Healing Your Heart from Pet Loss Grief: Five Steps To Begin Your Journey


Healing Your Heart From Pet Loss Grief

Five Steps To Begin Your Journey

Wendy Van de Poll, MS, CEOL

Published by Center For Pet Loss Grief, LLC

Copyright 2017 Wendy Van de Poll, MS, CEOL. All rights reserved.

Published by Center For Pet Loss Grief, LLC
Shakespir Edition

Thank you for downloading this eBook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support




If you ever feel like you can no longer function in your life, if you become suicidal, or if any of the normal grief feelings have become extreme for you, then that is considered unhealthy grief. This is the time to call your hospital, medical practitioner, psychologist, or other health care provider that is trained to help you. Do not isolate yourself if you are experiencing unhealthy grief. Get the professional help you require.

I dedicate this book to you – my cherished reader.

You are the exquisite soul that understands the profound connection we have with our animal companions. You know on a spiritual level how they fill your heart and soul with gratitude.

This gift, my friend, never goes away.

Your Free Gift from My Heart to Yours awaits here


Table of Contents


Step One ~ Feelings are Normal

Step Two ~ Stages of Growth

Step Three ~ Myths to Debunk

Step Four ~ Mourning to Heal

Step Five ~ Celebrate Your Forever Love

Final Thoughts



About the Author

Thank You for Reading

My Favorite Pet Loss Grief Poems


Have you recently experienced the death of a pet? Do you have a pet that’s dying? Whether your loss was recent or a long time ago, is your heart ready to split open? Are you wondering why you have certain emotions and concerned that those emotions may not be healthy or natural?

In my experience as a Certified End of Life and Pet Loss Grief Coach, my clients all ask me the same thing, “How can I heal my heart when I’ve lost my best friend?” I share with them the five steps that I’m sharing with you in this book.

Your pet made a significant impact on your life. Healing your pet loss grief is not about forgetting your pet – it’s about healing the vacancy in your heart with understanding, appreciation, and gratefulness.

In this book, I’m going guide you through the five steps I share with my clients and in my bestselling books, so you can get immediate support to begin your pet bereavement journey.

This book will help you understand your frame of mind and learn about the myths surrounding pet loss. I’ll teach you why it’s so important to mourn your loss and when you’re ready, celebrate the life you had with your pet by saying thank-you.

There are also five easy action steps to get you started.

Appreciating your experience is just part of your passage to healing your heart from pet loss grief. Learning and finding support is another. That’s why I’m so happy you’re reading this book. I also want to share with you three of my favorite pet loss grief poems, which you can find at the end of this book.

Along with my personal experiences with all types of animals, I’m a certified end-of-life and pet loss grief coach (CEOL), animal communicator/medium as well as a licensed massage therapist for humans, horses and hounds. I’ve helped countless people around the world feel safe with their sensations of grief and have a compassionate outlet to express what they’re going through.

This book that you’re about to read will help you begin to heal your heart from pet loss grief. It will help you start to create a compassionate, respectful, healthy, and loving experience for yourself, while honoring your beloved pet, during a tough, yet unique, time.

My compassionate heart is with you my friend—and remember, you never have to feel alone with your pet loss grief.

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Step One ~ Feelings are Normal

To begin healing your heart from the pending loss or loss of your beloved companion it’s important to understand your emotions.

Whether you just got the news that your pet has a terminal illness, they’ve reached the end of their life, or they’ve been gone for a while, this chapter will help you tame the rollercoaster ride of sorrow.

I’ve found that once you understand what you’re experiencing, you can begin to feel hopeful again. This chapter will get you started right away.

Here’s what you can expect when going through the journey of pet loss grief:

Normal Feelings of Grief

Physical ~ crying, sobbing, wailing, numbness, dry mouth, nausea, tightness in chest, restlessness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath

Intellectual ~ sense of unreality, inability to concentrate, being preoccupied with the loss, hallucinations concerning the loss, a sense that time is passing very slowly, or a desire to rationalize about the loss

Emotional ~ anger, depression, guilt, anxiety, relief, irritability, desire to blame others for the loss, self-doubt, lowered self-esteem, being overwhelmed, or being out of control, hopeless, or helpless

Social ~ having a sense of isolation or alienation, feeling rejected by others or a reluctance to ask for help

Spiritual ~ being angry at your deity when a loss occurs or bargaining with your deity to prevent loss

As you can see, normal grief comes in many shapes and sizes. The thing about grief is that it has a life of its own.

