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Breaking the silence of pet loss grief with Beth Bigler

    Show Notes

    Today is a throwback to this podcast’s roots in the grief we endure when our best fur friends die.

    My good Beth Bigler and I had this chat before I decided to rebrand the pod and expand the subject matter beyond that niche.

    As I continued to study grief, it struck me that a number of folks out there might not seek professional help with their grief for the pet.

    We exist in a world where our sorrow is called “disenfranchised grief,” in which our loss is not necessarily accepted, respected and acknowledged by some people in our lives and the world at large.

    Because it’s “just a pet,” right?

    We know better.

    And Beth helps dispense the notion that it’s just too darn silly or shameful to seek professional help.

    Beth is a licensed pet loss grief counselor and her Instagram account, @honoring our animals, is one of the comprehensive resources for pet loss you can find on the internet.

    In this episode, she offers insights into the challenges faced by individuals navigating this grief alone.

    We explore:

    Disenfranchised grief: How society’s perception of pet loss as insignificant can lead to stigma, hindering individuals from seeking support.

    Challenges of seeking help: Beth sheds light on common misconceptions and barriers faced by those reaching out for counseling or support groups.

    Missteps in counseling: The discussion touches on ineffective counseling experiences and the importance of finding a counselor who understands the unique dynamics of pet loss.

    Creating a supportive environment: Beth shares strategies for creating a safe space where pet owners can express their grief without judgment.

    Building community: Angela and Beth discuss the role of community in healing, offering insights into how shared experiences can provide comfort and validation.

    Where to Find Beth

    Honoring Our Animals website

    Instagram

    Transcript

    Angela  

    Welcome back for number four, Beth Bigler.

    Beth 

    Ready to go.

    Angela  

    You are one step closer to another jacket.

    Beth 

    Cannot wait for the jacket. What is the jacket even going to look like? Can we have people like submit suggestions?

    Angela  

    Oh, that could happen. I know it’s going to be orange

    Beth 

    100%.

    Angela  

    Yes, everything in my life is orange. So what we’re going to talk about today is relevant to the idea of disenfranchised grief. We know well, you know what, a lot of people might actually not know that there are counselors like yourself, who are dedicated to helping us on this journey of pet loss. But I wonder that a lot of people might be sitting at home thinking, well, that’s stupid. Is there a stigma attached not just to pet loss, but also to seeking help around pet loss?

    Beth 

    Well, there’s a lot of reasons why people don’t reach out for support, whether it’s a mental health professional, whether it’s a support group, whether it’s a family member, or friend. And there’s a lot of reasons I think stigma can be one of them. I think with pet loss, grief, there’s a lot of stigma, like it’s just a dog, or only a cat, or just a bunny rabbit. And I think we have all internalized a bit of that, even if we don’t believe it’s true. So I think that is part of a an external stigma problem. But I think there’s a lot of internal stigma, that says, I ought to be able to figure this out myself, or I should my least favorite word, I should be able to get through this. Or I’ve had a lot of other grief and loss. This ought to be like those others where I found a way. So as much stigma as I think is placed outside, externally, I think we have a lot of internal stigma, as well. And I also think, frankly, a lot of people do try to find some support, and it doesn’t go well. And it doesn’t go well for a whole host of reasons. And sometimes when you reach out, in ways large or small, and it doesn’t go well, you feel like giving up, because you feel like maybe, maybe it’s me. And this is a very common story for me. Many times people come to me after they have tried other supportive methods that went very, very badly. So I know that’s another problem is that sometimes people do get the courage and the strength to reach out for help. Because I think it’s so hard to ask for help with anything. And in particular, something that you may already feel some judgment or self judgment around. And then when it when it doesn’t go, well, it can just be a huge blow. And that’s very painful. So I think there’s a lot of reasons why there are obstacles for receiving support. And I think stigma is one of them. But I think there’s a bunch of things.

    Angela  

    Without identifying anyone in particular, can you give an example of how counseling or support has gone wrong? Yeah, 110? I don’t know.

