Pet Bereavement

They Were Here and They Mattered invites those grieving the loss of their pets to be in community.  

For many of us, they are our first loves, and for many more, they are our first heartbreak when it’s time to let them go.   Our culture often never fully gives us permission to grieve their loss. 

Our pets matter, and their passing leaves a huge void that needs to be gently held and seen as we mourn those who shared our homes and our hearts.

No, there is never a fully restored heart after a loss, but beauty and joy can still be found in the sacred holding of space together to express gratitude for what was and how our fellow sentient beings blessed our lives while here.

Rev Karla’s entire life has been spent in the company of animals. Rescuing the homeless and the hurting since a small child, she founded a non-profit spay/neuter clinic in 2005 to address pet overpopulation. That clinic has spayed or neutered almost 150,000 cats and dogs in almost 15 years of operation. 

In addition to her work with spay/neuter, she and her husband have rescued hundreds of cats and dogs over the years, many of which they adopted. Through her own experience of holding space for the dying pets and her grief connected with each death, Rev Karla saw how little was known about pet grief and how ill-equipped our society was to comfort those grieving the loss of pets.

Karla’s years of spiritual care and companioning with those seeking to find joy and peace in their lives gives her the experience to bring empathy, compassion and gentleness to this ceremony. Rev Karla will also draw on the abundant teachers of wisdom in spirituality and her end-of-life doula training that have been the foundation of her 5 years of study, culminating with her 2 years in seminary.

They Were Here, and They Mattered is held periodically throughout the year. *Registration is required.