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Dogs and Bereavement: The Comforting Presence of Canine Companions

Dogs and Bereavement: The Comforting Presence of Canine Companions

By Murrant Family Funeral Services

Funeral directors Michael and Lynn with Lola our bereavement dog.

In the United Kingdom, dogs have long held a special place in our hearts, with an estimated 12 million of these loyal companions residing in our households. They provide unconditional love, offer unwavering support, and often become integral to our families. But have you ever considered the profound impact dogs can have on us during grief and bereavement? At Murrant Family Funeral Services, we recognise the invaluable role that our four-legged friends can play in providing solace and support when we lose a loved one.

Dogs: Our Emotional Barometers

Dogs are remarkably in tune with our emotions. They have an innate ability to sense our grief, sadness, and distress. This heightened emotional sensitivity is not limited to positive moments; it also extends to the difficult periods in our lives. Many dogs react to our sorrow and anxiety in ways that might not always be positive. Some may become destructive or unpredictable as they mirror the turmoil they perceive within us. It’s crucial to respond with love and consistency during these times, reassuring our furry companions that we will always be there for them, even in the face of grief.

Dogs: Silent Comforters

Some dogs may not fully comprehend what is happening when we grieve, while others inherently understand and seek to provide comfort. The presence of a dog in your life during times of grief can help establish a sense of routine as you care for them and take them for walks, which we actively encourage our grieving families to do.

At Murrant Family Funeral Services, we have witnessed firsthand how dogs can provide invaluable support to bereaved families. Michael and Lynn Murrant, the owners of our funeral service company, have a special companion in Lola, a Jack Russell cross bereavement dog. Although dogs have no formal training to assist with grief and bereavement, some possess a natural aptitude for this role. Having been around bereavement services for years, Lola has developed an extraordinary gift for providing support and solace to those in need.

Lola often joins funeral arrangements and visits to our branches in both Martham and Great Yarmouth, but only at the request of our clients. She has a unique talent for recognising the person in the room struggling most with their grief and approaching them gently and sensitively. You might find her curled up on a lap, sitting beside someone on the sofa, or offering her tummy for a comforting scratch. Witnessing how Lola can put people at ease during complex and sensitive discussions about their loved ones is heartwarming, offering a much-needed distraction and emotional support.

The Healing Power of Canine Companionship

Beyond offering emotional support, dogs can provide a sense of purpose and routine during the challenging bereavement period. The responsibility of caring for a pet encourages structure and regularity, which can be a stabilising force for those who are grieving. Taking your dog for a walk or simply spending time with them outdoors can offer solace and tranquillity, allowing you to step away from the overwhelming emotions that often accompany losing a loved one.

Dogs and Bereavement: A Personal Perspective

Michael and Lynn Murrant’s experience with Lola, their bereavement dog, is a testament to the unique bond between dogs and humans during sorrow. Lola’s uncanny ability to sense and comfort those grieving is not just a remarkable quality; it’s a testament to the extraordinary capacity of dogs to provide solace and support when needed most.

A Dog-Friendly Business

We know that not everyone is a dog lover, so we respect your preferences. Lola can sit in on funeral arrangements and visits only when requested. Our Apollo House branch in Great Yarmouth is dog-friendly for those who wish to bring their canine companions along. We provide water and a comfortable space for your dogs to relax near you during these emotional times. We understand the importance of having your dog close when you need them most.

Dogs can provide comfort, solace, and a sense of normalcy in grief and bereavement. At Murrant Family Funeral Services, we celebrate the profound role that these loyal companions can play in supporting you during one of life’s most challenging experiences. Whether through Lola’s gentle presence or the welcoming atmosphere we provide for your dogs, we are here to ensure that you have the support you need every step of the way.

For information on funeral arrangements, contact us today.