    Beth 

    Well, listen, I mean, first of all, I There are great, I love therapists, oh my gosh, oh, my therapist, and she I adore my therapist. A lot of my closest friends are therapist. So I love therapist. So this is there’s no knock on therapists or other kinds of counselors, professionals. I mean, look, there are there are people who are less well trained for this and less supportive of helping people with this loss than others. But just like in any profession, you got some bad therapists out there, some good grief counselors out there. So I have had numerous people come to me, who felt very dismissed by their provider, for example, this is I’ve heard this story, I’m really probably I’m probably over 25 times, I went to meet with a therapist, and they said, I know you’re here about your dog. But this is probably really about your mom and dad and how you grew up. So can we talk about your childhood in session one? And if I had, I mean, really, truly, I’ve heard this story dozens of times or some version of it. But listen, in defense of therapists, you know, first of all, therapists are trained in family dynamics. They’re in training family systems like that is emote mode that they’re all in right in fact, therapists aren’t required to take any coursework in grief. Grief is a is a, you know, sometimes a an elective some places, but like, you may not have even had any training and grief as a therapist, which is, you know, so So, you think of everything like okay, well, this gotta be about mom and dad, right? So I understand why that’s where some therapists are coming from and look, is it true that some Sometimes our relationship with our beloved is influenced by our families of origin and things that happened in our childhood with attachment and how we are self esteem. Of course, of course, that stuff all plays a factor. But we don’t start there, we can’t start there. Because yes, it is about your dog is about your cat is about your horse, it’s about your relationship and what you are experiencing, feeling like you’ve lost them forever. So we must start with that. And we must center the relationship between the two of you throughout your entire work. And that is just not how a lot of providers just see things, right. So it’s not totally their fault. But that’s a very common story. And then there’s other there’s other bad things. I mean, there are things that happen, you know, with communicators, animal communicators, that can be very damaging for people. And that’s a place where a lot of people go for support. And I am not saying that every animal communicator is damaging, I’m not saying that, that’s a thing that doesn’t feel comforting for many people it does. But if you’re asking me about ways, things that people do to go for support, and they don’t get good support, that can be a place where a lot of damage can be done. And I’ve had a lot of people come to me feeling very damaged. After that experience. I’ve had other people come to me whose whose providers have said, and I really appreciate this, they have said, you know, I think you should get a specialist to help you with your grief about your beloved, because it is kind of beyond my scope. And I think that would benefit you. And I really appreciate when providers say that, because this is such a niche thing. It’s such a specialty thing. And they’re, they’re very few people who do this full time, only devoted to just this type of grief and loss. And so you, you know, just like if you have a very rare heart condition, or you have a really weird thing with your eye like I do, then you got to go to a specialist, right? Because I don’t want to go to the ankle doctor for my heart problem. So I really do appreciate when providers say hey, get get a specialist, then of course, you got people who go to groups and groups are very hard to facilitate, you have to be very skilled to facilitate a group and groups that that are not well facilitated, can be really sticky. For people that can be triggering, there can be all kinds of dynamics that happen in groups that are rough, and many pet loss groups. You know, they’re kind of drop in drop out kind of groups. And there’s a lot of consistency. I do work with people in small groups, I offer small cohort group support as one of my offerings, because that provides a consistency, same people every week, you know, building safety, but a lot of people that they just kind of show up at a group and it’s kind of like a one time thing that can feel unheard or misunderstood or, or talked over? I don’t know. So there’s just a lot of ways things go wrong. And it’s nobody’s fault, necessarily. But I think that is one of the biggest barriers I see. For reaching out for help. Because if you reach out for help, and it doesn’t go well, it makes you much less likely to reach back.

    Angela  

    What are some of the misconceptions about the work you do that you may have heard from people who might think oh, I would never do that?

