A recent experience supporting a friend who has lost her small dog, a treasured soul companion who had seen her through many life crises, has served to highlight how important it is to be provided with some strategies to cope at this time.
It is now well documented that those of us who enjoy living in harmony with multi-species suffer very intensely when animal companions are dying. Many find the void almost unendurable to cope with. Unfortunately, not everyone understands the depth of grief associated with the passing of an animal companion.
If you are anticipating or coping with a significant loss in your life and wish to better understand the grief that accompanies such loss, you may need to spend some time connecting with someone who has had personal experience.
Having experienced considerable loss, I have found my own way through grief many times. As one who’s always wanted and needed animals in my life, over the years I’ve loved, lost and mourned a number of cherished companion animals as well.
Last year I formally graduated as a Master of Social Work but over the years I have helped individuals understand and cope with their grief. As a former volunteer at the Melbourne City Mission, I worked with carers who were mourning the loss of their partners and family. I have also supported a number of friends who have lost cherished animals. The Temple of Solace offers visitors who have signed in a safe place to express their grief. All you need is a WordPress account.
My years of bereavement counseling have taught me that grief is indifferent to the species of the loved one who was lost. I believe that anyone who loves greatly in life and grieves deeply in loss is deserving of whatever respect, caring and support I can offer.
This site was designed to meet the needs of those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones, whether human or animal. Whatever your particular circumstances may be, I hope that you will feel welcome and that you will find some comfort here.
If you need personal support I charge a minimal, one-off fee and I will maintain contact via email and offer creative suggestions to help ease the pain.
“… the landscape that emerges through my music is rather like the misty dawn of a new day; a day not yet ripened by the sun, but one that shows the promise of a warmer future – a way through the emotional morass.”
Take the time to read the delightful new interview in the Salon du Muse at the Soul Food Cafe. Heather Blakey, web mistress of Soul Food, takes the time to interview British composer, Mike Sheppard. This interview explores spirit and soul and shines some light on the path for those suffering from bereavement.
I remember standing at this spot in 2005 with Darryl. His cancer had returned and we came here so that he could show me exactly where he wanted to be scattered. I remember we cried and held one another and I promised that I would meet him here one day, that we would sit with our feet dangling in the cool water.
According to his wishes we scattered Darryl late in the winter of 2007 after his death on January 19th 2007. If you look carefully you can see some of those ashes on the stones at the edge of the water.
When the Victorian Bushfires ravaged this whole area on February 23, 2009 I was shattered, but had little comprehension of the ferocity of the fires that razed this area. It took me awhile to visit, mainly out of respect for the people who actually lived here and lost their homes. But then, during the week before I sold our home in Fitzroy North, I felt compelled to drive back and see what remained.
Incredible as the destruction was, I found that the place retained its Qi, that the beauty had not been erased. Perhaps more importantly there was plenty of evidence of regeneration. My fears were quelled and I knew that we still could meet here again and again.
From The Wintered Womb
Underneath the thrice ploughed, fertile, fallow field
Impregnated within a wintered, woven, womb
Of richly composted humus
I lay seeking sustenance, nourishment from
The oxygen filled wintered mist that
Drizzles, seeping, replenishing the amniotic fluids
That trickle through the membranous umbilical cord
Ensuring a bountiful spring harvest.
Remember love! Remember when we said we could beat it, bought airline tickets on a whim and wandered through Western Europe for six months. We never had a booking. We said if we did not know where we were going we would not get lost and we never did get lost. We saw it all, went well off the tourist route, lived vicariously and loved every moment. Remember when you got sick again and we would sit remembering that trip day by day.
I know you are well and healthy and with me today so let us spend some time remembering.
Heather Blakey – January 19th 2008