Archive for the ‘Grieving After a Loss’ Category

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5:19 8 March 2012

Detecting Pet Cancer

  Last night I spoke with yet another client who has recently lost her pet to cancer.  She had a lovely Golden Retriever who had a tumor on her heart.  Her dog had no symptoms whatsoever until she just collapsed.  She was only 7 years old.  In her honor she is having a Pet Headstone made to place above her grave in their backyard.
In doing some research about Pet Cancer, I learned that some 6 million dogs and 6 million cats a year are diagnosed with Cancer.  As humans we need to be ever vigilant and watch for signs so our pets can receive professional care and treatment.  There are now Pet Oncologists who specialize in pet cancer treatments, and pets can now receive Chemotherapy and Radiation.  Pets who once have had Cancer can be Cancer-free and go on  to live long, fulfilling lives due to new medical procedures that have become available in the past few years.  So what should we watch for in our pets to catch the symptoms early?  Here is a list of things that could be caused by Cancer and should be checked out immediately:

1.  Unexplained weight loss; 2. Loss of Appetite; 3. Abnormal swelling; 4. Bleeding; 5. Offensive odor; 6. Difficulty swallowing; 7. Lameness or stiffness; 8. Difficulty breathing; 9. Difficulty urinating or pooping; 10. Sores that don’t heal; 11. Hesitating to exercise; 12. Loss of stamina.  These symptoms can be cause by other illnesses as well, but should be checked by a Vet as soon as possible.  We need to prevent pain and suffering in our beloved furry friends by getting them professional attention just as soon as any of these symptoms appear.

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12:20 7 March 2012

Cancer in Our Pets

  I opened my Pet Memorial Business 7 years ago because I understand what it is like to lose a beloved pet.  I have just lost another fur child, my 3rd dog to cancer.  These dogs were not related, they were all from different States, and all had different kinds of Cancer.  2 clients of mine also lost pets to Cancer the same week, one who bought a Pet Casket for her cat, and one who ordered a Pet Headstone for her dog.

I asked my Vet when my dog was diagnosed, why there are so many pets dying of Cancer.  She told me she sees a lot of Cancer in older pets now, it is getting all too common.  Her explanation was that the Vets have a much better way of diagnosing pets now.  She believes Cancer has always been present, but years ago no one knew why pet’s got sick and died.  Now they have pathologists that can test biopsies, there is better up-dated equipment, and people are seeking Veterinarian advice more often.

Losing a pet to Cancer is a heart breaking ordeal, and I think there is something more to Pet Cancer than just better diagnostics.  I’m not certain if it’s something in our environment – pollutants etc., if it is in the food we feed our pets – fertilizers and sprays etc. or maybe in the hormones in the meat that goes into their food.  One breeder friend of mine believes it may be linked to insecticides we have sprayed on our yards.

Whatever the cause of the numerous cases of Cancer in human and our beloved Pets, I hope someday a cause can be pinpointed and a cure found.

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9:00 14 October 2011

Creating A Pet Headstone

A Pet Headstone is the most popular pet memorial I sell.  It is simple, but beautiful and it will last for generations.  You can choose a laser etched black granite one like pictured, a river rock headstone, a gray granite headstone, or a lilac headstone.

  Many people like to make a personalized headstone with a tribute to their lost friend.  The Headstone in the picture was designed personally by Smokey’s owner from a boat in the Carribean and sent to me to have lasered.  If you have the program Photoshop or another similar program, you too are welcome to design your own Pet Memorial and send it to me to have it lasered.

If you prefer to have me do one for you,  I will design and create a proof for you in 1-2 business days and then send it to you for your approval.  I will not send it off to be professionally lasered until the photo, tribute and dates are exactly what you want.

I also have sample tributes for you to use, or you can create one of your own.   To view my sample tributes go to http://www.treasuredfriendmemorials.com/sample-pet-tributes

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9:11 10 September 2010

Moving On After a Loss

Many of your well-meaning friends and family will tell you it’s time to “move on” after your loss.  Unfortunately listening to that type of advice may prevent you from grieving properly and talking openly about your loss.  Don’t worry about what others think, grieving is a very personal process and you are not grieving the wrong way.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve, it just takes time to heal.

It is very important that you don’t just “drop out of life” while you are grieving.  If you aren’t ready to “move on” then maybe consider the idea of just “keeping on” with life for now.  Sometimes you just need to remind yourself that you are doing the very best you can and that’s okay.  Don’t try to run away from you emotions, embrace them but don’t exclude yourself from doing things you like to do such as being with friends, exercising, hobby’s, reading or other activities. 

