Dear all,

Earlier this year, I experienced the heartbreak of losing my cat of 14 years, my best friend, Muffy. Losing Muffy has been devastating and the grieving process has been extremely painful (and still is). Due to my grief reaction, and the response I have received from others whether its family members, friends or peers, I made the decision to do my BSc Psychology dissertation to honor Muffy’s memory and all the animal companions that have crossed over the rainbow bridge. The dissertation will be on the subject of pet attachment and grief, an area of research I strongly feel is incredibly important. Furthermore, I would like to raise awareness that the grief we feel when losing our animal companions is important and very real thus should be taken seriously.

I am a student at the University of Hull, UK and would like to invite you to participate in my online web survey which can be found by clicking on the following link below.

Before starting the survey, we will give you more information about the research study, and ask for your consent to collect data for research purposes.
Thank you,
Kim x

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Filled it out Kim I hope one day there is more help out there like a grief support group to attend as you know the pain is horrendous
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I filled out the survey.  I would be interested in the results when you get them.
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I filled in your survey Kim, and I wish you well with your studies. I am in the UK too, though don't live anywhere near Hull.

As usual with surveys, I found many questions not easy to answer as the actual reality of things didn't quite fall into the categories on offer. Although I think the survey was well done and there were good options offered. But I gave the "nearest" answer, thus choosing an option that was available.

The family options were hard also as I only have two family members left and both live hundreds of miles from me. We have a friendly relationship but not "close", inasmuch as I could ask for help or share upsetting events; one is in her late 80s (an aunt) whom I often have to deceive, as if she hears anything upsetting from me she gets into a worry. The other family member is a sibling who is working in different contract appointments, so whom I don't often see.
However they were both compassionate and understanding when my dog passed, and sent me kind greetings, condolence cards and little mementoes etc.

But I don 't think they would be interested in  an on-going sense of loss I carry with me in my Heart, so I don't ever share that with them, except perhaps lightly and briefly.

The greatest comfort I did receive after my dog's passing was from my dog herself.

In your psychology studies, you are probably not interested in near death experiences, out-of-body experiences, and anecdotal accounts of contact with those who have passed over?
Or....I could understand that even if you are, that would be outside of the context of your current survey and work.

But if you or your colleagues do find this interesting, I would be happy to answer any questions.

Below, 3rd item on my "signature" is a website I set up to briefly recount some of the events which occurred over a few months after my dog's passing. There is a contact form on that site, on the page "Misty and Me", and I can be contacted easily via that, if required.

Oh and Kim....I send you my deepest condolences for your loss of your dear cat and companion, Muffy. Bless him (her? -so sorry, you didn't say if Muffy was a boy or girl.)
Hold the love like a little light. It is all you have, or will ever have, to find your way home.

Misty's Blog..a Dogfight with Cancer

Misty's life after death:
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I understand the difficulties of fitting  exact experiences into survey questions.  I have never taken a survey where everything fit exactly.  But it often takes a paragraph to explain something.  I thought this survey was done with sensitivity to the topics and the  fact that people in a grief support group are involved.  I can answer the questions now after ten months but I wouldn't have been able to in the early stages.  

I appreciate the fact that you are trying to study this subject since I don't think it is understood by many people.  As I said before I will be very interested in the results, although I know it takes a long time to collect and analyse data.
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I filled out your study, some of my answers were more reflective of the time more closely following my cats death ( the first two years or so) although I am still grieving for him.
Marlene Wagner
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