Pet Loss Grief Support Session
Grief around pet loss comes in many forms - realizing that a beloved pet's health or quality of life is suffering, navigating the complexities of decisions for pets during the end of their lives, guilt in coming to terms that nothing more can be done, experiencing the actual loss of a pet, supporting family members (including children) during the time of loss, adjusting to a new normal.
The loss of the pet can disrupt daily life until it becomes crippling.
Grief support can help.
Heron's Crossing is proud to offer a grief discussion - in a group setting - at no charge to you.
Heron's Crossing has collaborated with Jody Klein, a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, to create a framework for this discussion. Jody earned a BSEd in Educational Psychology and has practiced grief support since 2019.
The 90-minute session will be offered every other week on Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8pm. The number of participants will be limited to six per session, so that the discussion will remain intimate and offer enough time for everyone to fully participate. Children over the age of nine are welcome to attend with an adult participant.
These sessions offer a safe space for those who anticipate loss and those who have already experienced loss of their beloved pet.
Lauren Smith Cassady, DVM
Jody Klein, CPCC
The support sessions are held in-person at the Heron's Crossing office:
1336 Columbia Drive
Decatur, GA 30032
Q. Why did you decide to provide the anticipatory grief support sessions to pet owners?
Dr. Lauren: “One of the biggest questions that families I work with are struggling through is feeling certain they know when it’s time. They don’t want to make a decision too soon or too late. While working through all of this, families are already starting to experience grief. And while there are many local and online support groups that focus on grief after the loss, there is very little support available in the time leading up to it. We want families to have support during the very real time of anticipatory grief.”
Jody: “My intuition is that families with an older companion have a sense that the end of life for their companion is approaching and as they anticipate that dreaded day they likely will be in anticipatory grief. I want to be part of creating a safe, sacred and confidential place where they’re welcome, they can discuss their concerns and share their grief and know they are not alone.”
Q. What struggles do you see with the families who are facing a loss?
Dr. Lauren: "Everyone struggles with feeling certainty about when it is time, and they feel guilty about having to make the decision. Most often, the people who reach out to us will set aside their own grief as much as possible, to be able to support the other family members, children and pets."
Jody: "Often these folks don’t want to burden their family members with their own feelings, so they don’t have an easy outlet for discussion. They spend a lot of time running scenarios in their own minds."
Q. How will the session be structured?
Jody:"We’ll start off by defining how we’ll be creating a safe and supportive environment, including setting the intention that it is a sacred, confidential and non-judgmental space. Attendees will be encouraged to share the story of their companion and their journey together. We’ll shore up each other through the discussion, as we all embrace the fact that we are not alone with anticipatory grief."
Dr. Lauren: "I will be there to introduce Jody to the group, and may remain for the session but Jody will be leading it and centering discussion around grief and preparing for loss."