Grief Support Literature
Grieving the loss of a being whose life had been entwined with yours for years is a normal and necessary thing to do. Do not let other people define who you are allowed to grieve for or how you should do it. While there are a lot of helpful suggestions out there, your grieving process is yours alone. Read the advice, listen to the well meaning words of family and friends, but take only what will help you through this very personal journey. You might find the following resources to be helpful:
There are many heartfelt writings on the subject of pet love and loss. The following are but a few I have gathered over the years. Whenever possible, I have credited the author.
The agony is so great…
And yet I will stand it.
Had I not loved so very much
I would not hurt so much.
But goodness knows I would not
Want to diminish that precious love
By one fraction of an ounce.
I will hurt,
And I will be grateful to the hurt
For it bears witness to
The depth of our meanings,
And for that I will be
—Shirley Holzer Jeffrey
Grief is a very selfish and lonely thing. Nobody teaches us how to do it properly. So we just have to make up the rules as we go along… Some days are ok, some are bad and sometimes they’re just awful. But we learn to go on. I’ve had to redefine “normal.” Normal will never be the same.
Those we love remain with us,
For love, itself, lives on,
And cherished memories never fade
Because a loved one’s gone.
Those we love can never be
More that a thought apart,
For as long as there is memory,
They’ll live on in the heart.
Somewhere in time’s Own Space
There must be some sweet pastured place
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow
Some Paradise where horses go,
For by the love that guides my pen
I know great horses live again.
If It Should Be
If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep
Than you must do what must be done
For this, the last battle, cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand
Don’t let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest
Your love for me must stand the test.
We’ve had so many happy years
What is to come can hold no fears.
You’d not want me to suffer so
The time has come to let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend
And please stay with me to the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved
From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.
Please do not grieve it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We’ve been so close, we two, these years
Don’t let your heart hold back its tears.
The what if, if only, is a mind game that will drive you insane. Don’t play it.
I’ve travelled the pathways beside you
I’ve made you the Lord of my day
But now that I’ve gone before you
It’s only to show you the way.
And if I go while you’re still here. . .
Know that I still live on,
Vibrating to a different measure
Behind a thin veil you cannot see through.
You will not see me,
So you must have faith.
I wait for the time when we can soar together again,
Both aware of each other,
Until then, live your live to the fullest.
And when you need me,
Just whisper my name in your heart,
. . . . . . . I will be there.
I explained to St. Peter,
I’d rather stay here,
Outside the pearly gate.
I won’t be a nuisance,
I won’t even bark,
I’ll be very patient and wait.
I’ll be here, chewing on a
No matter how long you may be.
I’d miss you so much, if I
Went in alone,
It wouldn’t be heaven for me.
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond’s glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there. I did not die.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops ane looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly, he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face: your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together. . .
Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you. I loved you so – ’twas heaven here with you.
Isla Paschal Richardson
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
Memories in the Heart
Feel no guilt in laughter, she knows how much you care
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she’s not here to share
You cannot grieve forever, she would not want you to
She’d hope that you can carry on, the way you always do
So talk about the good times and the ways you showed you cared
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared
Let memories surround you
A word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day
That brings her back as clearly as though she were still here
And fills you with the feelings that she is always near
For if you keep these moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever locked safe within your heart.
Look for Me in Rainbows
Time for me to go now, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, way up in the sky.
In the morning sunrise when all the world is new,
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.
Time for me to leave you, I won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, high up in the sky.
In the evening sunset, when all the world is through,
Just look for me and love me, and I’ll be close to you.
It won’t be forever, the day will come and then
(Your) loving arms will hold (me), when we meet again.
Time for us to part now, we won’t say goodbye;
Look for me in rainbows, shining in the sky.
Every waking moment, and all your whole life through
Just look for me and love me, as you know I loved you.
Just wish me to be near you,
And I’ll be there with you.
Music and lyrics: Conn Bernard (1990). Vicki Brown
There are no goodbyes for us. Wherever you are, you will always be in my heart.
A Silent Tear
Just close your eyes and you will see
All the memories that you have of me
Just sit and relax and you will find
I’m really still there inside your mind
Don’t cry for me now I’m gone
For I am in the land of song
There is no pain, there is no fear
So dry away that silent tear
Don’t think of me in the dark and cold
For here I am, no longer old
I’m in that place that’s filled with love
Known to you all, as “UP ABOVE”
Death is Nothing at All
Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away
into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way
in which you have always used to.
Put no difference in your tone,
wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was;
there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval
somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!
Canon Henry Scott-Holland