Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.  ~ Marcus Tullius CiceroA reader writes: Marty, I just wanted to write and thank you for your Grief Healing Discussion Groups website. It’s been 6 months since I lost my horse, Domino. I know you recently heard from my friend, Anita, who lost her dog shortly after I lost Domino last August. Although Anita lives in Canada and I live in the States, we have developed a wonderful friendship via email and telephone calls. 

Back when I first lost Domino, I bought an audio tape called Journey Through Pet Loss by Deborah Antinori. On the tape she talks about her little dog who died. She said that she came to realize that both Yoko’s life and death were a gift. At the time I was listening to this wonderful, helpful tape, I couldn’t imagine how Domino’s death could ever provide me with a gift. But it did. That gift was my friend Anita whom I “met” on your website’s message board. 

They say misery loves company but what misery really loves is someone who truly understands what you are going through because they are going through the exact same thing. As Anita and I wrote emails back and forth, and talked on the phone, you could see us evolve. Soon we weren’t talking only about our departed pets, we were telling each other about our lives and our interests. 

Now there isn’t a time when we talk on the phone where we aren’t hysterically laughing at some point or another. It feels so good to laugh! Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much your website has done for me, and to thank you. 

My response: My dear, how lovely to hear from you! I’m so glad to learn that you and Anita found each other through the GH Discussion Groups site, and that you’re able to see that as one of the many precious gifts that came from loving and losing your precious horse Domino. What a beautiful and magnificent animal he was (I went to your site and saw his pictures), and how unbearably painful it must have been for you to lose him. For that you have my heartfelt sympathy. 

It is messages like yours that convince me that my website is truly helpful to folks who are hurting. You have warmed my heart and touched my soul. Thank you so very much for taking the time to write to me. 

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