(WXYZ) — COVID-19 has forced so many metro Detroiters and people around the world to face the loss of loved ones so suddenly and tragically, and because of the pandemic the pain can feel different.
7 Action News reporter Andrea Isom sat down with a Chaplain and educator, who is helping people manage their grief from all angles.
Micky Golden Moore Ph.D., M.S.H.P. is the founder of “Tails From Beyond The Paw Print,” which is a support group. And she's an author of the book that's titled the same.
Moore became a Chaplain after the loss of her father. She felt extremely blessed by the comfort the Chaplain showed her family in their times of need. And she realizes that the need for that emotional support now, is even greater as metro Detroit and the entire world is dealing with COVID-19.
“Especially during the time of the pandemic as re-enforced how its not what you say, its being there," Moore said. "Its showing up, a hand to hold, whether its a virtual hand and a heart, a heart to understand. To simply be with someone without judgment to join them and to meet them where they are."
She truly understands because the loss of both her parents shook her to her core. But the loss of her pets who were also family, did too.
First, it was her cat Nellie. Then her soulmate.
“It was Pablo, who was truly the best friend I ever had," she said. "I saw what it was like to experience pet loss, grief. And try to share it with other people and I saw that the reaction, was minimized."
So, she decided to expand her focus to also help people get through the loss of their chosen family as well.
“I founded Beyond The Pet Paw Print Pet Loss Support Group,” Moore said. "It's a safe place to meet kindred spirits, in a kind community. To be listened to, to be validated and to be able to mourn out loud."
Now, in 2020, the pain for so many is even more palpable. Because an animal, a pet may be the first being to ever give you comfort, hugs, cuddles and unconditional love. Imagine having to say good-bye. Imagine that loneliness, too.
“It’s more difficult for people to talk about pet loss, in the time of a pandemic," Moore said. "Because someone may say are you kidding me, I just lost my mother, father, son, daughter, best friend, my spouse. Let’s take away the comparison, because all these forms of loss and trauma they are real. They are tremendous how they impact and alter our life forever more."
To learn more about coping with grief of a pet or loved one, for people of all ages, go to beyondthepawprint.com.