The Mary T. and
Frank L. Hoffman
Family Foundation
and All-Creatures.Org

Letters and Responses

Letter from Ellen Katcher about Mourning and Having a New Companion - 12 Feb 2006

Dear Frank and Mary;

Hope you are both well. The snow is very heavy here in NYC. I hope it is less so for you.

Just an update. As you remember, my adored Tara passed on on Nov 27th. After 5 weeks I got Milo, a male toy poodle. Friends told me that this was the only way to survive. The transition from having an adult companion who was as close as my heart for fourteen years, to having a "know nothing" baby has been a difficult one (especially since Milo is a boy, and very different from Tara). Its tons of work teaching him the basics.

However, after a month, Milo and I are beginning to work things out. He is no longer a stranger, so his puddles are tolerable.

The bottom line is this. I still miss Tara and cry for her. I understand the enormity of my loss. I do not expect this little guy to replace her. He does not have to. However, having Milo has reduced the level of my grief tremendously, even though he is a "pain" at times. Having him makes me feel normal.

I advise anyone grieving the loss of a beloved companion not to wait too long before acquiring another. Then, be patient. It takes time to grow to love someone and babies can be trying.

At times I feel disloyal, because Tara and I were so close. I know she would not want any other dog intruding. However, I want to have faith that, in some way, its OK, and that I will see her again.

Keep in touch.


Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman

Dear Ellen:

As you know, it's our strong love that produces the mourning that we feel when a loved one dies. And, that love will go on forever. But likewise, we believe that our departed loved ones know our loneliness and understand in ways that they would not necessarily have understand while still living here on earth. So, Tara is happy, that you are feeling better, and maybe she's even having a chuckle or two over your efforts and mishaps with your new baby.

We're also happy that your feeling better.

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary

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