Kimberly Wilson » Page 2

Author: Kimberly Wilson

Tranquilosophy: Pet Loss & Grief

Last night I facilitated a Pet Loss Support Group at Dupont Veterinary Clinic and wanted to share some of the material with you. Although I offered to host it two months ago, I felt nervous as the date approached. Would I do a good job? Would I hold it together considering I’m still mourning the loss of Louis four years later? Would the participants get what they needed? Would my veterinary social work training be enough material?

Arriving 20 minutes early, I settled into the room to review my notes, take deep breaths, and set a clock within view to monitor the group’s pace.

Once the participants arrived, I welcomed them, shared the agenda, set group guidelines, and gave a brief introduction into the challenge of pet loss. Namely, it’s often labeled “disenfranchised grief” as it’s minimized/not openly acknowledged by society, not publicly mourned or socially supported, and there’s no recognized way of grieving.

Also, I highlighted that the loss of a pet is so intense because they’re part of our socialization: daily schedules, cognitive stimulation, exercise, physical security, sense of purpose, identity, serve as reminders of previous relationships/identities, and come with no baggage (you know, we’re not still holding on to what they said when we were six).

Then the group introduced themselves and shared their stories. Afterwards we honed in on a few themes that tend to arise–guilt, feeling irritable, upset at those close to them who don’t get it or grieve differently, feeling tired, unable to focus at work, to get a new pet or not.

Next, I shared an assortment of coping strategies to help keep their continuing bond (find a way to stay connected): Write a letter. Tell a story. Write favorite memories. Create a scrapbook or online photo album. Draw a picture. Display their favorite toys, collars, or clips of hair or braided tails. Create a memory box or memory garden (tree or flowers). Donate some of pet’s items or $ to a shelter in pet’s memory. Hold a memorial service. Clay print their paws. And more!

To close, I went through William Warden’s Four Tasks of Mourning:

1. Accept the reality of the loss

2. Experience the pain of grief

3. Adjust to an environment in which the pet is missing

4. Keep a connection with the pet while also moving forward

Here’s another thoughtful piece on Warden’s work as it relates to pets.

Whew, heavy stuff. After our goodbyes, I walked home with a full heart and gratitude. Grateful for hearing their stories. Grateful for the love our furry beings give us and allow us to offer. Grateful that they found the experience helpful. Grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this work. And grateful for my three rescue pugs (and one rescue kitty) who give me so much.

If you or someone you know is dealing with the loss of a pet, here are some additional resources:

redrover.org/resource/pet-loss-resources/

rainbowsbridge.com/Grief_Support_Center/Grief_Support_Home.htm

lapoflove.com/community/Pet-Loss-Support

resources.bestfriends.org/article/pet-loss-and-grief-resources

pet-loss.net/https://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/pet-loss/

What an honor it is to love and be loved by these beautiful beings. And how painful it is when they leave us, often much too soon. Sending love to you and your furry friend. Bisous. x

Transforming the Maxi Skirt

 

TranquiliT aficionado, Barbara, shared these photos of her transforming the maxi skirt into a wrap, hoodie, neck warmer, and cape. Genius, no? The ballet color is stunning on her.

I’m often blown away by your creativity in curating outfits from a few staples. Ah, the beauty of capsule dressing!

Challenge: try a new way to wear a favorite piece. Turn a short skirt into a capelet or a long skirt into a dress, turn a wrap dress around, or add a flowy pant under a slip dress.

Next week is our fall photo shoot and I can’t wait to share the four new designs with you! Here’s a hint: jumper, duster wrap, crop pant, fleece sweatshirt. I met with my seamstress yesterday and shared a sneak peek over here.

More peeks to come. Looking forward to transitioning into more and more layers with cooler temps, tall boots, and hot cocoa. Happy weekend to you! Bisous. x

 

Guest On the Show?

Interested in being interviewed for the Tranquility du Jour show? I LOVE featuring guests from our community and I just know you’ve got something to say. Share that beautiful voice, story, and expertise of yours!

If you’re so inclined, please fill out THIS form and I’ll be back in touch shortly if the topic feels like a good fit for the precious Tranquility du Jour listeners. Truly, they’re AMAZING!

Also, can you believe the podcast turns 14 next month? My goodness, I remember the days of having to explain a podcast. It’s like a radio show that you can listen to at anytime from your computer. Whhhaaattt?

Now they’re ubiquitous and a staple in our information and entertainment consumption.

Finally, any suggestions on how to celebrate our 14th podcast anniversary? Have a particular topic or idea you’d like covered? Do tell! Thanks for listening and being here. I heart you. Bisous. x