Through personal experience and working with our clients for over 17 years, I have been made aware of clients in major distress. Their distress can be caused by being affected by compounding grief.
What Is Compounding Grief ?
Compounding grief is when you have had another major life challenge quite close to the loss of your loved one. You may (as I did) have lost a parent, sibling, another pet or heaven forbid a child just prior to your loss.
Once the loss takes place there is a cascading effect on the person. The grief from the previous loss is literally compounded on top of their current loss.
This makes for a very dangerous and delicate situation.
When it comes to pet loss if the second loss is connected to the first it finalises & triggers feelings from the first loss. This can trigger a plethora of emotion if the first loss was not dealt with & there are still underlying pains & challenges to process.
For example a client may bring a pet to us for cremation. Our client has adopted a pet, it could be their mother’s pet. The client has had the pet since their mother died, it was her cat/dog. The grief is compounded because their connection to their Mum is finally gone, the cat/dog was their last earthly link to them.
This makes their current loss of the pet twice as impactful.
Another instance of what compounding grief can manifest itself as is, you may not have children and you have had two cots/dogs and consider them siblings.
They may not been from the same litter, but they have grown up together. So you have two pets that are very close to or even the same age. Your compounding grief will be after the first pet passes, it will be when the second pet passes away. You have compounding grief because you have lost two pets very close together and now you have on top of this loss you now also have to deal with an empty & quiet home. A home that used to be full of activity and love.
This situation impacts you significantly and you will need to take care of your wellbeing very carefully,
What should I do about my situation?
If you find this is something you have had to deal with or think you or someone you may know may be going through this experience in the near future you may want to take some precautionary measures before the day.
Talk about the relationship between the two parties, celebrate the life of both of your loved ones. This can be extremely difficult if the loss is through tragedy. I have mentioned on YouTube videos and directly with our clients that you need to face this head on and realise the ones who have passed would not want to see you incapacitated by their loss. They would like you to grieve but not become paralysed in your grief & ruin you own life.
What is the most important action I should take?
The most important thing for you to do when dealing with grief if have the courage to reach out for help. You are not on your own, there are 1000’s of people who feel the way you do. They have loved and lost & we all think we have the best pet (which we do) and the most unique relationship. There are so many people who are going through what you are and reaching out is the best way for you to move through your grief towards acceptance.
Until next time… take care