I don’t know anyone who isn’t experiencing some form of grief right now. It can be so overwhelming!
With this in mind, and with so many of our furry (and human) loved ones making their transitions, I thought it would be nice to share some things you can do to alleviate some of the overwhelm by using the energy of grief and also create a way to remember, honor and celebrate your beautiful companions.
Here we go!
The first part of this process is to tune into what you’re feeling within the grief process in the present moment. Is it heartache, depression, lack of focus or confusion? Perhaps it’s anger or even rage. Any and all of these are valid.
Check inside. What is it for you right now?
When we acknowledge where we’re at in the grief process, we’re well on our way.
Please do start with this step because it’s very important. It’s from knowing where we are that we can move into possibility of what can be.
I recommend acknowledging and even honoring grief by first creating a Grief Altar. I like to use a bowl filled with sand as my altar. You can use a scarf, small table or a designated area used only for this purpose. The idea is to create a sacred container that holds the energy of grief for you.
In or on the altar you will place items that represent various aspects of grief for you. For example, a dark rock may represent depression. Something with a teardrop shape could represent sadness. For anger I like using a dragon. What would represent anger for you? What about worry? Confusion? Lack of focus?
Start by finding an item that represents how you’re feeling in that moment and place it on the altar. Add to the altar when you feel a different emotion. Keep doing this. If over time you notice you’re not feeling so confused (or whatever emotion has lifted) feel free to remove it from the altar. Get the idea?
Remember to also include something on your altar that represents the occasions when you feel good even though you’re still in the grief process…perhaps a feather, flower or smiley face!
As I mentioned earlier, the container is a space where your emotions can be held. You can think of it as a “safe” space in that there is no judgment…only neutrality in the bowl (scarf, table, etc.). It’s kind of similar to drawing paper that a child uses to express what’s happening inside them emotionally. As a result of doing so, the child's emotion is identified, acknowledged and opens the doorway to move through it. In the case of grief, the container holds the energy of grief for us and begins to transform it so we can start moving forward again in whatever ways we need to.
Here’s a grief altar I put together.
Now here’s where it gets really fun!
Let’s move into using the energy of grief to honor our animals (or human friends/family) that have transitioned.
It’s all about intention…
You get to create another altar (bowl, scarf, table, etc.)! This one honors and celebrates your furry companion!
In this altar you will put things that are meaningful to you regarding your furry loved one. You may want to put a photo, their tags, collar, a favorite toy, their baby tooth, or include a letter telling them how much you love them and appreciate all the wonderful things you enjoyed together while they were in their physical body. You get to choose and be creative…the sky’s the limit!
When you complete putting items in or on your altar, you will want to set the energy of the altar. It’s our intention that the altar continues to hold the energy in that space and setting the energy will do just that. You can do this by using a rose water spray, sage spray or some other special spray!
Here’s my altar honoring and celebrating my dog Pax!
I hope you like and use this idea to both support you with the energy of grief you’re experiencing and to honor and celebrate your furry companions that have made their way across the rainbow bridge.