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I'm Just Like You...Grieving The Loss of My Beloved Pet

I'm overwhelmed missing my sweet Winston today as the tears uncontrollably run down my face. Today is the day I decorated our Christmas tree, and Winston's ashes/memorial are next to the tree displayed on our living room credenza.

To be honest...I put up all of our Christmas decorations last weekend; however, this year, I could not bring myself to decorate the tree quite yet as my heart breaks thinking about my sweet boy not being here to help.

Winston loved decorating for Christmas...or shall we say...playing with the decorations is more like it. (yes, I'm a nut...I decorate for Christmas November 1st as it's my favorite time of the year along with Thanksgiving)

Rachel Shirley's Dog Winston
My Beloved Winston

Please know that while you're on this grief journey, your grief may come in waves. Sometimes you can anticipate them like in my current situation, or they can come unexpectedly.

Here's what I do and suggest to the families I work with while these grief waves appear.

Allow yourself to take time out as you cry and mourn the loss of your sweet one.

Whether you recently lost your fur-baby or it was some time ago, like in my situation (2 and a half years ago), it's best to feel your feelings and not suppress them. Feeling your feelings can look different for each person as we are all on a unique grief journey.

For was a day where I stopped decorating the tree, put one hand on Winston's ashes and paw print, and the other hand on my heart while I sobbed! Uncontrollably sobbed!

I told him how much I have been missing him lately and that no puppy on earth could replace him. I let him know that I couldn't wait to see him in Heaven. And I shared with him that this world is not the same without his loving spirit, companionship, goofy faces, playful attitude, and tender heart. Tears are streaming down my face writing this as we speak...

Pet Tribute Display - Rachel Shirley Pet Loss
Winston's Tribute Table

Sweet friend, remember, this one wave of grief is only temporary, and you will get through this moment a better person because you allowed your feeling to surface while honoring your love story.

Your love story never dies is the tagline I use for my pet loss support business because I believe it wholeheartedly. Working with and supporting hundreds of families has afforded me the honor of learning that I am not the only one who thinks this is true.

I believe when you allow yourself the space and self-compassion to mourn while remembering you will get through this with dignity, grace, and perseverance, you honor yourself and your beloved.

You are stronger than you think, my friend! Even though this pain is unbearable, uncomfortable, and all you want for Christmas is for your baby to be alive again, I promise you, you are not alone! So breath deeply, cry uncontrollably, and know you make it through this difficult time.

If your heart needs some extra support right now, you can book a session with me below. I'm here for you.

From my heart to yours,



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