Here’s an action step to get you started.

Step One Action Step

Keep a daily list of your unique sensations and notice the changes every day.

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Step Two ~ Stages of Growth

The next step to healing your heart when dealing with loss is to learn about the stages of grief. Like the feelings and emotions you’re experiencing, the stages of grief have no rules or order.

Each one of these stages can guide you through the process of pet loss. Each one has a particular lesson and healing property for your heart and soul.

Please keep in mind that since this experience is unique, you may not go through all of these stages as your daily pet loss progresses—yet you may. Whatever you experience is normal, so be compassionate with yourself. Never compare what you are going through to someone else’s.

Here are the Seven Stages of Grief

p<>{color:#000;}. Shock and Denial

p<>{color:#000;}. Pain and Guilt

p<>{color:#000;}. Anger and Bargaining

p<>{color:#000;}. Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness

p<>{color:#000;}. Adjustment to Life

p<>{color:#000;}. Your New Normal

p<>{color:#000;}. Acceptance and Hope


If you would like more detail on the seven stages of grief my books on pet loss will share this valuable information. I believe that knowing as much as you can about the stages now rather than later, helps you prepare for future changes.

In the next chapter, you’ll discover the myths that surround pet loss grief and why it’s important to debunk them.

Here’s your Action Step for this chapter.

Step Two Action Step

What stage of grief are you experiencing right now? Have you experienced any other stages?

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Step Three ~ Myths to Debunk

Now that you have a brief understanding of what normal grief is and have knowledge of the seven stages of grief, the next step is to become aware of the myths.

The thing about myths related to grieving, is they’ve been around for a long time and can either help you with healing your heart or be a hindrance to your healing process. The key to making sure they help you heal your heart is to be aware of them and then debunk them.

In one of my books, I share an incredible real life story about Denise and her dog Sadie. Denise went from complete sadness to laughter (a way to express grief) when she realized how she could debunk the myths.

You too can learn how these myths are very common, and why many people think they’re true. If you’re not aware of them, you could become confused as to why you’re suddenly sad, outraged, etc.

Here are the eleven myths that are most popular; some may even surprise you.

p<>{color:#000;}. It’s selfish and extravagant to mourn and grieve the death of a pet when our world has so much human suffering.

p<>{color:#000;}. You must follow the seven stages of grief in exact order so that you can heal your pain.

p<>{color:#000;}. There’s a right and wrong way to grieve.

p<>{color:#000;}. The best thing to do is to grieve and mourn alone—because it’s just a dog, cat, horse, etc.

p<>{color:#000;}. You have to be “strong” with your grief.

p<>{color:#000;}. Grief never changes.

p<>{color:#000;}. No one gets my pet grief, and I am alone in what I am experiencing.

p<>{color:#000;}. Pet loss grief will go away.

p<>{color:#000;}. Once I do all the grief work, it will go away.

p<>{color:#000;}. It’s not right to feel joy at moments in your life when your pet is terminally ill or after they reach the end of their life.

p<>{color:#000;}. It’s horrible to feel happy or relieved your pet died.


The myths I just listed are some of the most common myths. Our well-meaning friends, family, or co-workers may offer you a myth as a so-called “word of wisdom.” Their well-intentioned comments could instead trigger your grief.

Once you become aware of these myths and why they are not true, you’ll be able to react to them with grace and compassion for yourself and your beloved companion.

In the next chapter, you’ll begin to learn why it’s important to mourn your loss. But first, here’s your Step Three Action Step

Step Three Action Step

Take one or two myths you’ve experienced and debunk them in your own words.

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Step Four ~ Mourning to Heal

You may or may not be ready for this step towards healing your heart from pet loss grief. However, I want to share it with you, so when the time comes, you have the support you need.

For many of us, the words “grief” and “mourning” have been used interchangeably. However, they are entirely different. Knowing that difference will help you with healing your grief over losing your finned, feathered, scaled, or furry companion.

