Comforting Words for healing

Remember our beloved Chow Chows that have passed on.

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Comforting Words for healing

Post by SWANCIN » Sat Dec 08, 2007 12:33 pm

I was SO moved by the poems and writings I saw today in this section.

Wanted to share some of my favorites.

They have helped me in my journey to healing.

This one I got from't know who provided it.
The Greatest Gift
Karla M. Bertram, 11/23/96

I always knew this time would come,
From the very instant our eyes first met.
How I loved you then! How I love you now!
I made a promise then and I keep that promise now . . .
You will not suffer from a pain that will not heal;
You will not know the loss of a life remembered, now gone.

It is for me alone to make this decision,
The price for the bright joy and pure laughter
You brought me during the time we shared.
I am the only one who can decide when it is time.
When my hope dies, and my fears ride high,
Just when I need you most, I must let you go.

It is for you alone to tell me when you are ready.
For without your guidance, I will not know
When to lay my grief, my guilt, my anger,
My sorrow and my selfish heart aside
And give you this last gift, this greatest gift.
Your eyes will speak to mine, and I will know.

The pain of this moment is excruciating.
Tears stream down my face in a river of sorrow,
And my heart drowns in a pool of grief.
For you have spoken, and I have listened,
And unlike other decisions I have made.
This one brings no relief . . . no comfort . . . no peace.

For if there's one thing you've taught me,
If there's only one thing I've learned. . . .
Unconditional love has a condition after all,
I must be willing to let you go, when you speak to me
I must be willing to help you go, if you cannot go alone.
And I must accept my pain so you can be free of yours.

Go easily now, go quickly now,
Do not linger here, it is time for you to leave.
Go find your strength, go find your youth.
Go find the ones who've gone before you.
You are free to leave me know, free to let your spirit soar
Rest easy now, your pain will soon be gone.

I pray I will find comfort in my memories . . .
In the dark and lonely days ahead.
I cannot say I will not miss you, I cannot say I will not cry.
For only my tears can heal my broken heart.
But, I promise you this: as long as I live,
You will live, alive in my mind, forever in my heart.

So I give you this last gift, all I have left to give,
And this will be my greatest gift . . . sending you away.
It is the measure of my unconditional love . . .
For only the greatest love can say,
"Good-bye, go find the bridge, we'll meet again,
Loving you has been the greatest gift of all."


How Do You Mend a Broken Heart?
Written by Terri Onorato

There is an ongoing trend with regard to people suffering the loss of a pet. It's nothing new nor will it come as a surprise to most because I believe that somewhere along the line many of us have experienced this reaction from people who don't understand the pain that comes with the loss of an animal companion. The trend I'm speaking of is the "it's just a dog" and/or the "get over it" mentality which has caused countless people unnecessary pain as they try to cope with their loss. It's disturbing to me personally to find so many people left with no one to turn to as they begin to adjust to life without their best animal friend. I am not a psychologist nor do I have a degree in grief counseling; it's not my intention to give instruction here. The purpose is to use my own experience as a guide to offer ideas and possibilities to those who want to help a friend or family member with their loss.

Understanding the human/animal bond isn't really necessary in order to be supportive. Liking animals isn't a prerequisite either. Caring and respect for the person who is grieving are the most important elements. As I peruse bulletin boards, mailing lists and email I am often stunned at what some grieving people are hit with when they lose their pet. The infamous, "it was only a dog" (cat, bird, ferret etc.) and the ever-popular "get over it!" are just the tip of the iceberg. Oftentimes these comments come directly from those with whom the grieving share their life - spouses, parents, relatives and friends. Unless there is a private support group to help the person in pain, they are ultimately left to deal with the loss alone, crying only when no one is around and then putting on a "happy face" to keep from being chastised or ridiculed.

