Replacing a Pet Who Has Died: When Is It Time?

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To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. ~ C.S. Lewis

A reader writes: I can't believe that it has been almost a year since the passing of our beloved 19 year old cat Mittens. With your help and words of support I was able to cope much better and to this day I still feel the hurt of her loss. I still miss her so much. My wife and daughter want another cat but for some reason I feel as if I can't or I am not ready. I know she can never be replaced and she will always be in my heart. Maybe I am being selfish to my family and to another cat who would have a good home. I have a lot of mixed feelings and not sure what to do. Thank you for listening to me again and God bless you.

Caregiving and Hospice, January 20 - January 25, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

End-of-life care rarely discussed, http://b.globe.com/WVhOcg « Boston Globe

Can I be forced to love with my mom? http://j.mp/YsMZk6 « Caregiver Stress

Important questions to ask at a physician appointment, http://ow.ly/gSsPh

Five tips for long-distance caregiving, http://ow.ly/h2EG6 via @beclosedotcom

Caregiving Resource Center: great source of online information supporting families, http://bit.ly/W0DF4E via @AARPHawaii

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 20 - January 25, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Home Funerals Grow with Do-It-Yourself After-Death Care, http://huff.to/XFj8is via @SueWintz

Outstanding! Learning What Grief Is NOT Will Help Us All, http://wp.me/p1l0Zh-ex by @griefminister01

Excellent comment by @SueWintz on Grief Over New Depression Diagnosis, http://nyti.ms/YsAEfM « New York Times

Ending It: Sometimes You Want To—But Don’t, http://j.mp/V4k41g « Grief Digest Magazine

Dr. Joanne Cacciatore's important message to spiritual leaders, http://j.mp/YsnYFS

Coping with Pet Loss, January 20 - January 25, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

All Dogs Go to Heaven, http://j.mp/VcvUov « Widow Chick

Touching! On Mourning (a Cherished Pet), http://ow.ly/h7l1o via @VillageMemorial 
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Voices of Experience: Soul Hunger in Love and Loss

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Once again (with his permission) I am privileged to share one of Harry Proudfoot’s beautiful posts. Readers may recall that Harry’s beloved wife Jane died of neuroendocrine tumor cancer (NET) in December of 2010. Harry is dedicated to killing the cancer that took his wife, and Walking with Jane is the foundation he established in her memory. His goal is “to provide one-stop access to the latest information about Neuroendocrine Cancer, Neuroendocrine Tumors and Carcinoid Syndrome research, treatment and events in support of patients, caregivers, physicians, and research and charitable efforts.” Read more about Harry’s efforts here.

I looked at myself in the mirror the other day—I mean really looked—not like I do when I shave or brush my teeth. I did not recognize the person staring back at me in the glass. Jane’s death 25 months ago from NET cancer has changed me as much physically as mentally and emotionally.

Caregiving and Hospice, January 13 - January 19, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Enabling people to visit loved ones before they die, http://ddnc.us/11C3OK3 by @thextramileorg via @DeathwDignity

What is Palliative Care? ~ Keep Mom at Home, January issue, http://ow.ly/gHg6i via @hospicebuffalo

Outstanding! Learning the right lessons from hospice, http://j.mp/VRaiBy via @CelticHospice

Truly excellent! Doctors Do Die Differently, http://lnkd.in/jPvQXc via @robingsmith

How Do You Know When to Contact Hospice? http://j.mp/Mt62FG « Grief Healing Blog

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 13 - January 19, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Voices of Experience: What I've Learned from Grief, http://j.mp/pxcNlf

6 Simple Ways to Improve Your Mood, http://j.mp/VMhxuz « Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW

Silence, a Source of Comfort for the Bereaved, http://j.mp/10xXbcA « Open to Hope

CCBC recommends booklist on grief and loss for children, http://j.mp/V7ofwQ via @WhatsYourGrief

