For pet parents, the loss of a pet can be especially devastating.
Take it straight from Reagan Pasternak, an actress born in Canada but currently living in Los Angeles, whose grief for her dog led her to write a book that would become the first interactive guide to pet loss.
“I think that there’s so much to learn from grief. There’s so much to learn from losing anyone we love, and we can’t just put it behind us and pretend everything’s fine and move on.”
Griffin’s Heart: Mourning Your Pet With No Apologies
A huge animal lover who’s been involved in foster and rescue for many years, Reagan felt the blow when her soulmate animal and best friend, Griffin, passed away over ten years ago.
“I realized that each loss is different, whether it’s human or animal. There’s an incomplete feeling when we lose somebody we love, right? And I wanted to fill that feeling and maybe work through that feeling.”
To help her process the devastation she felt, she started setting aside part of her mornings to write down her experience and the memories she shared with Griffin, celebrating his life.
Before she knew it, her writings had turned into a journal and a keepsake that allowed her to navigate the awful feeling she had when she lost her dog.
“When I would write, every morning, when I would start, I would calm myself, calm my body down, and just think, ‘What is the purpose of this?’ And it was to connect to whoever is reading the book and…most of the time, I was connecting to myself because I was so lost. This was not like, ‘Oh, I’m going to write a book about animal grief.’ I needed to write the book about animal grief because I am feeling it,”
Healing from Your Pet Loss with Griffin’s Heart
According to Reagan,
“When you are a real animal lover, you kind of know that they don’t belong to you, or if they do, you also belong to them. And so, I call them ‘beings’ throughout the book because I didn’t know how to kind of encompass how much they mean to us. And, yeah, they are family members. Sometimes, they’re the most important family member. So, when they go, you feel lost.”
It’s for this reason that she hoped readers, who went through the same heartache she experienced, can find comfort, hope, wisdom, and healing from “Griffin’s Heart”.
A memoir, journal, and keepsake all in one, “Griffin’s Heart” seeks to become a comprehensive resource that helps pet moms and dads process their grief. It approaches the concept of grief from many angles, encouraging readers to participate by examining their emotions, creating a tribute to their pet, and commemorating their cherished animal.
“We’ve gotten great reviews…but the best for me are the (private) messages I’m getting from readers… Just people telling me that the book is helping them, and really telling me I’m like a friend. And that has been overwhelming. It’s better than I could have ever felt because I know I needed that at the time. And so, if I can do that for somebody, that’s just better than that,”
Reagan shared, closing the podcast.
Learn more about Griffin’s Heart!
Check out their website at https://griffinsheart.com/.