I recently witnessed an online discussion about whether a person should or should not be present during euthanasia. I was stunned and saddened at how many people were harshly judgmental toward those who opt not to remain with their pet during these last difficult moments. It wasn't their opinions that bothered me as much as their critical attitude. Having been through the devastation of euthanasia in 1996 in which I was present, the lack of compassion in this discussion for those who do not remain during euthanasia pained me a great deal. I can only say that in my personal opinion, the last thing anyone facing the decision of euthanasia (or those who have been through it already) needs is to be told is what they *should* or *shouldn't* do. can you help? What can you do for your friend/family member/coworker etc. when they are suffering a loss? As I said earlier, it's a matter of caring and respect. If you've never loved an animal nor were in any way bonded to a pet you may be at a loss for words of comfort. Let your conscience be your guide. Remember that the pet who is now gone from your friend's life was a big part of their world. Treat the loss as you would if your friend lost a family member because quite frankly, for animal lovers this is exactly how it is. Pets are family members. Be upfront with your grieving friend and tell them that you don't fully understand the pain of losing an animal companion but you will do what you can to lend a shoulder of support.

The phrases "it was just an animal" or "go out and get another one" are painful to the ears and heart of someone grieving the loss of an animal companion. When someone has lost a pet there is no replacement. If and when they are ready to bring another pet into their lives it will be on *their* terms, not yours.

Please keep in mind that for most of us losing a pet is life-altering. Our pets are family members who have been by our side through thick and thin, often being there for us long after our fellow humans have walked away. How can the loss not alter our lives? Pet grief is not a short-term situation for most animal lovers. It is very difficult to adjust to the physical breaking of this bond when our pets pass away and we don't just "get over it" and move on. It's a process and a painful one at best. It is not anyone's place to deem when a person should be "over" their loss, we have no right to impose a timetable on someone else's grief. We are individuals and the way we handle our grief is individual as well.

Criticizing choices won't help those grieving the loss of a pet. Should the decision be made not to remain with the pet during euthanasia please remember this is a personal choice and whether or not you agree, the decision belongs solely to the pet owner. The decision to euthanize is hard enough without being criticized for what someone else thinks "should" have been done. This can be a rather touchy subject for some and I'm sure disagreement will resound throughout the animal-loving world for years to come but we must all remember that not everyone is able or capable of witnessing euthanasia. Whether or not to remain with a pet during euthanasia is not a reflection of the love that is felt by those left behind. This decision doesn't have to be understood to be respected.

If you're still at a loss to help your friend, don't hesitate to gently explain your dilemma. This in itself may be hard for them to understand initially as grief is all-consuming and tends to cloud judgment. Be patient. If nothing else, be willing to listen to your friend talk about their pet and the pain they're experiencing. Be there for them when they cry, reminisce, feel angry and cheated and when they are quiet and withdrawn. Use your own good judgment of what you know about your friend in determining how to best comfort and help them.

As a friend (family member, coworker etc.) you have certain insight to the person grieving that will aid you in how to approach them with support. Don't be put off if they reject your offering; remember, they are hurting terribly and could lash out from the anger they are feeling over their loss. Give it time and do your best. Your kindness will not be forgotten and could possibly make a difference that you can't outwardly see. Respect the wishes of the grieving to be left alone and be open to them when they no longer want to carry the pain entirely by themselves. Grieving is not a solitary is many emotions felt nearly all at once. This is painful for the one hurting and confusing to the one offering support.

Don't give up on your friend. Even if you don't understand their reaction to the loss please be kind, patient and gentle. It doesn't take a lot of effort to do this and it could very well be the greatest gift you can give their aching heart.


Copyright (c) by Terri Onorato. All Rights Reserved. This is for personal use only and is not to be posted on any other website or included in any publication without the author’s expressed, written permission.


