A Note for Grown-ups

Dear Grown-ups,

If you have come to this page because you or someone you know has experienced the loss of a beloved animal companion, I  understand the deep sense of grief you are feeling.  Grief is a complex set of emotions, often experienced by children for the first time when a pet dies. Children look to the adults they trust for guidance at such times. I wrote Goodbye, Jake to help adults talk with children about grief and loss.   Cole, the story’s main character, experiences a full array of emotions associated with grief.  The sensitive dialog between Cole and his grandmother provides a comfortable way for you to open discussions with your child.  As Cole says goodbye to Jake and contributes his special stone to the Memory Garden, his words and actions teach that his feelings are normal and healthy. 

Goodbye, Jake is also relevant for adults dealing with pet loss. When our pets die we may feel the loss just as strongly as we do when we lose a human loved one or friend. Sometimes we encounter people who have never known the deep bond that can develop between a human and animal.  They may be insensitive to the pain of pet loss and make comments like, “Snap out of it.  It’s only a dog.”   People who are grieving for their pets are often reluctant to talk about it because of such callous remarks.  They keep their grief to themselves.  Goodbye, Jake offers comfort and support in the knowledge that the sadness and grief felt when an animal companion dies are natural responses to any deep loss. 

When we lose our beloved animal companions,  they remain alive through our memories.  Goodbye, Jake will help you teach this life lesson to your child, and remind you as well of their value.  Devising your own special remembrance ceremony or place like the Memory Garden is an active and long- term way to work through grief and toward healing. 

Bam Schildkraut