The death of a companion can devastate.
Unfortunately, many times this is made worse by people who do not understand the depth of trauma and have an unhelpful "but it's just a (dog/cat/horse/etc), not a human!" type of attitude, even extending to some healing professionals.
I have recently worked with my own companion bereavement issues, and also with that of others, and have noted with interest that the processes involved are EXACTLY the same as in any other form of deep trauma, be it rape, abuse, or surviving a disaster, or having had terrible experiences in a war.
It is therefore little surprise to also note that the symptoms experienced by the bereaved person are classical PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Sleeplessness, nightmares, depression, neuro-somatic illness, mood swings are all to be found.
The fact is that pet loss and pet bereavement that has led to extraordinary problems in its wake, way above and beyond just a deep sadness at the passing of the companion, has somewhere moments of intense shock or stress so profound that the mind simply couldn't cope with it at the time. And, contrary to public belief, "time" does not heal such trauma.
For example, one lady who had been unable to overcome her bereavement related problems for five years, told me that she remembered telephoning the veterinary surgeon to find out when she could collect her dog, only to be told "Oh haven't they told you, it died under the anaesthetic." The next thing she remembered was standing in the surgery, looking down at the body of her dog laid out on the top of a refrigerator in a back room.
There was a huge piece missing from the memory; she could not remember how she got to the surgery, or any detail at all from what happened in between the telephone moment and the moment when she "woke up" in the surgery.
I helped her reconstruct the memory by tapping from one stage to another, relieving the painful emotions each step of the way.
By the time we were done, she could remember everything clearly, had come to many new insights, most notably that it had not been her fault that this terrible thing happened, and felt "a tremendous sense of peace and relief". Further, she was now able to remember "the good times", something that had been denied to her for so long because of the trauma and the intense grief and pain involved.
She went on to finally let go of the dog's collar, bedding and lead, and planted a rose in her garden in the memory of her dog - steps that she could not have taken before because the trauma was frozen in time in her mind.
Pet Loss EFT Self Help: The Photograph Release
If someone is too emotional or distressed to talk, a gentle and very magical way of beginning to unblock the traumas and releasing all the aspects of severe grief is to just look at or hold a photograph of the companion, and to tap without saying anything at all, until such time as a feeling of peace and resolution has arrived.
After an initial session which will take care of the most important aspects, this should be repeated at least once a day for a week, because so many different aspects of grief and loss are involved.
The treatment can be concluded when there is no more deep sadness, but only feelings of love and gratitude when focusing on the photograph and the memories of the companion.
Animals Suffering From Bereavement
All companions suffer from bereavement too. Whether it is an owner who dies or a divorce, or another animal from the household leaves, this is very stressful for dogs, cats and horses alike.
Proxy tapping and tapping both can help calm the animal, boost its auto-immune system and make it feel better; and, of course, the owner's own calm state of mind is a great help too.
Try and use direct and emotional words for your opening statements, such as, "Even though Sandy has been so lost since Petra died, I deeply and profoundly love and accept Sandy." or "Even though Sandy misses Petra so much, I deeply and profoundly love and accept Sandy."
The presence of emotions tells us when energy is really moving, so don't be afraid of emotions during EFT treatments for bereavement.
Just remember to keep breathing deeply, and keep tapping.
You will soon feel a release and your emotions start to flow more freely, more cleanly and then they stop being painful - this is our sign that we have really done some good for the energy system.
You can repeat EFT treatments as often as you feel the need to; you don't always have to do the whole protocol, just a quick tap here and there can get you over a tough spot in the day and move the healing process forward, until all that is left is love, and no more pain.
Dr S Hartmann
Find an EFT Practitioner to help you with pet loss and pet bereavement here who knows and loves animals too: