Author Archives: TheRalphSite

Fifty Pet Loss Grief Journal Prompts

Have you thought about journaling as a way to help you process your thoughts and feelings about your pet loss grief?

For some people, writing can be a powerful and effective outlet – we’ve featured a guest blog about it in the past. 

Journaling is often used as a method for practicing mindfulness, which many experts recommend as a tool to help people who are grieving.

Even if you haven’t kept a journal before, it might be something to explore. It truly is a way to take small but meaningful steps through your grief.

What is journaling?

Journaling is quite simply the act of expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing. Unlike a diary, a journal won’t necessarily tie in to the chronological events happening in your life.

Although you can type a journal, many feel that handwriting your thoughts enables you to connect more consciously to what you’re writing.

  • Morning pages

Some people like to approach journaling without a topic in mind. 

In the iconic book The Artist’s Way, the author Julia Cameron recommends a practice of writing “morning pages” at the start of every day, i.e. three pages of long-hand writing that are strictly a stream of consciousness.

The idea is that you write whatever comes into your mind without a filter. 

Morning pages aren’t intended to be art, they aren’t written for anyone else to read. They’re more like a brain drain where you pour out your innermost thoughts – the good, bad and mundane – on to paper to help make sense of them.

  • Ad hoc journaling

Other people prefer to approach journaling on a more ad hoc basis, writing whenever the mood takes them, rather than every day. 

If you find the blank pages of your journal daunting, journal prompts can give you a starting point to see where your thoughts take you.

50 grief journal prompts

To help you, we’ve put together a list of 50 journal prompts all focusing on your grief for your beloved pet. You don’t need to do them in order. Have a scan through and see which prompt resonates the most with your emotions today.

  1. Today I am missing…
  2. I am feeling …
  3. To allow these feelings to transform into something else, I am willing to …
  4. The hardest part of the day is …
  5. My favourite memory …
  6. A smell that reminds me of you …
  7. 10 words that describe you …
  8. What I wish I could tell you …
  9. How losing you changed me …
  10. When I think about you, I …
  11. Our favourite thing to do together …
  12. I need more …
  13. I would prefer less …
  14. Today, I feel …
  15. If you were here now …
  16. What stage of grief do you feel you’re at?
  17. When I need you most, I can call on …
  18. What helps me remember you …
  19. If you could see me now …
  20. Every time I see _________ I think of you
  21. I choose to remember you by …
  22. How you left us…
  23. Write your loved one’s story …
  24. Things I’ve learnt about myself since you passed away …
  25. What I find the most difficult to cope with …
  26. Are you able to freely talk about your loved one?
  27. I find it difficult to _________ since you’ve been gone
  28. A quote that makes me think of you …
  29. The signs I see that make me think of you …
  30. The kind things people say …
  31. Life without you is …
  32. Things I do to honour you …
  33. I am ready to feel …
  34. A simple activity that could help make today easier …
  35. My support system includes …
  36. I feel most connected to you when …
  37. I find it most helpful when …
  38. You had a way of making me feel …
  39. A creative thing I can do to celebrate you …
  40. If I could be like you in one way, it would be that I would …
  41. The most important thing you taught me …
  42. If today was a good day, why?
  43. Today, I remembered …
  44. Are there ways to express grief that you’ve found helpful in the past?
  45. The feelings I am looking forward to having again
  46. The feelings I want to leave behind
  47. Do I feel comfortable asking for help? If not, why not?
  48. What I love about you
  49. Five ways I can be kinder to myself today
  50. Why my life is better because of our time together

The benefits of journaling

While journaling isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely worth keeping an open mind about writing a grief journal.

The New York Times reported that journaling has many scientifically-proven benefits, including improving your sleep, boosting your immune system and lifting your self-confidence (all things that can take a hit when you’re grieving).

Amazingly, one study even found that expressive writing such as journaling can even make physical wounds heal faster, probably because it lowers stress hormones such as cortisol.

