The past two weeks have been a quiet stretch here on the blog. Life threw a curveball – My dear friend Rich and I recently said goodbye to our beloved Tucker (our gentle giant 120 lb Labrador), one of our two fur baby companions we share. 

Tucker brought so much joy into our lives. He was a tender, joyful teddy bear and he would give you a big slobbering lick after drinking water.

Grief has a way of stealing your voice and processing this loss has been a struggle. We’re both heartbroken, and this journey will likely have ups and downs. Please hang in there with me if my posts are a little sparse sometimes.

Mindfulness is my 2024 Word Of The Year. Let’s talk about mindfulness when paw prints are on our hearts.

When a Faithful Friend Says Goodbye

A pet’s unconditional love and companionship are a gift—a furry (or feathery or scaled) friend who fills our lives with joy, laughter, and a sense of belonging. Our pets become part of the family, sharing our routines, witnessing our lives unfold, and offering a comforting presence during celebrations and sorrows. So, when a beloved pet passes away, the grief can be profound.

The Importance of Our Pets

The Bible tells us in Genesis 1:20 that God created all living creatures, and He saw that it was good. Our pets are part of God’s marvelous creation, and our bond with them is a testament to His love for all living things. They bring us a unique kind of love, one that is pure and simple. They don’t judge, and they offer unwavering companionship.

Grieving with Grace

Grief can be triggered by a wide range of losses. Here are some common types of things people grieve over loss of a loved one, job loss, divorce, the end of a relationship, loss of a home, news of a terminal illness, loss of dreams or goals, loss of innocence or safety, the end of an era or phase in life (empty nest syndrome, retirement), or the loss of a physical ability.

And the loss of a pet

Acknowledging that grieving for a pet is a natural and healthy part of the healing process is important. Don’t let anyone tell you your feelings are unimportant. Grief can manifest in many ways – tears, anger, emptiness, or even a sense of guilt. Allow yourself to feel the emotions and find healthy ways to express them, such as journaling, talking to a trusted friend, or creating a memory box with photos and keepsakes.

What Not to Say

Sometimes, well-meaning people might say things that unintentionally cause more pain. Here are a few examples:

  • “They were just a pet.”
  • “At least they lived a long life.”
  • “You can always get another one.”

What To Say Instead

Instead, offer words of empathy and support. Let them know you care and are there for them. Here are some examples:

  • “I’m so sorry for your loss.”
  • “(Pet’s name) was such a special animal.”
  • “Would you like to share some stories about (pet’s name)?”
  • “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Finding Comfort in Faith

The Bible offers solace during times of grief. Psalm 147:3 reminds us that “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” While we may never fully understand why our pets leave us, we can find comfort in knowing that God loves us and cares for our pain.

Looking to the Future

The love you shared with your pet will never be forgotten. As you grieve, remember the happy memories and the joy they brought into your life. In time, the pain will lessen, and the love you shared will remain a cherished part of your story.

It’s important to remember that grief is a personal experience. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve; what one person grieves over might not be the same for another. The key is to acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to heal.

Here’s a poem from my heart to yours—please feel free to use it as you please.

Rainbow Bridge to Heaven’s Gate

Across the bridge of shimmering light,

My precious friend has taken flight.

No longer eyes that softly plead,

But joyful barks where spirits freed.

I miss your fur, your playful chase,

The wet-nosed nudges, warm embrace.

But in my heart, your memory stays,

A love that even death can’t faze.

They say beyond that rainbow bright,

Our loving Lord sets all things right.

And as I kneel in tearful prayer,

I see you waiting, free of care.

With gentle hands and a loving gaze,

He wipes my tears in a joyful daze.

“Your friend is safe,” His voice so kind,

“Forever loved, with peace you’ll find.”

So, though my heart still aches today,

I know we’ll meet again some day.

Until then, memories I’ll hold dear,

Of playful years and love so clear.

For on that bridge, where colors gleam,

Our love transcends a joyful dream.

Remember, you are not alone in your grief. Find strength in your faith, lean on your loved ones, and allow yourself to heal.

I’m linking up this month with these AMAZING Blog Hop/Link-Up party hostesses!

 Senior Salon Pit Stop   Inspire Me Monday  @ Create With Joy   Friendship Friday  @ Create With Joy   #TellHisStory @ Andrew’s InstaEncouragements Let’s Have Coffee   #AnythingGoesLinky    Grace & Truth   @ Maree Dee’s Hearth & Soul   Sweet Tea & Friends    #PoCoLo   Happiness Is Homemade    Tell It To Me Tuesday   Sunday Sunshine Blog Hop  Crazy Little Love Birds  Will Blog For Comments     The Happy Now Blog Link-Up      Dare To Share Saturdays   Gr.ner.ic @ G’Ma’s Photos  Traffic Jam Reboot  Weekly Highlights @ My Full Heart   Funtastic Friday  #Alittleabouteverything @ Iveth’s

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18 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry for the loss of Tucker. I appreciate the helpful and not helpful things to say at such a time.

  2. This is beautiful. And good advice, too. I grieve the same way–my words disappear. Which is saying a lot for me, to be honest. I’m sorry for Tucker’s loss, and I hope you can feel God’s love for you and for Tucker during this time. Thanks for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #30 linkup.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Jen. ❤️

  3. I’m so sorry the loss of your beautiful Tucker.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Catherine ❤️

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss.
    Tucker was a beautiful dog, and so is the poem he inspired.

    1. Thank you so much Sandra ❤️

  5. I’m so sorry, Paula! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Tucker’s life and all he meant to you! Holding you in my prayrs as you mourn, remember and celebrate Tucker and all he brought to your life!

    1. Your kind words touched me so today. Thank you.

  6. Paula,
    Thanks so much for stopping by!! I am so sorry for your loss…I have 2 beloved fur babies waiting for me at the Rainbow bridge….
    Hugs,
    Deb
    Debbie-Dabble Blog

    1. You’re welcome Debbie and Thank You ♥️

  7. strengthwithdignity

    I’m sending you a big hug, Paula! I’m so sorry to hear you recently lost Tucker.

    1. Thank you so much for the hug. It means so much to me.

  8. This is a hard loss, Paula. I’m so sorry that Tucker isn’t part of your life anymore. Losing a pet is definitely a reason to grieve with mindfulness. Blessings to you, friend.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Lisa ♥️

  9. Losing family even furry ones is hard to accept and deal with. Your post is filled with love and comfort. Thank you.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Carol.

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