Written and © copyrighted by Terri Onorato.
I know what you're thinking. You think I'm dead. Because you cannot see me with your human eyes, cannot feel me with your hands or hold me in your arms, you think I am gone forever. You recall how I looked when I left this earth and you cannot remotely imagine that I am alive in another place. You are racked and torn by the pain of our separation and it blinds you to that which is right in front of
How many times since I left your immediate sight have you been told that I'm dead and you should "get over it"? How many times have you cried yourself to sleep because you feel like an outcast, believing you're supposed to get over me because that's what people say is normal but somehow you can't and no one seems to understand? How many times have you put yourself through such excruciating pain because you aren't willing to consider that I am not, by any means, dead?
I want you to do me a favor and go back in time with me. Remember the glorious day you brought me home - was I not the most intriguing creature you'd ever met? Did I not make you laugh and giggle? Did I not look at you with such adoration that you wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of your life with me? I wanted this too.
Remember the days when I was in my prime and we did many things together. You were so proud of me! I was a good friend and I took care of you when you cried, were angry or felt down and unhappy. When you didn't have a lot of time for me because of your obligations, I waited patiently for you. I was always there when you needed me. Did I not look at you with such acceptance and patience that perhaps at times you felt a bit unworthy? You were never unworthy in my eyes.
Remember when age crept up on me, my bones became stiff and my movements slower. Still I met you when you came home and followed you around. We'd been together for so long, I was your very best friend regardless of what you were doing, saying and thinking. Did I not look at you with such kindness and understanding that you felt overwhelmed? I couldn't get enough of you.
Remember the last time we saw each other with earthly eyes. You tried to be brave but I knew you were crying...I know you so well, better than anyone else in the world. Did I not look at you with such pure trust and love that you yearned only to hold me close and keep me with you always? Did you not promise that you would love me forever? I believed you.
If this is so then why have you let me go by thinking I no longer exist?
Remember the depth of love in my eyes when I looked at you. Who created this love? Would the Creator diminish the song of our laughter that grew and flourished in this love? I am no longer an earthly figure, this is true. My body was only part of who I really am and it would have been but a mere shell on earth if it were not filled to overflowing with my soul, my spirit and my loving light. When we met you thought I was cute, pretty and adorable. What kind of relationship would we have had if this were all that I'd been? How could you have loved me if I'd had no spiritual substance?
We are all made up of energy that resides far deep down inside of us, it is our core and our soul, spirit and loving light. It is the energy that is all of has no beginning, it has no end. It simply is and always will be and without it there is no life. You can't see it with the *Censored Word* eye nor can you hold it in your hand, it is simply a certain knowing that this energy does exist. It's a knowing just as you know that our love existed on earth - you couldn't see our love in a solid sense, you couldn't gather it all up and confine it to one place. But you *knew* it existed. There was no doubt in your mind.
There are those who demand you get over me, insisting that I'm dead and you'll never see me again because animals don't go to Heaven. Oh really? I'm here to tell you different. You were as worthy of my love and undying devotion on earth as I was of yours. Do you really believe this love would be snatched from us *forever* by a loving Creator simply because I wasn't human? Was I not a living, breathing creation with personality? How could I have been so if I didn't possess the energy of soul, spirit and loving light? And if this energy is and always will be, then how can it be that I am dead? If my core is not the energy that is all of life then I was never alive to begin with. But you know better.
You cry because you miss me, this I understand. I miss you too - I miss the belly rubs, hugs and kisses that we shared. But life does go on beyond these wonderful, fulfilling physical connections. I came to this place to continue on in a new life, not because I didn't love you anymore or because I wanted something better. I came here because it was time for me to go to the next phase of my existence, something all living creatures must do eventually. It is the normal progression of life. I was not taken away from you because you cannot take away that which was never owned. My presence in your life was and is a gift to be cherished and honored just as I cherish and honor you.
Life is not simply about being born into a body, living a certain number of years and then dying. Energy cannot die. We are blessed with time in a body so that we can learn, share and grow. It prepares us for the next phase of our eternal life. The body holds within it the true life force of our existence...our soul, spirit and loving light. Without these our bodies would be empty, blank, void of feeling and expression. Without our energy we would indeed be dead and could never have experienced our love for each other.
You say that all you have left are memories but this is not so. You see, when I took leave of my earthly body I left a little something behind for you. You can't touch it, hold it or examine it, for what I left behind is far too uninhibited for confinement. I left in your tender care a piece of my soul. I placed it right next to your own which is quite fitting as we were always side by side in our earthly life together. I love you too much to have left you with nothing but memories that tend to fade and grow cloudy as the years go by. I love you too much to have vanished without a trace. How selfish it would be of me to remove love and light from your life.
I understand your tears, each one you shed is testament to your love for me and I am honored and humbled. But don't forget the good things we shared - remember and smile. This is an honor for me as well. When you need me I will be here. Close your eyes, relax, take slow, deep breaths and picture me in your mind. Shut off the world and your notions of what you think death is and give me a chance. Look for the subtle signs I send you. Don't stop being proud of me, I am a friend to be proud of, I am still your friend and soul mate. Don't memorialize the death of my body but instead honor and celebrate my never-ending life for it is eternal and forever as is my love for you.
Until we meet again

