I saw a tweet on Twitter from @ABC and @dailytelegraph about the two dogs who are waiting for the return of Canadian Soldier, Nathan Cirillo, who was sadly killed. The beautiful dogs look extremly sad, yet hopeful their ‘dad’ is coming back home.
We don’t realise that animals have great feelings and also suffer from grief when a family member passes over and that we have a job to help them with this.
I have seen animals who know that a family member is not coming back home and yet, they still have hope they will walk through the door. The hope comes from the fact that we did not take the time to talk to our animal family members about the departure and that the person, or animal, is not coming back. The hope comes from the animal being able to still feel the departed soul around them, the energy is still there.
What can you do to help?
The same as with our human children, we also need to talk to our animals about the departure. How it happened, when it happened and what is going to happen next. We tell them that we understand they may experience sadness, grief and pain for the loss. Really explain to them about the process and that it is all ok for them to feel the feelings. Allow them to go through this.
Image courtesy of: http://ar2.in/2013/11/beautiful-animal-images/
The same as with our human children, we let our animals know that we are there for them; in full support if they need us, want a cuddle, attention, or the extra long walk, or even that extra biscuit in comfort for what they feel. Nurture them as well as you nurture yourself and your other family members in these difficult times.
In return, the animals will have a solid understanding, know we care about their feelings too, so they are also able to support us and help us with our grief. You can see this happen, as the animals will nudge us, come up to us to comfort and try to cheer us up by engaging us in play to move our energies to positivity.
My invitation to you
If you sense that your animal is sad, of ‘off colour’, ask the questions, give them some more attention and look at their behaviour. You will intuitively know what is going on and be able to support them. In particular, if the family experienced a loss.
Listen, observe, nurture, support and most of all LOVE each other.