How A Professional Grief Coach Handled The Pain Of Losing Her Own Pet

Grief hits hard even when grief is your profession.

Woman snuggling her dog halfpoint | Canva

Last week, I helped one of my pets cross the Rainbow Bridge. Interestingly, in reviewing my phone’s camera roll recently, I noticed I took more pictures of her in the past two years than any of my other pets. Maybe I knew on some level.

Only a week since her passing, and I am struck by the reality of her absence. I suppose I didn’t notice how much I looked for her, talked with her, made eye contact with her, and sang a silly song about her.


As a Grief Coach, I have walked with many people through their grief when a loved one died. Yet, here I am, in the muck of the emotional grief roller coaster, despite knowing death is an inevitable part of our earthly existence, nothing lasts forever, and all living things eventually die.

Whether such a loss is unexpected or something we know is coming, it's never easy to contend with, especially when we have a strong bond or connection with the person or pet who has passed. Letting them go is not as easy as picking ourselves up by our bootstraps and moving on.

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Four ways I managed the loss of my beloved cat

1. Knowing everything moves on

The hard truth is everything around us does continue to go on. One day after my cat’s passing, I facilitated a weekend event from Friday through Sunday – which had been planned months before and required a ton of prep time up until the seminar. Unfortunately, there was no time to deal with everything that surfaced.

After the weekend-long seminar, through necessity, I removed myself from the external movement of the world; I stopped to regroup on my own time before I could “move on” again with the world outside.

The movement back into the world has been fragmented — the ebb and flow of grief are the norm. There’s a part of me that is very OK with grief bursts — they are heartfelt memories of a physical bond that existed, and I believe one that continues in the ethers.

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2. Reflecting on how loss makes life different

Then, of course, there is a reflection on how I will live differently after having experienced this unique 15-year bond with my cat.

Life is no small task. We often overlook all that is involved in doing what we do. Many of us take our existence for granted. Expecting tomorrow always comes can give us hope and release, but we all know tomorrow is never guaranteed and doesn't exist until it arrives.

3. Being aware of the moment

I am reminded that our pets live in the moment — not worrying about tomorrow or sulking about yesterday. Our pets experience love, attention, food, play, contentment, excitement, rest, etc., all at the moment.

In rejoining my life’s activities, I plan to live in the now more than I have in the past. I can connect deeply and let go of the highs and lows of life’s drama. I can find solitude in the "in-betweens" that give my life the consistency, flow, and balance to make the most of each moment.


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4. Remembering loss is life.

We all experience it at some point, and it hurts.

Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting…to me. Moving on means finding ways to keep the essence alive of the one who’s passed in my daily world.

In remembering my beloved cat, I can live in the moment and bring in her playfulness, love, reliability, and connection throughout my days.


I know that letting her go is a process and likely a life-long one. And I am happy to have created the life we shared.

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Pamela Aloia is a certified grief coach, intuitive/medium, and author of inspirational books. Pamela supports people through change and helps them enhance their lives and experiences via energy awareness, meditation, and mindfulness.