Pets are our family — so why are the resources for grieving a beloved pet so limited? The loss of Kaleel Sakakeeny’s cat, Kyro, led him to answer this need. “The death and grief were devastating. I became truly lost, much to my great surprise. Few professionals are trained in the grief process,” Kaleel says. “Fewer still are trained to help those suffering from the loss of a beloved animal friend.”
Kaleel is now certified as a pet loss and grief counselor and — to add a much-needed spiritual element to the grieving process — an ordained animal chaplain, an ordained minister, and a loss and bereavement facilitator.
With pet loss, Kaleel says one of the most important tools is listening. He also encourages drawing, journaling, praying, meditating, blessings and more. Kaleel’s Facebook page draws nearly 900 followers, and he leads monthly Animal Talks and a new grief group at Angell Animal Hospital-MSPCA in the Boston area where he resides. Kaleel hopes to extend his outreach to schools, specifically children who have experienced the loss of a pet. He would also like to host online seminars. Follow Kaleel and his work on Facebook @petgriefhelpandcounseling, petministry boston.com or email Kaleel@theothermecoaching.com.
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Cait Rohan Kelly is a digital writer, editor and marketer with over a decade of experience working with everything from sports stars to different types of cheese. She is currently the Digital Content Marketing Manager for Dogster and Catster. Cait is a 2018 Dog Writers Association of America nominee for Dogster.com. She is also a lifelong animal lover and grew up with a lovable blue tick Beagle named Blue.