Going forward with your life doesn’t mean forgetting about the loved one you lost.  It doesn’t mean you don’t miss them just because you enjoy life again.  And how long it takes you to finish grieving is in no way tied to how much you loved your pet.  With time and the love and support from your family and friends, you will find ways to cope even with the deepest loss.

Pet Memorial Jewelry is designed to put a small amount of your pet’s ashes inside a piece of jewelry you can wear around your neck.  This is always done with the upmost respect to you lost loved one.  Many people find a lot of comfort in keeping a part of their companion animal close to their heart.

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9:10 9 September 2010

Help for Intense Grief

If your grief is not getting any better after the death of your loved one, you may need to reach out for help.  Especially if your grief has turned into depression, you need to talk to someone.  Counselors and professional therapists or even your clergy man can help you through your grieving because they allow you to talk about it and express strong feelings.  Many counselors also specialize in teenagers and children if your family is having trouble coping as well. 

It is natural for someone who has experienced a loss to think about death in some degree.  But if your loss has you thinking about suicide or hurting yourself in some way, or you feel you can no longer endure the pain, you need to seek help right away.  Here are some signs that it may be time to call for help:

1. You’ve been grieving for 4 months or longer and the pain is not getting any better.  2. You feel and act depressed.  3.  Your grief is so intense you cannot go about your regular routine and activities.  4. You are having a hard time concentrating, sleeping, eating or socializing like you normally do. 5. You feel you can’t go on living after your loss and you think about suicide, dying, or hurting yourself.  If you are experiencing one or all of these symptoms of intense grief, please reach out and make a call.  Your doctor may be able to recommend someone.  If your children need help, talk to their doctor or school counselor.  Watch your loved ones for these warning signs and don’t wait to get help.

Pet Burial Stones are another constructive way to help get you through the grieving process.  Write a special, personal tribute only you can write to your lost loved one, and share it with other.

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4:08 2 September 2010

Caring for Yourself

The loss of a companion animal can be devistating and very emotionally stressful.  While grieving for your loss, it is imperative that you take care of yourself  in small but very important ways.  Caring for yourself will help you get through the grieving process faster.  Some things you can do for yourself are:

1. Remember that grief is normal and it will pass.  You can and will heal over time. 2. Honor your pet in small or in significant ways.  Hold a small memorial service or have a Pet Funeral.  Or, make a small memorial in your home  in his/her honor.  3. Surround yourself with friends and family members, even if you feel like being alone.  You will benefit from the support you receive from others and it will help you heal faster if you are not isolated while grieving. 4. Talk about your pet.  Tell stories about what you used to do together, the things you enjoyed most about your pet.  5. Express yourself.  If you don’t like to talk, write down your feelings in a journal.  Write a song, a poem, or a tribute about your loved one.  6. Exercise – even if you don’t feel like it.  It can help enhance your mood and get you out and moving.  Modify your usual routine if necessary.  7. Eat right – don’t drown you sorrows in a bunch of junk food.  It may lift your spirits for a minute, but it will drop you like a rock later and intensify your emotions.  Also, don’t skip meals – your body still needs proper nutrition. 8. Join a Pet Loss Support group.  You don’t have to be alone with your pain.  8. Express your emotions and your pain.  Don’t stop yourself from just having a good cry.  Let it out, don’t keep it inside.  9. Create a memorial or tribute.   Put a Headstone or River rock in your garden, or make a graveside in your backyard.  Plant a new tree in his/her honor, or put a poem on a pet urn.

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3:44 2 September 2010

Grief – What to Expect

We will all experience a loss sometime in our lives, and with that loss we will all experience the sometimes overwhelming emotion or response called Grief.  It may feel at times that it will be impossible to recover and move on after we loss someone we love.  But, grief does gradually get better and less intense as time goes by.  To help get through the pain, it may help to know what things you might expect while grieving.

The first few days after you lose your companion animal can be very intense with a lot of crying.  You may feel very strong emotions and need the comfort of others who express their support and condolences.   It is very common to feel like you are “going crazy” and feel very extreme emotions of anxiety, panic, sadness and helplessness.  Some describe this time as feeling “unreal” as if they are looking at their world from the outside in, or from a faraway place.  You may also feel moody, irritable and resentful of the loss and others.Most people show their emotions right after a loss, but other people can be so shocked and overwhelmed that they don’t show emotion right away – even though the loss is very hard.  These people may be found smiling and talking to others as though nothing has  happened. 

After the first few days are over and you try to get back into your “normal” activities, it may be hard to put your heart back into everyday things.  Even though you may not talk about your loss as much, the grieving process still continues.  It is natural to have these feelings for day, weeks, and even longer – depending on how close you were to the animal who has passed. 

