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Does Grief Lessen Over Time? (I am talking a long time.) by Ann Hoff

Lori Davidson | 31 May, 2022

            First Pets Affect Our Lives Forever by AnnHoff.com

 Ann Hoff is a regular contributor to our FB Group “I Am not Crazy Because I Talk to Animals” and leads a monthly Zoom call with members wishing to chat with a pet, or simply ask Ann a question.

When I channel pets on the other side for people, many times (especially if my client is an adult) multiple pets come through to them. It is always amazing and gratifying to me when a beloved pet from childhood comes through. Commonly, it will be an animal that they do not remember at first, it has been so long. Then the light of recognition will turn on in their face and they will gasp: “My first dog/horse/cat/pony!” The magic of that first relationship with an animal! Hardly anybody cries when these pets come through, they are so overwhelmed with the joy the pet brought into their lives. The grief is but an ancient memory. Is that because you love them any less? Have you felt and released your grief? Has time made it less painful? Have the loving experiences you have had since then dulled your grief?

From what I have gleamed, if you have felt and processed your grief, it is more of a memory, a dull ache at most rather than an active knife to the heart. So, in a sense, you have felt your grief, and let the wound heal. You have also had more experiences since then, and the loss of a pet has happened multiple times; it is not the first defining moment of grief in your life anymore. Does the pain dull, and we just get numb to it? Or do we numb it ourselves by trying not to feel? The Angels tell me it is a dense dimension down here on earth, and that almost all of us here on earth numb ourselves in some way.

If we really feel our grief and let it go, do we still need to numb ourselves? My feeling is that sometimes grief is overwhelming. You may not want to confront it all at once, it is just too immense. So, there is no harm in taking a sleeping pill and saying I need some rest from it. We all have obligations in this world we need to show up for, and we cannot if we are nonfunctional because of grief. That brings up another point- is grief the same as depression? Actually no. Grief should be processed, and you will get out of it. Depression is something that does not improve necessarily with time. The Angels describe depression as energy not moving- be that energy grief, anger, or pain. 

When the first dog I had (I called him Arfie that is how young I was) died, I remember throwing myself on his body, and crying hysterically. I remember thinking that I could not go on from that, that part of myself was going to be lying there until the end of time. I honestly did not know how to move on without my dog. I resented the people responsible for his death. Today I can see in retrospect the changes in my attitude because of his death. But I no longer feel more than the memory of that day. I have grieved the loss, and now what is still there are the loving memories.

By getting rid of the grief, by having expressed and felt it long ago, it is no longer the iceberg of pain that used to sit in my chest. It has melted and thawed so that I can again see the joy and love that was present. That is the thing about love, it really is the only thing that is lasting. The memory of the love never fades. It may sit behind the rock-hard iceberg of pain, but it is always stil there. That is one reason to be able to stand the pain of expressing your grief, going through the grief, is to get to the other side. To not carry it but be totally present in the now, with all the memories of love from all those babies that have come before.

Another phenome that happens if you do not grieve is that every time you have another loss, you feel ALL the pain of the grief you have not expressed. The grief goes underground, and deposits there. Then every time grief comes again, that whole vein is struck, and you feel a pain far greater than the current loss you are dealing with. It is like an abscess that heals over but never resolves. Like an abscess, that grief deposit must be lanced and drained completely. Then you no longer have a reservoir of grief and pain. Then you are allowed to enjoy the love.

Which is usually what is occurring when people get to talk to their first pet. The grief from the death is long absorbed and felt, and what shines through is the love that you shared with the animal. The communion of spirit. It is still there. Many times, these animals have come back in another body to you and shared another lifetime. Many times, these spirits have made a commitment to you for your lifetime and are either with you in body or as a spirit guide their whole lives. That is something I can tell you for certain: love returns to love. It makes life magical, to see your old friend come through in a new body. To always feel their love around you.

That is another reason to feel your grief. Our grief falls around us like a fog, and it keeps the light of love from the deceased from us. Our grief does not allow us to feel the love from the other side. Once the grief has processed and felt, it dissipates and the fog lifts. Then the love can shine into you again. It may sound corny, but it is true.

The magic of that first relationship with a pet does not dim. Yet it can be obscured by our grief, but the love stays. Whenever you have the unobscured view, you know that. Those first pets are all still there with you. It does not matter how they passed. What matters is that they taught you love, and that love stayed with you. You are a different person because of it.


“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains un-awakened.”

                                                                                  ~Anatole France


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