Studies conducted on grief have shown that sharing your story and writing about your experiences of pet loss can be a great help at a trying and difficult time.
From my own experiences of pet loss, I also believe that reading the feelings and experiences of others can really help you to feel that you are not alone and that your feelings, however crazy they may seem at the time, are wholeheartedly shared by others.
George - Practicing her favourite hobby
Whilst writing a Tribute and sharing your pet loss story can be a great help, once they are written some people find they want to write more, especially in the ups and downs or pangs and waves moments of pet loss and pet grief.
'Telling Your Story' and keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings in times of grief are both well regarded techniques used in grief counselling. Having an outlet for those thoughts which seem to fill your head and repeat incessantly and which can also make you feel 'frozen' in your grief, can provide you with a focus and help you to let go of those thoughts and feelings and start to move through grief.
Keeping a diary of your thoughts and feelings can be really beneficial as it allows you to pour out those feelings and experience them fully, especially if you are in a situation such as work or around others who do not understand, where you feel you have to hide your true feelings and put on a ‘brave face.’
“To suppress the grief, the pain, is to condemn oneself to a living death. Living fully means feeling fully; it means being completely one with what you are experiencing and not holding it at arm’s length.”
Maintaining a record of our ups and downs can also help us to see that although we may feel as though we will never feel any better, we are actually making progress and working our way through pet grief recovery.
"To fashion an inner story of our pain carries us into the heart of it, which is where rebirth inevitably occurs."
(Sue Monk Kidd)
Whilst writing down our feelings can help enormously, reading the pet loss journals of others can also help dispel the 'mystery' of grief and help you to realise that your feelings are perfectly normal and universally shared by millions of pet owners across the world.
With this in mind I am launching a new feature on the site called ‘Your Pet Loss Diaries'.
I am looking for people at all stages of pet loss who would be interested in keeping a diary of their thoughts and feelings to be published on the site. Each diary will be updated daily or weekly depending on how you wish to contribute. I am looking for people who would like to share the true feelings and thoughts experienced before, during and after pet loss.
Perhaps your pet is currently sick or elderly and you are having to consider euthanasia, or perhaps you have recently lost your pet and are working through the stages of grief, or perhaps you lost your pet some time ago but are still finding it difficult to cope without them. Whenever you lost your pet if you feel you are still experiencing grief symptoms or pangs and waves I would love to hear from you.
If you have already begun keeping a diary or journal or have a past diary or journal to share, I would also be pleased to hear from you.
To begin your diary I just need you to tell me about you and your pet and the situation you are currently facing. I will then set up a page for each diary which can be added to as the days, weeks and months go by. When you feel ready you will also be able add photos of your pet to your diary.
It is my hope that writing these entries will help those who take part express their grief and reading these entries will provide reassurance to others who wrongly believe that pet loss grief should be something they get over quickly or that their feelings are over the top and even over indulgent.
To read the Pet Loss Diaries of other Visitors please click on the links below: