“Sometimes we humans forget how to connect to one another. Dogs and cats never forget how to connect to us. Animals have taught me how to love purely. And patiently. They have helped fill in some of the lonely gaps of life. They have helped me to be a better human being. That, I think, is their legacy and glorious purpose.
If you honor this legacy, it will bring you perspective and help to heal your broken heart.” ~ exerpt from “Goiong Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die”
Losing a beloved pet is one of the most painful experiences that a person can go through in life. It is so much more than just losing a friend. It is losing a family member, surrogate child, closest confidante, defender, and BEST friend. It is losing someone who never judges you and never asks for more than you can give. It is losing part of our very selves. And it hurts.
But, somehow there is comfort in knowing that we pet lovers aren’t alone in going through this journey of loss. That others understand the unique grief that comes with the loss of a four-legged family member, whether it’s due to illness, age, accident, or the unpleasant necessities of life. That even the deepest sense of loss can be followed by a profound sense of gratitude and joy for the time we shared with our animal companions.
And that is exactly what Jon Katz brings out in his latest book, “Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die.” He shines a light on the fact that the pain that comes from the loss of a beloved pet is universal, despite the fact that the grief experienced is so often underestimated and ignored. But beyond this – and where the book really stands out among other pet loss books – is the emphasis on how to truly honor the lessons that our pets teach us, and to honor the love they shared with us, by moving past the grief and making our way back to joy. And, perhaps most importantly, by opening our hearts to other animals who are in need of the love and care that we can give them – an idea that many grieving pet owners struggle with due to feelings of being disloyal to their departed friend.
My absolute favorite part of the book is actually the last chapter, “Letter from a Dog.” It brought me to tears, yet is a chapter that I have already read several times because it touched me in such a profound way. The chapter features a letter written from a dog’s perspective – what they might say to their grieving people to help them through their loss and what they hope their legacy will be now that they are gone. The letter is filled with a simplicity, wisdom and compassion that truly reflects the nature of our precious canine friends. The author captures the heart and mind of a dog perfectly, and the result is so moving…and so healing.
Written in Katz’ characteristically witty and down-to-earth style, “Going Home” is filled with memorable stories, honest reflections, and hard-earned wisdom from his own experiences with animals as well as stories from other people who have had also had to cope with the loss of a pet. The result is unlike any other book on pet los that I have read, and is definitely a must-have resource for any grieving pet parent.
The pain of pet loss is inescapable, but holding on that pain indefinitely is a conscious choice. And by reading “Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die,” you will discover how you can let go of some of that pain in order to truly celebrate the life of your pet and live the lessons that they taught you about how to face each day with optimism, acceptance and gratitude.
CLICK HERE to purchase “Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die” from Amazon.com.