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Coleen Ellis, author of “Pet Parents a Journey Through Unconditional Love and Grief” joins Joel on today’s show. Unfortunately, Joel and Coleen met when Joel and Pei had to put down their pet “Jake”, (Watach a video tribute of Jake) but Joel is thankful Colleen was there to minister with him and Pei.
Pets and Heaven
How do you reassure someone you will see your pet again? Coleen asks what do you want to believe. If you want to believe that is true then you should give yourself permission to believe you will see them again.
Regardless of the answer, it is ok to have your feelings and to believe what you want to believe. Often times people reiterate what their parents believed or their pastor or friends but it’s important to think about what you believe, not what you think others think you ought to believe.
In 2003 there was a death in Colleen’s life, she lost her dog Niko. She began to ask herself how she could make a difference and find out what the event cost her and taught her.
She came out of the funeral business and began to ask herself what is done for the little pets when they die. She did not have children and Niko was her child. She wanted to treat her as she would treat a human being.
Her grief gave her power. Not at first but later. There was a gamut of emotions. She missed her but there was also guilt. Guilt for wishing she was still there but knowing if Niko was, Coleen would be administering medication to her sick dog.
She allowed her morning Niko routine to continue because Coleen needed to for herself. It was her way to remember Niko and reconnect with her. It reminds her that she was real and will always be a part of her life.
Daily refilling of Niko’s water bowl has allowed her to connect with her pet. That connection is what gave her the power to ReLaunch.
Listen to the full episode to find out the rest of Coleen’s ReLaunch story: How to Grieve the Loss of a Pet – Coleen Ellis.