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I'm at the point where I think I need help - someone to talk to, someone who knows the pain firsthand. I know something of grief and its processes, but knowledge doesn't stop my tears from flowing every day or the pain that causes them. My sorrow just will not go away and I need some relief. I am forcing myself to go through life, but I am not living it.

Are there any real-life people who can help me? I feel so all alone....I AM so alone. The emptiness inside is unbearable.

Thanks for reading this.

Clara's mom

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Dear Clara's Mom,

The people here stand ready to help in whatever way we can, but I wonder if you could provide us with a little more information.

Can you tell us what brought you to this site? If you'd be willing to share your story, or to give us a few more details, we all would be in a better position to do whatever we can to meet your needs . . .

In the meantime, regardless of what has brought you here, please know that we are thinking of you and holding you in our hearts. You are not alone -- not here, not in this very special, very caring place.

Wishing you peace and healing,

Marty T

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Dear Marty,

Actually I accidentally found this website. I don't really know too much about the internet. I exchange emails with some friends and a family member or two and I know a few commercial websites that carry items that I can't find locally, but that's about it.

A lady from whom I buy some smocking supplies and have shared a little of our lives with (via email) has been sharing with me the worry and exhaustion she has experienced due to the sudden acute illness of her cat last week - and today when she took him in to the vet for a follow-up after a long weekend of nursing, his bloodwork came back as showing no hope - and she made the difficult decision to have to let him go, to have his suffering end.

My heart cries with the loss of each precious animal - and for her beloved homeless kitty who came to live with her last fall, although I never knew him.

So I wrote to her with words from my heart, but I do not have the gift of eloquence. I was searching for words that might express (better than I) some comfort at her loss and for her family. Because I have a book by Fr. Edward Hayes with a prayer in it called "Prayer at the Death of a Pet" - and I am in the process of packing to move and couldn't find the prayer to offer her - I thought I might try to find the words of that prayer on the internet.

This website came up when I searched for the title on google, although I did not find the prayer here. You actually had a poem or writing that was closer to what I wanted to share from my heart anyways - and so I sent that to her (with all the proper credits - at least I hope so - instead of the prayer I had first searched for)!

But I have known for a long time that I myself need help with my grieving - that my pain is not diminishing and that the barrenness I feel becomes ever greater. And so I thought I would also ask for help, as you seem to be associated with a hospice and I thought that this would be a safe place to do so..

So - that's how I landed here. Is this a private website rather than a public one? I didn't mean to intrude. I just know I need some help. I don't know how to find it.

At the six month anniversary of my Clara's death I went to Kinko's to have a T-shirt made with her photo on it, and asked my vet if I could come after clinic hours to where she had died on the operating table. While I was at the photocopying store preparing the photo for printing, the man next to me asked me something about Clara's photo - and I started crying. It turned out that he was a minister, and he thought I need "help" because I was still so effected by her death "after all this time." While I thought he had good intentions, inside I thought he was crazy - that I have a right to miss her and to hold her close to my heart all my days.....but at the same time, I know that I do need relief inside myself, also.

This is rather long-winded and meandering, I'm afraid. That is a problem of mine: I have difficulty being succinct and I am boring and rambling. I'm sorry - I'm just really hurting. I don't know what to do. I don't know how not to hurt all the time.


Clara's mom

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Hy clara's mom,

My name is NILI, I'm so understand what you feel, I feel the same way,

I feel the emptiness and I have to force myself to go on.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

Do you want to talk about it? to tell me about the pet you've lost?

I've lost my cat four months ago, so I know what you going througe.

love, NILI

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Hi, Nili.

I'm sorry to hear of your Joey.

I don't have a kitty right now, but I know how special they can be. Every now and then I will be somewhere where I can pick up a kitty and cuddle it like a baby - their fur is so soft and silky, and their purring like music to my heart. There is nothing sweeter than having a cat rub against your legs, or a cat to jump up on the bed and snuggle against you at night

I love the way that cats can be so silly one moment as though they were a mere kitten, and then the next moment stop dead in their tracks, lick their paw and walk off with total dignity, their tail waving slightly in the air, totally sophisticated as if they would never dream of behaving like a kitten! They are such characters!

I love my dogs, but I do miss having a kitty around, too.

Do you have other cats, or was Joey your "first and only?"

Thanks for writing!

Clara's mom

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Clara’s Mom,

I am truly sorry for the pain you are going through.

Personally, I don’t care how long ago our beloved Pet died, we all grieve at our own space and the grief journey is very personalized to each individual. In my humble opinion, whether it takes you 2 days or 20 years so be it! I flicked away several people in my life after my Petey died. They were telling me crap like “well it’s been two weeks and you’re still upset”. ARG Flick of a finger and pooooof they’re gone for good. I would cry in public when I finally got out of bed to get groceries. I could sob as I went through the store and you know I did not care what people thought. I cried in the car and still do now. Not as much. It gets easier but I do not believe it is something you will ever get over. I know I won’t get over Petey, Charlie, Rehab, Pewter, Charlie2, and Sammy. The pain is not as intense but their love and presence are still with me and when I think about them doing something they did while here in the flesh, I smile then have a good cry. Grieving, tears, in my opininion are nothing to be ashamed of, so keep doing them as long as necessary. I believe this will get you trough part of your grief process.

