after a pet loss or pet death experience.
If you are not familiar with my personal story – for many, many years prior to becoming an animal intuitive, I was a pet parent who hired animal communicators.
Animal communicators helped me locate missing pets, navigate interspecies family conflicts, improve pet care, welcome new pet family members…..and survive impossible pet death, loss and grief.
Sometimes hearing directly from a pet who has crossed is the only way to turn an endless series of teary days into a fresh infusion of hope and will to live.
Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. I am sure I will be there again.
And if you find yourself here right now, please know I am here to help.