Archive for September, 2013

Pet Loss

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Mans best friend is his dog metaphorQuestion: Over the past year I have had a few families ask whether we handle pet cremations and assistance with pet loss. We really haven’t contemplated offering these services before but since families are asking for them we are re-thinking this possibility. What should we know about people who are suffering from the loss of a pet?

Dear Reader: The loss of a pet can hit people just as hard as the loss of a loved person — especially if they have not had any children or lived by themselves. Their grief can be very intense. Sometimes pet loss is more difficult because the animals could not speak and let their humans know what was wrong or what they needed. There can be guilt associated with the care of a pet just before their demise.  When assisting people who have lost a beloved furry friend I would suggest you treat them with the same care and compassion you would an individual who has lost a human companion or family member. Besides the tips below you might want to consider putting an area on your website that addresses the issue of pet loss. (See French Funeral Home at www.frenchfuneralhome.com.)  Feel free to copy and distribute these tips to your families, while of course, preserving our copy write. (more…)

Helping Questions

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

on my mother shoulderMy husband came up the stairs holding out the phone with a pleading look in his eyes. Could I please just take a few minutes and talk to his mother? She had just lost her brother to a heart attack. This was a brother that had just gone to Thailand for an experimental treatment to heal his congestive heart failure. The family was in a shock. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He was on the mend!

Death is no stranger to this family. His mother had just lost an older sister in January and yet still did not know how to react or what to do to this latest loss. I started to assess the situation. If you are helping or assisting a friend or family member this list might be helpful for you.

Questions to ask:

  1. “Tell me about the death — when did it happen? Who was there?” People want to talk about their loss. It helps make it more real for them in their own minds. (more…)

What to Say?

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

crying  angel, figure on  Ixelles Cemetery (French:   CimetiereDear Kelly: I read your column on listening. However, sometimes one just must say something. What are the appropriate words to say when someone is grieving?

Dear Reader: Sometimes it is really hard to say just the right words to a person who is grieving. It can tend to be an awkward moment for both parties involved. The person who isn’t grieving stumbles around and tries to find something they think won’t offend the grieving person. This isn’t surprising since we aren’t taught how to grieve or to help a grieving person. At Beyond Indigo many of our grieving members talk about the words that are not helpful. One of our volunteers, Jim, lost his son two years ago and this is what he says about certain pat phrases people have given him and his feelings about these sayings.

“He (She) is with God!”  I am sure that is the case, but they shouldn’t be with God; they should be here with us. (more…)

Sending Your Furry Friend Off In Style: Tips for Planning a Pet Funeral

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Pet cemeteryIn modern society, pets are more than furry creatures who look cute and are fun to cuddle. In fact, according to the American Human Association, an overwhelming nine in ten owners view their pets as members of the family.  Pet spending has kept up with change in status, with “The Telegraph” reporting an annual level of spending upward of $43.3 billion. (more…)