You’re Not Going Crazy, You’re Grieving:
Navigating Animal Companion Loss in a Post-Pandemic World

Saturday, August 14, 2021
10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (US and Canada)

As you grieve, the sand may shift beneath your feet, but it need not swallow you.

In the safe space of this interactive webinar, Cat Camp counselors Jackson Galaxy and Animal Companion Loss Recovery Specialist, Stephanie Rogers, GCCA-C, CT, will familiarize you with the landscape of Compounded Grief, a world in which the grief experiences of personal loss are amplified by the universal losses associated with COVID-19.

Whether the loss of your animal companion is recent or happened years ago, we hope you’ll join us and find support in the company of others who are striving to incorporate similar losses into their own lives.

You are not alone.

Click here to register for this limited attendance event.

Speakers

photo of Jackson Galaxy
Popularly known as “The Cat Daddy,” Jackson Galaxy is the host and executive producer of Animal Planet’s long running hit show “My Cat From Hell.” Jackson, an animal advocate and cat behavior and wellness expert, is also a two-time New York Times best-selling author with more than 25 years of experience working with cats and their guardians. Jackson’s mission is to educate people about cats and deepen the human and cat bond, while reducing the number of animals that end up in shelters.

Stephanie Rogers, GCCA-C, CT is a certified Grief Counselor and Thanatologist with specializations in Child and Adolescent Grief and Animal Companion Loss Recovery. She has been a practicing Grief Counselor, Support Group Facilitator, and End-of-Life Speaker and Educator since 2004.

photo of Love & Above Cat Club

Brought to you by Love & Above Cat Club

https://loveandabovecatclub.com/

Love and Above Cat Club specializes in Self-Care for Cat Lovers. This labor of love was inspired by a love of cats that goes above and beyond. Our mission is to help you love yourself like you love your cat!

I wrote the following post five years ago on my first motherless Mother’s Day.

This year, I face that upcoming day benumbed with grief following the death of two beloved dogs within the last six weeks. That grief, the grief of a “Dog Mom”, is another post for another time. It is difficult to describe the ocean as it drowns you. At least it is too difficult for me to do so today.

Instead, I offer the following. Because it is even more true today than it was five years ago when I wrote it. Because I miss her more. Need her more. Long even more for just one more moment with her.

To all of you for whom Mother’s Day is more sadness than celebration, please know that you are not alone. There are so many of us linked in silent longing. Hard as it may be to believe, there is strength in that. Children without mothers. Mothers without children. May we hold fast together.

A Mother’s Day Letter

Unsure of the date, I know only that it is Saturday, the Saturday before my first Mother’s Day without you.

How I miss you.

The world is busy with mothers and the mothered preparing for tomorrow’s festivities.  I find I cannot remember ours last year, our last one together.

It had to have been in that horrible place, the one we both hated, the one which you overcame with a grace I did not and will never have.  So much of that place I have forgotten.  I hope it never comes back to me.

Still, I wish I could remember more clearly our last Mother’s Day together.  You refused to go out.  You always refused to go out.  So, I brought you in something good to eat (a cherry cheesecake?) and a gift sack filled with the little trinkets, the little nothings that you loved.  Those memories are clear — your silver head bent low into a bag, your beautiful face rising up with a glow, clutching a Walgreens nothing as though it were a Tiffany treasure.

We had little more than two months left together.

Would you still be alive if I had kept you at home?  If I had let you stay there alone ten hours a day, you and your dogs, in your old chair with your television?  How many more times would you have fallen without telling me, calling the paramedics to come get you up before I got home?  How many more times would the smell of something burning have awoken you to remember you’d put something on the stove before the old house burned down around you three?

Would that have been better than that last year as it was, where it was?

I do not know.

There is so much I do not know.

I know only that I miss you.  With a magnitude, to a depth, I could not have imagined while you were still with me.

“You’ll miss me when I’m gone.”

You said that so often.  And always, I gave the same reply.

“Yes, I will.”

But, I did not know.

How could I?

Did you?

Most likely you did.

Not just because you knew everything — in your last years, you simply exhaled wisdom so that even your silences were schooling — but, not only that.  You knew because you had lost your own mother. Because you had lived most of my life without her — years and years and decades without her, and so you knew just how fathomless the pain would be, just how total, how all-encompassing, the solitude of being Motherless would be.

“You’ll miss me when I’m gone.”

Yes, I do.

The wind you loved blows hard across me out here.  I brave it only for the sunlight you despised, the sunlight without which this child of yours cannot survive.  Still, it is strong, your wind, and soon it will best the sun and I will step back inside, grateful that its sound, at least, may follow me.

But now, just for now, let me sit in my sunshine, as your wind blows, carrying with it the memory of your crooked fingers scratching my back, the sweetness of your smile when I walked into the room, the mother-only tenderness of your voice calling me, “Momma’s old sweet baby”.

Thank you for giving me this life.  It is such a blessing, such a beauty, such a wonder.

But right now, I would give it all and all and over again, for just one moment with you.

© Copyright 2021, Stephanie Rogers. All Rights Reserved