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The Oddities Accompanying Grief with Ann Hoff

Lori Davidson | 31 May, 2024

            Dealing with Pet Loss Grief Ann Hoff Pet Perennials

When there is a death in your Universe, it can seem like nothing is the same. Especially a tragic sudden loss, can be surreal. I remember as a child, a dairy cow got out of the pen. My father, mother and I chased her, trying to corral her. She took off in a different direction and ran into a barbed wire fence. She kept going, but when she came out, instead of milk squirting out of her udder from side to side, there was bright red blood. What went through my mind when I saw this was: Nothing will be the same again. Something is desperately wrong. I knew that she had cut teats off, which was a death sentence. She was now dead; she just didn’t know it yet.

To this day, when something bad happens, when there is an accident, I see a vison of that cow running, squirting blood, and hear my childish voice: Nothing will ever be the same again. Something is desperately wrong. When someone dies, it feels like life will never go on the same, desperate. I do not want to hear the same music as before. I do not want to eat the same foods, I do not want to cook, I will pick up a weird hobby that I might have never done before and will probably never do again. Usually, I also do not want to talk to a ton of people. I want to lick my wounds and try to get to some semblance of feeling all right again. Because at that moment of origin, finding out about the death, I feel like I am swirling in a tunnel with no balance and no ballast.

With my coaching business, I have learned that the difference between well balanced person and one that is in crisis when trauma and loss occurs is whether you have a plethora of healthy coping skills. I don’t care how crazy it may be, if it isn’t bad for you (or even if it is in the short term but it isn’t addicting) and doesn’t hurt anyone, but it helps you cope, it is worthwhile. The worst thing you can do is resort to old addictions, start a new addiction, or start behavior that you know is detrimental.

When my horse Sugar broke her leg in a bizarre accident and had to be put down, I was so bereft, I was having dreams of losing another horse, then going mentally insane and being committed to an institution. (Apparently my negative imagination was working overtime in my dreams). I coped by having a fling with an old boyfriend who had lost his dad. He understood deep grief, having been through it himself, and he didn’t ask me any questions or try to placate me. He held me and let me be. It was a haven. My then live in boyfriend was incensed because my horse died on his birthday. He told me it sucked because now I would now always remember his birthday as the day my horse was killed. I had promised to take him to dinner at the only 4-star restaurant in town that night. He made me go through with it, saying that I’d be sad wherever I was, and he wanted a good meal. I wondered if any of the other dinners noticed the tears streaming down my face the entire meal.

This was before I was an animal communicator and had a deeper understanding and knowledge of grief. I literally felt that I should have died instead of my horse. I started this strange habit of stealing river rocks from the parking lots around town. I needed some for the landscaping in my front yard. In the weirdest way, the taking of river rocks brought me solace. They were grounded, smooth, beautiful, solid. It was a strange habit, and it went on for months. I never talked to anyone about it, in fact this is the first time I am telling anyone about it. I am confessing my weird behavior now so that you don’t feel sheepish about what you need to do to get through. Grief brings weird behavior, and unless it is a felony, you must do what you can to move forward.

If you have a friend going through a period of grief, realize that they may present with different behaviors, and aren’t up to functioning normally. I always loved the habit the farm neighbors had of making food when someone died. It was perfect, because no one that is grieving wants to cook, or go out for that matter. When I lost my dog Lucie last year, one of my clients sent me an edible arrangement and it was perfect. Something about good food grounds you in your body too. It helps it realize that you are still present.

Most people will also appreciate a memento from you that brings a smile and cheers them up. Humor may be very welcome if it isn’t at the expense of the deceased. Remember, when you are going through grief you can parent yourself. You can treat yourself the way you need to be treated to heal. Yes, nothing will ever be the same again. But there will be a new normal.


Ann Hoff is a well-known Animal Communicator, Intuitive Medium, and 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. This month's content addresses the earthly lessons we learn through loss.

Pet Perennials Gift Perks Service becomes a compassionate ally for pet-centric businesses, offering a seamless and affordable solution for expressing condolences. Through unique products like the Healing Hearts Candle, the Crystal Rainbow Suncatcher, and the Pet Perennials Garden Kit, and more, businesses can build lasting emotional connections with clients, reaping the benefits of goodwill and loyalty in the process.

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