and this, MY FAVORITE:
The Journey
When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey.
A journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever
yet will also test your strength and courage.
If you allow, the journey will teach you many things,
about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love.
You will come away changed forever,
for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its mark.
Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's simple
pleasures --
jumping in leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of puddles,
and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.
If you spend much time outside, you will be taught how to truly experience
every element,
for no rock, leaf, or log will go unexamined, no rustling bush will be
and even the very air will be inhaled, pondered, and noted as being full of
valuable information.
Your pace may be slower, except when heading home to the food dish,
but you will become a better naturalist, having been taught by an expert in
the field.
Too many times we hike on automatic pilot,
our goal being to complete the trail rather than enjoy the journey.
We miss the details: the colorful mushrooms on the rotting log,
the honeycomb in the old maple snag, the hawk feather caught on a twig.
Once we walk as a dog does, we discover a whole new world.
We stop; we browse the landscape, we kick over leaves, peek in tree holes,
look up, down, all around.
And we learn what any dog knows that nature has created a marvelously
complex world that is full of surprises,
that each cycle of the seasons bring ever changing wonders, each day an
essence all its own.
Even from indoors you will find yourself more attuned to the world around
You will find yourself watching: summer insects collecting on a screen;
0Ahow bizarre they are; how many kinds there are or noting the flick and flash
of fireflies through the dark.
You will stop to observe the swirling dance of windblown leaves,
or sniff the air after a rain.
It does not matter that there is no objective in this;
the point is in the doing,
in not letting life's most important details slip by.
You will find yourself doing silly things that your pet-less friends might
not understand:
spending thirty minutes in the grocery aisle looking for the cat food brand
your feline must have,
buying dog birthday treats, or driving around the block an extra time
because your pet enjoys the ride.
You will roll in the snow,
wrestle with chewy toys,
bounce little rubber balls till your eyes cross,
and even run around the house trailing your bathrobe tie with a cat in hot
all in the name of love.
Your house will become muddier and hairier.
You will wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers.
You may find dog biscuits in your pocket or purse,
and feel the need to explain that an old plastic shopping bag adorns your
living room rug
because your cat loves the crinkly sound.
You will learn the true measure of love.
The steadfast, undying kind that says,
"It doesn't matter where we are or what we do, or how life treats us as long
as we are together."
Respect this always.
It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another.
You will not find it often among the human race.
And you will learn humility.
The look in my dog's eyes often made me feel ashamed.
Such joy and love at my presence.
She saw not some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or
rude, but only her wonderful companion.
Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as mere human foibles, not
worth considering,
and so chose to love me anyway.
If you pay attention and learn well,
when the journey is done, you will be not just a better person,
but the person your pet always knew you to be.
The one they were proud to call beloved friend.
I must caution you that this journey is not without pain.
Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving.
For as surely as the sun sets,
one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet go
And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go.
A pet's time on earth is far too short, especially for those that love
We borrow them, really, just for a while,
and during these brief years they are generous enough to give us all their
every inch of their spirit and heart, until one day there is nothing left.
The cat that only yesterday was a kitten is all too soon old and frail and
sleeping in the sun.
The young pup of boundless energy now wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle
gone to gray.
Deep down we somehow always knew that this journey would end.
We knew that if we gave our hearts they would be broken.
But give them we must for it is all they ask in return.
When the time comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see,
we give one final gift and let them run on ahead, young and whole once more.
"God speed, good friend," we say, until our journey comes full circle and
our paths cross again.



You will live on in my memory
and in the part of me that became what it is because of you.
No one can know all of what is beyond death,
But I understand a little more than I did yesterday.
For a piece of my soul, torn out by its very roots,
Went with you across the great divide,
And I know I'll regain it only when I join you there.
Sleep softly my beloved, in gentleness, and pain-free peace.
And always know that I love you still.
My hope remains that I was somehow to you
as much as you were to me.

Julie Wingate (In memory of McEachern's Schon Madchen


If It Should Be

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you must do what must be done
For this last battle can't be won.

You will be sad, I understand,
Don't let your grief then stay your hand,
For this day, more than all the rest
Your love and friendship stands the test.
We've had so many happy years
What is to come can hold no fears.
Would you want me to suffer? So
When that time comes, please let me go.

