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This week on the No More Homeless Pets Forum:

August 15-19: Pet Loss Support: Getting Past Grief
Whether you've lost a special foster, a shelter alumnus, or your own beloved companion, Marion Hale of Best Friends helps you to say goodbye. Learning how to cope with grief makes us more available to the critters who need us now.

You can send your questions and comments now through Thursday evening to And please include your first name when you write in, so that credit can be given if your submission--which may be edited for brevity or clarity--is posted!

Related transcripts from previous forum weeks can be viewed at

Introduction from Marion Hale:
The loss of a loved one is one of the most painful and complicated of life's experiences. It doesn't matter if that loved one has skin, fur, feathers, or fins – it still hurts. Grief is a complicated process, taking us on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, including anger, resentment and guilt, before we are able to accept our pain and get on with the business of living.

I don't believe there is any way of avoiding the pain of loss, but there are ways to make it somewhat more bearable. In 12 years of participation in online pet-loss support, I've learned some things that have helped me cope a bit better. Maybe they will help you as well.

Marion Hale Bio:
Marion Hale is currently the manager of the Best Friends Members and Pets Forum ( She also updates the Angels Rest Memorials and “Your Photos and Stories" on the Best Friends website (

Marion became involved in online pet-loss support in the spring of 1992 when she logged on to the old Prodigy Information Service looking for medical information after Guy, her aged terrier mix, suffered a seizure. What she found instead was "All Pets Go to Heaven," a bulletin board frequented by a caring group of people who shared their own experiences with seriously ill pets, and their hopes of a reunion someday at the Rainbow Bridge.

Knowing that a spiritual gift cannot be kept if it's not given away, Marion became active in the group, sharing her own experiences with other newcomers. She eventually helped to carry the Monday Evening Candle Ceremony, a non-denominational memorial for pets, to several other online services.

She became a Best Friends member in 1994 and the section leader of the "Saying Goodbye" board of the Time Warner Pets Forum on CompuServe in late fall of that year. In 1997, she migrated with Best Friends to the Best Friends Members and Pets Forum on the Internet.

Marion and her husband, Brad, live near Salt Lake City, Utah. She is owned by two dogs, three birds and several cats.