CHARLOTTE – Over the last few weeks, we’ve loved introducing you to Dr. Clarice King, our counselor who leads our morning monthly Online Pet Grief Group meeting. This week, we are featuring the final installment (part 3) of our interview with her.
Dr. Bonilla: What is some of the best advice or what resources have you found for people struggling with grief and loss?
Dr. King: There are a lot of books out there. A couple of things advice-wise that I always like to share. Grieving never really ends. How it looks will change. How it feels will change. You have to come to terms with that and accept it. How do you get over something that was so important to you? How it feels now vs how it feels when it is so fresh will change. It’s okay to be changed by loss. Feelings do not go away. When the feelings start coming, we can choose to shut them down but they don’t go away. So, if you bury them they will eventually come out in some way. People grieving need to have the courage to feel how they need to feel when they are feeling it. It takes so much courage to let ourselves feel what we need to feel. If you do not face feelings, they can manifest into other bodily issues if you don’t let it out.
Dr. Bonilla: Why do you think pet grief is often looked at as something that people should hide or “just get over?”
Dr. King: In general, some cultures have different ways of dealing with grief where it is handled differently. In the states, it makes people uncomfortable. It’s not something we can fix. There is no making grief better. Whatever the loss is. It permanently changes us. Whether it is 4-legged or 2-legged. There is no way to fill that. It is hard to sit with. It is not about making the person feel better, it is about letting them have the space they need to feel how they need to feel. Because life keeps going. We may want things to freeze and stop but it doesn’t. From the outside, people may not know how to handle when their loved ones are grieving. They may even say things or do things that make the process harder or worse. However, that is why it is even more important for spaces like The Pet Grief Group to exist. It’s essential that those who are grieving have a place where they can express themselves without fear of making others uncomfortable. They can feel comfort in sharing with others who are experiencing similar feelings.
For more information about our monthly FREE Online Pet Grief Group meetings, please visit the group’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thepetgriefgroup
Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.