good  grief

There are quite a few books about pet loss on the market, and I’ve read a good number of them over the years, but none has resonated with me as much as Good Grief – Finding Peace After Pet Loss by Sid Korpi.  Korpi is a writer, editor, journalist and ordained minister, and most importantly, a lifelong animal lover who understands the human-animal bond.   While most pet loss books focus on the stages of grief and the psychology of the mourning process, Korpi goes beyond those aspects in her book.  She shows the reader how to :

  • Emotionally prepare for a pet’s euthanasia and understand when it’s time
  • View death not as an ending, but (as animals see it) a natural transition
  • Cope with being around insensitive people
  • Memorialize and celebrate the pet’s life
  • Move on after loss and love again.

The book addresses all aspects of the grieving process, from understanding what to expect to how to move on after loss.  I particularly enjoyed the two sections Korpi presents about afterlife connections.  She shares stories of humans and animals and how they’ve connected with their surviving loved ones after their deaths.  Some of the stories are taken from her own life, others come from a wide variety of animal lovers from around the world, and all are comforting and will reassure the reader that the love betwen humans and their beloved animal companions truly is eternal.  Korpi also offers suggestions on how we can feel and encourage this connection with our departed loved ones.

The section on memorializing methods offers many wonderful suggestions on how to remember a pet in both public and private ways, stressing that this is an important part of the grieving process.   Korpi addresses the role of spirituality, philosophy and religion in healing from pet loss by sharing the different viewpoints, including some from the perspectives of various religious leaders.   The book contains an impressive bibliography  and grief support resource section.

What makes this book different from other pet loss books is Korpi’s compassion, empathy and sometimes, even a gentle sense of humor.  Rather than feeling like a book written by a counselor, reading Good Grief feels like a conversation with a supportive, caring friend.  It certainly provided comfort for my own grieving heart.

For more information about Sid Korpi and her book, please visit her website.