This support group is offered for people who are grieving the recent loss of a beloved pet. In a nurturing small group, participants are encouraged to process their natural feelings of grief and share their personal experiences. Pre-registration for this group is very important - please register no later than 24 hours in advance by calling (925) 887-5678.
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Every second Tuesday of the month
Grieving a Pet vs. Grieving a Person: Is it the same thing?
by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D
And what of the death of a pet? Isn’t a pet less important than a person? And so shouldn’t we feel less grief after the death of a pet?
Pet owners often feel the loss of their companion animals very deeply. If asked to explain the significance of the loss, many will say it was one of the most profound in their lives because (and here’s the important part) the relationship they had with their pet was one of the most profound in their lives.
People are often closer to their pets than they are to other human beings. We spend time with our pets day in and day out, whereas we might see our family infrequently. And our relationships with our pets are often less complicated than our relationships with other people. They are more straightforward and consistently happy, whereas our relationships with other people are often complicated and ambivalent.
I believe that grief for a pet is not inferior to or “less than” any other grief. It is what it is. If you feel it deeply and profoundly, then the loss is deep and profound for you and, as with any grief, is a result of the deep and profound love you felt for the pet that died. Only you can be the judge of your grief after your pet dies. Accept it for what it is and mourn it accordingly.
Excerpted from “When Your Pet Dies, A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing,” Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Companion Press, 2004