Author Archives: Lisa Havelin, MA, MFA, LAMFT

‘Heart-work’ of the Holidays

The holidays inevitably call us to the ‘heart-work’ of our relationships. This is particularly so in the instance of relationships where our intimate other has died, including our beloved animal family members. Grief associated with the loss of an animal … Continue reading

Posted in Holidays | 5 Comments

MN Pets Grief Support Email Series

Losing a beloved companion can be the most painful thing we endure in life.  Many people report that losing a dear animal friend is more difficult that losing their human friend or family member.  It is absolutely true that losing … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet, Support | Leave a comment

Ways People Grieve Part II – Families

Grieving Styles We all have our own unique way of expressing and working with grief – our own style.  In Ways People Grieve Part I, I’ve described how “instrumental” grievers experience grief primarily through thinking and doing, and how “intuitive” … Continue reading

Posted in Children and families, Grieving the loss of a pet | Leave a comment

Ways People Grieve Part I – The Myth of Men and Grief

It is a common expression of concern for men to hear that “it’s important to express your feelings about this loss.”  The prevailing conventional “wisdom” is that men do not necessarily grieve well… that they could be better at expressing … Continue reading

Posted in Children and families, Grieving the loss of a pet | 1 Comment

Making Arrangements… A Personal Choice

I recently spoke with a client who was interested in the details of what would happen to her pets’ body after a euthanasia appointment.  We talked at length about those specifics, and after some conversation I realized that she may … Continue reading

Posted in Memorializing a pet | 3 Comments

A Good Cry

Built to cry… The grief that accompanies the loss of a beloved companion animal is profound and the pain of that loss can be felt emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  Grief is a grueling physical experience and shedding tears is one … Continue reading

Posted in Grieving the loss of a pet | 6 Comments

Waiting for a Sign

The fact is we don’t know a whole lot about how animals communicate, but we certainly know that they do. It’s possible there is a lot more communication happening between us and our animals than we are sometimes aware of, … Continue reading

Posted in End-of-life decisions | 2 Comments

Quality of Life, Part I

Quality of life is a term we often hear when a pet is nearing the end of their life or experiencing an illness.  There are several ways to assess quality of life but it is very important to remember that … Continue reading

Posted in End-of-life decisions | 2 Comments

Pain, Quality of Life – Part II

“I don’t think my pet is in pain.” We often hear pet owners grappling with the issue of pain for their pet.  After completing your pet’s quality of life checklist, you may have found that while you were making a … Continue reading

Posted in End-of-life decisions | Leave a comment

Children and Pet Loss

The loss of a pet is often a child’s first experience with death and because it is painful, parents often wish to protect them from it.  Not talking about it, however, can make the grief process even more difficult.  Parents … Continue reading

Posted in Children and families, End-of-life decisions | 1 Comment