Take me where my need's they'll tend
But stay beside me to the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you do for me.
Although my tail its last has waved
>From pain and suffering, I've been saved.

Do not grieve it must be you
Who must decide this thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years
Remember the joy among your tears.



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


> Sorrow fills a barren space;
> you close your eyes and see my face
> and think of times I made you laugh,
> the love we shared, the bond we had,
> the special way I needed you -
> the friendship shared by just we two.
> The day's too quiet, the world seems older,
> the wind blows now a little colder.
> You gaze into the empty air
> and look for me, but I'm not there -
> I'm in heaven and I watch you,
> and I see the world around you too.
> I see little souls wearing fur,
> souls who bark and souls who purr
> born unwanted and unloved -
> I see all this and more above -
> I watch them suffer, I see them cry,
> I see them lost, I watch them die.
> I see unwanted thousands born -
> and when they die, nobody mourns.
> These little souls wearing fur
> (Some who bark and some who purr)
> are castaways who - unlike me -
> will never know love or security.
> A few short months they starve and roam,
> Or caged in shelters - nobody takes home.
> They're special too (furballs of pleasure),
> filled with love and each one, a treasure.
> My pain and suffering came to an end,
> so don't cry for me, my person, my friend.
> But think of the living - those souls with fur
> (some who bark and some who purr) -
> And though our bond can't be broken apart,
> make room for another in your home and your heart.
> by Caro Schubert-James


Touch Me
by Susan Krauser 2002
(Permission granted to crosspost)

Touch me with your voice as a puppy young and new,
And let me know my presence is what is pleasing you.

Touch me with your spirit, for God sent me here to you,
To teach you of that precious bond known by the choicest few.

Touch me with your hands as I grow tall and strong,
I need you as my mentor throughout my whole life long.

Touch me with your lips, and brush them softly on my brow,
Please kiss away the fears that I am feeling now.

Touch me with your eyes as I become full grown,
To validate unspoken love that we have always known.

Touch me with your heart as our bond keeps growing stronger
And words need not be used in our language any longer.

Touch me with your breath, so soft and warm upon my face,
As I try to bring you comfort in life's never ending race.

Touch me with your love when my muzzle turns to gray,
I live my life to please you, each and every single day.

Touch me with your scent when age has dimmed my sight,
To reassure me always that you will be my light.

Touch me with your face when your tears are meant for me,
So I may bear your pain and let your heart be free.

Touch me with remembrance when I have traveled on,
And, I will hold your heart in mine forever when I'm gone.



I live among God's creatures now
In the heavens of your mind
So do not grieve for me, my friend
As I am with my own kind.

My collar is a Rainbow's hue
My leash a shooting star
My boundaries are the Milky Way
Where I sparkle from afar.

There are no pens or kennels here
For I am not confined
But free to roam God's heavens
Among my Canine kind.

The trees are full of liver treats
And tennis balls abound
And Milk bones line the walking ways
Just waiting to be found.

I drink from waters laced with gold
My world a beauty to behold
And wise old dogs do form my pride
To amble at my very side.

At night I sleep in angel's arms
Their wings protecting me
And moonbeams dance about us
As stardust falls on thee.

So when your life on earth is spent
And you reach Heaven's gate
Have no fear of loneliness
For here, you know I wait.


"The gift"

I lay at your side
my eyes on your face
See the price that you've paid
for my dignity and grace
That piece of your heart
the part of your soul
This last precious gift
really taking it's toll
You packed it with love
and all the good years
Wrapped it in memories
and sealed it with tears
The giving and sharing
that brings us to this place
Masked by the sadness
on your loving face

I beg you to search
to the back of your mind
I know in the darkness
the light you will find
Pictures of us
running free in the flowers
Memories of us
snuggled quiet for hours

This gift that you give
is equal to none
This freedom of running
in fields in the sun
Now there is sorrow
sadness and pain
But hope for the future
when we're together again
My angel is calling
I hear as she sings
With my own guiding light
and my own angel wings

The way to the bridge
is clear to me now
The way to say thank you
I just don't know how
I lay at your side
blessed by the gift that you give
Knowing that in your heart
I always will live
By Cathy Hayes
Cindy & Kodi

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