There are a lot of books out there on pet loss, but few which also help to tackle the pain that comes from anticipatory grief – the fear of loss that happens after a cancer diagnosis or another serious illness occurs. This is just one of the reasons that “So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose” is a great resource for pet parents and veterinary professionals to have on their shelves.
More than just an informational resource, this book is meant to be interactive, featuring worksheets, exercises and tools to help gently guide a pet parent through their grief and to help them in their decision-making process before and after a pet’s death.
In the section on palliative/hospice care and planning ahead for your pet’s passing, Laurie outlines some of the choices and decisions that are better made with a clear head rather than during the most overwhelming time of grief, and then advises, “Make decisions and then forget about them! Get back to making sweet memories that you will hold onto after your pet is gone and for the rest of your life.” It’s a very practical approach that never comes across as morbid or overly clinical. Instead, it allows pet parents to feel empowered as they discover ways to make the most of the time they have, and reclaim some control in a situation that can often make one feel very helpless.
Another thing that I love about this book is the fact that the section on pre-planning and anticipatory grief is intentionally kept very separate from the section on actual pet loss, with the reader being told to stop reading when they reach the section on coping with grief after a pet dies. It reinforces the idea that one should not begin to grieve before they have to, and should not dwell on their pet’s death when they are ill. Eventually the time will come to mourn and to process this significant loss, but if your pet is still with you now, then today is not that day.
The section on dealing with grief after a pet’s death is equally helpful and walks the reader through different exercises to help them deal with the inevitable guilt, regrets and surreal feelings that are experienced after the loss of a beloved companion. Here, the pet parent discovers constructive ways to process the complex and often overwhelming feelings of grief so they can move on to celebrating and honoring their pet’s life and the bond of love that lasts forever.
The end of the book features some great resources for all stages of grief, including helpful books, websites and poems that can be used for a pet’s memorial.
So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose is a very comprehensive, yet easy-to-absorb resource that I recommend for any pet parent who is facing an imminent loss of a beloved pet, to help them through the long journey of grief that often starts long before the animal passes. By being prepared, and by dealing with the feelings of anticipatory grief head-on, the pet parent can spend more time and energy fully living in the present moment and making the most of the time they do have with their beloved pet. And after that pet is gone, they can find strength in knowing that they have immediate access to information and support that will help them successfully cope with their grief.
CLICK HERE to purchase “So Easy to Love, So Hard to Lose” from Amazon.com.