In the last blog on pet loss, we talked about those that don’t understand the grief and emotions associated with losing a beloved pet. Let’s face it, there is and always will be people who won’t understand the relationship we share with our pets and therefore they will not get the grief that comes with their loss as well.
However, there are those caring people who do want to help a friend in grief. You might be one of those people and are wondering what you can do as so many people feel helpless during this time.
First of all, just ‘be.’ So many people worry about what they can DO. Don’t worry about “doing,” practice “being.” Just be with the person who’s hurting. Just sit in silence with them and listen. Let them tell you the story of the life they shared with their precious pet. Listen. Just listen. Don’t judge and don’t minimize or try to talk them out of their feelings.
If you want to “do,” then be proactive. So many people say “call me if you need anything.” For a person who’s grieving, even doing simple tasks like that are difficult. Many times the grieving heart doesn’t even know how to put into words what they need. Be proactive. Take them dinner. Call them. Take them to appointments. Be with them when they get their pet’s ashes to bring home. Be with them to listen to the stories. Help them in designing a beautiful service to honor their pet. Again, be proactive in reaching out to them. Don’t wait on them to make the move as it’s probably not going to happen.
As a friend, be ready to listen to those stories time and time again. Honoring their story is such a privilege for those of us who want and are willing to listen.
And, when I say listen, I mean listen. Really listen and just be.