Really helpful books about pet loss are few and far between. While there are plenty of books and websites out there that offer support, ultimately, grief is a solitary journey. No book or website can do it for you.
The concept that grief is a process with a start and end point is ludicrous. You’re never going to be the same after loss. You never “get over it.” There is no closure with death. You cannot erase the memory of a beloved pet, and why would you want to? With most losses, as time passes, the intensity of your feelings will soften, memories of your time together will replace the pain of loss, and you’ll integrate your grief into the person you’ve become as a result of this experience.
The best books about grief will support you in your unique journey, and they will help you uncover rather than suppress your emotions.
P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna by Sarah Chauncey, featuring illustrations by Francis Tremblay, is that kind of book. Due out from SoundsTrue in October, this sympathy gift book for adults who are grieving the loss of a cat will help readers through their pain without being saccharine. It will heal through laughter as well as tears, and offer empathy without minimizing the reader’s pain or trying to “fix it.”
The project began after Sarah’s 20-year-old heart cat Hedda passed away in December 2016. Her friend Francis sent her a drawing, along with a note “from Hedda” that ended, “p.s. I love you more than tuna.” You can read the full origin story on morethantuna.com.
If you’ve read The Conscious Cat for a while, you’re already familiar with Sarah’s work. She contributed a number of wonderful articles about pet loss to our site. Sarah and I have been corresponding regularly via email over the past few months, and I treasure the friendship that has developed as a result of these emails. Her support, as I’m coping with my own loss, has been invaluable.
Sarah is not a grief counselor. She’s simply a fellow cat lover who has experienced the agonizing grief that follows losing a cat. She has a unique ability to get to the heart of what is helpful when dealing with grief (and what’s not,) and present it in a way that offers healing.
You’ll be hearing a lot more about Sarah’s book here on The Conscious Cat in the coming months. In the meantime, follow Sarah on Instagram and Facebook for tips on coping with pet loss – and for adorable photos of her tortie Ariel! You can also sign up for her newsletter to receive regular updates.
And of course, the book’s title really resonates with me. I’m pretty sure that no matter how much Ruby loved her tuna cake, she still loved me more than tuna.