    Beth 

    Well, I mean, the truth is most coming to me are desperate. They’re hurting. They often a lot of people come to me at the very beginning when it’s just happened. And it’s so raw, and they’re so in shock. And they’re not sure how I can help them. They don’t know what they need. But they know that they feel like this is something they they’re going to have trouble surviving. And that’s how I felt, you know, in my experience. And so, you know, for those people there, they often are like, I don’t know, what I need. And then I can tell them Well, I don’t either because this just happened. And I don’t know what’s going to come up for you. But I can tell you some of the things that often come up for people. And if these things come up, these are the types of things we might, you know, work on together. And then there’s people who kind of, you know, experienced the death. And it’s now been maybe four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, seven weeks. And they think I thought I’d be doing a lot better than I’m doing now. Or I thought I’d be quote over it. Pardon me, I thought I’d be feeling much more myself. And for those people, they already have a lot of judgment on themselves because they’re not where they were expecting to be. And that is oftentimes where I say things like, you know, many people in the beginning, it’s kind of like a frozen popsicle syndrome, like not much coming in not much coming out. And after a certain amount of time, and it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but for a lot of people like one month, two months, they feel this big kind of thaw feeling. And then it’s like a lot of big feelings coming in and really intensity of longing and sadness or anger, guilt or, you know, just irritation and discombobulation. And so for those people, you know they’re like Like, I’m getting worse, not better, you know, but I’m not sure anything can help me. And so you know, then then that’s kind of a different conversation. It’s like, well, kind of here’s, you know, are you experiencing this? Are you experiencing this, here’s how we support this. And then there’s people where it’s been like a long time might have been years, more than one year, two year, three years, four years even. And for for some of those people there kind of grieving got interrupted in some way, or they weren’t able to really express. And they’ve been stuffing it down or bottling it up, and it’s coming out sideways. And for those people, you have to really reassure them that hey, even though it’s been a while, there’s a lot we can do to support this and help make your day to day so much easier. So I think kind of people’s, the people that are coming to me, don’t have the objection of like, why would I do this? They’re coming because they need help. The Why would I do this with sometimes, you know, partners, parents, external people, the people that are coming to me are usually their objections are kind of more within themselves? Not sure. Like, can I be helped? That’s a big question for most white people. Can anyone help this?

    Angela  

    How do you create a non judgmental and safe environment for people seeking pet loss counseling, especially those who may not feel entirely comfortable with the idea that they need help?

    Beth 

    Well, a lot of that happens for the people who come to me, many of them have been referred to me from a veterinarian or a vet med professional, or through word of mouth. So they already know I have that capability. But many people also come to me, because they saw me on Instagrams, and they’ve seen my videos, I make a lot of videos where I talk about topics and pet loss. And I make a lot of videos where I’m addressing different feelings that come up and with a lot of practical, concrete tools for how to support yourself. And many people who call me say, I wanted to reach out to you because I know that you get it. I’ve watched enough of your videos and read your posts and your captions to know that you get it. So before I even talk to people, I think many people feel very safe with me because they have read my story. They’ve heard me talk about my grief, my losses. And the way I talk about it is like someone who talks about it like they’ve been there. And with this type of grief and loss. For many people that feels really important, because they want to know that I know what it’s like to have your soulmate pet die. And they also know that I survived it. And then I have a beautiful loving relationship with him now. And they want that. So they feel safe coming to me to say things like, my soulmate pet has died. And I don’t know how I’ll survive it because they know I’ve been there. So I think the safety begins for a lot of people like before they ever come because they know me and they know my story. But you know, how do I remain non judgmental, it’s because I’m not judgmental about it, I have no judgment about this at all, I have tremendous compassion and empathy. For the suffering that we experience in this type of loss. It is so lonely, it is so isolating. It is so terrifying on both sides, anticipatory or post loss, to be facing these huge emotions, to have our emotional anchor or rock not by our side to help us get through it the way they’ve helped us get through everything to feel like all these different chapters of our lives that our beloved has spent with us are closing with this loss and to be completely oppressed by guilt and regret and feeling like I failed or did something wrong. That is so hard. And I have no judgment around any of it. I have total empathy and compassion. I have people who are experiencing, you know, it like flashbacks about the last day or what could have been different or the remembering a sound that that is keeping them up at night. Is there anything harder to go through? I mean, it’s it’s just the worst. So I don’t have any judgment, because I know how hard it is. And I have complete empathy. And I think people get that when they talk to me. You know, everyone always apologizes in session. I’m so sorry. I’m crying. And I say, It’s okay, I might cry too. And sometimes I do. Because I’m so moved. And I care and I care about my clients. And I care that they’re going through this and sometimes they don’t have a lot of other people in their life who really care and they know that I do. But the reason it doesn’t keep me up at night. And the reason that I can keep going and serving as many people as I do, is because I also know that working together, they’re gonna get strategies, they’re gonna get tools, they’re gonna get immediate things that help support their brain and heart and spirit. And they’re going to learn how to dial down that guilt. They’re going to learn how to make peace with that last day. They’re going to learn how to, you know, step into their life. I’ve now in this identity now, and they’re going to figure out what this crossroads is for them. Like, I know where they’re going to end up. And I know that they’re going to end up in deep connection with their beloved, and that they are going to be using a royal we when they talk about their beloved. And so because I can see, because I have a lot of confidence that that’s where we’re gonna go. It I have so much hope, you know, I find this work very life affirming, because I know what their lives are going to become, and how the gifts and guidance and lessons and teachings of their beloved, are going to influence them and impact them and impact the world. And I know where they can go. So for me, it’s so it’s beautiful, even even in the worst of the worst with people, I just always hold on to, I know where you can go, and it’s gonna be all right. And I know that even when they don’t, and that keeps me from, you know, getting into my my own head about it too much. Because, you know, I hear a lot of hard stories.

