Originally from Wales, I decided to follow the sun and made the move to Australia in 2013. I have always had an adoration for animals and a desire to support their wellbeing, so I studied veterinary nursing in Sydney and went on to work at a 24 hour emergency animal hospital and also GP. Witnessing so many raw, unfiltered moments and emotions during my time spent nursing was the start of another transformative journey for me.
I felt the family’s joy during the recoveries of their beautiful pets in my care and I also felt their inconsolable grief when the battle was lost. The bond between humans and their animal companions lead me to a new path in supporting people who are suffering through pet loss. I gained my Diploma in Counselling with AIPC with a major in Grief and Loss and am a member of the Australian Counselling Association. I earned my advanced diploma in Pet Loss Bereavement Counselling with Dawn Murray, the founder of Living with Pet Bereavement and have trained in ACT therapy for grief and loss. I continue to advance my knowledge in Counselling and grief support, as I strive to walk alongside loving pet carers while navigating the painful journey of grief.
Our Pet Loss Grief Counselling offers a gentle and supportive space for those mourning their cherished companions. In your time of heartache, we provide empathetic guidance, a listening ear, and a place to honour and heal. You are not alone in this journey; we’re here to offer compassionate support, helping you find solace and strength amid the pain of loss.
Counselling sessions are via Zoom or Telephone call. Sessions last 1 hour and are $125. Click here to get in touch.
Our pet loss support sessions are tailored to the individual needs of each client because we understand that grief is a deeply personal journey. It is recommended that you arrive to a session individually, as to in a couple or group, as each person’s grieving style is deeply unique, just as each person’s relationship with their pet is.
We'll organise a time that best suits your schedule for a Zoom or telephone call
Your one hour session with Hayley will be a gentle and supportive space to navigate your grief and provide you with tools for the future
Losing a cherished pet is a profoundly painful experience. Our animal companions possess a pure innocence and dependency that triggers a powerful protective instinct in us. When they depart, we often grapple with an overwhelming sense of helplessness and guilt. Their consistent presence in our daily routines gives us purpose, and their absence leaves an unmistakable void. We deeply miss their unwavering loyalty and companionship, which brought us immeasurable joy. Our pets are a constant source of love and daily happiness. When we lose a pet, it feels as though we’ve lost a piece of our heart, and grief becomes an inevitable tribute to the boundless love they shared with us.
The impact of losing a pet varies greatly because emotions are deeply personal. Some may anticipate the pain of their grief, while others may feel they’re prepared and will be okay. However, when the loss actually occurs, reality can be overwhelmingly different from our expectations. It’s akin to thinking you’re prepared for a storm, only to find yourself in the midst of a hurricane. Grief doesn’t adhere to a rulebook. Often, the profound love we hold for our pet reveals itself in the profound sorrow we experience. It’s a testament to the deep connection we share with our remarkable animal companions.
As a veterinary nurse, pet loss bereavement counsellor and somebody who has walked the path of pet loss themselves, I’ve intimately experienced the wide spectrum of emotions that accompany the end of life for our cherished animal companions. This is a unique grief, one that is often misunderstood, and my purpose is to offer solace and guidance to those traversing this often tumultuous journey. With the passage of time and the right support, those cherished memories can eventually be embraced with a heart brimming with warmth, replacing the hollow ache that once was.
Living through loss is painfully challenging. If the loss goes unrecognised by society, it can make the grieving experience feel even more overwhelming and extremely isolating. Unfortunately, this reality is all too common for pet lovers. Social support plays such an important part when moving through grief, so if we feel as though our loss is unacknowledged by the world around us, the grieving journey may be filled with shame and solitude. Anger and depression are two very normal stages of grief, however, these burning feelings and emotions may be even more intense if the bereaved feels as though they are unable to properly express their grief, and the legacy of their dear companion has been overlooked. Some people may do things differently to how they would truly like to during their mourning period, due to the risk of being made to feel “silly” or be laughed at or to be left feeling as though they are “being dramatic.” For example, some pet carers may avoid memorialising in their own personal way, or decide against holding the funeral service that they would like or even choose against arranging a private cremation with their companions ashes returned in a precious keepsake. Well-meaning friends and family may downplay the pain, saying, “it was just a pet” or ask you if you have plans to get another, as though the presence of another companion is all it takes to reverse your agony and fill the hole that your soul mate left. Our loved ones don’t like to see us suffer and these suggestions are often just their attempt to try and make things better. Regardless, their lack of understanding often adds to the sense of isolation. This general lack of being heard and understood can intensify the grieving process.
I know it doesn’t feel this way, but I assure you, you are not alone. Reaching out to pet loss support groups, talking with a pet loss counsellor, listening to podcasts or reading books about navigating through pet loss bereavement are some useful tools that can help you surround yourself with much needed loving support during your time of need.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to chat more in depth about ways to feel connected during disenfranchised grief.