It is Hereby Declared that Grieving Animal Lovers have the Right:
To feel the pain of grief when the bonds with our pets are broken. The bonds we have with our companion animals are deep and strong; the pain we feel when those bonds are broken is real and worthy of our grief.
The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program, formerly known as Widow Match, can connect you with a peer with whom you can share the ups and downs of the widowhood journey. You may choose to connect by email, phone, or whatever feels comfortable.
Peer support can be an invaluable resource for widowed people of all ages. You might talk about things other people don't understand, air feelings that are overwhelming, or just discuss what happened during your day. Most of all, you will know that you are not alone. Note: Peer support does not take the place of professional counseling, is not a forum for spiritual guidance, or financial or legal advice. These friendships should not be a burden on either party.
The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program is the only program like this anywhere, with a track record of outstanding friendships since 2009. The SSLF Widowed Pen Pal program is just one of Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation’s innovative and lifesaving programs for widows and widowers.
A reader writes:I’ve been suffering from depression for a long time and am under the care of a psychiatrist. I went to see my doctor for the first time since my father died and was a complete wreck since I had to re-tell what happened. I was crying because it's hard to talk about Dad's sudden downfall and last day, but my psychiatrist seemed to think that I was being overly emotional. I tried to tell him that I'm not upset every day and that I didn't think that my sadness less than five months after Dad's death was abnormal. I did confess to doing some stupid things immediately after he passed and how hard some things have been, but I walked out of his office feeling like I should be over it.
At the moment, take heart from those around you who want to care for you and be present for you in your distress. They don't always know how, they don't always do it right, but they try. Sorrow is a matter of taking turns. This year, it's yours. Next year, it might be you setting the table for someone else who feels that they cannot cope. ~ Deidre Felton, in Bereavement Magazine, November/December 2000.
In a recent post I shared the observation that, no matter how good their intentions, people may find it difficult to know what to say or do when we are struggling with the loss of a beloved family pet. But what happens when we’re anticipating or coping with the death of a person dearly loved?
Our duty is to remember them so their place in our lives is one of beauty, a beauty beyond this world. Our duty is to love them boldly, wildly, with every part of our being, and to carry their spirit into the world. ~ Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
A reader writes:It’s been two weeks since my baby died. I was 6 1/2 months pregnant. She had been extremely active ever since I first started feeling her move, but at around 22 or 23 weeks there were days when she wouldn't move at all. At 26 weeks, when I hadn't felt any movement for two days straight, my doctor ordered a full ultrasound, which showed no movement at all, although there was a heartbeat.