Those of us who have shared our lives with a much-loved animal friend carry the experience with us forever. Just as we can find joy in the memories of happy times shared together, the pain of saying goodbye is also indelibly stamped on our hearts.
Sometimes the visceral pain of our grief is almost too much to bear, and at times like this it can be helpful to speak with someone who understands. You may have sympathetic friends or family who have lost their own pets, and talking over how you feel with them will provide some small comfort.
However, if you feel there is nobody you can share your thoughts and feelings with, at The Ralph Site we want to help.
For United Kingdom residents, we have also put together a list of experienced Pet Bereavement Counsellors from across the country.
(Please note that whilst we provide details for your convenience, we are unable to directly endorse or recommend these individual services, and you may also wish to research other alternatives to suit your own preferences and requirements.)
In addition, there is plenty of support and advice to be found in the Counselling Directory, the UK’s largest database of registered professional counsellors. Here you’ll find answers to any questions you may have about how counselling works, and which type of approach might be best for you.counselling
Please don’t ever feel that you should be able to cope on your own; there is no need to suffer in silence. Each of us needs someone to share our thoughts and feelings with sometimes, and without acknowledging and expressing the pain we feel we may simply be storing up future problems. As many as 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of diagnosable mental distress during their lifetime, and bereavement is widely acknowledged to be one of the most traumatic times.
Well-meaning friends may tell you that “it’s only a dog” and encourage you to get another one – not everyone understands the deep bond that we form with our pets. You will know when, indeed if, the time is right to bring another animal into your life, and it will never be to replace an old friend, rather to make a new one.