Australian Terrier assists grief

Preparing for the loss of a beloved family pet – could it help you?

Our family’s beloved dog Charlie died last week.

As parents we are forever grateful to Charlie because when our daughter went through the darkness of adolescence he gave her much needed unconditional comfort.

Four years ago I began preparing my daughter for Charlie’s death. I photographed him and then printed a poster size image which I framed and hung above her bed. I captioned the image “I, Charlie, will always watch over you Millie”. When she left home, she took the picture and hung it over her new bed. It now allows her to remember Charlie.

In  short, the framed print prepared her for Charlie’s death and now allows her to grieve.

When it comes to humans, I am saddened by how few families have great portraits of their father/mother/sibling/child. Portraits used in the Order of Service booklets are often poor in both quality and expression. Such images in my view do little to prepare for loss or the ensuing grief after the death of a loved one.