Part 2: An Interview With Grief Counselor Jeff Brockman

Jeff Brockman, grief counselor for Passionate Paws' Pet Grief Group, says losing a pet is often more painful than other grief.
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CHARLOTTE – Last week we featured Part 1 of our interview with Jeff Brockman, a licensed counselor. Every month, Jeff leads one of our two free online pet grief group meetings. The third Tuesday of the month meeting is led by Jeff from 7 pm-8:30 pm EST. We hope you will enjoy part 2 of our interview with him.

Dr. Bonilla: What is your advice to pet parents who are struggling with pet grief and loss?

Jeff Brockman: The best advice I can give is to be gentle on yourself and come to one of our Pet Grief Groups. Most people and many pet owners will say unhelpful things (get over it, you’ll get another one, s/he is in a better place now).  Also, keep in mind that the process doesn’t necessarily have an endpoint.  There is no timetable but your own time table.  In dealing with people who have lost a pet, stick with “I’m sorry,” or “poor baby.”  Don’t join the masses in minimizing grief, even pet loss.

Dr. Bonilla: Why do you think pet grief and loss is sometimes downplayed by others? 

Jeff Brockman:  I think Pet Grief is overlooked because of our culture’s unhealthy beliefs about grief.  Our culture minimizes grief and death, in my opinion.  Far from being looked over, Pet Grief needs to be taken more seriously because, from facilitating the group, I have learned that Pet Grief is often more painful than normal grief.  It is more akin to losing a child than to lose a parent–or even a friend, prematurely.  Our pet may be in a better place, but we will never hug, smell or touch them again.  And that, my friends, is loss.  And we grieve the loss.

For more information about our monthly FREE online Pet Grief Group meetings, please visit the group’s Facebook page:

Passionate Paws Animal Hospital is a proud member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

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