As you learned in the previous chapter, grief is your emotional reaction and physical response to your loss. Grief can be experienced as shock, confusion, anger, depressions, sadness, anxiety, and more.

If you allow your grief to be felt and accept that grief is normal, your healing will happen. Your sorrow is your body’s way of dealing with an event that you may not be able to process at the moment. It takes time for your soul to handle grief, so please be patient with yourself.

The mourning of your beloved pet is the next step. You may not feel like it makes any sense right now, or you may feel that it’s impossible to go to this next step; however, mourning is a very beautiful and sacred time.

What’s the different between grief, and mourning?

You learned that grief is the internal expression of losing your pet. Mourning is the opposite. It’s the outward expression of your grief.

When you’re ready to mourn, the reflection and introspection about the life you shared with your cherished pet can be unyielding and profound. It’s a time to love more deeply and remember the sweet and endearing connection that you shared with your pet.

By going through this step I believe you’ll experience mourning as a very profound and necessary period for healing your heart.

Here are three ways to help you mourn the loss of your beloved companion when you’re ready.

Three Ways to Mourn

Pet Funeral

Pet Memorial

Pet Remembrance


The thing I love about planning and officiating a pet funeral or memorial service is that I get to witness the unwavering amount of love and healing that takes place.

I also experience incredible joy from hearing the stories of my clients and how they created beautiful ceremonies for their pets.

Even though there’s much sadness, there are profound and spiritual moments of sharing when you allow yourself to mourn.

There are many decisions to be made when deciding how to celebrate your pet, but when you’re ready for this step, the rewards are life changing.

In the next and final chapter, you’re going to learn about a charming and incredibly healing exercise – writing a love letter to your pet – it can help you keep your pet in your heart and soul.

Step Four Action Step

How would you like to celebrate your pet’s life – a funeral, memorial, and/or remembrance?

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Step Five ~ Celebrate Your Forever Love

One of the most important steps I want to share with you is a way to celebrate the forever love you have in your heart. This exercise will reaffirm that the love and gratitude you have for your pet will never go away.

Writing a love letter provides a very particular path towards healing your grief. It’s a different way to tell your pet how much you love them. It’s a way to express your memories, experiences, and gratitude for the things that you shared with your beloved pet.

The beauty of writing a love letter is that no matter where you are with your pet grief, having one place where you can collect and express the love you have for your pet is extremely healing. In fact, it’s another way to mourn your loss, which as you learned in step four, is crucial to healing your heart.

When you write your love letter keep in mind, there’s not a right or wrong way to express your love. The words are from your heart, inspired by the relationship you had with your pet.

Keep in mind this letter is just for you, so when you’re writing don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. Let your heart soar. Allow your process to be felt and embrace your journey towards healing your heart.

Your letter will be an accumulation of love and thanks from you to your beloved companion. It’s your proclamation of appreciation, healing, apology (if needed), and an inclusion of anything else that you may want to express to your companion.

If you would like more guidance on writing your love letter, you can find tips and examples in my books.

I would like to share with you Melanie’s Love Letter to Mister

Dear Mister,

Things that make my soul soar: You made me happy every time I laid eyes on you, every time I knew I was coming home to you. I miss your little/big soul very much. More than I can possibly express.

I have the utmost respect, love, appreciation, gratefulness, and passion for you I will cherish each memory with heartfelt joy and truth forever.

I pray that our souls meet again very soon I wasn’t done giving you all the love I had/have for you There is so much more to give to you still.

These are the things I loved/love about you Mister (Magic.) The way you feel, look, smell, cry to go out into the hallway to play, eat, poop and pee, hit me, look at me, walk, run, roll over, sit, sleep, wink, brush your own face with your favorite brushes, rub up against the neighbors’ doors, watch the mail go down the shoot, the sound of you crunching on your food, blink your eyes with me, change the size of your pupils, fall back from the sitting position, your furry mops on your hands and feet, lie in the shoebox in the closet, curl up into a baby ball of grey fur with your head tucked under and upside down, sound when you are walking, take a deep breath when you jump up on my bed, lift your front paws in the air before you pounce on your toys, watch me with your eyes only as I walk back and forth, and how much love you gave me.

