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You Can't Cheat Grief by Ann Hoff

Remy Bibaud | 25 May, 2021

            Grieving the Loss of A Pet PP Blog by Ann Hoff


Ann Hoff is an Animal Communicator and participates in a monthly zoom session with members of our FB group, "I Am Not Crazy Because I Talk To Animals." 


I remember the first pets I had in my life. Losing them seemed so momentous and all consuming. My first horse lived into his twenties, which at that time was really, really old for a horse (they are living longer now due to better health care and wormers). I would routinely cry at just the thought of him dying; someday. I wanted to keep him forever.

My horse stepped on a nail one summer, and I spent all summer trying to bring him back to health from the resulting abscess. My mother finally got him back to normal weight after I went back to college by hand feeding him squash. I was amazed because I wouldn’t have even tried to feed a horse squash (Those days my mother had an exorbitant amount of squash from the garden and routinely used it for everything she could. We didn’t by pasta in the summer because we had spaghetti squash). One of my friends said that if I didn’t sell my horse to a new owner, I would come home one day to find him dead, and my friend said he didn’t want to be around the day that happened. His comments shocked me so much that I panicked and sold my horse to a new owner. Better to think he was out there somewhere, happy than to know he was dead, maybe by something I myself had done.

Now, decades later, I have lived to see many of my animals pass on. People say it doesn’t get any easier. I will admit that each pet is a singular loss. I now know that there is no cheating death by not being there for the pet, like I tried to do with my horse. We owe it to our pets to be there for them when the time comes just like they have been there for us our whole lives.

If there is a secret to the grief that comes after the loss of a pet it is that you must go through it. You cannot cheat or bargain with grief any more than you can cheat or bargain with death. If you put it off, it is like walking around with a twenty-pound weight on your chest. Crying represents a release. That you have processed the emotion and it is being released.


“My heart broke and laughter fell out.” Beatrice Woods


It took me awhile to understand this quote. Perhaps because I had yet to feel that kind of grief. I hadn’t yet come to the precipice of losing something that was my world. At that precipice there is a decision to make. You can either say, “Never again.” then close your heart like a tight fist, or open your heart wide, and laughingly say; “I want to do that again.”

Because it really is about the journey. People who are smart know this. That each pet is singular; you will learn different things from each one, feel different emotions with each one yet all feed your life with the love. 

Your pet may be on the other side, but you are not. For whatever reason, you are here to love and be loved another day. There are other animals out there that are ready to love you and that need a home. They are not dead, and you can save them from dying. Take what you have learned about loving a pet and love anew. It is the best compliment you can pay a crossed over pet: to love another in the way they taught you to love.

Being a medium, I know that pets on the other side go to the place their humans go that I would call heaven. I know that they love for you to remember them, to celebrate them, to know that their love for you is as strong as ever.

I just talked to a cat on the other side today who said he sent birds to his owner to look into the house windows and cheer her up. He told me that is what he would want if someone sent messages from heaven for him! My client confirmed that she had been seeing songbirds and hummingbirds staring in the windows lately.

Many times, pets on the other side will send a new animal to us because they know how much we need them. They don’t want us to be alone. They can also reincarnate back to us, and I have seen this happen for many of my clients. Two of my current cats have been pets before in this lifetime. Many times, our pets have a spiritual connection and purpose to be with us, and they make sure that connection doesn’t die.

So, grieve the loss of your pet. Honor them with a celebration. Then honor them by continuing to pass on the love that you shared.


Want to learn more about Ann? Visit her website for information regarding readings and pet care.

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