The Fragile Circle Comes 'Round
The decision to get another pet varies with each person. Some people get another pet immediately because
they do not want to be alone. Other people take their time and may wait weeks or months before adopting a new pet. Still others
do not get another companion animal because the pain of loss is too great or the thought of grieving again is too much to
Of course we can never replace the pet that died. Just as every person is an individual, every pet has his
own personality. For me, the love that I have for the animals in my life can never be replaced and I don’t want to replace
it. I have had a unique and personal relationship with each and every one of my animal friends. After a time, however, I find
that my heart has the capacity for new love to grow.
Grief is the price we pay for loving. Through all the tears
and sadness comes one thought that makes us smile again: we deeply loved a particular animal and that love was returned to
us a thousand-fold. The one who waits for us on the other side will always hold a special place in our hearts, a place that
no other animal can fill.
The pain of losing a beloved animal may raise questions about adopting another pet.
Will the broken heart ever dare to risk loving an animal again? But when we are ready, the heart will accept another pet into
the fragile circle and we will love once more.
In the natural cycle of life, the fragile circle expands, contracts
and expands again. As we welcome another companion animal into our homes and hearts, we will begin to understand that love
is the strongest force in the universe. Through our pets, living and dead, we experience unconditional love firsthand and
that is their greatest gift to us in the fragile circle of life.
Ask the Animals: A Vet’s-Eye View of Pets and the People They Love by Bruce R. Coston, DVM. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2009. From a chapter called The Gift, page 132:
I suspect…that a deep love and empathy [for animals] is not a hereditary
trait. I certainly didn’t inherit it from my parents. I have come instead to believe that it is a random, almost reckless
gift from God to a privileged few who throughout their lives honor the Gift. The Gift does not come without a price, to be
sure. For it is accompanied by the burden of seeing innocent animals suffer at the hands of pitiless people, the responsibility
of raising orphaned squirrels and blue jays, and the crushing blows of losing special pets. But in repayment, the gift returns
a wealth of rewards from the animals that enrich our lives—rewards that are unnecessary for me to list here, for those
who share the Gift already know, and those who don’t, wouldn’t understand anyway…
And paraphrased from page 134: We recognize the Gift
in others and ourselves, accept the rights and responsibilities it bestows and affirm it again and again throughout our lives.
Thank you, God, for the Gift.
CJ's Note: Ask the Animals is reminiscent of James Herriot’s wonderful books. Coston’s memoir offers funny, sad and touching stories about a veterinary practice where the patients cannot speak,
yet communicate deeply.
can’t I find a page or link that used to be here?
Over the last ten years, The Grieving Heart® meandered
into many topics and lost its purpose. I have deleted 40 pages to bring it back to the original focus of grief and helping
Web addresses come and go and I cannot guarantee the accuracy, safety or longevity of third-party (external) sites.
Adding links by request, or finding and fixing broken links are massive time consumers, so I have deleted many outside sources
and will limit additions in the future. The external links that remain are checked on a regular basis and related to
grief, helping grievers and pet loss.
will continue to honor and remember veterans and fallen soldiers because it is the least I can do for those who have
given so much.
I hope that my renewed attention
to grief information will make The Grieving Heart® a better experience and comfort for you. Thank you for visiting. CJ
Christine at The Grieving
Heart dot info
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How complicated and individual mending is, the time required for healing
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