Mister, saving you was my greatest accomplishment. We nursed each other back to health. We were each other’s lifelines, and I am forever grateful. You gave me a reason to live. Thank you, Mister.

Love always, Mom

As her words demonstrate, Melanie experienced this exercise as a powerful and healing declaration of her growth, which helped her heart. She processed her grief in a healthy way. Writing a love letter and then reading it out loud helped her with any lingering feelings of pet grief, such as guilt, denial, and anxiety. Plus, it gave her an overwhelming sense that she was demonstrating a deep and profound respect for Mister.

My hope is that as you write your letter you will find a deeper connection with your pet, and this exercise will help you continue to heal your heart.

Step Five Action Step

Write down the memories and things that you want to tell your pet. Then write your Love Letter.

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Final Thoughts

No matter if you just got the news that your pet has a terminal illness, they’ve already reached the end of their life, or they’ve been gone for a while, you and your pet share/shared an incredible life together.

These times are special occasions to hold in your heart. You experience many escapades, joys, and adventures that will continue to help you understand all that life with a pet has to offer.

To soothe your soul and heal your heart from the pain of pet loss grief, keep in mind that your bond with your companion was not shared by anyone else. It was entirely exclusive and exceptional to the two of you.

Your job is to learn, experience, mourn and celebrate the changes in your life, when you’re ready. Learn from them and ultimately fill your heart with the joy that is now lost.

I’ve seen people from around the world heal their hearts from pet loss grief with the five steps that I’m sharing with you. And I’m so happy that you’re reading this guide to begin your journey.


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Best Selling and Award Winning Books by Wendy:

My Dog IS Dying: What Do I Do?

My Dog HAS Died: What Do I Do?


My Cat IS Dying: What Do I Do?

My Cat HAS Died: What Do I Do?


Healing A Child’s Pet Loss Grief


Connect with Me:

Website: http://centerforpetlossgrief.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ctrpetlossgrief

Facebook: https://facebook.com/centerforpetlossgrief

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendyvandepoll/

Blog: http://centerforpetlossgrief.com/blog

Shakespir Author Page: https://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/WVdp


Center for Pet Loss Grief: Through Life, Death, and Beyond

Wendy Van de Poll, MS, CEOL



Free Pet Grief Support Kit



Animal Mediumship



Animal Communication



Pet Funerals



Pet Memorial Support Group



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First, I would like to express my deepest compassion to you for reading this free book. I appreciate that you feel safe with walking the challenging journey of healing pet loss. It isn’t easy my friend, but you took the first step by getting this book

I would also like to thank my clients and my readers. I believe in you. It fills my heart with gratitude that you have found it a little easier with my support – this gives me great joy and inspiration to continue my purpose.

To Addie, Marley, Kado, Maya and the rest of my fur, feather, and fin gurus who continue to hold my heart through vital life lessons. You help me reach the goals that I am determined to accomplish. The animals in my life are my lifeline whether living or in the afterlife.

I would like to thank my Spirit Team, Animal Communication Team and all my guides—you keep me on track by reminding me how important the messages from nature and the animals.

My loving husband Rick! Your care for my heart is amazing and what you do for this world is heartening.

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About the Author

Wendy Van de Poll, MS, CEOL (Certified End of Life and Pet Loss Grief Coach) gets grief. Since the age of five she has communicated telepathically with animals. She has suffered the loss of many pets and wild animals in her life – each one blessing her soul with love.

Wendy understands the tender moments and deep sorrow that accompanies the loss of a pet while providing a compassionate heart for her clients.

I guide my clients by finding that special heart-place to keep their love for their pet forever.”

Wendy is the author of the bestselling Pet Bereavement Series, a pioneering leader in the field of pet loss grief and the creator of the Center for Pet Loss Grief where she helps people from around the world when they are grieving over the loss of a pet.

She is also a pet funeral celebrant, animal communicator/medium (since the age of five) and with her master’s degree in wolf ecology, she ran with wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts, and foxes in her backyard.

