A Healing Stage

“Mourners need communication with others, validation of their feelings, loving consideration, and time to be alone. Only in cases of abnormal depression will those in bereavement be unable to take even some small action to help themselves. Most of us will pass quickly enough through this seemingly unending period. It helps greatly to be able to talk out our story with some sympathetic person or persons. Close friends and support groups are probably the best help during this, the saddest part of the mourning process.

Surprisingly, depression as a major part of bereavement does serve a good purpose. It diminishes the intensity of emotions and gives us time to live with and assimilate the grim, new reality. We meditate and ponder on the pet’s death and begin to lay the foundation for a new spiritual strength and perspective that we could not have had before. It is all part of the amazing healing process that nature has provided for us. We have to go through the worst of the pain in order to put most of it behind us.

When the depression passes, we are much closer than before to the resolution stage of the mourning. things are beginning to look upward now. The worst part is over. For the first time since the death, it is possible to sense the easing of pain and to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Ultimately, all life is change and growth. otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth living. This is a very hard lesson to learn, but a necessary one that our beloved pets can teach us. Yet it is nearly impossible to be philosophical when still in deep grief and depression. ”

by Moira Anderson Allen, M.Ed.

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