Updated: Tips for Coping with Sleeplessness in Grief, http://j.mp/hkoXnZ « Grief Healing Blog

Coping with Pet Loss, January 13 - January 19, 2013

Best selection from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Rainbow Bridge Welcoming Committee http://j.mp/T14fv1 via @pinterest

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Guilt In the Wake of a Parent's Death

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A reader writes: My mother died in her sleep and I feel like I’m starting to lose it. I just can't stop thinking about what happened. She was in her early 60s, had high blood pressure and was a smoker. She became very depressed after my father passed away five years ago. I'm sure my dad wanted me to take care of my mother after he died, but she just wouldn't go to the doctor.     

She stopped taking her blood pressure medicine (which I didn’t know until about a year before she passed). We begged her to see the doctor, but she wouldn’t go and said she was fine. Two months before she died, she complained of a sharp chest pain but didn’t say anything until the next morning, and then she still refused to get it checked out. 

Caregiving and Hospice, January 6 - January 12, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Fatally Ill, and Making Herself the Lesson, http://j.mp/V1usYe « New York Times

Good comments on Costs of Medical Care at the End of Life, http://j.mp/WIZFwm « New York Times

Mom's Coming to Live with Us: How Should I Prepare My Family?  http://buff.ly/WyWhUs « AgingCare.com

8 Websites To Help Caregivers Manage Money,  http://ow.ly/gyrB6 « eCaring

A time of caregiving crisis is the wrong time to make important descions. Plan ahead, http://conta.cc/WqLvQU

Understanding and Managing Grief, January 6 - January 12, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Do Men and Women Grieve Differently? Not Always, http://j.mp/VWnNwe  The Grief Toolbox

New comments on: Tips for Coping with Anniversary Reactions in Grief, http://j.mp/K58AGL

10 Tips to Help You Deal With Family Drama,  http://j.mp/UDiNMB « Caring.com

Outstanding! Nancy Berns on the illusion of closure in grief, http://j.mp/UCXo6b « TEDxWomen

How Long Should You Grieve Your Friend? http://j.mp/U1kaq0 « FriendGrief

Coping with Pet Loss, January 6 - January 12, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Touching: With Dignity and Without Pain - Redux, http://j.mp/UHdscB

Bidding farewell to a beloved pet, http://ow.ly/gBUBq via @VillageMemorial 
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Grief and Sexual Intimacy

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A reader writes: My mother died recently, and although she was older and it happened rather quickly, still it was the saddest thing I’ve ever experienced. Now, three months later, I’m finding it very difficult to become intimate again with my husband. Even being in close proximity to him is difficult for me. It almost scares me. Especially because I want so desperately to know that my mom is watching over me, but I don't want her to see me having sex with my husband! Can you give me some direction on this? 

Caregiving and Hospice, December 30 - January 5, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

A beautiful hospice story, through a patient's eyes, http://bit.ly/TOcA1W via @HospiceMayCourt

PREPARE officially launched: Easy-to-Use, Online Advance Care Planning Tool, http://j.mp/Zlbkbz « @GeriPalBlog

In caregiving, sometimes it all comes down to money, http://j.mp/YYeL31

Exit Lines: Finding the Words (or Not) to Say Goodbye, http://j.mp/UkvprL « New York Times

Saddle River hospice physician relies on nurturing approach, http://goo.gl/news/s5V4 via @_lizzy_

Understanding and Managing Grief, December 30 - January 5, 2013

Best selections from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Exit Lines: Finding the Words (or Not) to Say Goodbye, http://j.mp/UkvprL « New York Times

To sign up for The Compassionate Friends' free National Publications, which includes its magazine, visit http://j.mp/RysIWJ, top of page
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Coping with Pet Loss, December 30 - January 5, 2013

Best selection from Grief Healing's Twitter stream this week:

Excellent article: Losing a pet is a teachable moment for kids, http://j.mp/130XzO5
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