As we celebrate National Pet Month, Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) recognizes the fact that our patients worry about what will happen to their pets when they can no longer care for them and where they will end up when they are gone. JACH is joining the Pet Peace of Mind Program. This national program assists hospice organizations in training volunteers and organizing grassroot efforts to help with pet care needs of patients, such as taking pets to the groomer, for vaccinations or for a walk. This program will be at JACH fully in the coming months.
JACH also offer Pet Loss Groups. These workshops allow you to share your stories and pet experiences to help with the healing process. As a family member, the death of a pet can be devastating. Don’t let anyone tell you it is silly or crazy to grieve a pet. It is normal and can be difficult. But know you do not have to grieve alone.
You may experience the same feelings as any other loss: Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet’s death. Denial makes it difficult to accept that your pet is really gone. It is hard to imagine that your pet will not be there to greet you at the door. Anger may be directed to the illness that took his life or the vet who could not “save” him. Depression may cause you to not cope with your feelings.
Friends and family who love pets will understand what you are going through. Don’t hide your feelings. Attend the next Joliet Area Community Hospice Pet Loss Group Thursday, June 14, 2018 at JACH from 6:00-8:00 p.m. You can register at www.joliethospice.org.
For more information about hospice and palliative care as well as grief services, contact Joliet Area Community Hospice, a not for profit United Way Agency at 815-740-4104.