A landmark study by Dr James W Pennebaker in 1988 found that people who journaled about traumatic or disturbing experiences, such as grief, at least four times a week for six weeks experienced more positive moods and fewer illnesses than people who just wrote about every day events.

Pennebaker’s recommendation is that we each try journaling for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four times a week. He counsels against every day because it’s important not to ruminate too much when you’re going through a challenging time with grief.

Writing when it’s difficult to talk

Pet loss grief is hard. Writing a journal can offer a sounding board for your feelings, even ones that you’re struggling to share with your support network.

Hopefully, the journal prompts above will give you some starting points if you want to write about your grief in all of its forms. 

Journaling may also help you to rediscover happy memories of your pet and shift your focus eventually to what you gained from loving your pet rather than what you have lost.

As always, know that you’re not alone.

Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

Photos and grief: Are you struggling to look at photos of your lost pet?

How do you feel about looking at photos of your lost pet? Does it make you sad or provide you with some comfort?

After a bereavement of any kind, people tend to fall into one of two camps when it comes to wanting to look at photos or videos of their departed loved one: those who find them essential to the grieving process and those that find them far too distressing.

As with most responses to grief, there really is no right or wrong here, only what is right for you.

How photos can help in a time of grief and loss

There are many reasons to look at photos and videos of a pet who has died or gone missing as you work to process your grief.

  • Photos keep your pet at the heart of your family

Your pet was an important part of your immediate family and it’s likely that many of your daily habits and routines revolved around them. Being able to look at photos and videos can be a comforting way to continue giving your pet a physical presence in your home.

  • Organising photos of your pet can be cathartic

For some people, looking at and organising photos of a pet or loved one who has died can be a healing activity. It reminds them of happy memories and connects them to their life before their loss. 

Creating this visual memorial also gives them a job to occupy their mind during the first days and weeks of grief. Some bereaved pet carers, for example, create a photobook of their pet, telling the story of their life. 

  • Photos keep your memories alive

Often, when a pet dies (or, indeed, any loved one), we reach a point where we become terrified that we’re forgetting how that animal looked or sounded or how they behaved. Patterns on their fur or feathers, the shape of their nose or the pads of their paws – these memories can start to fade, which can be distressing.

Our brains are a bit like filing cabinets, storing memories of our loved ones in different drawers and compartments. Sometimes, a photo or video is the key we need to unlock those memories and bring them back. It’s a powerful reminder that everything still lives inside of us (we just may need a prompt!)

  • Photos of happier times take you beyond how your pet died

Photos can serve as a precious reminder of your pet’s unique quirks and personality traits, taking you back to what they were like before injury or illness touched them.

This can be especially powerful if you’ve been living with an elderly or terminally ill animal companion for a long time. Sometimes, it takes old photos to show us how poorly our pet had really been.

As pet carers, we often get trapped in a cycle of thoughts about how our pet died or went missing, especially if their final moments were traumatic. 

But the end of your time together is just a fraction of your pet’s life story.

Photos and videos show us the bigger picture.

  • Photos are conversation starters

Photos and videos are conversation starters. This is important if you want to talk about your pet but can also help to encourage children and other family members to express their grief and memories.

Browsing through photos can remind you of funny stories (e.g. the day your dog ate your child’s birthday cake off the kitchen side while you were prepping the party in the lounge!) and encourage you to express a whole range of emotions. 

Looking at pictures, you may remember and share things that you haven’t thought about in years.

When photos cause you pain

If you currently find looking at photos or videos of your pet too painful, please don’t beat yourself up about it. Many people feel this way.

You may feel that photos:

  • Trigger your grief, especially feelings of anxiety
  • Keep you stuck in the past and prevent you from moving forwards
  • Remind you of what has been lost
  • Distract you from taking care of yourself
  • Become a source of obsession (e.g. “I’ll forget what they looked like if I stop looking at photos every day”) 

If you are feeling this way, you may decide to save the digital photos of your pet somewhere other than your phone, or to pack away physical pictures until you’re ready to see them again.

