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Grief Support group

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have decided to go to a grief support group for people who have lost their pet. I wondered if anyone else has done this and if you have any feed back? I just need all the support I can get. Yesterday it kind of hit me that Lyndsey really wasn't coming back, that this wasn't just a temporary thing. It's been so hard.
post #2 of 12
I don't know of any groups like that in my area but I think its a wonderful idea. Anything that helps you, is worth doing.

post #3 of 12
I haven't been to one but a friend of mine went after her dog died. She felt it helped, and that she could say things there that she couldn't anywhere else (much like here).

The vet hospital where my cat died has one weekly. I'd like to go but just the thought of walking into the same place he died seems overwhelming.

Let us know how it goes?
post #4 of 12
It's worth a try, but I'm curious to know if it's facilitated by a trained counselor. If not it would be OK to keep in mind that going to counseling is always an option. A counselor who's sensitive to this loss can be hard to find, but I think there are an increasing number who understand how difficult it is to loose a pet. Good luck & keep us posted.
post #5 of 12
I think it's a great idea. IMO it doesn't even have to have a trained counselor facilitating it. It helps just to have a group of people who understand and don't think you're crazy! Since Jake died, this is the only place I felt really comfortable letting my true feelings come out. And it's because I know everyone here understands. Good luck with it! Let us know how it goes.
post #6 of 12
We had a member here who had to see a therapist to help her with her grief when she lost one of her cats. She's never been on for a couple of years now, but i do know that it helped her a lot.

But like Tammie said were all here for you
post #7 of 12
Maggie,did you go? How are you?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for remembering that I was going yesterday. I did go and there was only one other woman there and a bereavement counselor (who is also a pastor at the local Methodist church). I thought it was very helpful. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with grief that it was good to have a place to channel it. It was supposed to go from 3-4:30 and we talked until 5:05pm. Needless to say, it was good to talk. I didn't want to leave because it meant I had to go home and he wasn't there. Today has been terrible. Sunday's are days we just hang around and I can't stand the emptiness. The counselor said grief is about bringing the heart and the head together. My head knows logical things but my heart just hurts.
I would like to go back. They are talking about having it once a month. I wish I could go once a day

How are you doing?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh, and by the way, the counselor/pastor strongly believes that our pets go on to a heaven and we will be reunited with them. She loves the Rainbow Bridge and believes there is a place like that. I know we all believe that, but it seemed pretty cool coming from someone who has that "connection". You know what I mean?
post #10 of 12
Maggie, could you explain more about the bringing your heart and head together thing?

I'm doing "okay." I don't cry nonstop from the moment I wake up till I go to sleep any more. I think sometimes I purposely keep thoughts of him away so I can function and do what needs doing. But all it takes is looking at a picture of him, or a spot on the floor or bed where he would normally be, or just saying his name out loud and I'm gone again.

I'm lucky that I have two other cats and I'm starting to feel comforted by them. One of them has taken over the morning snuggle duties and the other has taken on drinking from the bathroom faucet when I'm in there, as he always did, so I don't feel so lonely in the bathroom without him.

I also bough a little locket to wear and put some of his ashes in there. I find it's comforting, almost as if he's still close. Does that make sense?
post #11 of 12
I'm so sorry for your loss ...I have been grieving my Bella for over a year now, I don't know when I will ever feel better I am seeing a psychologist and it has helped a little because he totally understands how I feel and he loves cats too Of course TCS has been a great help too

I hope you find that this grief group helps you...I think it's great about the ashes...I think we need to remember our babies everyday in anyway we can...I wear Bella's pawprint on a necklace and 2 other Charms ... one with her pic on it and one my DH had made for me with her name and dates on it. I also have a beautiful bracelet a friend gave me with her pic on it. I also put flowers on her grave once a week. So I would suggest finding ways to memorialize Lyndsey
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
What she meant by bringing the head and the heart together is that when we grieve, our head knows one thing but our heart feels something else. For example, our head knows we did the best we could or that our kitties were hurting, but our hearts just want them back so we hear our innerselves saying we did the wrong thing or we did it too soon and we feel guilty. If your grief feels very painful and debilitating, your brain might be asking your heart why this is so. She felt that going through the stages of grief brings our head and our heart together until we reach reconciliation. She talked about how the grief journey never ends, we are never cured, but we integrate our grief in to our "self". What do you think about that?

Bella is right, our pets live on through our memory. We planted a tree for Lyndsey and set his garden marker. I have put pictures of him around the house and each of my daughter's asked for a picture of him. My husband bought me an angel cat pin for our anniversary (which was 5 days after Lyndsey died). Wearing his ashes is a wonderful thing to do. I am overwhelmed with his memory sometimes, but I am thankful that I am not suffocating every minute with grief like I was before.
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