(616) 498-1316

Grief Support

Meet Me on the Rainbow Bridge: Coping with Pet Loss

January 26th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Like their human counterparts, companion animals share an increased death rate during the holidays. Many pet parents face the winter months in mourning.

Pet loss grief can be complicated by a lack of social support, misplaced guilt, and degrees of bonding that might surpass many of our human-to-human relationships. Yet pet loss grief is often “disenfranchised grief” – grief that cannot be easily publicly mourned. Read the rest of this entry »


Books for Adults on Grieving Pet Loss

December 18th, 2018 by Laurie Brush


Whether you recently experienced the passing of a pet or are having trouble letting go after some time has passed, The Heaven at Home team has resources that may help you through this difficult time. Books can be an invaluable part of your support system, and we’ve curated a few below that we feel will really help a pet parent navigate the loss. Read the rest of this entry »


Books for Children on Grieving Pet Loss

December 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush


The Heaven at Home team knows that grieving the passing of your fur-baby is difficult and requires all the support you can get. On top of dealing with your own loss, if you have children, you also have to help them navigate what might be their first experience of losing a loved one. Books can play a helpful role in helping your child through the process.

The following are a few of the “gold standard” books written for children that are designed to help grieve a pet who has passed. Read the rest of this entry »


Ways to Observe National Pet Memorial Day

September 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

PetMemorialDayHAH

Heaven at Home Pet Hospice treasures the memory of the pets our vets have helped pass peacefully. On Sunday, September 9th, we’ll join you in spirit remembering your fur-baby. Please feel free to observe National Pet Memorial Day on Sunday by sharing the story of the pet you’d like to remember on our blog’s In Memoriam section, or on our Facebook page, using the hashtag #NationalPetMemorialDay. Read the rest of this entry »


Ginny Mikita on Grieving Pet Loss – West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group

May 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

Meeting of a Grand Rapids, MI pet loss support group at Heaven at Home Pet Hospice and led by Ginny MikitaThe first rule of grieving is that there are no rules.

Companion-animal-loving Pastor and Animal Advocate Ginny Mikita makes this clear to the people who gather each month at the West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group hosted at Heaven at Home’s cozy quarters on Monroe Avenue.

“It’s important to experience grief in whatever fashion it manifests. We need to set aside the idea there is one right way to grieve or certain feelings that are correct and instead give ourselves the grace to feel what we’re feeling without judgment,” said Mikita. Read the rest of this entry »


Children In Grief Over Loss of Pets

January 9th, 2018 by Laurie Brush

children grieving over loss of pet illustrated by girl with dogHeaven at Home’s Dr. Laura Tay compiled the following tips to help children deal with grief over the loss of their pets after participating in a seminar by Kathryn Jennings, Executive Director of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC).

We at Heaven at Home thought this might be helpful for your family as you work through this difficult time. Read the rest of this entry »


Ways to Celebrate National Pet Memorial Day 2017 in West Michigan

September 8th, 2017 by Laurie Brush

2017PetMemorialDay_1000x273

Heaven at Home Pet Hospice would like to remind everyone that National Pet Memorial Day is coming up on Sunday, September 10th, 2017. This is a day for people to remember their deceased companions in a warm, positive light and reflect on all of the happy memories from the course of the pet’s life.

The passing of a pet can hurt just as much as the death of a person, and looking back on everything that made our pets special to us is an important part of the healing process. National Pet Memorial Day is a fine occasion for pet caregivers to progress through the grief into a healing journey. Below, we’ve included a few ideas for commemorating your beloved pet this year: Read the rest of this entry »


At-Home Pet Euthanasia: Ways to Say Goodbye

June 14th, 2017 by Laurie Brush

Owner with aging dog before euthanasia depicting home euthanasia services in Grand Rapids, MIHeaven at Home Pet Hospice knows there’s no easy way to say goodbye to your loyal fur-family member. However, through helping hundreds of Grand Rapids and West Michigan pet owners provide peaceful passings, Dr. Laurie Brush feels there’s therapeutic value to celebrating the life of your pet during a euthanasia home visit.

“Death is hard to talk about,” Dr. Brush says. “But it doesn’t need to be fraught with struggle. This might be the worst day of your life, but it doesn’t have to be the worst day of your fur-baby’s life. On the contrary, we can help your pet pass comfortably with dignity and compassion.”

By performing home euthanasia for companion animals, Dr. Brush’s goal is to prevent animals from experiencing the stress, and sometimes fear, of trips to the vet when unwell. Read the rest of this entry »


Companion Animal Memorial Candlelight Service

December 2nd, 2014 by Laurie Brush

In the bustle of the “most wonderful time of the year,” many are grieving the loss – recent and distant – of beautiful animals with whom we’ve shared our hearts and homes. Ginny Mikita, a friend and colleague of Dr. Brush, is hosting a candlelit memorial service for companion animals this coming Thursday, December 4th at 7pm. The service is being held at the Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church in Rockford. Ginny is a blessing of animals celebrant, grief support group facilitator, and memorial service officiant. If you or someone you know is in this life space, please plan to join in this interdenominational time of centering, acknowledgment, remembrance and release.

If you would like your companion animal’s name, breed and birth/death dates included in the Program, please forward it to Ginny by Wednesday. Ginny can be reached at (616) 460-0373 or at ginnymikita64@gmail.com. You are also welcome to bring a framed picture for inclusion in the Service.

Courtland-Oakfield United Methodist Church
10295 Meyers Lake Ave
Rockford, MI 49525


Veterinary Wisdom

October 30th, 2014 by Laurie Brush

Veterinary Wisdom, a magazine run by World by the Tail, Inc., is centered around helping veterinarians and pet parents work in unity to create the most peaceful end-of-life experience possible for pets nearing the end of their life. Veterinary Wisdom was founded by Laurel Lagoni and Debby Morehead, whom Dr. Brush had the opportunity to meet at the IAAHPC conference.

Because Veterinary Wisdom is an internationally known magazine, World by the Tail, Inc. has been able to pull a variety of information from many different sources to create a truly helpful resource section on their website for pet parents. Read the rest of this entry »