Dealing with photos on social media

Do you fall to pieces every time a picture of your pet pops up on social media? 

Features like Facebook Memories can be tough for the bereaved. You log in to your newsfeed each morning only to be faced with pictures of happier times when your pet was alive and well.

If this is something you’re struggling with, you’ll be relieved to know that you can change the settings.

If you’re viewing Facebook on a desktop, click on ‘Memories’ in the left-hand column of your newsfeed. You can then change the Notifications to turn off Memories altogether. There is also an option to block certain dates or people, but this feature isn’t always effective for hiding pet memories.

The former option of not being shown any Memories is usually the best option for bereaved pet carers.

Photos take on new meaning over time

Whatever your feelings about looking at photos of your lost pet now, it’s likely that those feelings will change over time.

Most people eventually reach a point when they can look at photos and take comfort from the precious memories they captured. 

In turn, this can help to shift your focus from all that you have lost to everything your pet gave you during your time together.

If you ever want to share photos of your pet with people who understand your pet loss grief, do feel free to post them in The Ralph Site Pet Loss Support Group on Facebook

Remember, you are not alone.

Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

60 pet loss quotes to bring you comfort

Losing a pet is undeniably hard. The grief can be overwhelming and people often express feelings of loneliness and being unseen as they struggle to come to terms with their bereavement. 

It can be hard to know where to turn for comfort but some people find it helpful to read the words and wisdoms of others who have experienced their own losses, both animal and human, to feel a little less alone.

Knowing this, we’ve put together 60 pet loss quotes to bring you comfort or if you’re looking for something supportive to say to a friend who has recently lost a beloved pet.

General quotes about grief and pet loss

  1. “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” Anatole France
  2. “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  3. “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.” From an Irish Headstone
  4. “The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”  Hilary Stanton Zunin
    “Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.” Vicki Harrison
  5. “There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.” Aeschylus
  6. “I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.” Alyson Noel
  7. “Sometimes losing a pet is more painful than losing a human because in the case of the pet, you were not pretending to love [them].” Amy Sedaris
  8. “If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.” James Herriot
  9. “Our animal friends teach us more than we could have expected and love us more than we could have hoped… that’s why we miss them more than we could have imagined.” Unknown
  10. “They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” Cassandra Clare
  11. “If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there. Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.” Pam Brown
  12. “There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.” Washington Irving
  13. “To call him a dog hardly seems to do him justice, though inasmuch as he had four legs, a tail, and barked, I admit he was, to all outward appearances. But to those who knew him well, he was a perfect gentleman.” Hermione Gingold
  14. “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”  Khalil Gibran
  15. “Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.” Author Unknown
  16. “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose; All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.Helen Keller
  17. “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.” John Galsworthy
  18. “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” Pierre Auguste Renoir
  19. “Grief doesn’t have a plot. It isn’t smooth. There is no beginning and middle and end.” Ann Hood
  20. “Sorrow is how we learn to love. Your heart isn’t breaking. It hurts because it’s getting larger. The larger it gets, the more love it holds.” Rita Mae Brown
  21. “It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”  John Grogan
  22. “Pets’ lives are too short. Their only fault.” Agnes Sligh Turnbull
  23. “I feel about my pets now, and all the pets I had before this, the way I feel about children — they are that important to me. When I have lost a pet I have gone into a mourning period that lasted for months.” Mary Tyler Moore
  24. “The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude.” Robert Brault
  25. “They bring us love and happiness and comfort without end. It’s hard to face such sadness without your furry friend.” Unknown
  26. “No matter how or when we lose our furry friends, their love lasts a lifetime.” Unknown
  27. “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Winnie the Pooh
  28. “Gradually… and with time… letting go of the pain of our loss, bit by bit, never means letting go of our love.” Barbara Schulte
  29. “No time on earth is long enough to share with the animals we love, or prepare our hearts to say goodbye.” Unknown
  30. “It’s the depth of love that determines the depth of grief, not whether the loved one was human or animal.” Unknown

