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Journeying Toward Wholeness with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind

This will be a Saturday afternoon workshop at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church, 2160 Cooper Lake Road, Smyrna, GA from 1-5 p.m. July 21, sponsored by Compassionate Paws, Inc. The focus will be on grief related to the loss of a companion animal. Grief around the loss of an animal is an overlooked area and one that is often minimized. For many, companion animals are family members. When there is a loss of a loved one, any unresolved grief from the past, bubbles up and all prior losses merge together. This workshop will be a time to focus on grief and losses of many forms.

While we cannot choose whether or when a loss happens, we can choose how we respond to it. The only way to deal with grief is by walking through it; there are no shortcuts. The process of grief is not a linear progression, but steps to go through over and over. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is the gift of time to grieve and be gentle with yourself. By sharing honestly and openly, you may grow closer to others, becoming more aware of aspects of the Holy, you might otherwise have missed.

When you first experience loss, it is an enormous boulder that sits in front of you. It is huge and heavy, and seems impossible to move. At first it might take all your strength, but you can inch forward. You move it a little more, then a little more – until slowly, gradually, it starts rolling more easily. Eventually, it gets smaller and smaller. Finally, one day, it is a small rock that you can pick up, put in your pocket, and carry with you. It is still a part of your life to be treasured, but it no longer prevents you from moving down life’s path.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please contact D’Ann Downey at or 706 266-3444. It would be helpful to know an approximate number of attendees so we will have enough handouts.

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