BrightHaven Co-Founders Gail and Richard Pope have been privileged to be present at the deaths over more than 600 animals and they have learned so much about dying and living from these wonderful beings.
Here are just a few of these life-changing lessons:
- Death is the one great certainty in life, which is why it’s essential that everyone, adults and children alike, learn about the natural process of dying, so they can be present with love, support and knowledge to help their animals at the end of their lives.
- Knowledge and understanding greatly reduce fear, and less fear of death means living more fully!
- Animals are often present with and tending to a beloved dying animal friend, as they do not fear death.
- Dying is an organized series of events, a natural process much like birth.
- Death is not a failed medical event.
- Healing is required for living and dying well.
Out of the Mouth of Babes
Gail shares the following anecdotes that show one child’s perspective on death:
“I find it interesting that children accept death easily if they are taught early on about it. My granddaughter Emma is now 10 years old and always wants to come over to be with anyone who is dying or also after they are in state too. When her mouse Celestia died, Emma brought her over to BrightHaven so we could honor her properly.
When Emma was quite a bit younger one of her cats, Elvis, died. The following morning when her mother was all ready and shouting to Emma to come get in the car to go to school, Emma arrived carrying Elvis’s dead body, saying she wanted to take him to school to show her friends and the teachers how beautiful he was.”
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
Next Online Learning Series Release on Sept. 1, 2016: The Animal Dying Experience
BrightHaven recently launched our new self-paced online learning program, The BrightHaven Guide to Animal Hospice. This series is open to all animal lovers!
In The Animal Dying Experience two-part module, Gail and Richard take you through the final stages of the animal dying experience and how this very special time of life is approached and honored at BrightHaven. They also offer some practical things that can be done by the caregiver for hospice support, which is focused on the animal’s comfort and wellbeing.
The first module in the series, titled The Gentle Shift, is a guide to natural holistic wellbeing for all of an animal’s life stages. This module shares how the animals led Gail and Richard to gradually adopt a more holistic approach to healing based on results they were seeing, how BrightHaven’s Menu for Healing evolved and why they chose a natural path to death for the animals.
Praise for The Gentle Shift module:
“I’m so enjoying this first new e-course, especially designed by Gail Pope of BrightHaven.
Gail has spent a lifetime nurturing all animals especially seniors (16 years plus), caring for & nourishing them on all levels during their golden years and through to the end of their lives.
Working with Gail last year was inspirational & helped to change my mindset & my perceptions of living & dying.
Gail’s mission is for the healing of body, mind & spirit &, as she says in her book “The BrightHaven Guide to Animal Hospice”, ‘…for some animals, healing will bring about a new balance for the physical & emotional, leading to renewed, healthier, & longer life. For others, healing as we understand it is still necessary as preparation for death & the journey beyond’.”