Comforting quotes about losing a dog

  1. “The misery of keeping a dog is his dying so soon. But, to be sure, if he lived for fifty years and then died, what would become of me?” Sir Walter Scott 
  2. “Dogs are small rays of light caught on Earth for a short time to brighten our days.” Unknown
  3. “Dogs leave pawprints on our hearts” Author Unknown
  4. “Nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he’s owned a dog. A dog can show you more honest affection with a flick of his tail than a man can gather through a lifetime of handshakes.” Gene Hill
  5. “The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be.” Konrad Lorenz
  6. “I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acquaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?” Sir Walter Scott
  7. “I guess you don’t really own a dog, you rent them, and you have to be thankful that you had a long lease.” Joe Garagiola
  8. “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” Will Rogers
  9. “Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.”  Erica Jong
  10. “The worst thing about losing your dog is not having someone there to lick your tears away.” Unknown
  11. “Having a dog will bless you with the happiest days of your life, and one of the worst days.” Unknown

Comforting quotes about losing a cat

  1. “The loss of a cat is immeasurable. But so is the love left behind.” Unknown
  2. “Your favourite chair is empty now, where you would lie and sleep.
    But the memory of our happy times is mine to always keep.” Unknown
  3. “What greater gift than the love of a cat.” Charles Dickens
  4. “When the cat you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure.” Unknown
  5. “Sometimes a very special cat enters our lives…their presence changes our hearts forever. And we can call ourselves blessed for having known them.” Unknown
  6. “If you have a cat, you will most likely outlive [them]. To get a cat is to open yourself to profound joy and prospectively, to equally profound sadness.” Unknown
  7. “One day all the cats we’ve ever loved will all come running towards us and that day will be a good day.” Unknown
  8. “No one can truly understand the bond that we form with our cats we love until they experience the loss of one.” Unknown
  9. “The memories and paw print of a beloved cat remains in our heart and soul forever.” Unknown
  10. “The love of a cat is like a symphony. It is a waste of time trying to explain its depths to those who don’t cherish it.” Unknown
  11. “No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” Leo Dworken
  12. “Someone asked me what the most difficult thing about having a cat was. I replied: ’the goodbye’.” Unknown

Pet loss quotes for a special horse

  1. “Once touched by the spirit of a horse, your soul remains forever enlightened.” Unknown
  2. “Horses lend us the wings we lack.” Anonymous
  3. “Always remember that once a horse has touched your soul, they will always be with you.” Unknown
  4. “While time will fade these hoofprints, the ones left on your heart will never disappear.” Unknown
  5. “The love of a horse knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” Unknown
  6. “The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.” Sharon Ralls Lemon

We hope these quotes provide you some comfort. Please do take a look around the other articles on our blog for more pet loss grief support.

You are not alone.Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

Grieving an ‘unusual’ pet: Finding support when some people don’t understand your loss

Have you come to this site because you’re grieving what others might refer to as an ‘unusual’ or ‘exotic’ pet such as a snake, lizard, tortoise or tarantula as just a few examples?

You might feel that no-one understands your pain and the loss you have experienced.

Animals come in all shapes and sizes, just like the humans who care for them. Regardless of their species, when they die, any animal can leave a huge hole and a tremendous amount of grief.

We want you to know that we’re here for you. The pet loss advice throughout the site applies to any animal and their humans.

We are truly sorry for your loss.

Caring for an ‘unconventional’ pet

When researching this blog, we read through forums for people who are passionate about caring for reptiles, fish, spiders and many other animals. One of the most striking things was that there were so many posts from people saying, “I’m scared you’re going to laugh at me but I’m in so much pain after losing my snake (for example) and no-one seems to understand”.

