By Stephanie Di Traglia
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of helping to ensure that a pet parent gets to have a loving goodbye that perfectly reflects the unique relationship they shared with their precious one. From finding just the right way to memorialize their life’s legacy, to walking with them on their healing journey. For us at The Pet Loss Center, it is so much more than assisting with final arrangements. One of the most impactful elements is giving pet parents the permission to mourn- or display and work through the grief they experience. Having the permission to participate in activities, or special rituals that honor the journey of that special life shared makes all the difference when it comes to the healing process. Having that permission- that freedom to express the grief we feel inside is certainly not easy and can often be painful. Ultimately however, hurting allows healing.
Something many families express is the regret in missing the opportunity to “say goodbye”. Its never too late however and that is why I still occasionally write “love letters” to my sweet darling Dora who passed unexpectedly at five years old.
“Nymphadora, my sweetpea, how I miss you little one. My lucky black cat, my epitome of sweetness and love. You have left my life, but you will never leave my heart. I moved recently and all the empty boxes would have surely been your purrfect playground. While others didn’t see you often, and joked whether you were my imaginary cat you always reminded me how very real you were by attacking my toes under the blankets at night and I can’t help but believe that your spirit is the reason your new sister Elphaba does the same thing after laying by your tribute table. I hope you have found the peace you brought into my life. Run free forever in Narnia darling Dora. Thank you for everything. Love you always.”
We may not always get the opportunity to say goodbye or say everything we wish we would have. But know it is never too late to express those sentiments in tribute letters such as these. Have one of your own? We’d love to share those stories on our Memory Wall!