Last week I visited a pet grief group in the area, at the Chicago Veterinary Association, at 100 Tower Drive, Burr Ridge. The meeting is monthly, and is run by a psychologist (Dr. Linda Harper, PhD) and a veterinarian.
In working through grief, it is important for you to be able to express your feelings freely, without being corrected or judged by others. So often, the people who love you--just want you to feel better, and that's why they try to talk you out of your feelings for your deceased animal companion, with well-meaning comments such as "You can just get another one," and "It was just an animal, you know,"--words that hurt far more than they help. Your friends and family want you to be "back to normal" and may try anything from reason to ridicule to hurry your grieving process along. They mean well. Maybe they have never loved an animal, or maybe they have never sat with their own grief and just let it have its say.
A group such as this one is a real find for anyone who is struggling with grief after the death of an animal friend. It is a healing circle, a compassionate space in which to tell the story of your pet, and in your turn, hear the stories of others' pets, and simply hold these dear animal companions in your heart, in the company of people who understand.