An artist friend purchased a calendar and e-mailed her remarks today. I was so excited to hear from a fellow animal artist and author of several books! My portraiture style is very much in the fine art portraiture genre, though I do work in looser styles and different media, but I study the work of other artists all the time to inspire growth and change in my own work.
Chris Davis is one of those artists—I have one of her books, For Every Cat an Angel, which she sent after I lost my Peaches last year. I found her colorful, whimsical style so comforting for its lighthearted nature, and indeed that is the name of Chris’ publishing company, Lighthearted Press!
Here is what Chris wrote:
Bernadette, I sat down last night and read your calendar from cover to cover – it’s fabulous! Like a good book, I didn’t want it to end. Every cat lover should have one of these calendars. The stories are uplifting, and the notes and quotes you put on the calendar pages are helpful and inspiring.
I think you’ve created something very special here. Your stunning artwork jumps off each page. I enjoyed reading the additional info at the end, where you told more of each heartwarming story.
As an extra special gift, you included all those resources and important info at the back for anyone who shares their life with a cat. What a treasure! I’m delighted with this extraordinary work of art. I think all the love and care you give to your kitties was also given to this calendar…and it shows!
Congratulations, Bernadette – you’ve got a winner, here!
And please visit Chris’ website to see her illustrated books! You’ll love them—and she’s working on a new one!
Sixth in a series of “pet loss and grief told from personal experience”
If you’ve lost your pet, if the loss is imminent or if your pet has been diagnosed with a terminal condition or you know someone in that position, don’t feel you are alone or that no one cares. As our relationships with our companion animals have become more widely accepted as valid, loving, reciprocal relationships, grieving the loss of your pet has become more widely accepted and even encouraged.
This is not an exhaustive list of possibilities—because there are so many other lists of pet loss information I’ve provided links to main sites and other lists, and focused on the theme of first-person pet loss and and how that loss changed lives and turned into a creative effort.
For as much as is available on the internet today, there’s nothing like communicating in person. Sometimes a regular meeting with a local support group can be the most welcome respite from your grief, especially if you begin before you lose your pet because you can learn from the group’s members what to expect, and they’ll understand how you feel when your pet’s time comes. Find a group with whom you can share your fears and feelings, talk about your pets and plan and attend ceremonies.
You’ll find your local animal shelters often offer pet loss support groups as one of their services. Pet-related businesses also sometimes offer support groups or host events honoring our companion animals as do many religious organizations.
Internet Discussion Groups
Moving to the internet, you can find discussion groups for pet loss in general, and discussion groups for every possible condition your pet could have, often species and even breed-specific. These groups are usually moderated by one or a group of persons and send out a digest of entries each day, and are ideal if your pet is ill or has been diagnosed with a disease because you can share your experiences and information with others dealing with the same condition. The ASPCA has a number of discussion groups including one for pet memorials. You can also check Yahoo groups and Google groups for information.