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July 27th, 2013

Helping A Friend Who Is Hurting

Do you know someone who has just lost a beloved family pet?

I was reminded today how many of us still have no idea how to help a friend through pet loss.

I delivered an urn earlier this morning, along with special mementos, to someone who lives alone and has just lost her beloved companion of 16 years. As we sat and talked about the past couple of days without her companion (names withheld to protect the privacy)  she proceeded to tell me how one friend invited her to a beach day with small children to take her 'mind off of things' and then tried to convince her to adopt a cat that no one wanted. Then the next day, another friend invited her over with promises of 'I am here to take care of you' only to start talking about her own experience when her dog died and how sad she still was etc ... so the person who expected to be comforted ended up having to forget about her own needs to care for this friend that initially offered to take care of her!

Doug Manning from In-Sight Books - Helping People Help People - says it best with the three H's:
If we are going to help people, then we must learn how to just listen. I often say that people need the three "H's." They need us to Hang Around, Hug Them, and Hush. They need our presence. Nothing takes the place of being there. They need our hugs; nothing feels better than a hug when we hurt. And most of all they need us to hush. That is the hardest one of all.

If you really want to help someone who is grieving - zip it... hush... say nothing... let them talk... just be there, attentive, touch them - as simply as holding their hand, or hugging them... they need to talk through their pain, through their tears because right then and there, its all about them, not you.

I've also uploaded a wonderful article written by someone I highly respect - she has been in the field of pet loss for decades and her approach is no nonsense and easy to follow. You are welcome to share Helping A Friend Who Is HurtingHelping A Friend Who Is Hurting
Helping A Friend Who Is Hurting

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Thank you.


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