    Angela  

    You alluded to it a few minutes ago, when you said that a lot of people you work with don’t have a big support network. And that that strikes at the very point of disenfranchised grief and that a lot of the people in our lives don’t necessarily understand the profundity of the relationship that we’ve had with our beloved. Which is at the root I think of why we feel shame about needing to approach someone like you. What strategies do you give to your clients, when they need to encounter those people in their lives? And I know we’ve talked about that before.

    Beth 

    Yeah, well, first of all, one of the things I give every client who works with me is community. Because I learned a long time ago when I was doing this, that because we’re so isolated, because the people in our regular day to day lives are going to have a hard time with our grief because of their own stuff, that my clients aren’t going to get the support they need. So anybody who works with me, whether they’re working with me individually or in a small cohort group gets access to a completely private community, just for people I work with, that has all kinds of things happening there, just for those people. So we have you know, forums and I have special events, and I bring in guest speakers and I do private office hours on there. And my clients get to know each other, and they make friends. In fact, a lot of them have made real life friends there and people traveling all over the country to see each other and visit each other. And, and so, you know, like, my Instagram is awesome. It’s beautiful. It’s a huge and it is a community too, but it’s completely unsafe, because Instagram is an unsafe place. And it’s I can’t moderate it all. But this I have a heavily moderated like very private way for people to build genuine deep connection with other people who get it. And when my clients wake up at three in the morning, feeling completely alone, they can go, you know, talk to other people in my community. And they’ll have the 20 responses by morning of affirmation and love and support. So, you know, 111 thing I do is I give a community because we cannot do it alone. And then the kind of community where we’re all in it together, we’re all speaking the same language, we all have the same goals we all understand is is absolutely a game changer for everybody I work with. So that’s one thing I do as an immediate thing. So you feel less alone. But in terms of strategies for dealing with people in your life, I mean, one of the things that I teach people is that you know, you can as best you can, to stick up for yourself Be assertive, ask for what you need. Let people know when something they’re doing doesn’t feel supportive, and spend time with yourself figuring out what do I need from people around me? What do I want from people around me and a lot of people I work with are very good at asking for what they need or want in general. So we spend time on that. And what do you what, what can you do to help the people around you help you because you know, we’ve talked about this before Angela, like sometimes people do want to help you and they don’t know what to do. And then other times people are gonna say, you know, boneheaded things. So I think for empowering someone to get what they need from their community, we have to work on learning how to ask for it. So that’s the thing we spend a lot of time on. And also just knowing, you know, when to create some distance with people like we’ve talked about this, like sometimes people aren’t all bad in your life, but they’re just not going to be able to handle this very well. And so if it’s so many want to keep in your life, let’s figure out how to keep them in your life, but maybe just have a little distance, at least while you’re in the like very acute moments of your grief. Because there’s nothing, you know, more shattering than trying to share with someone who can’t receive it. Yeah.

    Angela  

    Have you encountered any clients who expressed that family and friends discouraged them from approaching you

    Beth 

    guys And I certainly have had a lot of family and friends be like, is it working? How’s it going? How much longer? Are you gonna need to be doing that? I have quite a few clients who, whose family and friends are always checking in like, are you getting anywhere? Definitely had a lot of that. Think about discouraging me? Um, I yeah, there’s been some, there’s been some partners and spouses I think who think that perhaps their spouse should be able to do it on their own. And, and I have worked with certain populations where there is, I would call it cultural stigma about seeking help. So I have a lot of people come to me that say, my family is very anti counseling, grant I therapy, very anti 12 Step, you know, all that kind of thing. And I am the first person to ever seek this kind of support. And my family thinks it’s, it should be my private business. And I have had people express that kind of culturally for them, that it’s a real step out of the box. But I don’t know that we had a lot of active discouragement that I can that I can think of, or at least I haven’t been told about it so much, but a lot of sort of like, when’s it gonna get better kind of questions? Which is tough.