It seems that exotic pet carers can feel even more invisible and disenfranchised in their grief than people who lose more ‘conventional’ pets such as dogs or cats.

But the pain is just as real and valid.

On one forum, someone had recently lost their favourite snake. They simply couldn’t come to terms with how such a beautiful animal, their pride and joy, was no longer in the world. They had spent years learning about and caring for snakes but this most recent loss had completely floored them.

The grief of this particular person leapt out of the screen. They wanted to share photos, talk about their snake’s wonderful quirks and mourn their loss but they didn’t know who would understand.

Thankfully, many people on this particular forum had responded with empathy and understanding.

Find people who understand

Sadly, some people will never understand how we can grieve for what they see as an ‘unusual’ pet. 

Animals such as snakes, spiders, scorpions, birds or rats, for example, are often the focus of phobias, so there will always be those who struggle to see how these animals can elicit feelings of love.

But your experience is different. You know the joy of caring for one or more of these animals.

Be reassured that your tribe is out there – people who understand your loss, who know the care you took over your pet and how they shaped the patterns of your life. 

Pop into The Ralph Site’s Pet Loss Support Group on Facebook and you’ll be able to find some kindred spirits who have experienced their own losses and can offer you support at this difficult time.

Coping with pet loss grief

There are many articles on The Ralph Site blog dedicated to helping you cope with pet loss grief and the different emotions you may be experiencing. We’d like to share some of the key advice here:

  1. Feel your feelings

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. People often feel embarrassed about grieving for an animal but the reality is that grief happens whenever we lose someone or something that we love from our life. You are entitled to feel your loss and all of the feelings that go with it. 

Instead of fighting how you feel or believing that you need to bottle up your grief, try to give your feelings space to exist.

  1. Grief has no timeframe

In The Ralph Site support group, people often say, “I know I should be feeling better by now” as if there is a time limit on grief. This really isn’t the case. No-one else gets to say when you are ‘done’ grieving. In fact, most people find that they always carry their grief to a certain extent – it’s just that it changes shape and becomes easier to live with eventually.

  1. Acknowledge what you have lost

As pet carers, our pets shape our lives. Perhaps your living room is organised around a vivarium or your usual daily routine is built around feeding or handling your pet. Maybe you’ve made friends with people who are interested in the same kind of pets or you’re an active member of forums dedicated to pet care.

When a pet dies, it’s not just them that we lose but the routines and even the relationships that we embraced because of that pet. Naturally, this adds another level to your grief and it’s important to acknowledge that.

  1. Practice self-care

When you’re grieving, it can be hard to find the energy for self-care. Put a little time aside each day to eat something nutritious or to get moving. Spend time with your other pets, if you have them – caring for them and maintaining their routines is important and will hopefully help you feel better in the darkest moments.

Many people find it helpful to memorialise the pet who has died or to journal their grief. If you’re a creative person, how about making a tribute to your so-called ‘unusual’ pet?

Again, there is no right or wrong – only what feels right for you.

  1. Reach out for support

There seems to be a growing understanding in our society that pet loss grief can affect us as deeply as grief for our human loved ones. Do talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling, if you are able. 

Sometimes though, it helps to talk to other bereaved pet carers, which is why The Ralph Site exists. We’ve already mentioned our Facebook support group – please do check it out

You might also find it helpful to talk to a pet bereavement counsellor or the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Service

Conclusion

Yes, some people may describe your pet as ‘unusual’, ‘exotic’ or ‘unconventional’ but who’s to say what’s unusual, really? Whatever their species, your pet was part of your family, your life and the security of being at home. It’s little wonder that you miss them.

And remember that grief is grief, whatever its cause. It can be incredibly hard to process what has happened when the rest of the world seems to be carrying on, oblivious. Just know that there are people who understand. 

You are not alone.

Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

How to cope when pet loss grief overwhelms you

Within the worst moments of pet loss grief, it can be hard to imagine that you’ll ever function ‘normally’ again. You feel exhausted, stuck and overwhelmed. You can’t think clearly and sometimes wonder how you can go on as you’re in so much pain.

One of the most challenging things about grief of any kind is that it isn’t linear. The feeling of being overwhelmed can hit you like a crashing wave weeks, months or even years after your loss. 

So, how can you cope when you’re overwhelmed and drowning in grief? We’ve put together some tips.

Tips for coping when grief overwhelms you

  1. Acknowledge that you’re grieving

It might sound obvious but the reason you feel the way you do is because you are grieving. You have lost someone truly special and now carry the burden of their absence. 

The question is, have you allowed yourself to acknowledge this or have you been trying to carry on as ‘normal’ (whatever that may be to you)?

Grief isn’t always something we cope with well as a society. We know death happens but we don’t really know how to talk about it.

With a disenfranchised grief like pet loss, it can be even harder to talk about what and who we’ve lost or to find support and sympathy. People just don’t understand how heart-breaking pet loss can be unless they’ve personally experienced it.

As a result, you may feel that you have to keep the true extent of your pet loss grief to yourself or that you’re alone.

One of the first steps towards coping with overwhelm is acknowledging the presence of grief.

  1. Feel your feelings, whatever they may be

Grief is complex and ever-changing. You might be feeling lonely, sad, bereft, angry, guilty or anxious – or some combination of the above – at any given moment. No wonder you feel overwhelmed!

Although your instincts are probably to keep busy and move through your grief as quickly as possible, this response usually has the opposite effect, keeping you stuck in the moment of your loss for longer.

The truth is that the only way to cope with grief is to experience it in all of its forms. 

This means letting your feelings come and go without judgement or resistance. There is no right or wrong way to grieve but try to touch your feelings and give them space to exist. As scary as this sounds, you can only move through grief by making contact with it.

  1. Find safe spaces

It can be helpful to earmark some safe spaces that you can go to when you’re feeling overwhelmed. This will look different to everyone but here are some potential safe spaces:

  • A warm bath or shower where you want somewhere private to cry
  • Parking your car in an empty car park on the local industrial estate when you want to scream at the top of your lungs to release your anger
  • A friend or family member you can call or speak to for comfort
  • Your favourite hill, beach or park when you want space to think

And don’t forget virtual spaces too. The Ralph Site Pet Loss Support Group on Facebook is a safe space to talk about your grief.

  1. Trust that nothing lasts forever

As hard as it can be to believe it, the reality is that even the toughest, darkest of moments lived in grief will eventually pass or change shape in some way. 

Trust is so important right now. Trust that you will eventually find a way back to yourself beyond these feelings of being overwhelmed. Yes, you may always carry your grief with you but, when it’s allowed space to be expressed, most people find it eventually softens and becomes easier to carry. 

  1. Be kind to yourself

What you’re feeling is natural, normal and completely understandable. Your grief exists because it’s a part of love. You need time to adjust to your loss. This takes a lot of emotional energy, which is why everyday life can feel so daunting when you’re mourning a pet. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to pinpoint one small thing that you can do right now to take care of yourself. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing. 

Could you sit with a cuppa somewhere peaceful or read a passage from your favourite book? Is there someone you could call for a chat or even send a text saying hi?

Maybe you need to go even smaller. Can you close your eyes, take a deep breath and release it slowly?

It’s amazing how small actions can help you to cope with overwhelm, even if it’s just standing up for a few moments, walking five paces and then sitting down again to bring your mind back to the here and now.

Accessing support

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s important that you reach out for support if you feel able. Just knowing someone is there for you can help to lighten the burden of grief or at least to reshape it into something more manageable.

There are a growing number of dedicated pet bereavement counsellors who understand the impact of pet loss. You may also find the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service helpful. Of course, The Ralph Site is here for you too.

Always know that you’re not alone. Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support