No matter how you grieve, there is no one right way to do it.  The grieving process is a gradual one that lasts longer for some people than others.  There may be times when you wonder if life will ever get back to normal again.  This is a very natural reaction after a loss.  Cat  Urns or Pet Urns are one way you can keep your lost loved one close, even though they are gone.

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6:53 1 September 2010

Reactions to Grieving

We all grieve differently and we all react to grief in our own unique way.  If you have lost a human or companion animal that was very close to you, you may feel cheated out of the time you still wanted to spend with that individual.  You may find it hard to express this grief even to other family members who are also grieving this loss.

Some people hold back their emotions or grief  and avoid even talking about their loss in an attempt to keep others from becoming sad too.  Just as people feel grief in different ways, they handle it differently too.  Some people like to reach out to others for support and find comfort in talking about the good times they shared together.  Others withdraw and become “busy” occupying their minds with different things so they don’t  think about their loss.   Some will avoid different places or situations that remind them of  their lost loved one.  Others will not feel like talking about it at all because there are not words to express or describe such deep and personal emotion.  And, they wonder if talking about it will make  them hurt even more. 

Others may deal with sorrow by engaging in dangerous or self-destructive activities.  Losing themselves in drugs, alcohol, or cutting themselves may seem to help escape the pain and numb the reality of the loss, but it is only temporary.  Not dealing with the pain and loss will only mask it and will make all of those feelings build up inside and will only prolong the grief.

If your pain seems to get worse and has been going on for a very long time, tell someone you can confide in and trust about how you feel.  Let your emotions out and don’t keep them bottled up inside.  It is an important step in the healing process.   

A personalized Dog Cremation Urn is one way to pay your devotions to your lost Canine Companion, and a way you can express your deep love for him/her.

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6:30 1 September 2010

More Symptoms of Grieving

There are many symptoms of grieving – the ways people grieve are almost as numerous and unique as the individuals who grieve.  Grieving can be caused by many different causes – from losing a loved one to losing a job, to moving, or from a financial devistation – and more. 

One common reaction to a loss is a preoccupation with the person or animal you have lost.  You think about him/her constantly and may re-create the circumstances of your loss over and over in your mind.  You may also experience vivid dreams or nightmares about your loved one, and you may also even think you see or hear them.

Grief can also take a physical toll on your body.  It is not unusual for the bereaved to lose weight, have difficulty sleeping, become irritable and listless or even feel short of breath.  Some people find that they have trouble concentrating, studying, sleeping, eating, and may have waves of nausea when they are coping with a loss.  Some lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed.  Some people try to lose themselves in playing computer games or eat or drink to an excess.  And, some people just feel numb like nothing ever happened.

All of these are very normal ways to react to a death or a loss in your life.  Give yourself time to heal and realize the healing process will happen gradually.  Pet Memorials are a way of remembering your lost loved one and can remind you of all the happy times you enjoyed together.

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11:01 31 August 2010

Different Ways of Grieving

Everybody will grieve for a loss in their life in many different ways.  Grief is as unique as your are, so don’t compare yourself to others and expect to grieve the same way.  Some of your friends or family members may grieve faster, or not show as much pain or emotion, so you wonder if there is something wrong with you.  Loved ones may tell you that you are silly or even dumb for grieving over the loss of just a “pet”.  Don’t listen or pay attention, obviously they have never had a strong bond with a companion animal and cannot understand what you are feeling right now.  Find solace in the fact that grief is a necessary part of life and is very normal, even though the symptoms may vary greatly with each person.  Certain reactions to death of a loved one are quite common, and you can expect to experience some of them:

1. Shock.  You may go into shock and even find yourself denying that your loved one is gone.  2. Anger.  You may feel angry towards the Vet who could not save your pet.  You may even feel anger toward your pet for leaving you. And you may feel guilty that this anger will not go away. 3. Guilt.  We feel guilty for a number of reasons.  You may feel you could have prevented the death or should have been present to say “good-bye”.  4. Feeling of helplessness.  You may feel many additional losses – you lost your friend, your companion, your confidant.  These additional losses can leave you feeling helpless and confused.  5. Depression.  Even normal, committed, caring people may find that they don’t care about anything or anyone right now.  Other feelings you may experience are: Sad, worried, scared, unprepared, cheated, relieved, exhuasted, or just plain empty.  There are many more.   Just be aware that your emotions may be stronger and deeper than usual and may be mixed together in ways you have never experienced before.  All of these are normal and will get better with time.  The best thing to do is to share your feelings with someone who has experienced this kind of loss before so you can get some emotional support.  Don’t try to hold in your feelings, but express them in ways helpful to your circumstances right now.  Pet Headstones are a personal way to pay tribute to your lost loved one and to help with the healing process.