If you have ever loved a dog, you have probably grieved the loss of one, too. And you are not alone. But how do you navigate the pain and guilt when your beloved pet crosses over the rainbow bridge?
We have grieved the loss of our dogs ever since they first became man's best friend, thousands of years ago. Everyone experiences loss in their own way, but it is a pain that is shared by everyone who has ever loved a dog. But is there anything you can do to prepare for that grief?
Our guest Nancy Gordon works to raise awareness about the different stages of pet grief, and how to process the guilt and heartache from end-of-life decisions.
As a licensed clinical social worker and certified life coach, Nancy understands the pain of loss through her personal journey. After a terrible car accident, she had to leave her practice and focus on her own recovery with chronic illness and debilitating pain. Relief from the pain (both physical and mental) came to her through her service dogs, Pink and Toaster.
But then, the inevitable happened. Both of her service dogs had to cross over the rainbow bridge and Nancy was left navigating that loss. Taking what she learned from that experience, Nancy continues to help others through the dark days that follow the death of a beloved pet.
In today’s touching conversation, Jim and Nancy discuss anticipatory grief and how facing that inevitable loss ahead of time can help transform that experience for you and your dog.
I Miss You Already: Bearing the Unbearable Loss of Your Pet by Nancy Gordon
This episode is sponsored in part by EverPup and BarkBox.
1:22 Start of Interview
4:45 Unhealed Grief
7:30 The 7 Stages of Grief
29:22 Jim’s Pet Loss Therapy Session
38:05 Continuted Bond
42:41 How to Find the Right Therapist
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Author and Grief expert Nancy Gordon, LCSW
Nancy Gordon is a #1 international best-selling author, speaker, and a transformational life-changing expert who knows firsthand what it is like to deal with serious loss and grief. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Life Coach, with over 40 years of experience, Nancy combines her professional expertise with her personal experience of health, human, and service dog pet loss, and offers a very unique clinical and personal perspective on transforming loss into love and grief into growth.
Nancy's mission is to make a difference in the world about how all grief is perceived, understood, experienced, supported, and healed. After her own journey losing her two service dogs within 9 months of each other, Nancy's special passion is helping pet owners navigate the gut-wrenching journey of pet loss and heal the heartbreaking grief that follows.
Within that journey, it is Nancy's heartfelt mission to help pet parents experience what she considers the first stage of grief, called Anticipatory Grief, in ways that maximize the relationship and time with their beloved pet, reduces the depression and anxiety common while facing pet loss, and ease the grief that follows that loss.
Her upcoming book about the journey through Anticipatory Grief is entitled
I Miss You Already: Bearing the Unbearable Loss of Your Pet.