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Stories of Animals Comforting the Grieving

If you’ve watched Mockingjay Part 2 (the last Hunger Games movie), you will notice how Katniss finds comfort after her loss from a cat. While she isn’t a huge animal lover, she takes the cat into her arms and cries extremely hard. It is easy to see she is deeply grieving and in pain after her loss. There are many stories of animals comforting the grieving like this one. Find comfort in those stories here.

Sometimes, the ones that help the most have nothing to say. 

Cats Comforting the Grieving

Cats can be such a furry comfort for anyone. While they like to be petted on their terms, cats are quick to cuddle up next to you when you are in a dark moment, like grief. Here is one story below about a woman who found comfort as she grieved:

“When my husband passed, I had a 6-year-old and a 12-year-old, and I had to work full time and be strong for everyone. When the kids were in bed each night, and I would eventually sit down, my cat, who had not left my husband’s side for the eight months he was sick, would come and curl up on me and let me cry on her. She is still my angel, and she is still instantly by my side if I am even a little bit sad,” – Liz Allan (InspireMore).

As grief is more than emotional pain, it can sometimes cause physical pain and aches. Having a cat purr or just lay in your lap is extremely beneficial.

The “…rhythmic purring can have a therapeutic effect, soothing the person and providing a sense of security,” in cats (Cat Bandit).

While there are many times cats have comforted those who are grieving in real life, there are other animals who can offer just as much comfort: dogs.

Dogs Comforting the Grieving

As the saying goes, “A dog is a man’s best friend.” While there are arguments between cat people and dog people, many generally agree with this statement. There are countless real-life and fictional stories of dogs helping humans survive and those grieving. The story below is one example of a little dog who helped a woman in her grief:

“My little dog Pixel who is gone now helped me through the deaths of two important people in my life and lots of non-death-related grief. I lost my university advisor and mentor in 2007 to suicide and a close friend to an overdose in 2015. Pixel always seemed to know when I needed her most. She would crawl to my side in this rather adorable way, and when I had nightmares she would use her little paws to dig at my arms until I woke up. It was really nice because sometimes it felt hard to wake up from a bad dream,” – Hillary about Pixel (Marie Curie).

Dogs and cats are popular for pets and comfort, but they aren’t the only animals helping humans.

Horses Comforting the Grieving

Horses can sense everything you are feeling. Here is one story below of a horse doing just that:

“When I was a teenager, friends of my parents had a horse who was quite feisty. She would bite and kick and be difficult to be around. One day after my dad passed away, I got really upset and ran out of the house to end up leaning over her stable door, crying. She came over, offered her shoulder for my face, and hugged me with her neck, resting her chin on my back,” – Jessica Sytske Jansen (InspireMore).

Riding horses is also a beneficial way to help you in grief. This releases positive emotions and hormones in your body that help you mentally and physically. But horses, dogs, and cats aren’t the only animals to comfort you. Take advantage of nature, enjoy singing birds, and breathe.

“Animals are so good at helping people through difficult times because they don’t offer anything verbal… they are just a silent comfort,” (Marie Curie).

Comforting the Grieving is What We Do

While there are many more stories we could share, Bakken-Young is a never-ending story of helping the grieving. Bakken-Young is always here for you. We are a source of support for you as you are grieving your loved one in multiple ways, during and after your loss. Some of these include our grief groupsfree webinars, and our blogs here among more in our grief calendar. Contact us if you need grief support. We are always here for you and ready to help you. You are not alone.


5 Touching Stories of Cats Comforting Humans in Pain by Cat Bandit

Three stories of animals helping people through difficult times by Oliver Wheaton from Marie Curie, an expert hospice care and end-of-life charity.

“What Is The Kindest Thing An Animal Has Ever Done For You?” 7 People Share Their Stories by Lúcia Nogueira from InspireMore, a brand about spreading hope and light.

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