    Angela  

    Yeah. I had a bit of a breakdown back in the mid 2000s. And nothing to do with that loss or anything. But I told my mom that I was in therapy. And she said, and she said to me, Well, can’t you just work it out on your own? And I said, Well, no. And that’s why I’m in therapy. And then she said, Oh, and then she said, Well, maybe I need to be in therapy. And I was like, Oh, well, there’s a road, I’m not gonna go down.

    Beth 

    Whatever it takes. Well, but yeah, you should listen, you know about this in particular. I mean, first of all, like the work I do, this is considered very short term work from sort of a therapeutic standpoint, right? Like, I’m not a therapist, I’m a certified grief counselor, but like, you know, I like to set the expectation, we’re not gonna be doing this for years and years. If we do that I’m a crappy grief counselor. For starters, you know, this is short term interventional kind of work. Most people work with me between like three to six months, you know, when they’re feeling a lot better. And does it mean your grief is over in three to six months? No, absolutely not. But you have so many more tools and strategies and tips of how to carry it and what to do when things get tough. And you have community that I have, you know, helps you find with people you can check in with and talk talk things through with and, you know, but there are certain aspects of this that are very hard to do alone, the guilt piece of this that people experience is virtually impossible to work through alone. And, and you need someone who knows how to help support that kind of guilt, if you want to really dial it down and not be beating yourself up for the next one, two years, the the a lot of the stuff about the ending or the anticipatory the caregiving period, that stuff, it’s very hard to process alone with someone who really doesn’t know how to how to handle that. That’s a really tough piece. And the identity piece is really tough to kind of work through on your own. And then of course, the whole, you know, continuing a relationship with your beloved, because that’s a new idea for most people. They have no idea where to begin on that. And so, you know, like, there’s certain parts of this where it’s like, I don’t know how anyone would do it alone, right? Like you really need help on on a lot of this stuff. And so people who are like, no, no, if anyone needs help with this, they’re not thinking about some of the pieces that like are virtually impossible, I think to navigate without someone really experienced by your side.

    Angela  

    How do you combat the idea that seeking help is a sign of weakness?

    Beth 

    Who taught you that? And how do you know it’s true?

    Angela  

    Ah, society in general, I suppose, mom.

    Beth 

    Okay. Is it true? Well, I

    Angela  

    don’t think so. But not anymore, not for me. And

    Beth 

    then if you don’t think so, then that’s a faulty claim. No, then that is how I combat it. I mean, if someone says I feel weak, yeah, if I feel weak, because you know, that wasn’t that? No, that’s how I comment if someone’s like, I feel weak, because I need help. Or I want help. Okay, who taught you that? Chairman? Is it? And is it true? That those are two very powerful questions for any thought we have? Then, you know, because very often, you know, why should I shouldn’t? Shouldn’t there should again, right, I shouldn’t need help with this. Right? Who taught you that? I mean, where does that come from? See if we walk around with a lot of assumptions about who we should be and how we should be and what we should be. I mean, we the shoulds. Right, and so should stuff. And we rarely examine, well, where’s that actually coming from? Do I know someone that was going through a tough thing, and they sought counseling for it? And I thought, man, they were weak sauce? Why would they need to do that? Have you ever thought that about anyone in your life? No. Okay, your mom, your mom taught you that? How’s that working out for your mom? How’s it working out for all the stuff that she maybe could have benefitted from getting some support around? And didn’t? You know, I mean, is

    Angela  

    that how are we supposed to know how to deal with this stuff ourselves? When we didn’t take class on it in school.

    Beth 

    Not only do we not take a class on it in school, in many families, in my family, someone died, we had a funeral, we put them in the ground, everyone cried for a day, we never talked about it again. And that’s hundreds of us. Hundreds of 1000s of us as many people I talked to, we don’t have any models for grief, we don’t have any models for morning, I do an exercise with my clients about, you know, who are your grief role models? Who have you seen grieve and mourn mourning? And we don’t know anything about mourning, let alone grief, mourning? What’s that? So, you know, we don’t have any models for any of this. And so frankly, we don’t have any models for like getting help or not getting help. So if anyone, you know, has that thing, like, oh, you know, I don’t know, I’m like, okay, where’d you learn that? And is it true, because a lot of times, we just have these preconceived things about grief or about support and, but you know, the other thing is, like, you know, if you are not ready to step into this kind of work, I don’t advise it. Because I want to work with people who are really motivated, who are going to do all their homework, because I give a lot of homework that are going to, you know, come to every session, you know, ready, and who are really, you know, ready to step up on behalf of themselves, even if they’re scared. And I really want people who don’t feel weak for doing it. And so I’m happy to talk to them about that, if that’s really a thing that they’re, you know, feeling. But at the end of the day, it’s like me, you may not be ready, and that’s okay, not everybody’s ready to do deep grief work. It’s hard to hard. And so I also just like to always say like, it isn’t all it isn’t for everybody. And if you’re not ready, it’s okay, you might be ready in six months. In fact, I have that happen. Sometimes I talk to people, and they circle back, you know, six months later, and I was so overwhelmed. I just couldn’t even imagine, like doing any of the things you were saying. And then they come back, they’re like, I feel more ready now. Great. You know, so