Please just let yourself be where you are right this minute. I too just went through the motions of breathing and doing the minimal stuff to make certain the other kids were taken care of. Living was not a part of my life during those first few months after Petey’s death.

Please do not have time or guild lines for when all will be better for this is different for all. Even today, which is six months after Petey died, I looked at a picture of him, thought of him deeply, and then I felt my gut drop to the floor.

The following is some information I got from this website. You may want to call this hotline. I am with you; face-to-face would be so nice. If you live in Phoenix there is a monthly group.

Here is a website where I bought the book “For every Cat and Angle”. I have read it over and over. It always helps me get to the next moment. When I feel my stomach drop I read the book and get filled up again.

And if you go to testimonials you can see a picture of my Petey boy … Still a Proud Mother

OK, the other information

Pet Grief Support Helpline


Calls to the Pet Grief Support Service Helpline

are received on an answering machine.

Your message will be picked up

by one of the Pet Grief Support Service volunteers,

who will return your call as soon as possible.

Helpline Volunteers are caring, understanding listeners

who have loved and lost their own dear friends,

and want only to help you cope with losing yours.

(Although there is no charge for this service,

please be aware that long distance calls

will be returned collect.)

The Pet Grief Support Service is offered to the public

at no cost by the

Companion Animal Association of Arizona, Inc.

For further information, please contact the

Pet Grief Support Service Helpline, 602-995-5885

Many Hugs and Peaceful to you from me,



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Thanks, Frannie, for your kind words and taking the time to write to me and sharing from your heart as well.

Thank you, too, for being the voice who speaks up for the innocent creatures of God who have no voice of their own to protect themselves. That automatically makes you a superior being, in my book! biggrin.gif

Got to run and get my dogs walked while still cool - but I wanted to respond first so that you know I appreciate your writing to me!

Yours in the love of animals,

Clara's mom

P.S. - "Picture on testimonials?" Gee, I missed that section. I'll have to hunt around on these websites....I would love to see a photo of your sweet Petey!

I never tire of hearing stories about these neat animals who bless us so by spending their lives with us! It is an awesome and wonderful thing to be able to care for them, to love them, to treasure them.

I will try to drop by a meeting if I am going through Phoenix on the first Saturday of the month. I go through there relatively often, as we have a house in NV and in Tucson - the problem with Phoenix is that I always have at least one of my doggies with me and nowhere safe (cool enough) to leave them while I go to a meeting....sigh

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I think Frannie was referring to the Web site developed by Lighthearted Press which features Christine Davis and her wonderful books, For Every Dog An Angel and For Every Cat An Angel.

When you go to that site, see the column on the left listing the site's Table of Contents, and just click on the "Testimonials" link -- that will take you to "Animal Lovers Speak Out." Scroll down about five entries and you will see a photograph of Frannie's precious Petey.


Marty T wub.gif

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Thank you for clearing up the Petey Picture reference. I really shouldn't respond to post when I am half asleep. biggrin.gif

Isn't my Petey boy beautiful. I went to the vet this am with our dog Roy. Anyway, they were about to stick me in the room where Petey (and three of his step brothers and sister ) were incarsurated last year to be medicated since they were before stinckers for us. Anyway, I started bahling so they put me in another room. I miss him so much. sad.gif

I love you Petey and I wish you were here with me. Well I know you are I just want to touch you.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Dear Jessie,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

It's been a long time since I was a cat-mom, but I still remember and think of my beautiful stray black cat who died many, many years ago. He was a special kitty with lots of character and personality - aren't they all? It's wonderful news that as a loving and living legacy to your beloved first kitty that you now have a house filled with the furry critters!

I'm so sorry that you lost your brother. A horrible, horrible thing. It doesn't matter whether it was expected or not. Families are complicated things, but our sisters and brothers shared a portion of our life in a way that no one else can that brings us close to them even in our differences.

I, like you, am no stranger to grief. All of our much-loved and much-hoped-for children died. I have had girlfriends who died from breast cancer and relatives during my life whose time on this earth came to an end.

But my Clara was my soulmate....and the pain doesn't get less. I manage it better as day after day goes by, but the hurting does not lessen. She died on the operating table, after six days of excruciating agony with an undiagnosed cause in intensive care at our vet. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't remember with horror those last six days of her agony and I long-until-it-hurts if she could live her life until her time would have come.

I don't mourn so much for myself as for her sweet life and how she was robbed of it....if ever there were a dog-saint on earth, she was it.

We have taken in two more rescue dogs since her death, and we have three others besides, including Clara's elderly sister. I love each of my doggies for the special beings that they are.

Each one is unique and different - I don't have expectations of anyone having to take on the unrealistic job of filling Clara's spot in my heart.

My heart has a special spot reserved for Clara all of my days. No one else could or should fill it, it is reserved for all time for her.

But my heart expands to build new spots for the new dogs in turn....but it doesn't lessen the pain of having lost Clara for me. Clara was my soulmate.

It's wonderful that you took in a stray mama and have two of her babies as well. There is such a wonderful bond between family members, and now you are all one family, also!

Thank you, again, for writing!

Clara's mom

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