When people won’t talk about your pet loss grief
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
1M ago
If you’ve suffered a recent pet loss, are you feeling frustrated, isolated or hurt by the fact that people expect you to be OK or don’t think to ask how you’re coping? This is a common experience for grieving people, but pet carers, in particular, often feel that their deep, crushing loss is destined to go unacknowledged. As we’ve mentioned in past blogs, one of the reasons for this is that pet loss is a type of disenfranchised grief, which means it isn’t recognised by everyone in our wider society.  People can have wildly differing attitudes to pet loss; many see it as an inevitable part ..read more
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The three Rs of grief
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
2M ago
Although we all grieve differently, including when a beloved pet has died, people have developed a variety of models to help explain what the grieving process may look like. Sometimes these models can be comforting because they’re a reminder that grief is a universal experience.  One model is the three Rs of grief. However, when researching this article, we found that when people refer to the three Rs, they often mean different things. Examples of the “three R” model of grief  Grief therapist, Dr Robert Neimeyer, says the three Rs of grief are:  Retelling – Sharing memories and ..read more
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Why it’s okay if you’re ‘coping ugly’ with pet loss
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
3M ago
Are you worried that you’re not coping with the loss of a pet? Do friends and family keep telling you that you should be feeling better by now or that they’re concerned that you’re not looking after yourself? Hopefully, today’s blog can offer you some reassurance. ‘Coping ugly’ In 2008, George Bonanno, a Professor in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University who specialises in bereavement and trauma, coined the term ‘coping ugly’.  This phrase describes the fact that we humans sometimes use behaviours that we might otherwise deem unhealthy to help us cope with grief or trauma. And, in do ..read more
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Time distortion: Why time doesn’t make sense after a pet bereavement
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
4M ago
One of the strange things about grief, particularly in the early hours, days or even weeks after a bereavement has happened, is that time seems to stop working in its usual, linear way. Familiar things – including time – suddenly feel half-formed or alien. Your emotions can be so present and turbulent that it’s hard to breathe. It’s like you’re being carried by a wave, and there’s nothing to cling to, creating both a feeling of being trapped and of being rushed away from where you want to be. Of course, time doesn’t really change. There are still the same number of seconds in a minute and the ..read more
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Tips for older adults grieving the loss of a pet
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
7M ago
If you’re an older person grieving the loss of a pet, first let us say how sorry we are for your loss. It’s never easy to lose a beloved animal companion, but we understand that there are some specific challenges that come with experiencing a pet bereavement later in life. Today, we’d like to talk about these and give you some tips to help you at this difficult time. Too many changes at once The post-retirement years in life can throw a lot at you at once. Changes to your finances, new grandchildren or great-grandchildren, exploring your identity at the end of your career, watching your peers ..read more
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“Who am I now?” Loss of identity after pet bereavement
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
7M ago
To a certain extent, we all expect to experience grief when a beloved pet dies. It’s part of the deal, isn’t it? That our happy times together will eventually come to an end, resulting in a time of great sadness. What many of us don’t expect is the loss of identity that can occur after a pet bereavement.  If you find yourself asking, “Who am I without my pet?” you’re not alone. Loss of identity is a surprisingly common response to a bereavement, a secondary loss can be deeply upsetting. Why do some people experience a loss of identity when grieving?  Each human has a sense of self, o ..read more
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Absent grief: When you feel better than you expected to
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
8M ago
Before a pet dies, it can be difficult to comprehend what life will be like without them. Most of us try not to think about these things or will say, usually with a shudder, “I can’t imagine losing them” or “I know I’ll be devastated”. The problem is that it’s impossible to know in advance how any of us will feel and behave in the event of a bereavement. Grief is influenced by so many factors – our relationship with the one who has died, our support network, our circumstances, our previous life experiences, other losses we’ve faced, and so much more. Something you may not expect is to feel oka ..read more
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Can music help with pet loss grief?
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
8M ago
Since the beginning of human civilisation, every culture has used music in some way during times of loss. This includes folk songs or classical requiems right through to modern songs about bereavement and grief. There are many reasons for the use of music as a way to process grief. Perhaps the most significant is that it’s a tool for emotional expression, one that sits somewhere between words and feelings, with an unmatched ability to transport us to a moment of time or memory. If you’re wondering how to cope with your pet loss grief right now, here are just a few reasons to turn to music for ..read more
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Toxic positivity and its impact on pet loss grief
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
9M ago
It feels like people are talking about “toxic positivity” a lot at the moment and challenging the “positive vibes only” attitude that’s been pervasive in recent years (especially on social media), recognising that it actually does more harm than good. Today, we wanted to talk about the impact of toxic positivity on someone experiencing pet loss grief. What is toxic positivity? Essentially, toxic positivity is the idea that, regardless of the circumstances, you should only ever have a positive, happy or optimistic outlook, ignoring things that are painful until they’re forced to go away. Toxic ..read more
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Have you been struggling with grief brain fog since your pet died?
The Ralph Site Blog
by TheRalphSite
9M ago
Since your pet died or went missing, has thinking a coherent thought been like wading through treacle? Are you experiencing brain fog that manifests as memory loss, confusion or an inability to concentrate? Do you walk into a room and forget what you’re there for, miss appointments, struggle to stay organised or feel distracted? If so, please be reassured that, as scary as it feels, all of this is a natural response to grief and should be temporary. Why do we experience brain fog when we’re grieving? Brain fog is such a common symptom of grief that it even has its own name: Griever’s fog.  ..read more
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