    Angela  

    sorry, go ahead. No, I

    Beth 

    just I think it’s important to also just listen, you know, to whatever if you are like nervous or you don’t feel ready, and like I’m, I will talk with you about it, but I’m not gonna like talk you into it. Because everyone’s at their own pace. Everyone’s on their own timeline. And I don’t think it’s, you know, we got to be gentle about like, you know, as much as I believe everybody can benefit from this type of work. I wish everybody could could do this type of work. I also know I have experienced, you know, when people aren’t quite ready, like it’s not, not good. So, you know, I want people to listen to their hearts too.

    Angela  

    What do I look like after six months of working with you? Am I skinny or am I hotter? I’m

    Beth 

    not gonna say what do you look like? I think I care more about what you feel like. But I, my wish for you is that you feel when you think about your beloved, they feel warm and connected and grateful, and smiling, as opposed to be feeling overwhelmed by horrible memories, and sadness and sorrow. I wish for you that you when you think of some of the things that maybe you have some regrets about some things you wish had been different, that they feel a little bit more like a little ping, almost like a mosquito bite, instead of a scorpion sting. I hope that you think about your beloved’s life, and their continued gifts, as opposed to their last day. I hope that you are in ongoing collaboration with your beloved and that you feel like you two are still doing your thing, whatever your thing is, I hope you’re able to help others, when they encounter this kind of grief. And then that’s meaningful to your life. And I hope that you are way more self compassionate with the way you treat yourself, think about yourself, and talk to yourself. And that that has extended into all aspects of your life. And I hope that whenever this sort of new normal is that you will be living because you are no longer the same person that you were when your beloved died, I hope that you are finding meaning and purpose and joy in your life right now. Right here right now.

    Angela  

    And then my may be more empowered to advocate for myself, among people who may not understand the profundity of my loss.

    Beth 

    Well, certainly, yeah. I mean, I spend a lot of time working on boundaries with people. So yes, better, better boundaries. But really, that’s part of self compassion. Part of being kinder to yourself, and that’s in the self compassion piece I mentioned, you know, that part of being kinder to yourself on all fronts, is not laying down and letting people walk on you.

    Angela  

    What is one last piece of advice you might have for someone listening and thinking, I don’t know if I can do that.

    Beth 

    Well, the one piece of advice I would say is, give me a call, because we can talk about it. And we can figure out if it’s something you feel like you can do. Nobody really knows what this work is like they don’t know, what we do what we talk about the kinds of things that go on. So I always say to anyone, if you’re unsure, call me we’ll talk about it. I’m happy to tell you what the work is like, I want to hear your story, when hear what’s happened and what you’re experiencing. And I want to make sure I feel like I can help you. And if I feel like I can help you, I’ll tell you exactly how. So it’s one thing I would say reach out. But on a kind of bigger note of sort of, I don’t know if this is worthy of getting help or if I quote should need help. This type of pain that you’re experiencing is profound, it’s real. And it’s difficult to move through. It’s difficult to survive. This is one of the most intense losses that anyone will ever experience. And whether or not you know anyone that’s suffered a loss like this and come out the other side and or whether you don’t know anyone that has ever felt this way about a beloved before you are not alone, and how you feel. And so even if it seems like no one will understand or you’re the weird one or you’re being overdramatic, whatever messages you may have received. That none of that is true. What is true is that you are hurting and your loss is real and profound. And there are people who would love to help you through what I’d say.

    Angela  

    Where do we find you, Beth Bigler.

    Beth 

    Oh, you can find me on Instagram at honoring our animals or on my website at honoringouranimals.com