You can reach her at https://centerforpetlossgrief.com or https://wendyvandepoll.com

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Thank You for Reading

Healing Your Heart from Pet Loss Grief

5 Steps To Begin Your Journey

Hi, our names are Marley (left) and Kado (right). We love our mom even though we are now in the afterlife. We are over-the-moon happy that you found this free little book and we hope it helps you begin your journey to healing your heart.

Our mom had a hard time when we reached the end of our lives, but she worked hard to learn everything she could about pet loss. She even took a unique course so she could help others like you.

We are so proud of her and how she helps people from around the world with her books, courses, and services.

Our goal is to assist Wendy to help you begin to heal your heart. We would be grateful if you left a review for my book at your favorite retailer.

Love and Gratitude from,

Marley and Kado

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My Favorite Pet Loss Grief Poems

Pawprints in the Sand

Always a warm comfy reminder at the foot of my bed.

Sometimes you do silly things and I’d just shake my head.

At the first light of dawn, a paw would fall upon my face

I’d rub your head and give you a warm embrace.

You’d bound out to the beach with me following close behind

We’d wander and wonder, never knowing what we’d find.

Every day you’ve been with me, a constant companion who was always there.

The end was near and it just didn’t seem fair.

Eventually it was only me there in my bed with no one to lick my face or my hand

I miss the good times we spent together; I miss your pawprints in the sand.

~ Author Unknown

We Have A Secret

We have a secret, you and I that no one else shall know,

for who but I can see you lie each night in fire glow?

And who but I can reach my hand before we go to bed

and feel the living warmth of you and touch your silken head?

And only I walk woodland paths and see ahead of me,

your small form racing with the wind so young again, and free.

And only I can see you swim in every brook I pass

and when I call, no one but I can see the bending grass.

~ Author Unknown

I’m Still Here

Friend, please don’t mourn for me

I’m still here, though you don’t see.

I’m right by your side each night and day

And within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I’m always near.

I’m everything you feel, see or hear.

My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart

As long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I’ll never wander out of your sight—

I’m the brightest star on a summer night.

I’ll never be beyond your reach—

I’m the warm moist sand when you’re at the beach.

I’m the colorful leaves when fall comes around

And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.

I’m the beautiful flowers of which you’re so fond,

The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I’m the first bright blossom you’ll see in the spring,

The first warm raindrop that April will bring.

I’m the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,

And you’ll see that the face in the moon is mine.

When you start thinking there’s no one to love you,

You can talk to me through the Lord above you.

I’ll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,

And you’ll feel my presence in the soft summer breeze.

I’m the hot salty tears that flow when you weep

And the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.

I’m the smile you see on a baby’s face.

Just look for me, friend, I’m everyplace!

~ Author Unknown

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Healing Your Heart from Pet Loss Grief: Five Steps To Begin Your Journey

Begin to heal your heart from pet loss. A short guide, which will help you start to create a compassionate, respectful, and loving experience. Honor your pet with gratitude during a tough, yet unique time. This pet loss book will guide you through the five steps that I share with my clients and in my books to begin healing the trauma of pet grief. I will support you with immediate support to begin your grief and loss journey. You will learn about the myths, why it is important to mourn, and when you are ready, celebrate the life you had with your pet by saying thank you in a very particular way. At the end of each chapter, there is an easy action step. Also, included are three compassionate poems to help you heal your heart and a resource section. The Five Chapters/Steps are... Step One ~ Feelings are Normal Step Two ~ Stages of Growth Step Three ~ Myths to Debunk Step Four ~ Mourning to Heal Step Five ~ Celebrate Your Forever Love Healing your Heart from Pet Loss Grief: Five Steps to Begin Your Journey will help you create a compassionate, respectful, healthy, and loving experience for yourself, while honoring your beloved pet, during a tough, yet unique time. When you read this book and do the action step at the end of each chapter you will begin to heal your heart. If you are suffering from the loss of a cat, the death of a pet or even a terminal illness like dog cancer…this little book will help you.

  • ISBN: 9780997375657
  • Author: Wendy Van de Poll
  • Published: 2017-02-26 04:05:12
  • Words: 4189
Healing Your Heart from Pet Loss Grief: Five Steps To Begin Your Journey Healing Your Heart from Pet Loss Grief: Five Steps To Begin Your Journey